Hot rollers might just be the saving grace you’ve been looking for if you’ve got short hair.
Curling irons make it too easy to burn yourself, and tend to limit your styling options. With a good curler set, you can achieve curls, waves, and volume all with one beauty tool.
Today’s curlers are a bit more advanced than what Grandma had available to her.
If you’ve been asking “are hot rollers good for your hair?”, the answer can be a chorus “yes” if you choose a set that has advanced technologies and heat settings that are appropriate for your hair type.
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Quick Answer: Best Hot Rollers For Short Hair
- Best For Tight Curls on Short Hair: Conair Compact Multi-size Rollers – Read Review
- Best For Volume on Short Hair: T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers LUXE – Read Review
- Best Dual Voltage Travel Hot Roller Set For Short Hair: Revlon Curls To Go – Read Review
Things to consider in choosing hot rollers for your short hair:
One of the most important factors to think about when buying a hot roller set is the length of your hair.
If you’re going for cute, perfectly shaped curls and your hair is short, you’ll need a set that includes enough small rollers to cover your whole head.
Another thing to consider is, what style are you looking for?
If curls aren’t your thing and you want or need more volume, medium to large rollers may work for your shorter hair.
Watch out for large or jumbo sized rollers, though. You don’t want your hair to stick straight up when you’re trying to simply give it a volume boost.
Purchase a setting mousse or spray. You can skip this thought the first time around if you want, but using a lightweight styling mousse before you dry your hair and set your rollers will give your style a much better chance at lasting all day long. Check out this one by OGX.
One last consideration, do you travel often?
Having a dual voltage hot roller set, or one that has a compact, easy to carry case may need to be at the top of your priorities list.
Leaving behind your favorite beauty tool because it simply doesn’t fit in your suitcase can be a major bummer, especially if you’ve got delicate or difficult hair that really needs the best tools possible.
Our Top Picks for the Best Hot Rollers For Short Hair
Conair Compact Multi-size Hot Rollers
These hot rollers by Conair give you the freedom to create big volume, tight curls, and an in between look.
The storage case is compact, and includes a red light to show when your rollers are ready to use. This hot roller set is also dual voltage capable, so you can take it with you when you travel.
The rollers included in this set heat quickly, and are designed with plastic grips to hold your hair through your entire set.
Metal clips are included in this set, but you may find if your hair is thicker or a little longer it is easier to buy larger plastic clips to better hold your hair. This compact, multi size hot roller set is great for all hair types, and works especially well for adding volume to fine hair.
Use the 8 small hot rollers for tight curls in short hair. Create uniform, soft curls without causing damage.
This set does not have an automatic shut off feature, so you do want to make sure that you set a reminder for yourself to shut it off before you leave home.
Caruso Professional Ionic Steam Setter
Caruso’s Ionic Steam Setter curlers lock your curls into place using the power of steam.
This is a perfect option for girls with short, thin, or fine hair to prevent heat damage and retain the natural moisture of your hair. This set of 14 rollers includes a range of sizes from petite, small, medium, large, to jumbo.
You may need to practice a little when using these rollers. You want to fully steam each curler without actually getting it wet so the steam is properly released into your hair to create a long lasting hold.
While these curlers do cool quickly, you can speed the drying process up if you need to by using your blow dryer to help. This set gives girls with fine, straight hair the perfect style that lasts all day.
This is a dual voltage set, so once you’ve committed to it, you can take it with you anywhere.
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Roller Set
If ultra fast heat-up is what you’re after, Babyliss can give you 20 velvet flocked rollers that you can place in a heating console with its very own on-off switch and indicator light.
The 20 rollers come in various sizes (8 large at 1 ¼”, 6 medium at 1”, 6 small at ¾”) as well as their own butterfly clips and color-coded metal clips, although by itself each roller already has an added easy-grip ability.
Its ability to retain heat is largely due to its titanium core, making it a great heat conductor that can maintain stability even at high temperatures.
The rollers also emit far-infrared heat that is distributed evenly throughout your hair and can penetrate from within. Even with this capability, you get gentler styling so you don’t have to worry about heat damage.
Being one of the fastest to heat-up, this hot rollet set buys you more time to do other things.
These Babyliss heated rollers are effective in giving bigger and softer curls, which are great for some but those with shorter hair who are expecting tighter curls will be disappointed.
Calista Tools Hot Wavers Heated Hair Rollers
This Hot Wavers Heated Hair Rollers set by Calista Tools provide ionic heat to create healthy, shiny curls and waves. Two heat settings make this set perfect for all hair types.
Heating elements are inside of each roller, providing even, long lasting temperature for ever curler. These curlers and their base fit inside an easy pack-and-go storage case, so you can store and travel with your curler set easily.
The heat time for these rollers is around 5 minutes, so you’ll want to account for that in your morning routine.
The Hot Wavers Heated Hair Rollers work best for thicker haired girls who want more volume than tight curl. They come in a set of 12 with six 1” and six 1.2” rollers.
Plastic butterfly clips are included with this set, so you don’t have to fumble with metal pins or risk creases in your style. The barrels of these curlers are baked in mineral powders and infused with ionic moisture. These features further protect short, thin hair from heat damage during styling.
T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers
Gain some major volume using these T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers. This set includes 4 large and 4 extra large curlers, perfect for lifting the hair at your crown and creating big waves in slightly longer hair.
Because of their size, this roller set is best used for volumizing short hair.
For actual curls, you’ll want to order the same set with smaller roller sizes. This hot roller set is dual voltage ready, so you can take it overseas with you, just remember your plug adapter for European plugs!
A “ready” indicator light tells you when your curlers are at temperature, and they have an insulated ring at one end to help save your fingertips from burns.
Each roller contains its own heating unit to maintain an even temperature as you set them.
They have two heat settings, so if you have thinner hair, you can lower the heat and protect your hair from damage. They reach full temperature in about 5 minutes. This set also has an auto shut off feature, giving you peace of mind when you leave the house.
This dual voltage curler set from Revlon features 10 rollers with tourmaline ionic technology to help you create smooth, easy curls fast.
The technology of these rollers prevents frizz and flyaways by smoothing your hair shaft as they are set, which also protects your hair from heat damage. A convenient ready light on each roller turns on when these curlers have reached max temperature.
The Curls-to-go hot roller set doesn’t get too hot, so it is best for hair that is not too long or thick. This is a great set for traveling as the case is compact and the entire kit is very lightweight. They do come with metal pins that work OK for shorter hair.
If you have thick or longer hair, you might want to purchase a separate set of butterfly clips to better hold your rollers in place.
It is important to note that this roller set does not have an automatic shut off feature, so you want to double check that you’ve turned it off before leaving the house each day.
Infiniti Pro by Conair Instant Heat Flocked Rollers
If you want a product that treats your hair like a professional, Conair has a great option for you, made up of 20 ceramic flocked rollers that heat up instantly (~2 minutes).
The ionic generator emits more ions for fast heating, and the argan oil fusion (includes a bonus 0.25 fl oz. bottle of argan oil) helps condition hair and minimize frizz. Additionally, you get 2x more flocking than usual hair rollers, which gives your hair added protection from the heat.
This set also gives you maximum flexibility in styling, first because there are 3 sizes that you can pick from and mix up (a small one at ¾”, a medium one at 1”, and a large one at 1 ¼”).
Aside from the size variety, you also get 12 temperature setting that makes the product suitable for all hair types. All the rollers and clips can be contained in the heating console, which has a retractable cord reel for convenient and easy storage.
These rollers are highly recommended as they really do a good job curling the hair. The adjustable heat setting is a great feature, as it gives you a lot to experiment with.
However, do take note that the set is a bit bulky and not as compact as you want it to be if you’re after portability. Also, the clips that come with the set don’t work very well. Instead, I recommend buying these clips.
Remington Silk Ceramic Heated Clip Setter
This set comes with 20 rollers for full curl coverage and styling flexibility (between 1” and 1 ¼” roller size). Remington can give you its exclusive silk ceramic ionic technology wherein the silk powder is actually molded into the resin of the heated clips.
What this technology does is it helps seal the hair cuticle while repelling frizz-causing static and humidity. The rollers also come with heated or hinged clips with end rings that are cool to the touch (so you don’t burn yourself!)
With dual heating system, it only takes 90 seconds to heat up both the rollers and the clips. You can use the 3 sectioning clips to divide your hair into sections, and once the rollers are in your hair, the curls are set in as short as 5 minutes.
I like the fact that the clips are also heated because this means that hair is heated or curled both from the inside and out. This is probably why the curls are so effective and last longer than usual. The curls are definitely above average in quality.
But you need take extra care in handling them because the rollers can get too hot. The fast heat-up time lives up to its promise, but if you’re not careful you can burn your fingers.
There’s also an issue with the plastic material melting if it comes into contact with the hot metal base, so be careful not to do that!
Now that you’ve got some products to think about, let’s talk about a couple more things. You’re probably going to want to know how to put curlers in short hair once you’ve purchased the perfect set!
Check out this video tutorial on how to style her short hair with hot rollers:
How to put hot rollers on short hair
For volume, use a few small to medium sized rollers at the crown and sides of your head to really pump it up.
Start by parting your hair into three sections.
One down the middle from your forehead to the back, and then one on each side. Working front and center first, take a small piece from the middle section of your hair and comb it straight up.
Hold your curler at the ends of this section and then roll down and in toward your scalp. Secure that roller with a pin or a clip, and repeat until you’ve reached the back of your head.
Repeat this process on each side. You should have maybe 9 or so rollers in depending on your hair length.
Let your rollers cool completely, gentle unroll each one, and finish off your style with a lightweight setting spray to get all day volume and shine.
Check out our guide to hair rollers!
Beach waves with hot rollers
Think you can’t have beach waves and short hair? Think again.
Use medium-sized hot rollers to give yourself bold beachy waves.
For this look, start your curler in the middle of your section of hair (about halfway between the scalp and ends).
Take the end of that section and wrap it around your curler, then roll your curler up toward your scalp. Repeat this process until you’ve rolled all of your hair.
Let your rollers set until they dry. Gently unroll each curler and then finger comb lightly through your curls to loosen them up and create the waves you’re looking for. Using a setting spray will help your look stay strong!
Now you know that hot rollers can be even better for your hair than your curling or flat iron and that you can create virtually any look you want with them, even in short, fine, or thin hair!
Remember the points to consider when you’re shopping for your next set and if you’re new to hot rollers, take a few practice runs before you are really in a time crunch! You might be surprised how much you love these old school beauty tools!