36 Show-Stopping Braids For Short Hair: Creative Styling Ideas

Key Takeaways
  • Braids for short hair offer a versatile styling option for those with limited hair length, allowing for creativity and expression.
  • Short hair braids are typically easier to maintain and require less time for styling compared to longer hair, making them a convenient choice for those with busy lifestyles.
  • Short hair braids can serve as a protective hairstyle, safeguarding your hair from damage and promoting healthy growth.
  • To achieve the best results with short hair braids, it’s essential to use quality styling products and tools, such as hairpins, elastics, and hair-friendly products, to ensure a polished and secure look.

Contents show

Not a fan of long hair? Check out these 36 braids for short hair for your next chic style. Of course, everyone loves a good sunny day, but it has a considerable downside.

Heat. Imagine sweating and dealing with long, flowing hair at the same time. For some, the discomfort is a small price to pay for stylishness.

For the more practical, ‘I have to be logical all the time’ people, though, struggling with hair on a hot day sounds like a lot of work, which can be difficult.

Comfort wins over style anytime, any day. Or maybe you’re ready for a dramatic hair change (yes, the big chop), but you’re scared of looking basic. Does this sound like you? 

If your answer was yes, don’t worry. You don’t have to pick one over the other anymore; you can be comfortable in shorter hair and remain the effortless fashionista you want to be.

An excellent way to ramp up short hair is to add braids. A single braid down good old chin or shoulder-length hair can bring an entirely new perspective to hair that some would consider boring otherwise.

A whole range of braids would make your look unique, and you could experiment with this depending on your personality and preferences.

Before You Get Started

  • Maintain a healthy scalp by moisturizing and cleansing regularly to ensure a comfortable and nourished foundation for your short hair braids.
  • Gather the necessary products, including hair elastics, hairpins, and styling gels, to achieve the best results when creating braids for short hair.
  • Consider the different types of braids that can be adapted to short hair, ensuring a suitable and stylish choice.
  • Plan for regular touch-ups and care to keep your short hair braids looking fresh and vibrant.
  • Seek guidance from a professional stylist if you have questions about the braiding process or need assistance with styling braids for short hair.

You’ve seen all the reasons you should get braids in your short hair. Let’s see some looks. Styling short hair can be tricky, but you’re bound to fall in love with these 36 looks. Scroll through our collection for your new hairdo.

Braids For Short Hair We Love

1. French braids for short hair

 French braids

Image by @goldenmoods via Instagram

A classic French braid will never go out of style. This is a perfect new look if you like the half-up, half-down style.

Short hair tends to whip around the face a lot, but you won’t have this issue with the French center braid securing your locks firmly behind you.

For added spice, throw some lighter shades into your hair. The highlights will give you texture and definition in your hair, rather than one monotonous sheet. 

2. Pinky Top braids for Short Hair

Pinky Top braids

Image by @coastbraids via Instagram

Want to show a little bit of youth and fun in your hair? Try this.

The candy floss pink sections between matte-black locks of hair take chin-length hair that in just black would look plain to something completely out of this world. 

Above, we see pink braids woven in two pigtails at the top of the hair. Leave the braids incomplete at the very top and secure with the hair strands to show off that girly pink.

It is the most stunning mix of goth chick and mysterious girl from outer space.

3. Little Bow Braids for Short Hair

Little Bow Braids

Image by @stephanie_glamsquad via Instagram

Who said bows are for presents only? Your hair could be a beautifully wrapped gift for anyone who stops to stare, and with these iconic bows topping each loose French braid, you’ll be getting a lot of admirers.

Starting the braid at the bottom instead of the usual top turns an already unique style into a straight-off-the-runway look.

It has a slightly messy look, so if that’s more your vibe, don’t hesitate to get these on in whatever hair color you like.

Skip the accessories if you please, but with them? Your hair would be gorgeous.

4. Pink Blush Braids for Short Hair

Pink Blush Braids

Image by @maaike_damhuis via Instagram

Blush pink is adorable, and that’s one period. It’s not for everyone, but if you love it so much you want to wear it on your hair, then consider this look.

This number isn’t as short as our previous ones at shoulder length, but you’ll still be comfortable.

Moreover, it’s not altogether pink; we see a gradual progression from blonde roots to solid pink ends, so it won’t be overpowering if that scares you.

Two thin braids tie over the hair in a sunset blush, giving an overall seductively innocent look.

5. Five Strand Ribbon Braids for Short Hair

Five Strand Ribbon Braid

Image by @winterhair via Instagram

Contrary to popular opinion, you could keep extremely short hair and not look masculine.

Though this look is as short as short can get, the purple and pink ribbons were woven into the thick braid from the top to the midsection of the hair, making it decidedly girly in a cheeky way.

The braid featured here is slightly off-center, but yours could be at any position you prefer; it’s the perfect opportunity to express your creativity.

If you don’t like purple or pink, use any color you like for your ribbons.

Remember to keep your colors on the feminine side unless you want a different aesthetic. It’s up to you!

RELATED: 20 Versatile Passion Twist Braids To Achieve Next Level Style & Comfort

 6. Light Curls Braids for Short Hair

 Light Curls Braid

Image by @braidzbyleyaan via Instagram

Cornrows elevate whatever you put them in, even in small numbers. These double stitch cornrows at the side are simply delightful.

The gold and silver accessories take them to a new level by making the red stand out more.

Loose curls always lend a volume and bounce to the rest of the hair as we see here, and at shoulder length, the strands dancing around you will blow sweet kisses to everyone as you walk by.

Our cornrows are on the left here, but if you’d prefer to show off your right side, then sweep your hair in the opposite direction. 

7. Small Braids for Short Hair

Small Braids

Image by @braidzbyleyaan via Instagram

This is another version of our last hairstyle. While curls are alluring, some people prefer straight hair. If you belong to the straight hair gang, check this out.

Classy but different, this style is suitable for any outing, formal or informal event, date night, or a shopping spree with the girls.

Again, we see those side cornrows on dark hair cut straight under the chin in a slight bob. In this case, though, they start at the top rather than the side, as we previously saw.

 Gold accessories are stylish, but switch it up if you prefer silver or other colors. Show off your better side with this look. It’s your hair, after all!

8. Barbie Braids for Short Hair

Barbie Braid

Image by @atomic.alyssa via Instagram

I can’t be the only one that still loves Barbie! She’s every little girl’s fashion icon, and why not? Named after the famous doll, this number is short but undeniably sweet.

First, we have a braid running around the crown from the side.

That alone is enough to bring all the fun to the party, but it doesn’t stop there. Behind the crown braid, we see two braids follow.

Then, accessories come into play again with the white headband. Have a wedding coming up? This look will be perfect for your bridal train.

9. Platinum Blonde Braids for Short Hair

Platinum Blonde

Image by @traceys_hair_life via Instagram

Femininity is a lovely superpower, but a feminine look isn’t the only aesthetic. This style is bold, edgy, and screams punk.

On its own, the platinum blonde is eye-catching, but having close-cropped hair on one side will make your hair unforgettable.

Another dimension to explore is the single braid demarcating the shaved side from the unshaved half.

Your hair definitely won’t get in the way while you go about your business. Rockstar energy can’t get more fashionable.

10. Lengthy Braids for Short Hair

Lengthy Braids

Image by @camilakhairbeauty via Instagram

Short hair doesn’t have to be extremely short. Considering that it brushes just past the shoulders, this number is on the longer side.

We see a full-length French braid joining the unbound left half from the top o the right half.

This is another opportunity to show off the angles of your face you prefer. Add accessories to the braid to step things up.

Butterfly clips are trendy right now, and they’ll look amazing here. Silver hair is always daring, but don’t let anyone stop you if you have another color in mind.  

11. Halo Braids for Short Hair

Halo Braid

Image by @braidsofsweden via Instagram

We’ve looked at more informal styles; now, let’s get serious. Add a tiara here, and you might just pass for a younger Queen Elizabeth.

It radiates elegance and royalty with every strand. To begin with, mixing different blonde hues gives an angelic appearance, hence the name halo.

From both sides of a clean center part, thick braids wrap around the side of the head and tie together.

A knot at the base secures the braids. Little wisps of hair fly about for a more natural look. It presents an efficient way to keep your hair under control while looking like a beauty queen.

Quick Guide to Show-Stopping Braids for Short Hair: Stunning Styles

  • Short Hair Versatility: Discover the versatility of short hair with braids, from funky fishtails to classic cornrows, making a statement with your unique style.
  • Gentle Handling: Ensure gentle handling when creating short hair braids to avoid hair breakage and scalp stress, preserving hair health.
  • Low Maintenance: Short hair braids are generally low-maintenance, requiring periodic touch-ups to maintain their crisp and stylish appearance.
  • Nourishment: Apply lightweight hair oils or serums to your short hair braids to keep them nourished, hydrated, and frizz-free for a lasting, vibrant look.

12. 2 Braids for Short Hair

2 Braids for Short Hair

Image by @3sishairandbeauty via Instagram

We see yet another variation of the side-swept hair. There’s more volume and a more rounded bob here than in our last two.

Two cornrows tuck behind the ear at one side of the hair while the other side puffs out in a cute little chin-length bob.

This style is versatile, and you can pair it with any outfit of your choice. It also works well with any color or length, so experiment all you want. You’ll still look bomb.

13. Elegant Twisted Braids for Short Hair

Elegant Twisted Braid

Image by @braidsofsweden via Instagram

Another tiara style! Take curls to the moon by adding a little twist (literally). Two braids wrap around the head, but instead of our usual cornrow or French braids, we have elegant twists.

If you don’t like the base knot, you could place the braids over each other and tie them together with your hair.

As seen above, a mix of colors or highlights in your hair will always be better than just one.

You’d look like an actual princess if you put a tiara in this, but if you couldn’t get your hands on a tiara, any accessory would do, including flowers.

14. Twist Braids for Short Hair

Twist Braid

Image by @maaike_damhuis via Instagram

There’s no reason why your hair shouldn’t be the talk of the town. Be the center of every conversation when you strut by.

White is a daring color, and you can be sure no one will think of it at a party, especially when your dark hair provides a nice contrast.

There’s a stunning braid left to fan out at the ends over the hair right in the middle. Slight waves brushing over the shoulder complete the unforgettable look.

Don’t be scared of bold colors, but a brown or blonde would do nicely if you want muted colors.

15. Beets Braids for Short Hair

Beets Braid

Image by @thepennyparlor via Instagram

Something here calls chic Parisian fashion to mind.

We see shoulder-length wavy hair tousled in a casual cool-girl way, but the showstopper here is the thick loose braid on the left at the top to the middle of the hair, though yours can be on the right depending on what you want.

Platinum in dark hair is a bold combo that doesn’t do it for everyone, so if it’s not for you, use whatever color you’re comfortable with.

RELATED: 25 Amazing Poetic-Justice Braids Styles To Inspire Your Next Look

16. Soft and Pancaked Braids for Short Hair

Soft and Pancaked Braid

Image by @sinashairstyles via Instagram

Your love for fluffy stuffed animals doesn’t have to end with childhood. This is a splendid way to relive your childhood with your hair no matter your age.

These are two regular French braids, but the distinct quality is the thick fluffiness of each braid (which is why they’re rightly called pancakes).

Of course, everyone will want to get a feel of your hair. You’ll never go wrong framing your face with little locks of hair.

17. Messy Bun Braids for Short Hair

 Messy Bun Braid

Image by @never.badhairday via Instagram

You’re grocery shopping for the day, and you don’t have the time to style your hair? Then throw it into two French braids.

It’s almost second nature. However, your French braids could do with a little finesse.

Put your ends in a messy bun instead of leaving them to fly about in the wind. 

On the one hand, you’ll look more put together and on the other, your ends are less likely to snag in something.

18. Little Tricks Braids for Short Hair

Little Tricks Braid

Image by @koljonenmari via Instagram

This style is an adventure! If you like being a trendsetter, then check this out. We see closely shaved sides with a single curl over the ear and evenly spaced lines behind.

The mass of hair at the top could have been left alone and this would rock, but to add some extra detail, we have thin cornrows and a thicker braid around the head under them.

It’s unusual and stylish at the same time.

19. Lovely Little Braids for Short Hair

Lovely Little Braid

Image by @madeleinegracehair via Instagram

Prom or college graduation hair inspiration? Here you go. You’ll look beautiful without trying too hard.

Let your curly locks twirl around your shoulders, and add some extra sauce with two braids from each side that tie together over your curls.

You’d want to put little clips, pins, and flowers in this, especially if you’re girly.

20. School Braids for Short Hair

 School Braid

Image by @teresashairstyles via Instagram

Braids are the most fashionable for school.  You’ll focus, and you won’t keep flipping your hair back and forth when you should be studying.

These simple French braids in two tones of dark brown and honey bring a chocolate bar to mind.

Three sections of hair join into a thick braid on each side. It’s a classic style for school kids, but it’s not limited to them alone.

21. Neck Cool in the Summer Braids for Short Hair

Neck Cool in the Summer Braid

Image by @cornwall_hair_and_mua via Instagram

Going on an island vacation? What other hairstyle do you need? The wind will blow these short curls about flirtatiously.

Crown braids are elegant and feminine, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It wraps over the forehead, around the ear, and ends pinned behind from a side part.

Accessories are always wonderful with styles like these; you can mix and match whatever hair accessories you like. It’ll look good in any hair color, so don’t let that be a problem.

RELATED: 26 Beautiful and Amazing Ombre Box Braids Style 

22. Ribbon Braids for Short Hair

Ribbon Braid

Image by @reallyprettygood via Instagram

A ponytail doesn’t have to be just a ponytail. Braid your ponytail with a decorative ribbon to add some flair to it.

To recreate, tie your ponytail with the ribbon and braid your hair with the ribbon strings. It’s a perfect way to showcase your personality through your hair.

For a boho-chic vibe, leave out some wisps of hair. If you’d rather not have a hair out of place, then do a tighter ponytail.

Your ribbon can be whatever color or design you like as long as it complements your hair beautifully.

Secure your ends with some hair strands or a string so the braid doesn’t get loose immediately.

RELATED: 30 Protective Box Braids Styles

23. Cute Braids for Short Hair

Cute Braid

Image by @jordansweetn via Instagram

This is a little long, but you can still attempt it with shorter hair. At the top center of the hair, a knot starts a loose French braid that continues to the base.

The hair ends are left undone, so the braid is firmly secured to prevent unraveling.

It’s always nice to frame your face sweetly on both sides; leave little locks of hair out for that purpose.

On days you’re too tired to get your hair detangled but still want to look good, you’ll thank the creator of French braids. Nobody has to know you’re having a bad hair day, right?

Keep In Mind

  • Hair Type: Consider your hair type when choosing short hair braid styles to ensure a look that suits your unique texture.
  • Scalp Comfort: Monitor the comfort of your scalp during the braiding process, ensuring that the style isn’t too tight, which could cause discomfort or damage.
  • Braid Size: Select an appropriate braid size for your short hair, maintaining a balance between style and manageability.
  • Maintenance Routine: Plan for regular touch-ups and adjustments to keep your short hair braids looking neat and well-groomed.
  • Protection: Use satin or silk pillowcases and headscarves to minimize friction and maintain the longevity of your short hair braids.

24. Casual Braids for Short Hair

Casual Braid

Image by @zorrymadeit via Instagram

Sometimes, you don’t want anything serious on your hair, and that’s fine. Some days are for a T-shirt and regular jeans.

However, you could use your hair to elevate your outfit when you feel like dressing down.

This would have been a simple shoulder-length bob without braids, but the single plait falling from the crown transforms it into something special.

Pin your braid back with a bobby pin as done here, or let it dangle free, depending on your mood. The smooth coffee brown to blonde color movement is optional, however, it looks great.

25. Side Fishtail Braids for Short Hair

Side Fishtail Braid

Image by @alex_haircraft via Instagram

Already have an eye-catching hair color and a chic, graduated haircut? Use an inverted fishtail braid like this image to showcase your beautiful hair!

Also, remember to tuck the elastic band beneath the tiniest strand of your hair; it-girls love to use this trick these days.

26. Double Crown Braids for Short Hair

Double Crown Braid

Image by @kileenickels via Instagram

The best thing about a crown braid is how it draws attention to your face and pulls the hair back like a headband.

Braided crowns have gained much popularity recently, partly due to music festival fashion. Add a double variant in a sloppy fishtail pattern to make yours stand out.

27. Elegant French Braids for Short Hair

Elegant French Braid

Image by @veronicazambrano_ via Instagram

Although shorter hair makes looser braid styles more challenging, they are still doable with the correct tools and styling supplies.

You can copy this lovely style using a backcombing brush, hairspray, and a few bobby pins.

Pro Tip

Enhance your short hair braids with decorative hairpins or beads for a personalized and eye-catching touch to your style.

28. Ombre Halo Braids for Short Hair

Ombre Halo Braid

Image by @stylemesamira via Instagram

Creating a crown out of two shorter braids is not difficult if you have bob-length hair. Let your short hair braids be unruly and purposefully flawed.

This adorable boho half updo looks excellent with crunched waves.

29. Top Knot Braids for Short Hair

Top Knot Braid

Image by @carrieholley_hair via Instagram

Depending on how you style them, French braids may be super cool and are not just for babies and librarians.

The two most straightforward methods to upgrade a basic design are through color and cut. This look uses a feisty topknot and midnight blue to advance to the next level quickly.

30. Contrasting Crown Braids for Short Hair

Contrasting Crown Braid

Image by @jillenefarrbeauty via Instagram

Play with proportions to give the standard Milkmaid braid a creative twist.

By contrasting a large braid with a smaller one, you can add visual interest and cleverly arrange your hair on top of your head.

The perfect look for a laid-back daytime date or Sunday brunch.

31. Pink Bob and Chunky Braids for Short Hair

 Pink Bob and Chunky Braid

Image by @roc_coco_salon via Instagram

If you’re looking for bright inspiration for your next look, consider a lovely combination like the one in this image.

You can create a chic contrast by dying your hair a variety of colors, such as medium brown, vivid pink, and rose gold. Love it!

32. Easy Side Plait Braids for Short Hair

Easy Side Plait Braids for Short Hair

Image by @jbraidsandbows via Instagram

Boho beauties, pay attention! Short strands can cover your face with an easy, effective braid while looking stylish and boho. For an easygoing and functional look, team with unkempt hair.

33. Multi-Color Crown Braids for Short Hair

Multi-Color Crown Braids for Short Hair

Image by @chrisweberhair via Instagram

Braids for short hair are so adaptable that they work for both thick and thin hair. When making a plait, pancaking (pushing apart), the plat will enhance volume if your strands are on the lighter side.

34. Rings with Braids for Short Hair

Rings with Braids for Short Hair

Image by @lalousalon via Instagram

Once you get the technique down, this stylish French braid short hairstyle takes a few minutes to complete.

Rings give a fashionable twist for special occasions or regular wear, making yours stand out even more!

35. Ponytail Updo Braids for Short Hair

Ponytail Updo Braids for Short Hair

Image by @sunkissedandmadeup via Instagram

How to create a ponytail from short hair

  • Separate a sizable chunk of hair at the top of your head with a comb. Remove the top portion with a clip.
  • Form a high ponytail with the remaining hair (without including the trimmed portion) and fasten it.
  • Cut the clip’s top section free. Take three sections of hair at the hairline and start plaiting it toward the ponytail.
  • Continue incorporating more strands until the entire top area is finished.
  • Join the ponytail and the end of the freshly plaited segment. Bind with a band.

36. Double French Plait Braids for Short Hair

Double French Plait Braids for Short Hair

Image by @braids_in_action via Instagram

Want to look complicated yet lack extensive lengths? No issue. Short hair braids are attractive and intriguing whether you have a few inches or shoulder-length hair. Ask your hairstylist to create a unique style with two or more twists!

Monique Johnson

Leave a Comment