5 Inspirational Braids for Short Hair (and a Tutorial!)

Fun, trending, yet also pretty timeless, braids are quite the democratic look. Find out how to recreate some cute short braided hairstyles to elevate even the most basic bob.

braids for short hair final look

In the world of hair, the possibilities are endless. You can rock a new hair color for a few hours, sport a bob without making the actual cut (fake bob anyone?) or even get long hair overnight—with hair extensions of course! Another option is sporting some braids for short hair. Can this be done? Of course it can! And get this: You don’t really need to add in any extra pieces of hair to help you out. Also, if you’re currently growing out your bangs and tired of sweeping them to the side, you may want to get in on this fun hairstyle trend as well, as this is a great transitional look for when you just don’t know what to do with your overgrown fringe.

Scroll on for a few of our all-time favorite braided hairstyles for short hair, as well as a handy tutorial on how to achieve some cute braids for short hair:

5 Fun Short Hair Braids to Check Out

wedding braids for short hair
Embrace boho vibes with super-pancaked plaits.

1. Loose Accent Braid

We’re suckers for a boho-chic look, and loosely-woven plaits make for great short braids, especially when texturized or worn as part of a beachy, wavy hairstyle. A wide, side-braided accent braid does just the trick in this case. To bring this look to life, create a regular three-strand braid and tug it apart, a.k.a. “pancake” it, for a thicker chain. In order to keep up with this look’s carefree feel, either use a clear mini-elastic and wrap a thin strand of hair to conceal it, or simply let your braid hang naturally, held in place with some hairspray. We like the staying power we get from TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray.

headband braids for short hair
A headband braid revs up a regular bob. Photo credit: Dvora

2. Braided Headband

We know we’re not the only ones who hate that mid-day headache from a typical plastic or metal headband. And that’s exactly why we’re huge advocates of short hair braids that incorporate a headband technique. All you’ll need is a set of bobby pins, some Dutch-braid know-how and a little hairspray, such as Dove Style+Extra Hold Hairspray, to lock in this style.

waterfall braids for short hair
Not enough hair for a full French plait? Recreate the feel with a half-twisted link instead. Photo credit: Dvora

3. Waterfall Braid

Even though they might seem difficult, waterfall braids are actually very easy braids for short hair wearers to master. To get that “waterfall” look, start with a French braid and after each link of the braid, gather new hair for the next link without closing one side. It’s a braid that can work on shorter hairstyles since it snakes down your fringe/hairline area, and can be as skinny or wide as you wish. If you need a bit more of a walk-through, check out our waterfall braid tutorial.

fishtail braids for short hair
Lob-wearers, create a deep side-pony before creating your fishtail… it makes things easier and looks more effortless.

4. Short Fishtail Pony

Ponytails are a go-to look for everyday, but sometimes they don’t seem quite dressed-up enough. To rectify, weave your pony into a fishtail braid. We love the dainty herringbone plait of a fishtail, which is a braid that can easily work as either a ponytail or a skinny accent braid within the rest of your hair. Secure the ends of your plait with a small hair elastic.

accent braids for short hair
A small, dainty hidden braid provides a charming peek-a-boo feel to short hairstyles. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. Hidden Braids

We’re all about understated chic, and what better way to ensure everyone’s eyes are on you than with a chic hidden braid? These simple three-strand braids for short hair can be worn by themselves or peppered throughout a bob or lob for a fun, cheeky (and slightly hippie) feel.

Read on below for our a quick guide to short hairstyles with braids:

Tutorial: Easy Braids for Short Hair


Start with clean, dry hair.

Before starting your short hair braid, it’s best to work on dry hair that’s been thoroughly detangled. For a quick refresher in between washes, we like to use a dry shampoo, such as Dove Refresh+Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo.


braids for short hair start

Part your hair and braid.

Create a part where you want your braid to be (Ed’s note: No need to create a perfectly sharp part; you want things to look effortless.). In that case, if you don’t have a comb, opt for using your fingers. Once you’re done, begin French-braiding your fringe area all the way down to the ends.

braids for short hair part your hair

Secure with a bobby pin.

Secure the ends of your braid onto your scalp with a pin. If you happen to end up with a braid that feels too neat (or stiff), open up the stitch by pancaking them, or gently tugging the chain links apart.

braids for short hair bobby pin

Finish with hairspray.

You can opt to add curls to the rest of your braids for short hair for a fun twist, or just leave hair straight. Finish off with a hairspray that seals in your style, like TRESemmé Climate Control Finishing Spray.

braids for short hair final look

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

Wanna jazz up your look for a night out? Try adding in some fun hair accessories, like this embellished pin, to give your look some sparkle.

braids for short hair accessories

Want a full list of braided inspo? Check out our ultimate guide to braids.

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