Usually, when you hear the words short and curls together, you imagine impending doom. Sure, the haircut might look great when you leave the hairdresser’s, but a few days later, you might end up with a triangular mess. However, with a few easy tips, you too can make short curly hairstyles work for you! After you read our suggestions, we have some excellent inspiration pictures of short curly hairstyles, so you can embrace short curls no matter which way your hair curls!
In this article:
- 51 Short Curly Hairstyle Ideas
- Tips for Healthy Curly Hair
- A Curl Expert for a Hairdresser Is Key
- How Short Should You Go?
51 Short Curly Hairstyle Ideas
Are you still not sure which length of short curly hairstyles you would like to rock? Check out these beautiful photos of short curly haircuts, and maybe they’ll inspire you!
1. Lush and Messy Volumized Short Curls
These voluminous short curls offer a lot of texture and height. Thanks to the curls, it is much easier to play with length at the crown and front of the head, in a way that is fun and flattering.
2. Chin Length Coils with Side Bangs
Short curly hairstyles with bangs are oh-so-flattering, like these coiled side bangs that perfectly frame the face. Another thing to love about this style is how much volume there is – something that is often lacking in bobs.
3. Tight Orange Short Curls
Bright hair colors and tight short curly hairstyles can certainly brighten the mood on a dark day. If you dare to be bold, go for this ultra cute curly pixie cut with bright orange curls and darker roots!
4. Shiny & Curly Faux Hawk
This is a cute and feminine take on the faux hawk that gets a touch of romance thanks to the healthy and shiny looking mop of curls. This is a flattering yet creative option for short hairstyles for curly hair.
5. Gently Wavy Ash Blonde Bob
A platinum or ash blonde bob is usually styled sleek straight, so it’s fun to see it dressed up as a short curly hairstyle. It keeps an icy coolness, but there’s also a little bit of whimsy added.
6. Curly Pixie with Natural Chocolate Caramel Tones
These are the kinds of hair colors you would expect to see on a lengthy balayage, so it is such a treat to see these natural highlights paired with lovely curls. In this take on short curly hairstyles, a lot of hair on top of the head adds height and flatters the face.
7. Blonde Mini Spirals with Extreme Side Part
There is something so refreshing about spiral curls, especially when they’re lightened up to a summery blonde. This fun look has a sexy edge thanks to an extreme side part worthy of any femme fatale.
8. Luxe Dark Short Curls
No matter whether you have spirals, coils, or kinks, your curls will always look best if you keep them well moisturized. Short curly hairstyles can fit with any kind of bang, including these fun and curly feather strands.
9. Messy Short Curls with Baby Bangs
Hey girl… take a walk on the wild curly side! Neatness is certainly not mandatory, so eschew the hairbrush and let loose! These messy curls and baby bangs might not show poise, but they can certainly be part of short curly hairstyles that show adventure and playfulness.
10. Romantic Straight Cut Curly Bob
Usually, layers are the best way to emphasize the texture and dimension of short curly hairstyles. However, this is an example of how: as long as the curls are well hydrated, a bob that is cut straight across can totally work without looking triangular.
11. Soft Afro Beauty in Auburn
Dark auburn curls stand out in this touchably soft looking Afro. An Afro doesn’t have to be one of those clichéd short curly hairstyles, when you execute it well.
12. Cool Ocean Waves
Green, blue, teal, and purple come together in this lovely, messy take on short curly hairstyles. This style features an undercut dyed neon green, and a fun mop of loose curls on the top.
13. Tight & Icy Short Curls
First let’s talk about the exceptional styling here – short sides, and a pile of curls on top of the head that give a lot of length to the face in a way that is high fashion severe. Pair that with an avant-garde icy gray shade, and the result is memorable.
14. Pixie with Temple Curls
This is one of those short curly hairstyles that can help you channel your inner Rihanna. Feathery, volumized curls on top of the head, and a few curled strands right at the temple are both romantic and chic.
15. Fiery Mop o’ Curls
A fiery temper suits short curly hairstyles, as do fiery colors. This is also a great example of how to rock dual toned short hairstyles – enjoy darker shaved sides, and a brightly dyed wirey top.
16. Finger Waved Pixie
With a bit of blow-drying and gel, tightly curled locks can suddenly gain a finger waved effect. Emphasizing those finger waves around the temples has an especially cool and retro effect, which is nicely offset by a slightly mussed crown.
17. Limey Angled Side Fringe Bob
Chic and bright, lime green hair dye is a great way to inject a bit of edge into short curly hairstyles. A curly side-swept fringe is remarkably flattering, and keep it layered so the back is shorter is extremely easy to style.
18. Caramel Afro Chic
Afros are not clichéd short curly hairstyles – there is a lot of room for cool styling, especially if your hairdresser has an architectural eye. This curly ‘do has a beautiful shape that flatters the head, and the lighter color is super flattering.
19. Feathery Rounded Pixie
This is one of those short curly hairstyles that are so cute and chic, especially if you have the perfect features for it. It is simple, curly, short, and lovely.
20. Bottleneck Beauty
Bottleneck curls are extra romantic, but they can look dated. However, the way they fall against the forehead here, and the rest of the cut is kept fairly short, it is simply cute and modern.
21. Dual Colored Tight Curled Beauty
Dark, shaved sides, and a gorgeous ginger fringe is a fun take on short curly hairstyles, with perfect autumn shades.
22. Dual Toned Coiled Afro
It’s all about the dual toned hair colors with curly short hairstyles these days. This glamorous look features an abundance of spiral curls that explode out of the head in beauty and grace.
23. Peach Sorbet Curls
The color and lush curls in this lovely take on short curly hairstyles prove that short hair can be ultra feminine. Dark roots add extra dimension to this beautiful peachy look.
24. Ice Cool Waves
Wavy hairstyles can get an extra sleekness when swept back, without losing their light curl. The icy gray shade adds extra coolness, with dimension appearing thanks to the dark roots.
25. Marilyn Monroe Curls
Marilyn Monroe is the proof that short curly hairstyles are hot! 1950s style platinum blonde with large curls in a sexy bob might require lots of work, but it is definitely worth it.
26. Fringed Platinum Pixie Queen
This is the perfect take on short curly hairstyles for someone who wants to go ultra short, but isn’t quite ready for the effect it might have on their face. Keeping a long, curled fringe frames the face nicely, and the platinum hair color is the definition of chic.
27. Feathery Curls on a Lavender Long Bob
Long bobs pair so nicely with short curly hairstyles! In this case, we see feathery curls likely achieved with a small curling iron. The feathery effect goes really well with the pale lavender hair color and the metallic blue roots.
28. Romance and Gunmetal Layered Cut
Layered hairstyles and large curls have so much dimension, especially when the hair is dyed a shiny metallic shade like this astounding gunmetal grey hair color.
29. Purple and Black Soft Curls
This romantic bob features really large bottleneck curls that bring out the beauty of the purple streaks through the dark black hair.
30. Top Bun with Haphazard Curls
Contrary to popular belief, short curly hairstyles can certainly let you play around with fun styling, like this casual top knotted bun. The look is still glamorous thanks to large, blown-out curls, and a sexy blonde dye job.
31. Grown Out Platinum Pixie
This is another one of those short curly hairstyles with a flattering face framing fringe and a platinum hair color. It shows what brushed-out curls on a grown-out pixie look like (hint: beautiful and effortless).
32. Rose Gold Wavy Bob
Rose gold is one of the lovelier colors we’re seeing this season that skirt the edge between natural and wild. Here it blends well with loose curls, and a romantic pull-back.
33. Lavender Side-Swept Pixie
The fiendish beauty of a pixie cut fits well with ethereal effect of loose lavender curls in this soft and whimsical take on short curly hairstyles.
34. Natural Chocolate Side-Swept Curls
Few things are as wild and astounding as short curly hairstyles with purely natural curls. The way natural curls go every which way in this chocolate colored long bob cannot be replicated with a curling iron or hair rolls!
35. Feathered Ends on Black and Blue Ombre Bob
A black and blue ombre can be a very severe color choice; so pairing it with short curly hairstyles can take it down a notch, to create a classy and beautiful look with just a hint of an avant-garde edge.
36. Versatile Pixie Curls with Long Top
The fun thing about keeping the hair on the top of the head long, in short curly hairstyles, is that you can brush it down for a face framing effect, or just let it stay up in a sexy and fearless style.
37. Frizzy is Lovely Bob
This bob proves that even natural, slightly frizzy curls can be hella sexy. These curly cue curls go every which way, making this one of the messier short curly hairstyles on this list.
38. High Semi-Ponytail with Blonde Curls
High ponytails, whether semi- or otherwise, are a great way to casually style short curly hairstyles like this bob. A bit of glam comes to this look via blonde curls with volumizing dark roots.
39. Parted Tight Pixie
Ultra tight curls pair well with pixie short curly hairstyles. What stands out and makes this look unique is the visible side part, which adds some extra elegance to the hair.
40. Curly Teased Out Mohawk
So this might not be exactly a mohawk, but we bet that with some styling gel, it could get damn close. However, there is no reason not to let these gorgeous pink and red locks do their thing, and even to tease them a bit so they really go all over the place.
41. Burnt Red Side-Swept Bob
A burnt red is a subdued way of going ginger, which nicely offsets the feathery curls in this side-swept longish bob.
42. Soft Platinum Curly Side Fringe
A side-swept fringe is a lovely addition to short curly hairstyles, because it is cheeky and flattering. Here, the hairstyle is elevated by a pale and beautiful shade of platinum.
43. Post Apocalyptic Short Curls
This is a combination of red and grey curls, especially with the badass shaved sides and careless fringe that hints at a woman who is ready to not just survive, but also totally own a harsh post-apocalyptic landscape.
44. Pale and Wild Pixie Cut
These kinds of ultra coily curls work really well with short pixies, because they soften the look and give a hint of volume. A pale blonde shade to the hair makes this take on short curly hairstyles extra feminine and unusual.
45. The Hippie Beach Bob
Lots of layers in this unkempt bob make sure that even unbrushed, this is still one of the more flattering short curly hairstyles. These wild and messy waves are perfect for wearing on a tropical beach.
46. Balayaged Bob with Curls
So maybe you can’t exactly balayage ultra short curly hairstyles, but with a bob there is really no reason not to! The balayage adds dimension to already lush and lovely curls.
47. Hair Tattoos with Curly Faux Hawk
The contrast between tightly cropped sides and a lush coiled faux hawk is beautiful and memorable. The two lines shaved as a hair tattoo even closer to the crown of the head add even more texture and interest to the contrast.
48. Curled Ombre with Volumized Top Knot
This is another way of styling short curly hairstyles that combine casual and romance. These curls were likely achieved by twisting thin strands of hair around a thick curling iron, resulting in curls that have a uniquely romantic shape. If worn down, this would be a party perfect look, but like this, it works for any casual occasion.
49. The Executive Pixie Balayage
This take on wavy short curly hairstyles is perfect for the kind of woman, who is ready to take over the world while wearing a pencil skirt and comfortable heels. The darker roots in this blonde balayage amp up the volume of already lush waves.
50. Baby Bangs and Wild Curls
These lovely little bangs are one part playful and two parts “don’t mess with me”. In other words, hella sassy, especially thanks to a light wave. They provide a nice contrast to the large bottleneck curls that simply burst with edgy beauty.
51. Delicate Natural Curls
With tiny curls, a grown-out pixie looks charming, clean, and not at all awkward. These delicate curls fall across the forehead, and frame the face beautifully.
So how short do you dare go with your curly hair? Which of these short curly hairstyles is your favorite? Comment and let us know!
Tips for Healthy Curly Hair
It is undoubtable that healthy hair always looks better, and this is doubly true for curly hair! If you follow these types, that short haircut is much likelier to look amazing on you.
- Keep your short curly hair moisturized, so those curls will be strong and shiny. Use hair masks in the shower, and regularly apply silicone-free hair oil.
- Avoid sulfates like the plague. SLS and SLES based shampoos strip oil from the hair and scalp, which can seriously contribute to your hair looking like a frizzy mess.
- Wash your short curly hair less! For most people, curly hair can probably be washed just once a week or so.
- Never use a rubbing motion when towel drying your hair – this can cause both tangles and breakage. Lightly press the towel against your hair, or make a switch to using a gentler piece of fabric made of cotton instead.
- Skip the heat – instead of straightening your short curly hair every day and damaging it, embrace your natural curls!
- Avoid blow-drying your short curly hair too often, and when you do, use a diffuser and a heat protectant spray. This will ensure you hair receives an even amount of gentle heat, that won’t dry it out.
- Give up the hairbrush, and use a large toothed comb instead. It is best to brush the hair when it is wet and positively soaked in conditioner.
A Curl Expert for a Hairdresser Is Key
Cutting straight or wavy hair is totally different from cutting curly hair. Almost every lady with curly hair has a horror story about going to an inexperienced hairdresser, and ending up with something that simply does not work.
Finding a hairdresser who has experience with curly hair might require a thorough search, including reading tons of online reviews and looking through picture galleries. You might even have to travel a longer distance to find the perfect stylist. However, great short curly hairstyles are totally worth it.
How Short Should You Go?
Depending on the types of curls you have, and your level of comfort, one of these short curly hairstyles might be better for you than another. Don’t worry, as always, we are here to break it down:
Close Cropped Curly Hair
The contrast between closely shaved hair and textured curls is a very beautiful one. You can shave just one side, or shave all the way around.
If you leave the top of your hair a little longer, you can play around with it by brushing it forward or to the sides in a more feminine style, or brush it up or back for a dapper look. You have some room for a side-swept fringe that will frame the face, but that is about it – be prepared.
Pixie Curly Hair
The pixie cut is cute and fearless. With naturally curly hair, the pixie haircut tends to look a little more feminine and volumized than it might on someone with straight hair. However, depending on how large your curls are, this cut will likely require regular maintenance, since the grow-out stage can look particularly awkward.
Naturally tiny curls, however, can pass through the grow-out stage as long as you add a bit of product. Here, once again, most of your face will be visible without the protection of length.
Unfortunately, there isn’t too much room for short curly haircuts that are between a pixie and a short bob, lest you risk the dreaded triangle head shape. However, at around the chin length, you can end up with a sexy and stylish look that’ll frame the face beautifully. This is especially true for both larger waves and tiny spiral curls.
If your curls are very dense, you might actually end up with an Afro at this length, which can be extremely sexy, when styled well. You can even play around, by sweeping the hair to the side in an extreme side part. There is also room to play with layers and fringes, so no matter what kind of curl you have, you can make this work.
Curly Long Bob
Often times, ladies with curly hair stick to longer cuts, and the longer bob is certainly a safe choice. Like with a regular bob, there are a lot of ways in which you can incorporate bangs or layering into your look. This look can work with just about any type of curl, and it is a great way to ease one’s way towards short curly hairstyles.
Photos via Instagram