Mastering the Art of “Short” Curly Hair: Step-by-Step Styling Techniques for Shorter Hairstyles

Mastering the Art of “Short” Curly Hair: Step-by-Step Styling Techniques for Shorter Hairstyles

Individually, curly locks and short cuts are often considered challenging to style and maintain. Combine them, and it's understandable if you're apprehensive about managing a short, curly hairstyle.

Zoe Foster Blake, the poster girl for styling a short, curly cut, has shown us how simple it can be, and her recent styling - rocking a curly bob, gives us all the inspiration we need.

 Zoe Forster Blake- Short Curly Hair Styles


Offering a treasure trove of helpful tips and inspiration, celebrities like Rita Ora and Rihanna have also experimented with chic short, curly styles, while Lupita Nyong'o has set the standard for ultra-short cuts.

The range of styles available for short, curly hair is vast, from pixie cuts and bobs to shags and afros. While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to styling, there are some essential techniques that can help you tame your locks effectively.


Curly hair is wild, untamed and lively. A head of curls is often a showstopper! Curls, especially healthy, styled curls, can be the envy of men and women everywhere.


If you're lucky enough to have a head of curls, whether it's barreling long curls or a short curly hair style, this guide will give you step-by-step styling techniques that will empower you to make the most of your unique and vibrant curls.


Understanding Your Curl Type

Before diving into the world of styling, it's essential to understand the foundation of curls: your unique curl type.

You can have multiple curl patterns, even if it's cut really short. Curly hair can encompass various curl patterns, from loose waves to tight coils. Recognising your curl type is the key to unlocking its potential. Are you more on the wavy side, sporting loose curls, or do you rock some intense coils? Knowing your curl type sets the stage for selecting the right products and techniques.

 Curl Type Library

Preparing Your Hair for Styling

A successful styling routine begins with proper preparation. Short curly hairstyles require just as much care and planning to maintain the health and shape of those shorter curls.


Cleansing and Conditioning

Start with a gentle sulphate-free shampoo for curly hair that preserves natural oils and prevents excessive drying. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner, this will provide moisture to your strands without weighing down your curls.



It's true, short hair, can tangle just as easily as long hair! To prevent breakage, detangle gently using your fingers, a flexi brush or a wide-tooth comb. Begin at the tips and work your way up, avoid harsh tugging as this will cause your hair to snap and break.


Step-by-Step Styling Techniques

Enhancing Natural Wave

If you're blessed with wavy hair, enhancing those short waves is a breeze.


  • 1.Applying Curl Enhancing Products: Opt for lightweight curl-enhancing products that define your waves without leaving a heavy residue.
  • 2. Scrunching for Definition: Gently scrunch your hair while applying the product to encourage wave formation. Allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser for added volume.


Perfecting Bouncy Curls

Short curly hair can achieve a stunning bounce with the right technique.


  • 1.Sectioning Your Hair: Divide your hair into small sections. Applying products in sections ensures even distribution and optimal curl definition.
  • 2. Using a Diffuser for Volume: Attach a diffuser to your hairdryer and set it to low heat. Cup your curls in the diffuser and lift towards your scalp to maintain volume while drying.

Defining and Styling Coils

Short coils are a true work of art. Here's how to enhance their beauty.

 Curly Coils, short curly hair

  • 1. Finger Coiling for Definition: Take small sections of your hair and twist them around your finger to form coils. This technique enhances curl definition, especially for tighter coils.
  • 2. Applying a Curl Cream for Moisture and Hold: Use a curl cream or defining gel for curly hair to provide moisture and hold for your coils. Scrunch or lightly twist your hair to set the coils in place.


For The Curly Men

Don't worry fellas we haven't forgotten you! We could write a whole blog on this, and we will! (coming real soon!) If you've got a head of curls or waves, the advice remains the same. Whether you've got longer waves or curly short hair, curly hair products for men and their styling routines are basically the same. Cleanse, style, refresh, maintain. 

Even if it's cut really short, curly hair men can also benefit from a good cleansing and styling routine.

Mens Curls Hair

It doesn't have to be difficult- it's okay guys, we know simplicity is key, a good shampoo, conditioner, and strong hold gel for curly hair will do the trick! On refresh days, just wet the hair down, scrunch and go. 


Heatless Styling Options

Minimising heat styling is essential for preserving the health of your short curly hairstyle. If you do find yourself using heat, make sure it's the lowest heat setting, and for styling with straighteners and curling irons, a good rule of thumb is sometimes. There are multitudes of ways to enhance your curls without the use of extreme heat. 


Building a Curly Hair Care Routine

Recently underwent the big CHOP? To achieve consistency when styling your short curly hair, style as you normally would. If you had longer hair, and you've opted for a shorter style, the best thing to do is continue to use the same routine you had before.

It might mean tweaking a few things, but the routine is relatively the same. If you're new to curls, either you've recently permed, or you are just starting to embrace your natural texture, it's crucial to establish a well-rounded hair care routine. This routine should include cleansing, conditioning, and styling techniques that cater specifically to your curl type.

Styling short curly hair

Hot Tip: It's more important to style to your curl type, than your length. Check out our previous post on building a comprehensive curly hair care regimen for more detailed guidance.


Finishing Touches and Maintenance

Avoiding Frizz

To maintain a polished look, combat frizz by using anti-frizz products or silk pillowcases. Additionally, avoid touching your hair excessively throughout the day, as this can disrupt your curl pattern and lead to frizz.

Setting the Style

Lock in your chosen style with a lightweight hairspray or setting spray. A gentle mist will hold your curls in place without making them stiff or crunchy.

Refreshing Curls

On days when you're not washing your hair, refresh your curls by lightly spraying them with water and applying a leave-in conditioner. Using the "prayer hands" technique, glaze a small amount of gel and water over your curls and gently scrunch your hair to reactivate the curl pattern.


Embracing Imperfections

Every curl is unique, and shorter curls are no exception. Embrace the natural imperfections and variations that make your hair special. Your curls may not always be uniform, and that's okay – it's part of what makes them beautiful.

 Short Curly Hair Styles

With so many hairstyles for short curly hair, the options are endless!

By understanding your curl type, preparing your hair for styling, and implementing a bomb proof routine, you're well on your way to showcasing your curls in all their glory. 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.