Main content

16 Short Hair Braid Styles That Are Stunning

Yes, braids are gorgeous on short hair.
27 Apr 2022
If you think short braid styles are nigh impossible, think again. There are tons of braid ideas for short hair and short natural hair. These plaited looks aren’t just for those with long hair — short haired girls can have fun with easy braids, too. From French braids to faux-mohawks to waterfall braids, the options are endless. Here’s how to find the best short hair braid style for you.

What braid is best for short hair?

In short, the answer is any braid works as a short hair look. Gone are the days when short-haired gals are limited to certain styles. The truth is, short braid styles are limitless. You can French braid short hair, rock a short box braid style and even side braid short hair. And if you want to add length, reach for extensions. Bottom line, short hair and braids go together like peanut butter and jelly.

How do you style braids with short hair?

Styling short hair braid styles is no different than long hair. The technique is the same, you’ll just expect a much shorter outcome. As long as hair is about ear length, any braid is possible.

If you’re working with tightly curly or coily styles, you may find that stretching the hair or slightly blowing the hair out will help to grip the hair better when braiding. And if you’re new to braiding, start simple. Do a French braid or a single plait to begin. Then work your way up to more intricate styles like fishtail and waterfall braids.

Can I get box braids with short hair?

The answer to this is a big, fat yes. Since box braids incorporate extensions, it is possible to get box braids with short hair.

Find Your Personalized Routine!
Know your curls better than ever before! Our quick and easy 5-step quiz, which uses powerful data to determine your hair type, will help you understand your strands. Set aside a couple of minutes to answer some simple questions, and we’ll take care of the rest. At the end, we’ll identify your curl type and main hair concerns, and provide expert tips, product recommendations, and a personalized routine. The journey to gorgeous hair starts now. Click Here to find your personalized routine.

What are braided hairstyles that work on short hair?

Like we mentioned above, there’s no limitations on short hair braids. Here are 16 short braid styles that work on natural, curly and coily hair types.

Short Braid Style #1: Cornrows. Cornrows work on all hair lengths, short hair included. To keep your cornrows looking fresher for longer, apply a light hold gel, like the Wash Day Delight Hair Gel to Foam Styler Rose Water, before you begin braiding. Adding this to each section will minimize frizz and add shine.

Short Braid Style #2: Crown Braid. Sure, waist-length locks make a gorgeous crown braid, but so do shoulder-grazing strands. If you don’t want to add extensions, opt for a loose, tousled crown braid that can be secured by bobby pins. It’s okay if the braid doesn’t quite make it all the way around your head. Just be sure the top of your head, from ear-to-ear looks gorgeous and no one will even peek at the back. If your hair needs moisture, apply Monoi Repairing Leave-in Conditioner or Almond Milk Leave-In Conditioner before braiding.

Short Braid Style #3: Dutch Braids. Chances are you can recreate this childhood favorite style without looking. Dutch braids on short hair can take you from the gym to a brunch downtown with your girlfriends, they’re truly that versatile.

Short Braid Style #4: Bubble Braid. Even though there is braid in its name, bubble braids aren’t actually braids. Instead, it’s a sort of illusion of a braid, that’s still super cute and very short-hair friendly. To create a bubble braid, you want to start with a ponytail or two. Next, you‘ll add mini elastics to the length of the ponytail until you’re about two inches from the end. Next, gently tug on each ‘bubble’ to your liking. And voila! You’ve created a bubble braid.

Short Braid Style #5: French Braid. This simple style will never go out of style. It’s classic, it’s timeless and it’s easily spruced up with a bold hair accessory. For added shine, apply Goddess Strength Divine Strength Leave-In Cream With Castor Oil or Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp and Hair Oil to the finished braid.

Short Braid Style #6: Knotless Braids. Knotless braids are like a cousin to box braids. They’re actually practically the same thing except for the knot at the root of each braid. Knotless braids are created with extensions braided into the hair and are much more gentle on the hairline than box braids. You can create this style with your natural hair, if you please. Just be sure to secure the ends with an elastic to avoid unraveling.

Short Braid Style #7: Braided Updo. Braided updos can be as dressy or as casual as you’d like. You can add sparkly pins or pearls to sport to a formal event, or throw a satin scarf atop of your braided style to protect your style during your next workout sesh. The best part is, the updo can be whatever you like. Grab some bobby pins and mini claw clips and you’re ready to style.

Short Braid Style #8: Side Braid. Sweep all your hair to one side and create a princess-inspired braid. It’s equally romantic and whimsical and definitely office-appropriate. To keep your hair in place, add a quarter-sized amount of the Wash Day Delight Cream Serum Hair Moisturizer Aloe to your strands before styling. Not only is it moisturizing, it helps to keep hairs in place and add sheen.

Short Braid Style #9: Braided Bob. Single plaits don’t always have to be long. This hairstyle can be a dozen larger braids all-over your head, or tousled half-done braids that go into mermaid waves or spiral curls. There’s a lot of room for customization with this look. If your strands are above ear length, you may need to add extensions to perfect this look.

Short Braid Style #10: Face-Framing Braids. If you like to wear your hair down, sport a middle part and add a tiny plait on each side of the part to frame your face. This 90’s inspired short hair braid is cute and simple, but makes it appear that you invested a long time styling your hair. To keep your natural hair defined and hydrated, spritz on the Goddess Strength Divine Strength Leave-In Milk.

Short Braid Style #11: Braids with Beads. Beads aren’t just for preteens. You can weave the beads into your braids or add them to the ends. The choice is truly yours.

Short Braid Style #12: Braided Faux-Hawk. You may not be able to create a sky-high version of this style with short strands, but you can certainly improvise. Our favorite short hair spin on the braided faux-hawk is to add a mini Dutch braid down the center of the hair. It’s equally playful and edgy.

Short Braid Style #13: Peek-a-Boo Braids. This is another go-to for gals who like to sport their hair down and free-flowing. Add a few braids, about an inch wide or less, throughout your hair to add texture. To keep them sleek and frizz-free, add a dollop of the Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Pure Hair Oil. It’s infused with safflower seed oil, calendula and chamomile to hydrate and soften dry, brittle hair.

Short Braid Style #14: Waterfall Braid. Since this elegant braided style requires the least amount of hair to accomplish, it’s a go-to for shorter hair lengths. It’s romantic, yet bohemian and can be casual or formal. There’s so much to love about this whimsical style.

Short Braid Style #15: Faux Braided Undercut. Not quite bold enough to go through with an undercut? Fake it with a few cornrows on one side of your head. If you don’t want the ends of your braids sticking out, tuck them in and pin them down. Just beware, this style makes a bold statement.

Short Braid Style #16: Headband Braid. To create a headband braid, take an inch of hair at the hairline and create a French or Dutch braid downward. Once the braid is finished, tuck it under your hair and pin down to stay in place. This is a go-to braided style when you’re in a crunch for time.

Bonus: Remember that great looking braids start with a healthy scalp and strong hair. Try Goddess Strength Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In if you need more moisture and Monoi Repairing Anti-Breakage Spray to strengthen strands. And if you’re looking to refresh your braids, try the Hair Milk Refresher Spray.

For even more hairstyle inspo, read 32 Easy & Chic Hairstyles for Short Curly Hair.


Related Products


On the same topic

Get hair care advice and hair styling tips for curly hair with videos and tutorials from Carol's Daughter. Find the right moisturizing hair products for your perfect curly hair look.

For the best experience, please turn your device