The 21 Chicest Braided Hairstyles of All Time, According to Short-Haired Celebs

Whenever we find ourselves in the midst of a hairstyling rut (which, to be honest, is pretty much always), braids never fail to save the day. Alongside ponytails and buns, braided hairstyles are an effortless and strategic way to add some flair and zing sans tons of extra styling products or hot tools. (They're also a fabulously sneaky antidote for camouflaging roots or bangs as they're growing out.)

There are plenty of chic braided hairstyles well suited for every hair type, texture, and length, but today, we're zeroing in on 21 options that look especially cool on short hair. Since celebrities are constantly switching up their hair vibe—whether it's for a new role, concert tour, or just because—we're looking to their chameleon-like tendencies to inspire our next braided look. From Zoë Kravitz's tied-back cornrows to Constance Wu's tendril-sprinkled crown braid, we have all the braided hairstyles to accentuate a variety of short hair lengths just below. Keep scrolling! 

Amandla Stenberg

Photo:

Getty Images

Amandla Stenberg is the unofficial official queen of braided hairstyles. (Even a brief Google search will quickly prove there really isn't a look she hasn't tried.) Currently, we can't get enough of her platinum-blonde box braids cut to shoulder length. (Bonus points if you channel that prismatic sapphire eye, too.)

Danai Gurira

Photo:

Getty Images

Why stop at just one style of braid? Here, Danai Gurira marries cornrow braids and box braids—a brilliant way to accentuate her chic chin-length bob.

Lupita Nyong'o

Photo:

Getty Images

Braided hairstyles don't have to be complicated or time-consuming, and this low-maintenance, pulled-back style à la Lupita Nyong'o proves it. 

Yara Shahidi

Photo:

Getty Images

If anyone can convince us to try sky-high space buns, it's Yara Shahidi. We love the actress's take featuring braided buns and pristinely laid baby hairs.

FKA Twigs

Photo:

Getty Images

A handful of small polyband elastics and a side dose of hair gel are all it takes to try FKA Twigs's collarbone-grazing braided hairstyle.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Photo:

Getty Images

How copyable is Jada Pinkett Smith's bleached micro-braids look piled on top of her head? It's the perfect braided style to show off her super-cool side shave.

Sienna Miller

Photo:

Getty Images

An oldie but a goodie, we still reminisce about Sienna Miller's adorable braided style she debuted at Cannes back in 2015. 

Kristen Stewart

Photo:

Getty Images

Here's another option for you: Opt for one braid straight along your part instead of two on either side.

Zoë Kravitz

Photo:

Getty Images

If you're sporting cornrow braids like Kravitz, pulling them back into a chic low knot is an easy styling variation.

Margot Robbie

Photo:

Getty Images

Margot Robbie definitely falls on the longer end of our short-hair spectrum, and we love how elegant and simple this sprinkled-in braid look is. No elastics needed—just spritz strands with strong-hold hair spray to keep the look locked in.

Constance Wu

Photo:

Getty Images

Wu just made the beloved crown braid that much cooler—her wispy tendrils add a super-fresh update. 

Issa Rae

Photo:

Getty Images

How do you take a braided half-up hairstyle even further? Add an extra-subtle accent via micro-braided tendrils like Issa Rae.

Halle Berry

Photo:

Getty Images

Halle Berry's knotty braided updo epitomizes "business in the front, party in the back," and we're obsessed.

Kerry Washington

Photo:

Getty Images

We don't usually see fringe (or a half-up style!) paired with a milkmaid braid, but this throwback à la Kerry Washington makes a super-chic case for the combination.

Ruby Rose

Photo:

Getty Images

Ruby Rose is one of our favorite short-hair muses, and while this braided look is relatively demure for the actress, we're smitten nonetheless. 

Lucy Hale

Photo:

Getty Images

Smooth, sleek, and everything we want in an unexpected braided hairstyle, we love the way Lucy Hale's single, middle-part braid gives an almost mohawk vibe to your standard slicked-back ponytail.

Diane Kruger

Photo:

Getty Images

Pigtails are a huge trend for 2021, so we're revisiting Diane Kruger's cool, braided pigtail buns for yet another short-hair styling option. 

Kate Mara

Photo:

Getty Images

Here, Kate Mara accentuates her deep, glamorous side part with Old Hollywood waves on one side and a perfectly placed braid on the other. 

Kate Hudson

Photo:

Getty Images

Looking for something sophisticated, easy, and simple? Kate Hudson's classic French braid is an effortless alternative to your go-to pony or bun. And yes, we definitely recommend adorning it with a velvet bow or ribbon.

Miley Cyrus

Photo:

Getty Images

Miley Cyrus has no fear when it comes to dramatic plot twists in regard to her hair, and we're very much into the juxtaposition between her side braids and mohawk-inspired style.

Julianne Hough

Photo:

Getty Images

Julianne Hough wore some brilliant styles while growing out her pixie a few years back, and this pretty pin-heavy side braid circa 2014 has to be one of our all-time favorite moments. 

Shop the Key Styling Tools and Accessories

Related Stories