How to Style Short Hair with a Flat Iron | 8 Quick Tips

Curious to know how to style short hair with a flat iron? Your search is over!

As a beauty expert, I’ve wondered about all those “perfect hair” DIY celebrity tricks and finally found the 8 amazing tricks that work with a flat iron and a bit of imagination! (SPOILER: My clients can’t get enough!)

In this post, I’ll hold no stone unturned: you’ll learn the 8 DIY style tips (from tweaking the heat to must-have tips) you can do with a flat iron, some power, and a couple of minutes AT MOST.

Skip ahead and find out all you need to know about styling your short hair with a flat iron ASAP!

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the Power of Versatility: Whether it’s crafting elegant pin-straight locks, voluminous waves, or playful curls, your flat iron is a gateway to a myriad of stunning styles for short hair.
  • The Art of Temperature Control: Mastering the right heat setting is not just a detail – it’s a game-changer. 
  • Pre-Styling Rituals Matter: Prepare well! Look for the best heat protectants and the right styling aids – like volumizing sprays or texturizing mousses – to elevate your styling game while safeguarding your locks.

8 Essential DIY Tips to Style Short Hair with a Flat Iron

Flat irons aren’t just for achieving sleek, straight looks; they’re also fantastic tools for adding volume and texture, especially to short hair.

Whether you’re rocking a bob or sporting a pixie cut, a flat iron opens up a world of styling possibilities.

Here are my 8 favorite go-to hairstyles!

1. Pin Straight Locks

The most obvious and common hairstyle you can use is straightening your short or shoulder-length manes with pin-straight locks.

To decorate your tresses with bone-straight strands, you need to choose a flat iron that has 1-inch or 1 ¼ inch plates.

This is because plates wider than this won’t be able to hold your hair perfectly and, hence, won’t do full justice to them.

We prefer the INFINITI PRO BY CONAIR Tourmaline Ceramic 1-inch Flat Iron for these lengths of hair.

Begin your straightening session by applying some heat protectant spray or cream, like this HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector, and then comb through any knots or tangles [1].

After that, with a heated straightener, straighten your manes section by section until all the hairs are straightened with pin-straight locks.

Then, spray on a bit of holding spray to lock the style in place so that you can enjoy stunning hair all day long.

2. Add Gorgeous Volume

“Shiny hair with a smooth texture and clean-cut ends or tapered tips is generally perceived to be healthy,” explains Dermatology expert Rodney D. Sinclair [3].

And when you have fine/thin hairs, adding volume to them might be your ultimate dream.

Then again, adding volume to your short manes might be trickier than you think.

Start the styling session by spritzing some volumizing spray like the Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast all over your tresses to build a base and add some texture to them.

Next, take a section of your hair from the crown and place it between the plates of a flat iron; remember to place the flat iron near the roots.

Now twist the straightener inward and pull it down the locks.

Repeat this process throughout your hair to add body to it.

Finish the styling by applying some setting spray (we recommend this John Frieda Frizz Ease Firm Hold Hairspray) to lock in the style for a longer period.

You can also add some bobby pins at the crown to sport an easy yet sexy bouffant style.

3. Messy Beach Waves

You can now adorn your neck-length or shoulder-length tresses with gorgeous beachy waves.

To rock this messy yet lust-worthy style, all you need is a straightening iron that comes with floating plates.

This is because floating plates ensure that your precious manes don’t suffer from any breakage and hair fall.

I would recommend this HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron as it comes with narrow plates (1 inch) with floating edges.

Kick off your styling by brushing your manes perfectly to smooth them out, and then apply some texturizing spray, such as the IGK Beach Club Texture Spray.

This not only adds texture to your tresses but also protects them from the high heat of the straightener.

Now, section of all your hairs into two parts and secure one part with a clip.

From the unclipped part, take a section of your strands and place it inside the plates of the straightener.

Don’t forget to hold the iron in a vertical position.

Then, twist the tool away from your face and pull it downwards for a wavy pattern in your locks.

Repeat the process throughout the hair.

Once all the tresses are twisted, comb with a wide-tooth comb or run your fingers through them for a messier vibe.

Don’t forget to set the style with an excellent quality setting spray for an all-day hold.

4. Classy, Vintage Waves

Retro styles are back in fashion, and if you want to deck up your short manes with a vintage hairstyle for a party or an event, there is nothing wrong with it.

In fact, such styles paired up with a matching outfit would make you stand out in the crowd.

Begin your styling session by applying a handful of texturizing mousse.

I would suggest this John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse) to your tresses to add the required lift and also to create the perfect base for your waves.

Once your manes are prepared, section them horizontally into two parts and secure the top part with a clip.

Then grab a relatively wide section of your strands from the loose part and horizontally place your flat iron a few inches away from the roots and twist it inwards.

Hold it for a few seconds and let go.

Now, on the same section, place the straightener once again, this time a few inches down from the first one, and twist it in the opposite direction.

Repeat these steps for the rest of the hair until all of it has the same patterns.

Take a paddle brush and comb through your hair for a tousled-out look [2].

5. Crimped Waves

Want to try something new with your short manes but still look sexy and stylish at the same time?

Well, then, this crimped waves hairstyle is just the style for you.

Kick off your styling by braiding a bunch of braids from the roots to near-tips.

Secure each braid with a rubber band.

Then spray a light mist of hair spray (we would recommend the Moroccan Oil Dry Texture Spray) and let dry.

After that, take 2-3 braids at a time and flatten them tightly with a straightening iron until all your braids are flattened.

Let the braids cool down before undoing them.

If you take the braids out too soon, they might lose their crimp and look flat.

6. Glamorous Small Curls

The best way to add body and bounce to your shoulder-length tresses is to adorn them with small curls.

Small curls not only boost volume and lightness but at the same time also add definition to your shorter manes.

To rock such a sexy hairstyle, first, prepare your hair by applying some texturizing mousse to double the curling power and hold.

You might use this got2b fat-tastic Instant Collagen Infusion Mousse for high volume and defined curls.

Now, section your tresses into 3 different parts (2 on both sides and 1 at the back) and let loose one part while clipping the other two.

Take a narrow section of strands from the loose part and place them in the straightener.

Then, pull down the machine while twisting it in 360° motion slowly to find out that the section is curled with your favorite curls.

Repeat the process for the rest of your hair and then brush through the tresses to interlock the curls.

Finish off by spraying some setting spray (use this L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray) to make sure that your style remains in place for hours to come.

7. Tousled Pixie with Texture

For a playful, easy-to-manage style, try a tousled pixie look. This works exceptionally well for very short hair. Begin by applying a light texturizing spray.

Next, take small sections of your hair and use the flat iron to create slight bends, alternating the direction with each section.

The key is to move the iron quickly so the bends are subtle, giving your hair a naturally tousled and textured appearance.

Finish with a light mist of hairspray for a carefree, whimsical style that’s effortlessly chic.

9. Elegant S-Waves

Channel classic glamour with elegant S-waves, perfect for special occasions or when you feel like adding an extra touch of sophistication.

After applying a heat protectant, take small sections of hair and twist them around your flat iron, alternating the direction of each wave.

Glide the iron slowly for more defined waves. Once your hair cools, gently brush out the waves with a wide-tooth comb for a softer, more fluid look.

This style adds a timeless elegance to short hair, proving that length isn’t a barrier to classic beauty.

Now jump into this video for more nifty tips!

Any questions? Let’s address and caress those contemplations!


1. Is it safe to use a flat iron on slightly damp hair?

No. Flat ironing damp hair can cause significant damage, including breakage and split ends. Always ensure your hair is completely dry to maintain its health and achieve the best styling results.

2. How often should I be cleaning my flat iron, and why?

Keeping your flat iron clean is crucial for its performance and the health of your hair.
Aim to clean it every few uses to prevent product buildup, which can affect its efficiency and potentially damage your hair.

3. Why is a heat protectant necessary when using a flat iron?

It provides a protective barrier that minimizes heat damage, keeps your hair healthy, and enhances the effectiveness of your styling. Skipping this step can lead to dry, brittle, and damaged hair (Not GOOD!).

In Conclusion

Mastering the use of a flat iron for short hair is like unlocking a treasure trove of styling options.

Whether you’re aiming for a polished, straight finish or whimsical curls, the adaptability of this tool is simply incredible.

The secret to impeccable styling is all about selecting the appropriate heat setting, always safeguarding your locks with a heat protectant, and embracing the joy of experimenting.

Each style you try could be the next step in defining your personal fashion narrative.

So, it’s time to pick up that flat iron and embark on a journey of transforming your short hair into an expression of your unique style.

Here’s to finding joy in every glide of the iron and every new look you create. Happy styling!


1. Guha K. Heat Protectant Spray: Why Is It A Must & How To Use It? [Internet]. SkinKraft. 2021. Available from:

2. Healthy Hair Every Day [Internet]. WebMD. Available from:

3. Sinclair RD. Healthy Hair: What Is it? Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings [Internet]. 2007;12:2–5. Available from:

About Sylvia K

Sylvia is one of the most joyful people you’ll ever meet. She is a high advocate of self-love and encourages women to take care of themselves both mentally and physically. She loves girly talks especially salon talks (a little gossip doesn’t hurt) and spends most of her free time on skincare or hair care. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. Find her on LINKEDIN. Learn more about her HERE.

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