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Seeing long-haired beauties traipse across town might have you experiencing a little hair envy. After all, look at all of the amazing braided hairstyles they can create! But you shouldn’t assume braids for short hair aren’t equally as beautiful. Seriously, having short hair doesn’t mean that you get the short end of the hairstyle stick. With the right style, short braids can easily take your look to the next level. Between French braids on short hair, short box braids, short crochet braids, and more, the possibilities are pretty much endless. So, instead of wishing you were part of the #LongHairDontCare crew, have your pick from these 17 short braided hairstyles, and you’ll see there’s no reason to be green with envy.
When you have short hair, it can be tricky to secure all of your hair into a single plait, but that doesn’t limit your options. Some of our favorite braids for short hair feature a small, single braid with the rest of your short strands hanging down. A prime example? The dino braid. Featuring a Dutch braid running down the center of your head, it makes for a beautiful look that can make you festival-ready just as easily as it can work for a wedding.
Feeling angelic? Give this full-circle braid a try! You’ll look positively heavenly.
What you’ll need:
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Mini clear elastics
Get the look by following these simple steps:
Using a rattail comb, divide your hair so that one side has significantly more hair than the other.
Use the larger section to create a French braid that goes to the middle of the nape of your neck.
Once you reach that point, tie off the braid with a small clear elastic.
Move right along to creating a braid on the other side. You want to make sure that your braids are nice and tight around your ears and the sides of your head for the most flattering look.
Take both braids in your hands and cross them over each other. Tuck the ends under so that only the braided sections of your hair are visible, then pin into place.
Using the pointed end of your rattail comb, gently pancake the front and back of your braids, making sure to leave the sides untouched. You want to add as much volume as possible without adding bulk to the sides of your head.
Your short hair looks stunning in this done-up look, so help it stay put with a few spritzes of strong-hold hairspray. Now you know how to braid short hair into an angelic halo braid!
Who says protective styles can’t be fierce? We absolutely adore box braids, and once you imagine them with a chic bob, we have a feeling you’ll want to jump on the bandwagon, too. It’s easily one of our favorite braided hairstyles for short natural hair! Head on over to our article, How to Create Box Braids, to bring this look to life.
One braid not enough? Level up with a double braided low bun. Set the stage by parting your hair down the middle into two even sections. Set one section aside and use the other to create a French braid, making sure to braid until you reach the nape of the neck. Secure with a hair elastic and repeat on the other side. Once your braids are woven, release the hair elastic and combine both braids into one ponytail. Secure with a hair elastic and wrap the length of the ponytail around its base to create the bun. Mist with hairspray to seal the deal.
Editor’s note: Not sure how to French braid short hair? You can follow the tutorial in our article, Braiding Basics: How to French Braid Your Hair, regardless of the length of your hair!
If you have a bob or lob hairstyle, a ponytail is still totally doable. What’s more, it looks super-cute on your length—especially when you add a fun braid like the one below!
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Messy ponytails look especially pretty when paired with ruffled waves. Enhance your damp hair’s natural texture with a curl mousse. Scrunch and let air dry.
Once your hair is fully dry, use a rattail comb to create a side part.
Starting at your part, weave a French braid toward the back of your head on both sides.
Combine both braids into a mid-level ponytail. To conceal your hair tie, take a small section of hair and wrap it around the base of your pony. Tuck the ends into the underside of the hair tie or use a bobby pin to secure them in place.
To add volume to your ‘do, use your fingers to tug at your braid gently. All done!
Box braids are already a style in their own right—and an amazing option for short braids—but adding the half-up bun trend into the mix instantly ups the ante. Simply divide your short box braids into two even sections, making sure that the top half is smaller than the bottom half. Clip the bottom section out of the way. Gather the top section into a ponytail and secure it was a hair elastic. Wrap the length of the ponytail around its base to form the bun. Feel free to use bobby pins to secure stray braids. Release the bottom section, and you’re all set.
How about taking your hair up a few notches on the style meter and giving your look a touch of elegance? If you’re game, straight back cornrows will definitely take you there. Easy to style and even easier to maintain, there is a reason why straight back cornrows continue to be so popular. Simply part your hair from your hairline at the nape of your neck, making sure that it’s about an inch wide in size. Clip the rest of your hair out of the way. Gather your hair into three even sections, and weave tight Dutch braids. Repeat until your mane is filled with straight back cornrows.
Ready to add a playful touch to your braided ‘do? It’s time to try the crown braid ponytail on for size. This style works to keep your tresses off of your face and show off your gorgeous features. Not to mention, it doesn’t skimp on style. Start by dividing your hair into two sections, making sure that the top half is significantly smaller than the bottom. Working with the top layer, start at one ear and braid until you reach the opposite ear. Secure with a hair elastic and combine into a ponytail with the bottom layer of hair.
They say not to chase waterfalls, but when it comes to this look, we simply can’t help ourselves!
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Wide-barrel curling iron
Using a wide-barrel curling iron, create big bouncy curls all over your head. Before curling, make sure to protect your hair with a heat protectant. Once you finish your look, shake out your curls for a more lived-in look.
Waterfall braids actually start as French braids and slowly transition into a more flowing look. So, start with three strands and make your first plait.
For every weave that you make, you’ll need to have three sections of hair. Moving from your part down toward your ear, with every chain of the braid, weave the top section of hair into the lower two before dropping it and starting a fresh chain. With each new weave, pinch off a new section of hair from the top.
Once you reach your ending point, simply pin your hair in place. To conceal the pin, rearrange the length of your hair to cover it.
Do you have a swanky event on your agenda? If so, a half-up box braid ponytail will complement your black-tie attire perfectly. Kick things off by dividing your box braids into two sections. Be sure that the top half is smaller than the bottom half, then gather your top half into a ponytail and secure with a hair elastic. For the perfect finishing touch, wrap a black ribbon around the base of your ponytail and create a bow. Now, that’s what we call a look!
Looking to show off your length and tie up your tresses? The half-up braided top knot is just what you need. Undeniably chic and stylish, this classic style can transition from morning to night with ease. Head on over to our article, How to Weave a Half-Up Braided Top Knot, to spice up your strands.
Swooped styles continue to be a major trend, and this look is no exception. Perfect for those who love feminine and playful looks, this style checks all the boxes. To get the look, create a deep part and brush your hair over to one side for a chic swooped shape. Next, gather the rest of your hair at the nape of the neck, divide it into three even sections, and create a traditional plait. Once you’re about an inch from your ends, secure with a hair elastic. Place pearl clips down the length of the plait, and your look is complete.
This complicated-looking braid is known for its inverted style, which instantly transforms your look into a work of art—or at the very least a picture to post on your Instagram. Same thing, right?
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L’Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT High Lift Creation Spray
To weave a short-haired wonder, start off by washing your tresses.
Instead of reaching for your blow-dryer, use a high lift spray to add texture and fullness to your locks.
Using a rattail comb or your fingers, create a deep side part.
Working on the side with more hair, gather three smaller sections of hair. Instead of weaving over—as you do with a French braid—you’ll want to braid under for that signature inverted Dutch look.
Once you reach the back of your head, pick up a top layer of hair and pin your braid in place so that the top layer hides the pin.
There is no better way to level up from traditional braid styles than with crochet braids. This unique style allows you to rock gorgeous textures while protecting your natural mane for a look that is sure to turn heads. To create a beautiful set of crochet braids, read up on 5 Crochet Hairstyles You’ll Love.
Planning on trying out a boho-chic style? The half-up fishtail braid will tickle your fancy. This look combines sophistication and edge for a look that won’t go unnoticed. Start by splitting your hair into two even sections, a top and a bottom layer. Divide the top layer into two further sections and use it to create a fishtail braid, crossing hair over from one section to the other until you reach your ends and can tie off the braid with an elastic. Gently tug at your braid to loosen your strands for a lived-in look.
In the mood for a big hairstyle? Jumbo braids have been getting tons of attention lately. This style works wonders to frame your face and enhance your features for a super flattering look. Start by applying a dime-sized amount of curl mousse to your damp strands, then scrunch and let them air dry. Once your hair is dry, divide your hair into two sections so that the top half is a little bigger than the bottom. Clip the bottom section out of the way, and with the top section, create three-equally sized pieces at the start of your ear. Braid toward your other ear and pin the end of your braid in place. Release the bottom section, fluff your strands, and you’re ready to take on your day.
Obsessed with the ‘90s half-up hair revival but want to add a little modern-day flair? Weave in a couple of braids, and you’ll have a look that’s the perfect mix of nostalgic and new. All you have to do is create a traditional braid on both sides of your head, then tie them together behind your head with a clear mini elastic. Easy enough!
Next: The Best Curly Haircuts for Short Hair
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