How To Braid Short Hair Like A Pro

Learn the dos and don’ts of braiding short hair along with a few simple tips!

Written by , MSc Manjari Uppal MSc Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Comparative Literature) Vaishali Sinha MA (Comparative Literature) Experience: 5 years

Braids, often considered the symbol of elegance and sophistication, have evolved from traditional styles to modern adaptations, gracing the runways, red carpets, and everyday street fashion alike. These intricate, interwoven masterpieces aren’t just reserved for long, flowing locks! They are a versatile expression of creativity that knows no bounds, even in shorter hair lengths. In this article, we unveil the step-by-step process to master the art of braiding, tailored specifically for shorter hair lengths. Say goodbye to the misconception that braiding is reserved only for longer tresses. Whether you are exploring a new style or simply looking to add a touch of flair to your everyday look, these braids will empower you to embrace the versatility of your short hair like never before. Get ready to turn heads and unleash your inner stylist!

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • If you feel your hair is too frizzy and unruly, then apply a detangling cream before braiding it.
  • Short hair is more exposed to pollution and weather changes, so keep your scalp and braid nourished with a lightweight oil or moisturizer to prevent dryness and itchiness.
  • Apart from choosing a braiding style that suits your hair length and texture, consider if you have layers. Some braiding styles tend to work better with layers, such as a French braid.

Is My Hair Too Short For Braids?

A girl touching her short hair
Image: Shutterstock

You can weave braids on very short hair, though you may need to use a lot of bobby pins to secure the hairdo. The key lies in finding the right balance between length and technique. It is recommended to have at least 2 inches of hair below the nape to confidently try most braided styles. This length provides ample room to wrap strands around your fingers, aiding in the braiding process.

However, weaving braids on short locks demands skill and patience. Short hair tends to be slippery posing issues with grip and control, as maintaining a firm hold on shorter strands with different hair textures can be tricky. But rest assured, you will overcome this issue as you keep practicing your braiding technique. Despite the hurdles, with practice, you will unlock the potential of your short hair, achieving stylish braids that make a lasting impression.

Whether your hair falls just shy of the two-inch mark or has a bit more length, there is a braid style to suit every short-haired individual. Explore the diverse world of different types of short hair braids and discover the perfect look to elevate your style game!

Types Of Short Hair Braids

Although there are many braids you can style on short hair, we have compiled a list of the top trending ones you should know about.

1. Faux Undercut Pixie Braid

Woman sporting pixie plaits
Image: Shutterstock

This braid is perfect for those with ultra to growing-out short hair. It involves weaving small sections of hair close to the scalp, creating a delicate yet stylish look. Style your hair in a deep side parting. Clip up the deep side and divide the hair on the other side into sections. Weave each section into small braids. This style works best with a bit of texturizing spray or gel to add grip and definition.

This braid is not only chic but also practical, keeping shorter strands neatly in place throughout the day. Celebs such as Kristen Stewart have flaunted a variation of these faux undercut braids.

2. The Crown Braid

The crown braid is a versatile option that adds an elegant touch to short hair. Gather your hair from the front of one side of your locks. Weave that section of hair into a braid and secure it with an elastic tie. Repeat the same process on the other side. Style both the styles in a half ponytail to form the braided crown. Take some hair from the ends of the ponytail, apply some mousse on it, and wrap it around the elastic ties of the braids. You can use bobby pins tucked under the wrapped hair to secure the look.

This style is perfect for special occasions or when you want to elevate your everyday look with minimal effort. If you have very short hair, take your cue from celebs like Ruby Rose and Scarlett Johansson who have flaunted hairline crown braids. You can also try different braiding techniques like the fishtail or mermaid.

3. Cornrow Braided Pigtails

Back view of a girl with Cornrow Pigtails
Image: Shutterstock

One of the most prominent and timeless hairstyles are cornrow braids. Thankfully, those of you with short hair can achieve this look easily. Section your hair into small bars from the front hairline to the back. Weave each bar into a scalp-tight French braid to create your cornrows. When you reach the back hairline, group your braids into two pigtails and secure them with an elastic band. These braids are great for workouts or casual outings.

4. Braided Bob

Back view of a braided bob
Image: Shutterstock

The braided bob is a popular protective hairdo that can be flaunted for weeks! Divide all of your hair into four sections. Clip up three sections and part the fourth section into small bits. Weave each bit into a braid. Repeat the same for the other three sections. This braid style became really popular in the 90s when R&B singer Brandy Norwood portrayed Moesha Mitchell in the series ‘Moesha’. Since then many celebs have followed her lead and flaunted their own versions of this style using different African braiding techniques such as the Fulani style.

5. The Twisted Halo

For a romantic and ethereal look, try the twisted halo. This is a great hairstyle for those with short wispy layered hair. Spritz your locks with some hairspray or apply some lightweight mousse along the length of your hair. Curl your hair midway down using a heat styling tool. Then gather some hair from the front on one side and weave it into a braid. Repeat the same on the other side as well. Join both the braids at the back near the crown and secure them with hair-colored bobby pins. Gently pancake the braids to give it that light twisted look. This style is effortlessly elegant and perfect for both casual and formal occasions.

Each of these short cute braids offers a unique way to showcase your personal style and flair, proving that short hair is just as versatile as its longer counterparts. Experiment with different techniques and accessories to find the perfect braid that complements your individuality and enhances your natural beauty.

While these five braid styles look chic, they may seem complicated if this is your first time trying them on short hair. Scroll down to learn a more basic and simple three-strand hair tutorial to get you started.

How To Braid Short Hair

Back view of a girl getting braid done in short hair from a hairdresser
Image: Shutterstock

Braiding short hair may seem challenging, but with the right technique, you can achieve stylish looks in no time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you master the art of braiding short locks:

Materials Needed

  • Fine-tooth comb or brush
  • Hair elastic or small hair ties
  • Texturizing spray or gel (optional)
  • Bobby pins (optional)

Step 1: Prepare Your Hair

Start by ensuring your hair is clean, dry, and free of tangles. It is recommended to braid your hair on one day old hair (a day after you wash your hair). If desired, apply a bit of hair spray or mousse to add grip and texture, especially if you have dry hair making it easier to braid short hair.

protip_icon Quick Tip
For silky, straight hair, opt for braids on the second or third day after washing when hair has some natural oils to hold the style, as wash day hair is too slippery and makes the braid loose.

Step 2: Choose Your Braid

Consider your face shape when selecting a braided hairstyle. For example:

  • Oval Faces: Almost any braid style works well.
  • Round Faces: Opt for braids that add height or elongate the face, such as the crown braid.
  • Square Faces: Soften angular features with loose, face-framing braids.
  • Heart-Shaped Faces: Choose braids that are loose or pancaked to balance the wide cheeks.

For this tutorial, let’s go with a French braid, as it suits most face shapes.

Step 3: Section Your Hair

After combing down your hair, take a portion of hair from the front, just before the crown. Divide this portion into three: two side subsections and a middle section.

Step 4: Braid Your Hair

Begin weaving a stitch of your braid following the basic three-strand style where the side sections go over the middle section. However, before you weave the next stitch, add hair only to the new side sections of the braid. Keep weaving your braid in the manner under you reach the back hairline.

Step 5: Secure The Braid At the End

Secure the end of the braid with a hair tie. If you have short hair that tends to stick out shabbily, then you can tuck the ends under the braid and use hair-colored bobby pins to secure them in place. Finish with a spritz of hairspray to hold the braided hairstyle in place throughout the day.

protip_icon Quick Tip
To add volume to your braided short hair, try backcombing the roots before braiding to create lift. You can also use volumizing products like mousse or dry shampoo to add texture and fullness.

Marissa, a YouTuber, talks about her experience of braiding short hair. She says that after she had cut off 18 inches of her hair, she initially found it difficult to braid her short locks. But she quickly learned how to master the hairstyle. She says, “I part my hair straight down the middle because I want my braids to be symmetrical, so you need to carry this line straight till the back (i).”

With these simple steps, you can confidently braid short hair and create a variety of stylish looks to suit your taste and face shape. Experiment with different braid styles and techniques to discover the perfect look that highlights your unique beauty. Now that you know how to master the basic steps of braiding short hair, it’s time to refine your technique with some essential do’s and don’ts.

Dos And Don’ts Of Braiding Short Hair

A girl getting short hair braid done
Image: IStock

These tips will help you achieve flawless braids while avoiding common pitfalls. Whether you are aiming for a simple everyday look or an intricate style, adhering to these guidelines will ensure your braids are as stylish as they are secure. So let’s check out some essential do’s and don’ts of braiding short hair:


  • Use a rat-tail comb to divide your hair into sections to ensure even distribution and a neater final look.
  • Always tie off the end of your braid with an elastic hair tie to prevent it from unraveling throughout the day.
  • Take your time and braid slowly especially with shorter strands. Rushing can lead to uneven or messy braids.
  • Don’t be afraid to try out different braid styles and techniques to find what works best for your hair length and texture.
  • Add flair to your braids with cute hair accessories like clips, ribbons, or beads to enhance your style.
  • Always use mousse, foam, or hairspray to keep your strands in place and prevent flyaways.


  • Avoid braiding freshly washed hair as it may slip out of the braid more easily.
  • While it’s important to braid tightly enough to secure the style, avoid pulling too tightly as it can cause discomfort and may even lead to breakage.
  • Once braided, don’t neglect your hair. Maintain your braids by gently refreshing them with a spritz of water or a lightweight leave-in conditioner to keep them looking fresh especially if you have frizzy hair.
  • Like any skill, mastering braiding takes practice. Don’t get discouraged by initial difficulties; keep practicing by adding it to your hair routine, and you’ll improve over time.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be well on your way to achieving fabulous braids that suit your short hair perfectly!

Mastering the art of braiding short hair opens up a world of versatile and stylish possibilities. By following the step-by-step techniques outlined in this guide, you can confidently create stunning braids that accentuate your unique beauty. Remember the importance of preparation, patience, and practice, as well as the do’s and don’ts that ensure optimal results. Whether you are opting for simple side braids or daring styles, the key is to embrace experimentation and have fun with your hairstyle. With dedication and creativity, you will soon discover that short hair is not a limitation but a canvas for endless braiding adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I wet my hair before braiding?

Wetting your hair slightly before braiding can help tame flyaways and create a smoother texture, making it easier to work with and resulting in neater braids. However, avoid soaking your hair as excessively wet hair is more prone to damage and may cause the braids to unravel more easily.

Can I use hair extensions for braiding short hair?

Yes, you can use hair extensions to add length and volume to braids for short hair. Opt for clip-in or tape-in extensions that blend seamlessly with your natural hair for a flawless look.

How long does it take to braid short hair?

The time it takes to braid short hair varies depending on the complexity of the style and the braider’s skill level. Simple braids may take around 10-20 minutes, while more intricate styles can take up to 30 minutes or longer.

Key Takeaways

  • While braiding short hair is possible, it’s better to have at least two inches of hair length for optimal results to ensure better grip.
  • Experiment with different types of short hair braids to find the one that best suits your face shape.
  • Follow the step-by-step guide on how to braid short hair and keep practicing to master a classic short braid look.
  • Additionally, adhere to essential do’s and don’ts to maintain healthy hair and achieve stylish results.

Unlock the secrets of braiding short hair with our step-by-step hair tutorial! Watch this insightful video to discover versatile styles to elevate your look, empowering you to create stunning braids that complement your unique beauty effortlessly.

Personal Experience: Source

Was this article helpful?
Manjari Uppal

Manjari Uppal Beauty & Lifestyle Writer

Manjari is a beauty and lifestyle writer with over three years of experience in writing across different niches, including beauty, health, wellness, and technology. She first discovered her passion for writing in school and has since honed her craft to perfection. During her post-graduation at Manipal University, Manjari delved deeper into her writing expertise while researching for her thesis. full bio