What size flat iron is best for short hair? Is it even possible to use a straightener on short hair? What if you end up buying a wrong model and get your lovely tresses burnt to crisp? The questions never end and nor does your confusion.
I have drafted this guide to the best flat irons for short hair especially for the likes of you who are scouring the nooks and crannies of the web in search of the right product. Just like you, when I was also overwhelmed by the sheer number of options the market has in store for us.
This straightener has overheat protection, that model reduces frizz, yada yada! I kept reading tons of product descriptions and user reviews for three days straight. I am very picky about these things, so I wasn’t going to buy just about any shiny looking heating tool for my kinky, intolerably frizzy short hair.
Anyway, my hard work paid off and I found the perfect flat iron for my curls. For this article, I narrowed down my top picks to 6 models to make your job easier (it wasn’t easy for me to pick just 6, trust me). In my opinion, they are equipped with all the essential features you’ll ever need and are aptly priced.
This guide doesn’t just contain reviews. I will also chalk up a short but detailed buying guide followed by a dedicated section about easy-to-follow tips on straightening short hair.
So let’s get down to business, shall we?
Table Of Contents
- Best Flat Iron for Short Hair – Comparison
- Top 6 Flat Irons for Short Hair Listed and Reviewed in Detail
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
- HSI Professional Glider
- KIPOZI Flat Iron 1 Inch Titanium Plates
- Terviiix Small Flat Iron for Short Hair
- Deogra Mini Hair Straightener
- MHD Dual Voltage Mini Flat Iron
- How to Choose the Best Hair Straightener for Short Hair: Key Points to Consider
- Using a Flat Iron on Short Hair: Step-by-step Guide
- Final Thoughts
Best Flat Iron for Short Hair – Comparison
|Name & Brand||Plate Type||Plate Size||Temperature||Price|
|BaBylissPRO Ultra Thin||Titanium||1 Inch||up to 450°F|
|HSI Professional Glider||Ceramic||1 Inch||140-450°F|
|KIPOZI Flat Iron Titanium||Titanium||1 Inch||up to 450°F|
|Terviiix Small Flat Iron||Ceramic||0.3 Inch||122-450°F|
|Deogra Hair Straightener||Ceramic||1/2 Inch||320-410°F|
|MHD Mini Flat Iron||Ceramic||0.5 inch||up to 356°F|
Top 6 Flat Irons for Short Hair Listed and Reviewed in Detail
Thick and coarse tresses, be it natural or Afro-American textured hair, are considerably more difficult to style. The ability to build up high heat without any hot spots is one of the essential features to look for when purchasing a flat iron for this specific hair type. BaBylissPro Nano not only meets all the key criteria but is reasonably priced too.
The slim plates, compact, easy-to-maneuver design, and lightweight makes it a brilliant choice for both rookies as well as for those looking to upgrade their old flat iron. The 5” length of the nano-titanium plates have two big advantages:
One, the flash quick heat up. You have two barely wait a minute or two to get your flat iron ready to go. Two, the 5” length of the plates allow a better ground coverage with each pass, something people with thick tresses will come to appreciate a lot.
The temperature range for this model is between 300 degrees F- 450 degrees F along with 50 heat adjustments. The nano titanium technology utilized in this equipment safeguards your tresses from the much-dreaded heat damage. When you start getting the hang of the device, you can play with different heat settings for distinct hairstyles and nail it every single time. The shortest plate size available is 1-inch which is just the right plate width short to medium length hair.
Like all the best hair straighteners for short hair from reputed manufacturers, this model also integrates floating plates to enhance the contact with your manes and let it effectively absorb all the heat to achieve a spot-on styling effect. Floating plates make the iron easy to pivot for both left and right-handers.
Plus, you can flip, crimp, twist and straighten your bangs and other trickier sections of your short hair more easily with its flexible plates. In fact, the curling ability of this flat iron is so on point that you might not feel the need to use a curling iron ever again.
And the best part is, you can both straighten and create sexy beach waves with a single pass, thanks to the high heat yielded by the titanium plates. I’d love to carry such a small, compact but high-performance styling tool with me on my vacations and business trips.
Mind you that the device is rated to operate on 120 VAC. You just have to buy a tiny voltage converter to safely use it overseas. I’d also like to remind you that you shouldn’t use this or any other flat iron on damp hair. Make sure your hair is at least 80% dry, rinsed and deeply conditioned before flat ironing. Use it right and this flat iron will give you your money’s worth.
My only disappointment is that this flat iron doesn’t have an auto shut-off feature. I sincerely hope BaByliss includes this feature in the next upgrade.
HSI Professional is a very capable and smartly engineered flat iron that works equally well on both thick and fine hair that’s extremely susceptible to frizz and dullness. To tame frizz and lend your dull, dry and rough hair a new lease of life, the Glider uses ceramic and tourmaline crystal plates.
Apart from excellent heat generation and distribution, it also produces lots of negative ions that significantly improves the texture and moisture retention ability of your tresses. I’m sure you have read tons of rave reviews about how this flat iron leaves the hair silky smooth and frizz-free from roots to end. Now you know why.
The heat plates measure 1” which is a universally accepted size for short bob, buzz, pixie cuts to shoulder-length hair. Flipping the bangs is a cakewalk with the help of its sleek clamps. 8 HeatBalance micro-sensors embedded in them are another nice touch.
They allow you to exercise maximum control over the temperature and even distribution of heat, eliminating the risk of hotspots. Adjustable temperature coupled with infrared heat technology enables the flat iron to precisely style your hair using less heat. This is another reason why I’d confidently recommend it to women dealing with hair thinning and split ends.
The operating temperature range is between 140-450 degrees F, making it a safe bet from pretty much all kinds of hair under the sun. With this level of control, you can let your inner hairstylist take the driver’s seat. Take good advantage of its double duty as a curling tool. From straightening and smoothening to creating soft curls and pretty flips with one pass, this all-in-one-styling tool does it all.
The included swivel cord is pretty long, letting your working hand move freely in all directions without the added pain of snagging or pulling your hair.
Add to dead-on performance and smash-resistant build quality, HSI Professional Glider comes with a bucket-load of freebies like a travel size bag, protective gloves and a bottle of argan oil treatment to keep your flat ironed hair shafts replenished and radiant.
Apart from the nifty travel bag to safe-keep your straightening kit, the unit itself supports dual voltage (110-220v). Carry this 6” mini iron anywhere in the world without wasting important luggage space.
Like the previous model, this one also sadly lacks the auto shut-off function.
Kipozi is one of the top titanium hair straighteners I have come across during my research. I particularly love the angled plate design idea implemented by the makers. Placing the plates a little away from the handle at an angle makes it very easy to hold and pivot.
If it’s your first ever flat iron purchase and you want to splurge before testing the waters, KIPOZI would make a decent starting point.
The temperature range offered by this tool is between 122-450 degrees F. If you have fine hair with weak roots, frizzy strands and split ends, the lowest available temperature will keep damage to a minimum without compromising the styling efficiency.
Titanium plates, as I have discussed in the buying guide section, get style-ready in a snap. It takes roughly 15 seconds to reach 380 degrees which is phenomenal for a product in this price range.
It also employs 3D floating plates to help you firmly clamp your short hair shafts between the plates without losing grip for a single moment. The 360-degree swiveling cord further adds to the maneuverability, allowing you to straighten, flip, twist your bangs or add neat details on your crown, and sides with utmost precision, minus any painful snagging. The 1-inch plate is narrow enough to handle short bangs and pesky flyaways.
It is compatible with worldwide voltage and comes with a nice velvet travel pouch to easily fit in your carry-on luggage. To prevent overheating and burn accidents, the unit implements a 90-minute auto shut-off and safety lock, giving me all the more reasons to rank this model so high on my list of the most reliable flat irons money can buy.
The outside surface can get pretty hot after a few minutes of use. So you must use a heat-resistant glove if you don’t want your skin to get hurt.
The name of the model itself is quite self-explanatory, isn’t it? This skinny and ergonomically-sound flat iron is just as versatile and effective on short hair as any name brand product. To give you optimum control over your styling, it offers variable temperature settings ranging from 122-450 degrees F, just like my previous pick.
The cool LCD panel on the handle will help you meticulously carry out your styling routine. The ultra-narrow 3-10 inch floating plates in this flat iron is perfect for women who are a sucker for short and edgy hairstyles. It smoothly glides through the coarsest hair and never misses a beat. The chances of snagging your hair is next to zero, due to the smooth coating on the heating plates. It is equipped with an 8.5 ft long swiveling cord that never tangles up while styling the hard-to-reach spots e.g the back of your head.
These plates are infused with tourmaline crystals which add extra moisture and shine to your hair, leaving your freshly straightened hair silky smooth and curls soft and bouncy post-styling. If you are on a tight budget and want a fool-proof solution to tame frizz and those annoying flyaways, Terviix perfectly fits the bill.
This mini flat iron makes for a great travel companion due to its compact size, worldwide voltage compatibility and soft travel pouch to safely store your styler. I appreciate the inclusion of a 60-minute auto-shutoff, an essential safety feature to ensure your peace of mind on days when you forget to unplug the hot device before leaving home.
The temperature read-out is a little off. If you want to style your hair at 375 degrees, you might have to crank it up to 400 degrees F to get the iron to reach your desired temperature.
Here’s another skinny, dual voltage compatible travel-friendly mini flat iron that makes flattening, curling or flicking short hairstyles a breeze, even for the rookies. People with extremely medium-textured and frizzy hair will get the most out of this appliance as it operates on three high-temperature settings (320 degrees F, 360 degrees F, and 410 degrees F).
I’d have liked more heat adjustment options but given the price tag, I shouldn’t be bickering about it too much. Very few low-budget mini flat irons offer auto shut-off function and fortunately, this model is one of them.
It works great on bangs and will come handy even when your hair grows long down to the shoulder length. If you have thick and coarse curls like me, you’ll be better off with a more powerful model that goes as high as 450-degree F. It’s not that you can’t style thick hair with this iron. It will just take longer.
Moving on, the 7.9-inch flat iron comprises ½ inch narrow tourmaline crystal infused plate to combat frizz and dry hair problems. Since it gets pretty damn hot in flash speed, your styling time will be cut short drastically. Unless you have kinky, you will be able to effortlessly straighten, de-frizz and smoothen out each section of your hair with one pass.
To lessen hotspots and ensure even heat distribution, the heat plates are crafted with ceramic coating. The plates feature a floating design to minimize snagging and amp up the efficiency of the flat iron. The generously long 360-degree swiveling cord further adds to the buttery-smooth and pleasant user experience.
This sleek model is specially designed to be travel-friendly, yet it doesn’t have a safety lock mechanism. That’s my only beef with this product.
MHD flat irons are touted as robust, consistent and reliable by the majority of its users and rightly so. Apart from a lucrative price tag, it has a lot of other things going for it. From automatic voltage conversions (110v/240v), lightning-fast heat build-up to a very short cool-off period, MHD has nailed the basics this time. Being a low-cost flat iron, it doesn’t offer more elaborate features like multiple heat adjustments, floating plates, auto shut off and plate locking mechanism.
I guess I can live with that if I am solely looking for a budget-friendly, barebones straightener, powerful enough for a quick and effective touch-up.
It has the simplest operation among all the products listed in this article. The max and only operating temperature is 356 degrees F. It features only an On/Off button. So all you have to do is plug it in, switch on, let the iron heat up for 60 seconds and start styling.
I have seen many reviewers mentioning that they got great results on their black, kinky and afro-textured hair using this flat iron. It might take longer to style than thin or normal textured hair would but the final results make it totally worth it. It’s small, it’s portable, can be used by even a baby (although they shouldn’t) and gets the job done real well. For a budget flat iron, it honestly can’t get better than this.
Being a low-cost model, it has its fair share of limitations, among which, the lack of variable heat settings is the biggest downside. You won’t miss it much if the 356-degree temp is usually what your hair demands. But those who are not sure about the ideal styling temperature will be better off with a model offering multiple temp adjustments.
How to Choose the Best Hair Straightener for Short Hair: Key Points to Consider
In this section, I have gathered and explained all the important factors you need to consider before spending your precious bucks. Flat irons do their job using heat. Hot styling tools have the ability to make or break your hair. Choose the right model, use it properly and your hair will go from “eh” to “wow” in minutes. Do the opposite and you will end up damaging the very soul of your hair.
I’d strongly urge you not to skip this section as I am about to highlight the must-have features in a quality flat iron specially engineered for short hair.
Type of Plate
The first question we will be addressing is what type of heat plate causes least damage? The answer depends on the texture and length of your hair. Since we are solely talking about short haircuts in this section, let’s just focus on the appropriate hair texture hair-plate material combination for now.
Ceramic coated plates heat up gradually, resulting in an even distribution of heat, therefore, minimal hotspots. This not only keeps the risk of damage to a minimum for people with thin/fine hair but also makes the styling process super quick and smooth.
Individuals with thicker hair type will do better with titanium coated heat plates as they tend to reach high temperatures very quickly. Most flat irons equipped with titanium plates get ready to use under a minute and drastically cut short the styling time as well. So if you have extra thick, coarse and unruly hair and need a straightener for a quick touch-up before heading off to work, titanium plates will not let you down.
For atrociously dull,dry and frizzy hair (both thick and thin), you should look for ceramic or tourmaline plates infused with nano heat coating, silicone, silk proteins and/or keratin protein. These specialized plates not only de-frizz your manes but also add a massive dose of shine and glamour to lackluster hair. The coatings enhance your hair’s moisture retention ability, resulting in smoother, silkier, damage and frizz-free hair.
Tourmaline crystal and tourmaline-infused titanium plates release more negative ions than other types of plates when heated which is arguably the best solution for frizzy hair and flyaways.
They absorb low to moderate amounts of heat and distribute it uniformly across all your hair strands. If used correctly, this kind of flat iron can breathe life into your dull, damaged and unmanageable hair.
Plate size is a vital parameter to consider before purchasing a hair straightener for short hair. The rule of thumb is to choose a smaller plate length and width to maximize contact and get closer to the roots for precise styling.
Flat irons equipped with ½” to 1 “ plates are called mini or slim flat irons. ½” plates are geared towards vert short hair while the 1” universal plate size is its more versatile and flexible variant. 1” plates work on medium short to medium hair length and let you not only flatten but also twist your manes to create gorgeous beachy waves and beautiful loose curls.
You never know how your hair is going to react to a specific temperature. Therefore, it’s best to avoid models offering only a single temperature setting. Flat irons with variable speed settings let you fine-tune the temp based on the texture of your hair.
You should always start with the lowest setting available, observe how your hair responds to it and gradually crank it up to find the ideal styling temperature for your particular hair.
I did some serious research on the ideal temperature range for various hair types and textures and here’s my takeaway:
200-350 degree F is perfect for thin and fine, damage-prone and frizzy hair. Start styling with 200-250 degree settings and see how your hair responds to it. If you have tight curls, such low temperatures could take you longer time to flatten your curls. In that case, crank the temp up by 300-350 degrees to get faster results.
Ceramic or ceramic coated/infused plates build up the heat slowly, making it the right choice for thin and fine-textured hair with severe frizz problem.
Titanium and tourmaline plates are great conductors of heat. Hence, they can quickly reach 300 degrees to 450 degrees in a minute or so, rendering it suitable for normal to extremely thick and coarse hair type.
If your hair, irrespective of the texture, is extremely prone to heat damage, I’d suggest using a heat-protectant spray right before flattening, crimping or adding small details on your short hair.
Floating Plate Design
Most top-of-the-line name brands integrate floating plates in their flat irons. They might cost a little more but they do make styling short hair a lot easier by improving the grip and increasing plate-to-hair contact. This helps your hair to effectively absorb all the heat it needs for precise styling.
Sharp-edged flat irons are most common and they do a fine job of straightening wavy and curly hair. However, if you want to step up your hairstyling game, spend a few extra bucks and invest in a flat iron with round edges. It will make straightening, flicking out, curling your bangs, and adding small details a walk in the park, meaning you will be buying two different devices at the price of one.
Straightening and styling short hair requires more patience than doing the same with long hair. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with a heavy-duty flat iron while styling your own hair. It will tire your hands out quickly which is the last thing you want while dealing with a hot styling tool.
Choose a skinny and lightweight model instead. It will help you keep your hands steady while flattening multiple small sections of your hair. Lightweight and compact models are also great for traveling purposes.
Flat irons can get heated enough to cause a horrible burn injury if you accidentally touch the hot bit. Many top-notch irons employ a plate locking mechanism, allowing you to close the plates while it’s heating up. It’s much safer than heating wide open plates, especially if you have kids or pets in the house.
Another very crucial safety feature is the auto shut off function. In case you forget to turn off the device before leaving the house, the unit will shut itself off after 60-90 minutes to prevent overheating risk.
Who doesn’t love freebies? At least I do. If I can get a flat iron kit which includes clips for sectioning my hair and a nifty travel bag, I would definitely consider grabbing it in a heartbeat. Having said that, you can ignore the presence or lack of accessories if you already have them in your arsenal.
Using a Flat Iron on Short Hair: Step-by-step Guide
Flat iron is a superbly versatile styling tool for all hair types. Be it pixie cut or medium-short length layered hair, with the right tool, you can flatten it, flick it, curl it or create jaw-droppingly beautiful beach waves like a pro. You heard it right. Flat irons aren’t just meant for straightening. You can create luscious beachy waves or tight curls by applying the right technique.
Let me walk you through the process:
Step 1: Choose Your Weapon
It’s a no-brainer that your hairstyling journey begins with the selection of the perfect flat iron for your specific hair length and type. The goal is to make sure the clamps are short enough to fit your hair in between them. A compact and lightweight iron with thin ½” to 1” heat plates would maximize the contact with your hair for efficient styling.
Step 2: Prep Your Hair
Once you find the right tool, prep your hair by rinsing it with a gentle shampoo followed by applying a deep conditioner. Keeping the hair and scalp dirt free and well-conditioned is a very important part of the process.
Step 3: Blow Dry
Flat ironing wet hair can cause hair damage. Therefore, make sure to blow dry it fully or at least up to 80% before getting down to the business. Also, comb or brush your hair thoroughly to get rid of all the tangled bits and knots.
Step 4: Sectioning the Hair
Divide your manes into a number of small sections. Use alligator clips or hair bands to lock them in place. Use small clips instead if you have very short and layered hair. Lightly spritz a quality heat protectant spray all over your hair from a slight distance. This spray will shield your lovely but delicate tresses from heat damage during and after styling.
Step 5: Heat up Your Tool
Temperature is the key when it comes to styling and shaping your hair with a hot styling tool. Flat irons that get too hot too quick are notorious for burning the scalp, roots, and ends of hair. Hence, pick a tool with variable heat settings and set it to the lowest temperature at first.
Here’s an overview of the ideal operational temperature range for different hair textures according to most experts:
1. 200 degree F-300 degree F: Fine/thin/damage-prone hair.
2. 300 degree F- 350 degree F: Normal textured hair.
3. 350 degree F-450 Degree F: Thick or coarse and unruly hair.
Step 6: Straightening with Flat Iron
After sectioning your hair, press your strands in between the clamps from the roots (don’t touch the scalp, though) and gently run it down. If you don’t get desired results in one pass (which is very much likely to happen if you have super curly hair), run it down a few more times in the exact same way.
Cover the sides and back first. Then gather, hold and lift the hair around your crown vertically and straighten it. This will give your hair at the top a nice volume boost, making it appear thicker and fuller.
Step 7: Curling with Flat Iron
Everything will be the same as above with a few minor changes. Clamp up the bottom-most sections one by one, twist it lightly or tightly, depending on how you want your curls to look. Gradually make your way to the top. Once you’re done curling all the sections, loosen up the clips, fluff up the curls with your fingers to give it a nice bounce.
Step 8: Aftercare
If your hair is prone to dryness, flat ironing can potentially worsen the problem. I’d suggest using a nourishing volume enhancer cream/spray or mousse immediately after styling.
It will keep your hair moisturized, silky smooth but also add a lot of sheen and volume to it. This is the easiest way to achieve that much coveted “fresh outta salon” look. You can also massage your scalp with argan oil at night post flat ironing to minimize its drying effect.
The easiest, safest, most efficient and cost-effective way to make your short hair flat is to use a flat iron. Anyone who tells you that flat irons are not meant for short hair needs to get their facts straight. It’s all about choosing the right size and type of flat iron for your particular hair length and texture.
There are plenty of options in various budget groups. Moreover, I have narrowed down your options to just 6 products along with a detailed buying guide. So fixing your eyes on one product shouldn’t be a big challenge anymore.
That was my two cents on the best flat iron for short hair to root for whether you are or aren’t on a budget. Thanks for reading along. I hope my knowledge helps bring you one step closer to that perfect flat iron you are so desperately looking for.