If you are one of those people who have short hair and having trouble deciding how to style and curl your hair and have been struggling with choosing and using hot rollers properly, this article is for you!
While short hair is easy to maintain, keep clean and nurture, it is equally challenging to style them using heated hair rollers. Because which roller size will be right for your short thick hair? What should you do with your short fine/thin hair?
All these questions must have been popping up in your head. For styling your short hair using heated hair rollers, you need to keep the type of your hair in mind, also consider how short it really is and what roller sizes are appropriate. For knowing the correct information, you came to the right place.
Review – In a Nutshell
Short Hair can be of any type and our picked models will be suitable for all types of hair. Therefore, while choosing hot rollers, it’s important to focus more on the length and diameter of the roller than other issues. As you read this article you’ll get to know more about barrel sizes and how they are convenient for short hair-styles.
Caruso Professional Ionic Molecular Steam Hair Setter
Hot Roller set with 18 rollers suitable for short hairstyles!
This steam hair setter is world famous for its Molecular steam technology which ensures minimal damage and maximum frizz-free results in your curls. For short hair, whether thick or thin in nature, we suggest their medium, small and petite replacements which will fit your hair and enable you to curl and style them the way you want. Also, this set has the highest numbers of rollers that can be used to create short hairstyles and hence we have chosen this as our top product for short hair.
Conair Compact Multi-Size Hot Rollers
A hot roller set with 14 small hot rollers perfect for short hair!
Conair Multi-size hot roller set is a gift you can buy yourself especially if you have short hair. Although it works with the non-ionic heating system, this is a great solution for temporary hair styling for those with short hair. They have 14 rollers that are small and 6 that are medium. Therefore, all 20 rollers can be used in short hair to create variant styles using this particular set.
Conair Instant Heat Compact Hot Rollers
A travel hot roller set with 7 rollers for short hair!
This set of 10 multi-sized rollers from Conair is exactly what you need for your short hair during travels. Although they come with non-ionic heating elements, there is very little chance for these rollers to cause damage as well. Most importantly, this set has 7 rollers which are a ½ inch and 1 inch in diameter, perfect for short hairstyles. They heat up in just 90 seconds and they come with dual voltage facilities enabling you to carry them while you are traveling internationally. Last but not least, they come in a compact travel-friendly pink bag for making luggage packing easier.
Hot Rollers for Short Hair – Buyer’s Guide
What Is Short Hair?
Although some might think it is subjective which length of hair is supposed to be called short hair and there is no exact measurement for that, we can come to an abstract definition or idea of short hair which is more or less established among people.
Usually, hair that is above the ear to below the chin is considered as short hair. For women who would like to curl their short hair using hair rollers, the length should preferably be below the chin and above the shoulder. Shoulder length hair is considered medium length hair and it is neither long or short.
While bob cuts are perfectly fine to curl, pixie or crop cuts aren’t. Read the next paragraph to know why these short hairstyles are not ideal for using hot rollers.
Why Does the Length of the Hair Matter While Styling with Hot Rollers?
Now the thing is, heated hair rollers or hot rollers and their sizes vary depending on the length of your hair. The barrel diameter and the barrel length needs to be different for different lengths of hair.
Usually Jumbo or large hair rollers are what you need for longer hair. These jumbo or large rollers are larger by diameter and in length.
But for shorter hair, experts will recommend smaller or mini rollers. Because the size small for hair rollers refer to narrower barrel diameter but longer barrel length in comparison with the diameter.
Why does it matter though? It is actually pretty simple. Since this write up is about short hair we would like to stick to that.
Putting wide rollers on short hair is pretty much useless. Narrower barrels can fold the shorter length of hair with more frequency than wider barrels. And hence, using narrower barrels or small sized rollers for short hair make absolute sense.
The following table illustrates what barrel length or barrel diameter actually stands for when it comes to hot rollers. Also, keeping the hairstyles for short hair in mind we would also include what hairstyles can be achieved using hot rollers of different sizes and how to style it.
|Barrel Diameter||Barrel Length||Desired Hair Style|
|½ inch||2.5 inch||Kinky/ Spiral Curls|
|3/8 inch||2.5 inch||Tight Curls/ Jerry Curls|
|5/8 inch||2.5 inch||Corkscrew waves/ Spring curls|
|¾ inch||2.5 inch||Perm Curls|
As you can see in the above table, if you want to achieve the hairstyles mentioned in your short length hair, your barrel length must be 2.5 inches. Your barrel diameter can be of different ranges. So when you choose your hot roller set, do check if they come with the required sizes.
More on Hot Rollers and Their Sizes
As mentioned above, heated hair rollers and their sizes are closely related to the length of your hair and the kind of hairstyles you want to achieve.
So what sizes of hot rollers are commonly available? When you browse for roller replacements you’ll hardly see the inches and the specifics mentioned. Most rollers come in Jumbo, Large, Medium or Small sizes and these are the sizes you get to choose from.
The barrel diameter and length specifics can vary from brand to brand but they will be somewhere around what we have mentioned in the table above. Some brands have also introduced petite sized rollers in response to user demands. How tight you want your curls to be is totally your business, so why not petite rollers!
Therefore, for short hair, rollers that are medium, small or petite are most useful. Too big of a barrel in terms of width would not be a great idea for short hair types as it will fail to create any curl or wave.
If you have seen video tutorials on the internet and have felt disappointed, we don’t blame you at all. Because, in those tutorials, some of the enthusiasts have used wider barrels on short hair and didn’t get much done to the hair accept add some volume. Sure that’s cool to some people, but that is not what hot rollers supposed to do to your hair.
To get patterned curls or waves in short hair, you must use rollers with narrower barrels that are 1 inch or below 1 inch in width such as ¾ inch, ½ inch, 5/8th inch etc. Also, the barrel length should be preferably 2.5 inches.
Check the table below for an easier understanding of barrel sizes of rollers. The sizes with the tick marks are recommended for short hair types.
|Size Name||Barrel Length||Barrel Diameter|
|Super Jumbo/Jumbo||3.5 inch||2 inch, 1 ¾ inch|
|Large||3.5 inch||1 ½ inch, 1 ¼ inch|
|Medium||2.5 inch||1 inch|
|Small||2.5 inch||½ inch, ¾ inch, 5/8 inch, 3/8 inch|
|Petite||2.5 inch||½ inch|
Are There Other Types of Hot Rollers Too Than Just Different Sizes?
Yes. Some ollers have their barrels covered with foamy materials and they are called foam rollers while others are not covered with anything and are textured with holes to pass the heat through.
The most popular type of hot rollers is flocked rollers which have their barrels covered with velvety fabric. Which one works best should be your concern.
While the textured, uncovered rollers also have good reviews from users, they are rather old-fashioned and newer varieties of hot rollers usually wrap their barrels around with some heat protectant layers like foam or velvet sheets.
So better choose rollers that have some kind of heat protectant sheets around the barrels for the safety of your hair cuticles. Why damage them with old-fashioned curlers when the latest ones can help you shield the hair from excess heat.
How Much Does Your Hair Type Matter Compare to Your Hair Length?
Hair length is extremely important to be able to get the proper hot roller sizes. Hair type is also important when it comes to using hot rollers. Your rollers can vary according to how thick or thin your hair is.
However, in this article, we have focused mostly on hair length and the sizes of hot rollers while choosing our products. We have tried our best to come to a favorable conclusion to make it easy for all and only chose the products that are suitable for any types of hair. See the table below to know which technologies suit all hair types.
|Material/ Technology||Suitable For|
|Tourmaline||All types of hair|
On the other hand, there are technologies like Titanium and Thermal Wax core which are not suitable for all hair types. Titanium rollers have high heat conductivity and are usually suitable for only thick hair types. Same goes for hot rollers with Thermal Wax Core because they retain high heat for longer.
Therefore, we do not recommend these two technologies for all hair types.
If you are looking for hot rollers that are specifically good for thick hair you might be interested in reading our designated article here. On the other hand, if you want to read more on fine hair and hot rollers that are suitable for them, read here.
Other Important Rules to Select the Best Hot Roller for Short Hair
Apart from your hair type and materials, there are some other important factors that you need to consider while choosing hot rollers. Following are some aspects of using heated hair rollers that you need to keep in mind.
Keep Track of Time for Your Hair to Set
While hot rolling is supposed to be a so-called quick solution to hair setting, it is slower than curling irons and healthier for your hair for the same reason. Therefore, the more you keep the rollers in, the chances are your hair will set better than it would in 5 to 10 minutes.
There should not be any hurry because you can easily utilize that time for your make up or for getting ready. To get the best results, keep the rollers in your head for at least 25 to 30 minutes.
Choose Your Roller According to Your Preferred Style!
As you have short hair, you would obviously need a medium, small or petite curlers. But the narrower your barrel is, the tighter your curls would be. For really tight curls, choose petite rollers that are about ½ inches in diameter.
For bouncy and patterned curls/waves use small rollers which are ¾ or 3/8 inch or 5/8 inch. Medium rollers that are 1 inch in diameter can be an option if you want just some lift on your volume or for wavy patterns.
See This Checklist Before You Choose Hot Rollers for Your Short Hair
Among the numerous hot rollers available in the market you can choose the perfect one for your short hair if your roller set has the following features.
|Preferred Material and Technology for All Types of Hair||Tourmaline/ Molecular Steam/ Ceramic/ Ionic/ Non-Ionic|
|Preferred Barrel Sizes||Petite, small or medium|
|Preferred Barrel Length||2.5 inches|
|Preferred Barrel Width||½ inch to 1 inch|
|Total Number of Rollers||Minimum 8|
|Preferred No’s of Small or Petite Rollers||Minimum 6|
|Clip Preference||1st choice: Plastic Shield |
2nd choice: Jay Clips
3rd choice: Punch or comfort Clips
Top Hot Rollers for Short Hair
Now we have scrutinized over a hundred products and shortlisted 3 best hot rollers for short hair. Following are the products you can use on your hair whether your hair is thick or thin.
Do remember that our chosen or shortlisted products have almost all the required features that we have mentioned in the checklist and hence you can use them with the same confidence as we have on their effectiveness.
Caruso Molecular Steam Hair Setter
Ranking Position: 1
Caruso hair rollers are a classic and also they are the best set of hot rollers you can get for short hair. These curlers have been popular worldwide and for decades now. There are a lot of fake Caruso products available online so choose wisely and only buy from trusted sellers. The best thing about this model isn’t just its price but its quality as a whole and how great it is for your hair. Its molecular steam technology it’s the genius behind the long-lasting curls it gives you.
It comes with a steam pod in which you have to heat up distilled water to create steam and put each roller on it to heat up and then roll them up and secure them with their brilliantly designed cap which does the work of a clip but fastened your hair to your head just perfectly.
Because it works with steam technology it is the healthiest hot roller you can ever get. The steam is the source of humidity while the heat together helps break and make the molecular bonds of your hair cuticles to change their shape and curl them nicely.
Also, all of this can be achieved without causing any heat-induced damage that other hot rollers can do even if a little bit. Also, put the plastic shield to secure your hair over the steam pod to heat up for it to be able to trap humidity in the curlers and your hair to set your hair perfectly. We’ll say, you can use Caruso rollers on your hair without an inch of doubt.
Caruso rollers come with a variety of sizes to choose from. They come with 30 rollers with multiple sizes. We, however, recommend you to get their replacements which are small and petite for perfect curls and waves on your short hair.
We have compared Caruso rollers and their features with other popular hot rollers for you to come to judgment yourself. Check the table below to see the comparison and to understand why we chose Caruso over other products to be our number 1 product.
|Mandatory Features||Caruso Molecular Steam Rollers||INFINITI PRO BY CONAIR Instant Heat Ceramic Flocked Rollers||Remington Pro Series H9100S T-Studio Thermaluxe Ceramic Hair Setter||Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Hot Rollers|
1st choice: Tourmaline/ Molecular Steam
2nd choice: Ionic/ Non Ionic
|Yes (Molecular Steam)||No (Ceramic)||No (Ceramic)||No (Titanium)|
|More Rollers with Barrel Length: 2.5 Inches||Yes||No||No||No|
|More Rollers with Barrel Width: ½ inch to 1 inch||Yes||No||No||No|
|Total Number of Rollers (Minimum 8, Maximum 30)||30||20||20||20|
|Number of Small/ Petite and Medium Rollers (Minimum 8)||Yes (6 hot rollers with ½ inch, 6 hot rollers with a ¾ inch and 6 hot rollers with 1 inch, 18 hot rollers altogether)||No (4 Small Rollers with ¾ inch)||Yes (6 Small Rollers with ¾ inch)||Yes (6 Small Rollers|
With ¾ inc)
|Clips (Plastic Shield/ Jay/ Punch)||Yes (Plastic Shields)||Yes (Comfort Clips)||Yes (Comfort Clips)||Yes (Jay Clips)|
|Great For:||All Types of Hair||Thin/Fine Hair||Thin/Fine Hair||Thick Hair|
As you can see, the Caruso rollers comply with our checklist the best and hence we have chosen this as our no.1 product.
Although Conair products are also budget-friendly, compared to how well Caruso rollers curl your hair, none of the three rollers are even close! The other rollers come with comfort clips which fail to secure the hair perfectly to your scalp. J clips are comparatively better at doing that but Caruso’s plastic shield is the best at securing your rollers to your scalp.
Also notice, the number of smaller rollers are more on the Caruso hot roller set than the other ones. Please be aware the other products are not just randomly picked but they appear in many other lists available online for short hair but they do not particularly have the requirements needed.
So Caruso wins without a doubt.
Conair Compact Multi-Size Hot Rollers
Ranking Position: 2
Conair is a name everyone knows because of its dominance in the hair industry with affordable hair-styling tools. This Conair multi size hot roller set is a complete package you can purchase for your styling needs especially if you have short hair.
This set is non-ionic but creates a balanced heat suitable for all hair types and hence for temporary styling purposes, you can use them easily. But the reason why we chose this set is that of its availability of hot roller sizes that are medium, small and petite.
To be more specific, this hot roller set comes with 20 rollers, all of which can be used on short hair. The main feature needed in hot rollers for styling them properly is their narrow barrel sizes. This set has eight ½ inches, six ¾ inch, and six 1 inch rollers. You can use them to create defined curls or trendy waves or just experiment as much as you want.
Although the hot rollers are rigged they are grip patented and hence holds your hair firmly to the roller surfaces. Therefore your hair is well secured with these rollers and will not hang loose. The Jay clips will further ensure that.
We have compared the Conair Multi size Hot Roller set with two other popular hot roller sets. See the table below for comparative analysis.
|Mandatory Features||Conair Compact Multi-Size Hot Rollers||Calista Tools Ion Hot Rollers||Remington H9096B T|Studio Silk Ceramic Heated Clip Setter|
1st choice: Tourmaline/ Molecular Steam
2nd choice: Ionic/ Non-Ionic
|Yes (Non-Ionic)||Yes (Ionic)||No (Ceramic)|
|More Rollers with Barrel Length: 2.5 Inches||Yes (20 hot rollers)||Yes (12 Hot Rollers)||Yes (12 Hot Rollers)|
|More Rollers with Barrel Width: ½ inch to 1 inch||Yes (8 with ½ inch, 6 with a ¾ inch and 6 with 1-inch diameter)||Yes (6 with a 1-inch diameter)||Yes (6 with a ¾ inch diameter)|
|Total Number of Rollers (Minimum 8, Maximum 30)||20||12||20|
|Clips (Plastic Sheild/ Jay/ Punch)||Yes (Punch)||Yes (Jay Clips)||Yes (Punch Clips)|
|Great For:||All Types of Hair||All Types of Hair||Thin/Fine Hair|
As you can see, the Conair product although has some drawbacks, compared other popular heated rollers, it really stands out in terms of the number of hot rollers it has that are suitable for short hair.
It has some advantage points from the technological perspective as well. It is non-ionic but creates a balanced heat for all hair types. It has a ready to use signal and comes in a compact box for easy storage option too.
Conair Instant Heat Compact Hot Rollers
Ranking Position: 3
Our Opinion: Most Travel-Friendly
This set of hair rollers in the perfect curling kit while traveling for those with short hair. They have 10 multi-sized rollers with Jay Clips and dual voltage facilities enabling you to use them internationally. Also, they come with a compact heating pod covered with a clear plastic pink bag which is super easy to carry while traveling.
This set is mainly great for short hair because of its availability of small and medium rollers. Out of 10 rollers, it has 4 rollers with ¾ inch, 3 rollers with 1 inch. Which means you can use 7 rollers perfectly on short hair. The rest of the 3 rollers are 1 ¼ inch.
Technology-wise, these rollers are non-ionic, but this is what you can get best for your short hair while traveling. The kind of style you will get out of this is a mixture of different sizes of curls which is trendy right now. Also, the heating pod heats up and the curlers are ready to use in just 90 seconds. Users are really pleased with this product too.
There are other travel-friendly hot rollers sets too but they are not ideal for short hair. These rollers are particularly great for its size that is short-hair-friendly. We have compared this set of rollers with another travel-friendly roller set from the same brand for you to see. The comparison is below.
|Must-Have Features||Conair Instant Heat Compact Hot Rollers||Conair Instant Heat travel Hot Rollers White|
1st choice: Tourmaline/ Molecular Steam
2nd choice: Ionic/ Non-Ionic
|Yes (Non-Ionic)||Yes (Non-Ionic)|
|Barrel Length: 2.5 Inches||Yes||No|
|Barrel Width: ½ inch to 1 inch||Yes (4 with a ¾ inch and 3 with 1-inch diameter)||No (5 with a 1.5-inch diameter)|
|Total Number of Rollers (Minimum 5, Maximum 10 for Travel Sets)||Yes (10 Rollers)||Yes (5 Rollers)|
|Dual Voltage Power System||Yes||Yes|
|Clip Preferences: (Plastic Sheilds/Jay Clips/ Punch Clips)||Yes (Jay Clips)||Yes (Jay Clips)|
|Suitable For:||All Types of Hair||All Types of Hair|
As you can see, both the products are from Conair but they are different in terms of their efficiency and effectiveness. The reason why we chose the pink set over the white one is that the pink one has more rollers within a ½ inch to 1-inch diameter compared to the while one and at the same time it heats up in only 90 seconds whereas the white one takes 2 minutes.
While traveling, every second is precious and saving time to style your hair is better than taking up long to get ready. Also, because of the number of rollers in the pink case, it can help you create more versatile styles and hence it wins.
How to Use Them on Short Hair?
Using hot rollers are not as easy as they seem and can be extremely challenging especially for short hair. For using heated hair rollers on your hair, you need to make sure your hair is washed, dried and combed. Because wet hair will not set with hot rollers properly and you might need to use hairdryers for some extra heat. If you need to use hair dryers then what is the point of using heated rollers anyway?
Since the length of your hair plays a huge role in the kind of style you are going to get out of it, it is better to follow some rules. You need to section your hair into several parts. As your roller heats up, you need to put the roller under the stands of the selected portion and in the middle of the strands.
Then you roll up the ends on the barrel and roll them all up towards the scalp and secure with the clip that comes with your set. Make sure you are using hot rollers that are ½ inch to 1 inch in diameter and 2.5 inches in barrel length. Choose the products we have suggested to get these sizes of hot rollers in plenty.
There are many short hairstyles you can get using the different sizes of hot rollers. If you want very tight or jerry curls, we recommend you to pick a roller that is 3/8 inch in diameter. If you like spring curls use the roller that is 5/8 inch in diameter. Remember rolling your hair tightly to the heated rollers to get the results you want. However, these two sizes are rare in hot roller sets.
On the other hand, the popular sizes available in hot roller sets is a ½ inch and ¾ inches. You can use a ½ inch hot roller to create kinky or spiral curls. Also, using a ¾ inch hot roller, you can easily create perm curls. Keep your hot rollers on for at least 30 minutes to get the desired results.
A 1-inch hot roller, on the other hand, can add some nice waves to your short hair. If your hair is too short, they can be used to add some volume. If it is the length or your chin, the waves would look gorgeous. To achieve trendy waves don’t wrap your hair too tight around the roller. Using punch clips can help you get a better look in this case.
If you change your hair length from time to time, then you need different barrel sizes of hot rollers in one set so that you can use them in any length of hair whether it is short or long.
For setting your hair, we would recommend you to wait for 25 minutes to 30 minutes until they set completely. While removing the rollers you need to be careful. Only remove when they are cool to touch. At this point, you can use hair sprays to set your hair furthermore. As you remove the hair from the roller, twist the rollers as you hair comes out to see the curls hanging perfectly.
Remember, you cannot sleep in with hot rollers on. Sleep in rollers works differently than hot rollers. The purpose of hot rollers is to help curl your hair more quickly and without having to wait overnight.
Remember, heated hair rollers are comparatively less harmful than curling irons so there is no need to use heat protectants. If you still want to use and feel the rollers are a bit too hot for your hair, its completely your choice. Also, Hot rollers create a more natural look compared to curling irons do. Curling irons can burn off your hair so safety wise, using hot rollers seems the best option.
Although hot rollers look all fun and games, they’re not. Keep your hot rollers out of reach from children. They are electric devices and needs to be used with caution. Also, there are lots of hilarious hot roller tutorials on YouTube and they have very little idea about how to use hot rollers! If you choose to watch vloggers for styling ideas choose wisely.
Know your hair type, your hair length and choose your roller sizes wisely to create perfect styles. Also, do keep in mind what technology suits your hair type the best. Although we can confidently say we have chosen the best products that exist, you can choose a roller set as long as they fit all the requirements. Nothing can help you more than being an informed user of any hair products that are available in the market.
So, for short hair of any kind choose your barrel sizes wisely and also pay heed to the type of technology that suits your hair type the most. Know your hair length and what hairstyles will suit you best. In this way, using hot rollers will get easier and you’ll be an expert with more and more practice.
How your hair will end up looking like depends on how good you are using and whether you have gotten a hold of the art of curling your hair using these tools. A good set of heated rollers will only make this journey more convenient and enjoyable.
- 1. Caruso Professional IONIC Molecular Steam Hair Setter
- 2. Conair Compact Multi-Size Hair Setter
- 3. Conair Instant Heat Compact Hair Setter
User Rating( votes)
- Sarah Biddlecombe, The golden rules of caring for short hair, from long bobs to pixie crops
- Garnier, How to take care of short curly hair
- Curlish, Best Heated Rollers for Short Hair