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hairstyles for short curly hair

32 Easy & Chic Hairstyles for Short Curly Hair

It’s easy to see why short curly hair is a timeless trend.
05 Apr 2021
With only a few inches and a proper stable of natural hair care products, there’s plenty of flexibility to create a range of short curly hairstyles (including braided hairstyles) that enhance your curl pattern, protect hair from damage, and feel fresh for any season. So, what is the best hairstyle for short curly hair? Whether you're down to take a razor to the sides or learn how to properly slick shorter spirals, look ahead for some of the best curly hairstyles to try.

What is the best haircut for short curly hair?

Choosing the right short curly haircut is mostly a matter of personal preference. However, you should keep your curl pattern, face shape, wash day frequency, and activity level in mind when deciding which style to go with. Some of our favorite haircuts for curly hair include the pixie, short layered bob, and short shag.

How can I style my short curly hair while growing it out?

Styling short hair may seem somewhat limited in theory, but many of the same styles that can be created on long hair can also be done on short curly hair. While waiting for your hair to reach your desired length, try different variations of hairstyles you love on both short and long hair, such as slicked back, tucked behind the ears, and side-swept bangs. When in doubt, count on accessories like hair clips, headbands, and hair wrap to help you through the awkward grow-out process.

Find Your Personalized Routine!
Know your curls better than ever before! Our quick and easy 5-step quiz, which uses powerful data to determine your hair type, will help you understand your strands. Set aside a couple of minutes to answer some simple questions, and we’ll take care of the rest. At the end, we’ll identify your curl type and main hair concerns, and provide expert tips, product recommendations, and a personalized routine. The journey to gorgeous hair starts now. Click Here to find your personalized routine.

What Are The Best Products For Short Curly Hair?

When choosing the best products for short curly hair, start with your wash day essentials. A sulfate-free shampoo like the Wash Day Delight Sulfate Free Shampoo for Curly Hair will keep your curls from drying out and being stripped of their natural oils while you wash. Consider using the Almond Milk Ultra-Nourishing Hair Mask as a pre-shampoo treatment if you’re experiencing drier than usual curls.

No matter the length of your hair, you always want to choose hair products that are specific to your strands' needs. When in doubt, look for products that work with your curl pattern and hair porosity. Pomades and heavier hair oils like the Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil are ideal for 4A to 4C curls, while the Sacred Tiare Leave-In Conditioner can give looser curls in the three range just the right amount of hydration and definition.

One of the best products for short curly hairstyles is edge control. Without the length needed to tuck away strays, a strong hold gel will help keep those baby hairs in place. Not only do you want a solid hold from your edge control, but you also don’t want any further dry out and breakage. The Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother has hydrating honey and soothing aloe to curb damage while you style.

Keep the Mimosa Hair Honey in your short curly hairstyles product lineup as well. It’ll come in handy, especially if any parts of your style are shaved. It not only adds moisture and overall shine, but it also softens and smooths any blunt, shaved edges.

The Best Hairstyles For Short Curly Hair

Short Hairstyle #1. Short Curly Bob
If you have a bit more length to your curls and your hair hits at the chin or above, then you can wear a short curly bob. The sharp angles of a bob make the style, so have yours cut clean and blunt at the base and use the Healthy Hair Butter to ensure that your curls are defined and frizz-free, especially at the ends.

Short Hairstyle #2. Curly Hair Fade
This look goes from voluminous at the crown to a clean buzzed cut down the nape of the neck. The curly hair fade is ideal for different curl patterns, but it works particularly well for coily and tightly curled textures like 4C hair, which will hold the shape up top. Looser natural curls may droop down and take away from the volume that makes this style look fresh.

Short Hairstyle #3. Curly Lob
This is similar to the bob, but this version requires even more length from your naturally curly hair. Lobs are simply longer versions of a bob that typically hit between right under the chin and an inch or two above the shoulder. The clean lines that make a bob are also important for a curly lob, so keep the ends trimmed evenly all the way around your head. Complement the bluntness of the cut with some added shine using the Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Hair Sheen.

Short Hairstyle #4. Curly Pixie
A pixie is one of the most classic very short curly hairstyles that can be worn with a variety of textures. Hair is typically cut evenly around the head, with no more than two inches of hair visible on all sides. This style is ideal if you want to make a big chop without doing a total buzz cut. For the best results, define and shape your curls with a gel or pomade.

Short Hairstyle #5. Waved Edges
Add some accents to your cropped look by focusing your details on your edges. Use an edge control gel and a toothbrush to bring the baby hair around your hairline forward. Swirl them in any design you like. Get as creative as you want with this one; there’s no right or wrong pattern to lay these hairs down.

Short Hairstyle #6. Short Curly Bangs
Pulling off bangs can be tricky on any texture, but if you have the length (around six to eight inches off your head when straight), you can get curly bangs. Cut them just below the brow line, or if you’re daring, you can try micro-bangs, which sit right above the brow. Keep in mind that your curl pattern is automatically going to shrink your coils, so don’t cut your bangs too short to start, or else you’ll be stuck with super-micro bangs until they grow out.

Short Hairstyle #7. Tapered Back
Even if you decide not to completely fade the back (a gradual effect of hair transitioning to visible scalp), you can give some shape to your curly haircut by tapering the back. This means that the length of your buzz in the back is even, but the cut gets more narrow as it graduates from top to bottom—almost in a diamond shape. For some contrast against the low cut back, keep the top at the crown low or let it grow out longer. Use the Mimosa Hair Honey to keep the back slick and shiny.

Short Hairstyle #8. Angled Bob
This cut is exactly as it sounds. The remix takes the super-sharp lines of a classic chin-length bob and angles it so that the front hits at the jawbone, and as you move from front to back, the line is angled upward slightly. The angle doesn’t have to be super dramatic to get the effect. The back usually hits right at the nape of the neck.

Short Hairstyle #9. Flexi Rod Curls
Thanks to a range of rod sizes, you don’t need a ton of length to wear this flexi-rod protective style. Grab a pack of rods that are 0.8cm or 4/5 of an inch. Apply a leave-in conditioner to damp, towel-dried hair, followed by a curl cream. No need to precisely part sections when using flexi-rods, just use your fingers to separate one to two-inch pieces of hair to wrap around each rod. Let your style air dry to set or sit under a dryer. To avoid frizz, don’t unravel until your strands are completely dry.

Short Hairstyle #10. Angled Lob
Having a bit more length to play with makes this slanted style a little easier to create. The look is the same as the angled bob, with hair that’s longer in the front and a more graduated back, except the front should hit about an inch or two off the chin, and the back is lower on your neck.

Short Hairstyle #11. Undercut
Add a bit of edge to your short curly hair by buzzing the hair at your temple on one side. You’ll need longer hair up top that can hang down over the area that you’re cutting. It’s almost like a surprise two-in-one style that you won’t know is there unless you lift the hair hanging down from your crown, which is perfect for all the barrette hairstyles that are having a moment right now. Keep your undercut moisturized with regular dabs of the Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil With Castor Oil.

Short Hairstyle #12. Space Buns
Instead of a classic top knot, split curls into two high buns. You need a little length to create this style, but it’s one of the best easy curly hairstyles. Much like a messy top knot, this style looks good even if curls are a bit frizzy. Curl definition isn’t required here, but you can add some shine to your buns with the Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum.

Short Hairstyle #13. Waved Pixie
One of the best short hairstyles is a modern take on the finger wave. You don’t have to completely brush and smooth your curls beforehand; you can use the Pracaxi Nectar Style & Hold Foam and a rattail comb to create a wave pattern around your head. Tie your hair up under a satin scarf to help set the style.

Short Hairstyle #14. Full Slick Back
One of the best very short curly hairstyles that makes a statement is a full slick back. You can do this look even with just an inch of hair. Using a boar bristle brush and Hair Milk Conditioner, swipe your curls from front to back. Be sure to brush curls gently so that you don’t disrupt your curl pattern. Tie a silk scarf around your head to keep your natural curls down while your style sets.

Short Hairstyle #15. Twist Out
This classic protective style works on just about every length of hair—however, you’ll need at least two inches to twist. Apply twisting cream to small two to three-inch sections and do two-strand twists from root to tip. Let your hair air dry or sit under a hooded dryer to set. For smooth and defined curls, make sure that your hair is completely dry before unraveling the twists.

Short Hairstyle #16. Deep Side Part
No matter how many inches you have, or which short curly hairstyles you choose, it doesn’t hurt to add some visual interest with a sharp part. Draw a line just before your temple on either side to create a geometric style that’s simple but makes a grand statement. Complement the sharpness of the part with clean, blunt ends across the rest of your curls.

Short Hairstyle #17. Razored Sides
Add what almost looks like an accessory to your short style with a laser-sharp razor design along one or both sides of your hair. This can be done on any length of hair, but it balances well with either freshly buzzed curls or with more coils on top and tapered sides. Use hair oils to keep the shorter parts of your mane from getting itchy as the hair grows back in.

Short Hairstyle #18. Asymmetrical Sweep
If you do have an undercut on one side, you can sweep all of your curls to hang over on the opposite side. Secure it with bobby pins. You can also create more structure with this look by doing a twist out first and then sweeping the spirals to one side.

Short Hairstyle #19. Bantu Knots
Whether it’s a full head of knots or just a few, these conical twists are one of the more low-maintenance styles for curly hair. Section hair like you would for box braids. Start with a few spritzes of the Sacred Tiare Leave-In Conditioner and then apply conditioning mousse to each section. Twist and roll each section into tiny knots on your head. Tuck the ends of each twist into the base of the knot to secure.

Short Hairstyle #20. Flat Twist Mohawk
Gathering shorter hair into any kind of updo can be challenging. For this version of a mohawk, you’re twisting hair from the sides of your head upward. By twisting, you’re securing any shorter hairs that can’t be easily gathered into a bun. Leave the ends loose to get the mohawk look going down the center of your head.

Short Hairstyle #21. Cornrows
A short curly haircut shouldn’t preclude you from wearing a braided hairstyle. For short strands, cornrows are one of the best types of braids. Since they sit close to your scalp and can be quite small, they don’t need a ton of hair. You can also weave just a few cornrows on the side of your scalp.

Short Hairstyle #22. TWA
A teeny-weeny-afro or TWA is exactly what it sounds like—a curly micro afro that’s raised only a few inches off the head on all sides. TWAs are easier to style on tighter curl patterns like 4C hair, which helps it hold its shape.

Short Hairstyle #23. Bob With Bangs
Long or short, curly bangs are a commitment, but they also create a chic aesthetic that’s made even more playful when you add curls to the mix. This style works on a range of curly textures, but it’s particularly ideal for looser curls since you want them to fall evenly at the brow line and just at the chin.

Short Hairstyle #24. Part Play
One of the most fun enhancements you can make to your curly haircut is with parts. Whether it’s a comb crafted deep side part, or a shaved design, playing with lines is a fun perk to wearing shorter natural curly hairstyles.

Short Hairstyle #25. Tucked Bangs
Sweeping and pinning curls behind one or both ears is one of the easiest ways to camouflage bangs that are growing out. To keep them from hanging in front of your eyes all day, flat twist before securing.

Short Hairstyle #26. Short Twist Out
Similar to Bantu knots, all you need to pull off this style is enough hair to double-strand twist pieces together. The slight and temporary loosening of curls that a twist out creates will give your hair the appearance that it’s a bit longer until it actually is.

Short Hairstyle #27. Accessorized Afro
Make the most of the headwraps, headbands, turbans, and hair clips in your vanity to slick back, cover, and dress up your curls while you get through the in-between phase.

Short Hairstyle #28. Double Half Cornrows
If you prefer to partially tuck away your curls until they grow out, your best option is to braid your hair. You’ll need at least a chin length’s worth of hair to create this look. Part hair across from ear to ear and then from the front to back in as many sections as you want braids. Braid each section back halfway and pin in place. Leave the back section of curls loose.

Short Hairstyle #29. Curly Top Fade
The sides are almost completely clean or, at a minimum of an inch of hair, which your curls sit up top as high as you want them to go.

Short Hairstyle #30. Stacked Buns
The biggest challenge you may run into here is shrinkage, but as long as you can stretch your curls out enough to wrap pieces around itself once or twice, you can create this easy protective style on your entire head or half way. It’s an easy way to tuck away split ends, and what’s even better is that once the style sets you can unravel each knot for a wavy look. Before twisting, dab a bit of Coco Creme Curl Shaping Cream Gel with Coconut Oil before twisting for better hold and added moisture.

Short Hairstyle #31. Pin-Up Curls
On bob length hair, sweep the back half of hair up and forward and pin at the crown for a forward flowing cascade of curls.

Short Hairstyle #32. Vibrant Curls
One of the easiest short curly hairstyle updates is to add color. This can be highlights, full color, or a bold ombre that’s brighter at the tips.

Want even more hairstyle ideas for short hair, especially those of the protective variety? Here’s Your Guide to Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair.

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