How to Create Effortless Waves for Short Hair: A Tutorial

Amanda Montell

I have a confession to make: I was 20 years old the first time I curled my hair. See, growing up in the mid-2000s, the au courant look was bone-straight hair, and I could wield a flatiron like it was an Olympic sport. But curling it? For years, this simply wasn't on my radar.

But hair trends evolved, as they thankfully do, and by five years ago, messy waves had risen as the reigning look. Trust me when I say those first few years curling my hair were rough—it took a while for me to get as comfortable curling my hair as I'd been straightening it, especially after I cut my hair short. Let's just say if you don't quite know what you're doing, curls on short hair can quickly look less like J.Law and more like Shirley Temple.

Luckily, as it turns out, it doesn't have to be so complicated. Over the past few years, I've had the joy of interacting with some of the best hair stylists in the industry (plus a few very talented friends), and they have all led me to the hair-curling technique I now use every time I want that perfectly imperfect style. It takes a teensy bit of practice, but overall, the steps are super simple. If I can do it, so can you—promise.

If you haven't yet been able to nail down how to curl short hair, this easy tutorial is for you. Keep scrolling to learn how to create the perfect messy waves for short hair!


Show us your messy waves! Post a photo of your hair on Instagram and tag us @byrdiebeauty.auyou might be featured on!

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