- Ultra-slim design easy to maneuver and reach out of the way areas
- Titanium plates transfer heat quickly and efficiently
- Large range of heat settings
- Highly rated by tens of thousands of users on Amazon
- Tourmaline ceramic plates provide even consistent heat
- Works well on shorter lengths
- Narrow ½” wide plates great for getting at roots
- Titanium plates get plenty hot despite small size
- Great for travel and touchups
We’d be here all day if I told you the number of styles and cuts I’ve been through over the years. Embracing a shorter look took time and finding the best flat iron for short hair was a part of my journey.
I didn’t want my hair to look fried but also needed a way to combat the unruly bits. Now that I’ve tackled the mission, I’m confident I can help you along the way.
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Flat Iron
- HSI Professional Glider Flat Iron
- LOVANI Nano Titanium Mini Flat Iron
- CHI Travel Lava Iron
The 5 Best Flat Irons for Short Hair Reviews
We’ve done our research and reached out to other hair addicts to discover the best flat irons for short hair. Crank up the heat and let’s get to business:
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Flat Iron
We take it up a notch here with this premium, lightweight 1-lb. flat iron.
The nano titanium plates come available in three widths from 1″ up to 2″. For the very short-haired people out there, you’ll want to stick with the 1″.
There are a whopping 50 heat settings you can use up to 450°F. The discreet manual dial doesn’t get in the way either. 5″ extended plates help you tackle more hair at once with this slim flat iron.
Now, you might be thinking, “why would I want extended plates if I have short hair?” But hear me out. It actually makes it easier to access hard-to-reach areas like the back of your head. You don’t have to reach up and over as far to straighten and style.
Besides, the slim design makes it easy to maneuver between sections and you’ll most likely only need one or two passes to get smooth locks.
The housing portion of the flat iron is heat-resistant, offering safety from corrosion over time. This ensures the unit will stay in good shape, regardless of the temperatures you use.
It comes with a limited four-year warranty, which is quite long for this type of appliance. It’s great for peace of mind in case any issues crop up during that period.
- Slim design allows you to straighten closer to roots
- Heat-resistant housing
- Popular brand among stylists and salons
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Adjustable heat up to 450°F
- May not grip super fine hair too well
HSI Professional Glider Flat Iron
This flat iron by HSI Professional is a highly-popular, budget-friendly model that’s basic, yet efficient.
Micro sensors within the ceramic-tourmaline plates help to regulate temperature and distribute heat. This means you won’t have to make multiple passes through the same section over and over again. The tourmaline also lends itself to that silky, shiny finish that could make onlookers envious.
A manual dial offers you a temperature range between 240° and 410°F, providing you with a wide range for optimal control. Speaking of control, the 360° swivel cord gives you plenty of maneuverability and doesn’t get all twisted up.
If you travel out of the country often, you can take this one with you as it offers dual-voltage compatibility from 110 to 220 volts.
This flat iron isn’t short on extras, either. You get a style guide that provides tips and tricks and a sample packet of argan oil to hydrate and condition your tresses. There’s also a silk storage pouch and a one-year warranty should the machine malfunction.
- Micro sensors regulate temperature and distribute heat evenly
- Useful extras included (small argan oil and carrying pouch)
- Dual voltage (110/220V) for worldwide use
- Good value for money
- Some report the flat iron shutting off mid-way through
- May not get as hot as it should
LOVANI Nano Titanium Mini Flat Iron
It would hardly be fitting to talk about the best flat irons for short hair without including a mini flat iron. And boy, is this one a goody.
The Lovani mini flat iron is a little dynamo that is perfect for bangs, bobs, and even curling. It has narrow ½” floating titanium plates that hang on to even the thinnest of strands.
It’s great for grasping wisps around your face near your scalp that standard flat irons can’t handle. You can also get close to your roots with it’s slim profile, and the lightweight unit fits right in the palm of your hand.
It does only have one temperature setting (gets up to 410°F), so you’re not able to control the heat. However, it gets pretty hot and can handle most hair types as long as you don’t stuff too much between the plates at one time.
The iron comes with a nice heatproof pouch, and there’s a lock at the base to keep it shut when not in use. All in all, it’s a really nice little flat iron for touchups and travel for a very reasonable price.
- Floating titanium plates straighten effectively despite small size
- Able to grip short hair easily
- Dual voltage capability for international use
- Easily fits in your handbag
- Very affordable
- No heat controls
- Not ideal for anything past shoulder length hair
CHI Travel Lava Iron
The CHI Travel Lava Iron is a great option for very short hair as it’s quite compact, yet still sports 1″ wide, floating ceramic plates. The plates contain volcanic lava, which the company says is meant to offer gentle, yet consistent heat. It also indicates that this lends itself to durability.
CHI is known for manufacturing products that are built to last, even the travel versions. This straightener is slim and lightweight, so it won’t take up too much room in your carry-on for a weekend away.
Other travel features include a 6 1/2′ power cord. I find this length to be just right, as it gives you enough distance should you end up in a place where the outlet isn’t exactly beside you, but isn’t so long that it gets in the way either.
Dual-voltage compatibility is built-in, and you read the temperature via a digital display. The heat settings top out at 400°F, so this tool is best for fine to medium hair types. It’s easily adjusted through the plus and minus keys up top.
Safety mechanisms on this flat iron include a safety-lock button and one-hour auto shut-off.
- Compact size great for travel and short hair
- Trusted brand
- 60 min auto shut-off and safety lock
- Durable volcanic lava plate material
- Dual voltage compatibility
- Not as effective on thick, coarse hair
Flat Irons vs. Straighteners
People often use the terms “flat iron” and “straightener” interchangeably but there’s a little more to it than that. The latter refers to any device that helps straighten hair, whether that be a hot air brush or otherwise.
Usually, a flat iron will be your tool of choice when it comes to selecting the best straightener for short hair.
Flat irons come with various-sized plates, temperature settings and other specifications to suit your needs, budget and style.
The best plates for very short hair are on the narrow side, around 1″ wide at maximum. This way, you’re able to reach those close bits near the roots that might be hard to get at otherwise.
Challenges of Straightening Short Hair
Short hair presents some unique challenges when it comes to styling:
- Holding hair between the plates can be challenging: With short crops, there’s less length for a flat iron to grip onto and run through. This is especially true if you have fine, thin hair that slips through the plates easily.
- Working near your scalp: You’ll naturally be working closer to your scalp, particularly if you have a super short crop. This means you’ll need a tool that maneuvers easily and hopefully stays cool enough so you don’t burn your skin.
- Damage is more obvious: With longer cuts, it’s easy to cut off those split-ends and say goodbye to heat damage. Shorter hair makes these difficulties more obvious. It’s essential to get a flat iron that offers some protection because of this. Various heat settings will go a long way here.
- Can require extra product: To avoid overdoing it with the straightener, short hair often requires some additional support. This includes investing in some quality straightening serum or cream and other items that also offer extra moisture.
Benefits of Using a Flat Iron
Aside from achieving that smooth, glossy look, flat irons are a go-to styling device for the following reasons:
- Saves time and cost: Hitting up the salon for an all-afternoon permanent straightening service is not only pricey but time-consuming. Flat irons are for home use, on your watch. There’s not much to fork out beyond the initial investment, either.
- Chemical-free: Unlike salon straightening jobs, flat irons don’t require the use of harsh chemicals that could lead to damaged locks. The only components you’ll need to worry about are your styling products and washing ingredients.
- Convenience: It only requires your hands and schedule to maintain a flat-ironing regime. There’s no need to schedule an appointment or rely on someone. Their size makes them portable as well, which is perfect if you head to the gym before work or are on the road regularly.
- Safe for colored hair: Not all hair treatments are suitable for those with colored locks—if you want the color to last at least. Flat irons are safe in this circumstance, enabling you to maintain those swoon-worthy hues, while keeping your hair glossy in the meantime.
- Various styles: One of the best things about flat irons is that the style only lasts as long as the wash. You can create waves and curls too, and won’t be stuck with one look that you may not want every day. This gives you the opportunity to change it up, depending on your mood and the look you want.
Features to Consider
The best flat iron for short hair needs to get the job done in a timely manner, minimize damage and provide the adaptability your regime requires. Whether your hair is very short or closer to shoulder-length, there’s something for everyone.
Let’s zoom in on the most important features:
Not all flat irons are created equal. What we’re talking about here is the physical substance manufacturers use in plate construction. Many flat irons contain a mix of metallic and/or non-metallic elements to enhance their straightening capabilities.
These flat irons are a super popular option across the board because they’re commonly found and are often budget-friendly.
If you have moderately wavy or curly shoulder-length hair, a ceramic-coated flat iron could be sufficient. However, if your hair is quite short, coarse or kinky curly, a ceramic-coated option may not provide the power you need for an all-day look.
One of the other downsides here is that over time, the coating can chip. The flat iron can stop working as efficiently and leave gnarly residue behind.
You can avoid this issue by getting one with solid ceramic plates, but they are usually more expensive.
Tourmaline is a semi-precious gem most commonly found in Brazil, among other places.
It’s used in a variety of beauty products, with companies claiming it helps to revitalize and detoxify the skin and hair. This is due to the negative ions this stone produces when heated.
In flat irons, crushed tourmaline or “tourmaline dust” is applied to ceramic plates (i.e., you won’t find a purely tourmaline-coated plate). It helps reduce frizz and requires less heat over time.
This can be another budget-friendly option, although you’ll find many closer to the higher-end, depending on other specifications.
If you’re looking for the best flat iron for very short hair, titanium might be the way to go. This material is known for withstanding serious heat and dispersing it evenly, thus taking less time to complete the task successfully. The best titanium flat irons are going to cost you, as prices are usually pretty steep.
Those with thicker, harder-to-manage locks, especially super short ones, could be in heaven here.
Aside from knowing which plate material is best for you, keep the following in mind:
- Temperature settings: Some flat irons have a high/low option and unless you have easily manageable hair, this won’t suffice. Look for one with a manual dial or digital display for optimal customization. For those that require the highest heat available, look for options up to 450°F.
- 360-degree swivel cord: Static, unyielding cords can be more difficult to maneuver to get the iron exactly where you need it. With very short hair, the more flexibility you have, the better. Swivel cords allow you to move the iron in whatever direction necessary.
- Automatic shut-off: No judgment if you’re forgetful. It’s all too easy to leave your devices on when running late for work. This feature handles that for you and also ensures your flat iron won’t die out due to overheating.
- Floating plates: Some flat irons come with two non-moving (fixed) plates, both floating, or one of each. “Floating” refers to a gentle back-and-forth movement, which provides better heat distribution and grip. Truly short-haired peeps can benefit greatly from the latter, ensuring you reach every last centimeter of your strands.
- Travel accessories: Are you on the road often? Travel-friendly accessories could make all the difference for you. Some of these extras could include a carrying bag, dual voltage compatibility and mini straighteners.
- Heat-resistant build: Not only do you need to consider the plates and settings, but also the overall build of the flat iron. If you’re going to be using the hottest settings on a routine basis, look for a product that features a heat-resistant housing/shell. Your hands will thank you.
- Plate length: Some flat irons offer longer plates than your standard variety. If your hair is shoulder-length and you’d like to tackle larger portions at once, this could be worth a consideration.
Tips for Using a Flat Iron on Short Hair
One of the best things about flat irons is that you aren’t cornered into only wearing your hair straight. Furthermore, there are some tried and true tips to help you along the way:
- Dry first: Dry your clean locks before straightening. Flat ironing wet hair can damage it which we’re trying to avoid here. A blow dryer on a low setting should do the trick.
- Use heat protectant: Save your strands from excessive heat damage, especially if you straighten on a daily basis. Apply and run your fingers through your hair to coat your tresses evenly.
- Step by step: It’s crucial that you don’t rush the process as this can leave the style uneven. Use some hair clips or ponytail holders (if it’s closer to shoulder-length) to prep your hair. Go section by section and avoid trying to do too much at once.
- For curls and waves: Make sure you invest in a flat iron that won’t snag your hair. Because you’ll be rotating it to create the shape you want, it’s an easy problem to run into. Whether you’re going for big curls or loose waves, consistency is key. Use a small amount of hairspray on each section right before you flat iron to hold the shape as you go along.
Iron Away, Shorties
It doesn’t have to be a dreaded task, ladies. The best flat irons for short hair provide you with all the features you need to make it happen and conveniently at that.
For all short hair types, floating plates allow you to get in the nooks and crannies where your standard variety can’t reach. For shoulder-length hair, you might opt for a broader plate to get the job done quickly. If you have a pixie cut, you’ll want to make sure you can easily adjust the heat settings so as not to burn your scalp.
It’s not a simple choice, but I’ve chosen the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Flat Iron as my top pick.
The price tag is high but it’s worth it. It comes with 50 heat settings and heat-resistant housing to ensure it lasts. Three plate sizes all feature the highly sought after titanium material for durability and a smooth outcome.
A four-year limited warranty provides you the chance to test it out and make sure it continues working as it should over time.
Do you have a favorite flat iron for short hair?