There’s plenty to love about short hair: It’s easier to blow dry, it keeps your neck cool in the summer, and it requires less product—which means your dry shampoos and shine sprays last longer. But shoulder length (or shorter) hair can sometimes feel tricky to style, especially when it seems like all the tutorials on YouTube feature vloggers with Rapunzel-esque manes. In reality, all it takes to execute a braided style on short hair is a little bit of know-how. These videos will teach you the techniques you need to create polished braids with your bob-length cut.
A Lob-Friendly Braided Headband
Who needs a hair accessory when you’ve got this braided headband style from Laura of Tinytwisst? To recreate her look, blast your roots with a dry shampoo like Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo to add fullness and grip. Then French braid your hair starting above one ear and working across your head, adding strands as you go. The finished look is the perfect way to keep your hair off your face in sweaty situations, whether it’s at the gym or on your steamy subway commute.
Dutch Braids for Side-Swept Bangs
If you have face-framing layers that you want to pull back, try this Dutch braiding technique from YouTuber Saaammage. The trick is to cross the outside strands under the middle strand (not over it, like you would with a traditional braid). Prep your hair with a texturizer like Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray before braiding to make it easier to work with.
Milkmaid Braids for Short Hair
You don’t need hair that wraps all the way around your head to wear a milkmaid braid. Instead, try this “cheat” from vlogger Megan Joy: Place hair into pigtails and braid each one. Next, cross each braid over the top of your head and secure with bobby pins. Finish with a spritz of PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Flexible Hold Hairspray.
A French-Braided Updo for Chin-Length Crops
Braids are the perfect choice for a short hair updo, since they help keep rogue pieces from poking out. Wear this French braided style from Nicole of Beauty by Alyssa and Nicole, which combines two plaited pigtails to give the illusion of length, to an outdoor wedding or for a day at beach and you won’t have to worry about your hair blowing around in the breeze.
A Crown Braid for Short, Natural Styles
Create a dutch crown braid on short, tightly coiled hair with this tutorial from vlogger Joyce Luck. To make your hair more manageable, prep freshly washed curls with a leave-in conditioner or a hair oil—we like Beauty Protector’s Protect & Oil, which has nourishing argan oil as its star ingredient. Apply a gel, such as Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel, at the roots to control flyaways, and detangle hair with a comb as you braid to keep the style looking neat. When you’re finished braiding, use a toothbrush to clean up the baby hairs along your hairline for a polished look.