The Editors
Updated on October 23, 2021

Many people believe that it is difficult to find a cute style with braids for short hair. Mostly, because without length it can be hard for the sections in braids to stay together and not unravel. But, messy styles are in — even for formal events — so those with cropped cuts should put aside antiquated ideas and embrace pretty plaits.

Braids for Short Hair – Secrets and Ideas

If you have shorter hair, you can experiment with braids as details. Short headband braids, braided bangs and braids in half up hairstyles can have different textures and braided patterns. You can alternate thicker and thinner braids, try asymmetrical styles, master new braiding techniques and try new trendy hair colors to take your short hairstyles to the new level. Here are some creative examples of braided styles for shorter hair.

1. Wild Waves

This hairstyle can work both as formal and casual. The carefully coifed tousled waves for a choppy bob are very chic. If you want to make the style even more gorgeous, add a lacy braid for short hair that drowns in those wild waves.

2. Bouffant and a Side Braid

Side braids are a quick way to add spunk to any style because they lend a subtle bit of texture that won’t overwhelm your entire look. They are also an excellent accent to formal looks that require a little edge, but still need to be appropriate for a conservative crowd.

3. Side Fishtail Braid

Already got a stylish graduated haircut and a bright hair color? Show the beauty of your hair using inverted fishtail braid as you see in this picture! And don`t forget to hide the elastic band under the tiny strand of your hair — this technique is extremely popular among it-girls nowadays.

4. Double Crown Braid

The best part about a crown braid is that it highlights your face and pulls strands back similar to what a headband would do. In recent years, thanks partly to music festival styles, braided crowns have become very popular. Make yours stand out with a double variation in a messy fishtail pattern.

5. Fashionable French Braid

Even though looser braid styles are harder to keep together in short hair, they are possible with the right tools and styling products. With the help of a backcombing brush, hairspray and a few bobby pins, you can easily mimic this beautiful style.

6. Ombre Halo

Shaping a crown out of two shorter braids is not a difficult task if you have bob length hair. Let your braids for short hair be messy and deliberately imperfect. Crunched waves pair well with this cute boho half updo.

7. Braided Topknot

French braids are not just for toddlers and librarians, they can be uber cool depending on how you choose to style them. Color and cut are the two easiest ways to elevate a basic style. This look uses midnight blue and spunky topknot to take a short cut to the next level.

8. Ombre Hair with a Braid

A braid for short hair can be very simple, but it will work as a cute detail. Combine two trends, grey hair and ombre, for the ultimate chic look. A loose side braid is the perfect accent to bodacious curls.

9. Contrasting Crown

Put a creative spin on the typical milkmaid braid by playing with proportions. Pairing a chunky braid with a smaller one provides visual interest and smartly organizes your strands on the top of the head. It’s a must-try style for a casual day date or Sunday brunch.

10. Pink Bob and Chunky Braid

If you are in search of colorful ideas for your next style, try a beautiful blend like in this picture. By dyeing you hair in several shades, e.g. medium brown, bright pink and rose gold color, you will create a cool contraposition.So cute!

11. Simple Side Plait

Boho beauties listen up! This minimal-effort, maximum-impact braid is useful for keeping short strands out of your face while maintaining a cool bohemian vibe. Pair with tousled locks for a practical and simple everyday style.

Bob With A Side Braid

Instagram / @jbraidsandbows

12. Multi-Color Crown Braid

So versatile, braids for short hair suit both fine and thick hair alike. If your strands are on the thinner side, add volume by pancaking (pulling apart) the plait to create an imperfect, full finish.

Half Up Crown Braid For Shorter Thin Hair

Instagram / @chrisweberhair

13. Side Braid with Rings

This chic French braid short hair look takes just minutes to do once you’ve grasped the technique. Make yours stand out even more with the addition of rings — a stylish twist for special occasions or everyday wear!

Side Parted Bob With A Braid

Instagram / @lalousalon

14. Short Funky Half Up Half Down

Upgrade your half up, half down hairstyle with a French plait worked into the side. It’s far easier to complete with day-old locks, so it’s a great hairstyle idea to try on the days between shampoos!

Funky Braided Half Updo For Bob

Instagram / @hair_by_pelerossi

15. Short Ponytail Updo with a Braid

How to braid short hair into a ponytail: 1. Use a comb to separate a large section at the top of your head. Clip the top section out of the way. 2. Pull the rest of the hair (outside of the clipped segment) into high ponytail and secure. 3. Release the top segment from the clip. At the hairline, take three sections of hair and begin plaiting towards the ponytail. 4. Pull in more strands until the entire top section is fully incorporated. 5. Bring the end of the newly plaited section and the ponytail together. Secure with a band.

16. Show-Stopping Short Updo

Plaited hair dos make a real statement. Ask your hairdresser to create an avant garde braid that has volume, attitude and sass. Luckily, showy chunky braids don’t always rely on long lengths.

17. Bold Braid with Hidden Undercut

Statement color can add a whimsical touch to short braid hairstyles. If you’ve got a cool multi-tonal hue, one large weave will show off all the different tones perfectly.

Braided Bob Undercut

Instagram / @hair_by_pelerossi

18. Intricate Double French Plait

Crave an intricate look but don’t have long lengths? No problem. Short hair braids are beautiful and interesting whether you have a few inches or shoulder length locks. Ask your hairdresser to create something special that involves two twists or more!

Half Up Braided Lob

Instagram / @braids_in_action

19. Edgy Pixie with a Dutch Braid

It’s official: Dutch braids have been breaking the internet. But don’t be fooled into thinking you need waist-length locks to tap into the trend. A short Dutch braid works well with ultra-cool pixie cuts. Keep the undercut smooth and tight and use a braid to separate the longer and shorter two tone hair for a showy, head-turning result.

Short Undercut Hairstyle With A Braid

Instagram / @ladylee.looks

20. Pastel Face-Framing Fishtail Braid

Don’t be intimidated by the incredible fishtail braid. Instead of parting into three sections — like a traditional plait — you create a fishtail by splitting the hair into four. The effect? An elaborate, mermaid-inspired look.

Pastel Pink Bob With A Braid

Instagram / @jbraidsandbows

21. Fauxhawk with Cornrows

Short braids can create an amazing fauxhawk. Curl the centre section and whip the coils up into a hawk that reveals cornrows below. Stylish and cool.

Curly Mohawk Updo For Thin Hair

Instagram / @goldplaited_

22. Messy Bob with Loose Braid

Need a little inspo to keep your bob looking lovely? Try styling with a low-key plait. Quick and achievable, pull some strands from the middle of your parting and braid loosely for a nonchalant, messy finish.

23. Braided Bob Half Updo

Check a simple tutorial for this hairstyle: 1. Spray dry shampoo into your tresses to create the all-important texture. 2. Section off a large piece of hair at the front of your head, leaving some strands to fall naturally around the face. This front piece will become your statement plait. 3. Pull the rest of your locks into a low deconstructed bun. Use pins to secure. 4. Take your front section, divide it into three pieces and begin to braid. Once you reach the ends, hide them by pinning into the top of the bun. Optionally braid the other side too and create a braided crown. 5. Loosely curl the wispy lengths around your face.

Messy Crown Braid For Bob

Instagram / @braidstudio

24. Pigtails with Dutch Braids

Braided hairstyles for short hair don’t come much cooler than these cute small braids into pigtail buns. You might need an extra pair of hands to help you with these reverse plaited pigtails, but it’ll be so worth it!

Two Buns With Braids For Shorter Hair

Instagram / @game_of_braids

25. Braided Headband Updo

Searching for pretty, short hair ideas? A crown braid is a go-to for special occasions. Decorative, beautiful and flattering, it runs around the head and can be woven into an intricate updo. Elegant and stunning!

Blonde Crown Braid Updo

Instagram / @styledby_steph

26. Curvy Mohawk Braid

This gorgeous style is a certified head-turner. With intricate plaits weaving their way down the entire head, this flowing, voluminous braided Mohawk is made all the more eye-catching with its bold, blonde color.

African American Blonde Braided Mohawk

Instagram / @kiastylez

27. Cute Half Up Braid and Twist

Why go for just one when you can have two? Effortless and feminine, cute braids for short hair are wedding-, birthday- and prom-appropriate. Braid just the top half of the head and leave the bottom half tousled and flowing for an event-worthy finish.

Two Half Up Braids For Bob

Instagram / @ramsaymarstonhair

28. Multiple Plaits with Undercut

Expose your bold undercut with a series of different sized braids. Funky and different, a variety of un-uniform sections shows you’re no friend of conformity.

29. Really Short Braided Hair

Here are a few tips on how to braid extra short tresses: 1. When it comes to braiding really short hair, a mousse gives strands extra hold. Run a small amount through the top and use a comb to divide the top segment into three sections. Clip to hold. 2. Unclip one section. Starting at the hairline, take three small pieces and begin braiding, pulling in more sections as you go to create a Dutch braid. Once at the end of the section, wrap a small hairband around the end to secure in place. 4. Repeat on the other two sections.

Three Braids For Short Hair

Instagram / @mybighairday

30. Braids with Low Bun for Bob

Braid hairstyles for short hair can come in many guises. This soft and elegant updo shows two plaits pinned into a messy bun at the nape of the neck. Don’t worry about making them too uniform — there’s beauty in imperfection.

Low Messy Bun With Braids For Shorter Hair

Instagram / @wb_upstyles

31. Braided Half Updo

Cool braids tend to have a lace or fishtail pattern because they create thickness and are visually interesting without looking like you tried too hard. Little details like wrapped ponytail holders go a long way.

32. Natural Hair Twist-Out

When it comes to wearing their hair natural, many African-American women look at braids for short hair as a protective style to prevent breakage. However, you may opt to use a single braid as a decorative and functional detail that keeps those curls pushed back off the forehead.

33. Banging Braid

Side bangs are fun, but they can definitely get in the way on hot sweaty days. A pretty way to pull your hair back is with a bang braid. Plaiting it at the edges gives you more hair to work with, which will in turn give you a thicker weave.

34. Wonderful Waterfall

Half updo braided hairstyles for short hair work well because they allow you to have texture throughout the style without taking away from the length and volume (or thickness.) Also, they are excellent for women who are short on time, because they can be done within 5 minutes with the right utensils.

35. Loose Loops

Messy braids are perfect for those days when you need a casual style that will last throughout a morning workout and after work errands. Because of the tousled texture, no matter what you do, it still looks stylish.

36. Halo Braid for Short Hair

Halo hairstyles are the ideal choice for those, who is in the process of growing out natural hair or are looking for protective styles. If your strands are too short to master this style, ask your hairstylist to do the magic trick. We are sure that in his sleeve he will definitely have the extensions!

37. Wild Curls with Side Cornrows

A great way to try a punk hairstyle without shaving the whole side of your head is to braid it instead. Moreover, if your hair is dyed with darkened roots, side cornrows are a perfect way to show off the two-tone color that is darker at the roots and lighter or brighter through the length.

38. Modern Mermaid

People assume that mermaid hair has to be long and flowing, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can evoke the same magical feeling in your braids for short hair with an ocean blue color. It is a definite way to turn heads and keep them focused on you.

39. Autumn Leaves Inspiration for Hair

Add some flair to braided hairstyles for short hair with a seasonal inspired dye job. Add green highlights to red hair for a quirky autumnal look. Try a temporary color that will fade with the changing seasons.

40. All-in-One Updo for Shorter Hair

A fun trick for creating texture and thickness within braided hairstyles for short hair is to combine multiple small braids together to create one large one. Mix together twists and plaits and tie them with a dainty ribbon.

Braids for short hair can seem daunting without having a lot of length to work with. But instead of opting for extensions, try getting creative with braids of various sizes and colorful dye jobs. You don’t need a ton of hair to have an impactful look.

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