f you have short hair, you’ve probably felt like you can’t play in the braid pool like your longer-haired friends—which, BTW, is 100 percent incorrect. There’s really no need to feel limited in the style department, since there are tons of gorgeous options for every length and texture.
If you’ve unsuccessfully tried braiding in the past, trust: It’s possible. You just need a little help, first, by way of a thickening mousse or a dry shampoo—both of which leave hair with a bit of grit needed to hold a braid. For even better results, do your braids on day two (or three) hair for an extra bit of natural texture. Got it? Good.
Below, five short-hair-approved braids for your next big date night, wedding reception, or just because. Happy testing.
For Straight Hair: Braided Headband
I won’t lie, this isn’t the easiest style if you’re a newb—but the final result is worth a bit of trial and error. The only tools you need for this one are a rat-tail comb, hair clampsand a little dry shampoo for added texture. Oh, and some patience.
For Thick Hair: Side Braids
While this vlogger’s hair isn’t super short, her method for side braids is a great solve for thicker, shorter textures. The side braid still allows you to get in on the trend without worrying about dealing with, you know, all of your hair.
For Wavy Hair: Fishtail Braid
Try this look when you want to extend the life of a wavy bob, or hide greasy roots, or honestly, when you’re feeling lazy. Rake a small dab of texture cream or paste to the section you’re about to braid for extra hold, then rake through the rest of your hair for a sexy, piece-y effect.
For Curly Hair: French Braids
The best things about braids on curly hair is that they actually help stretch and elongate individual coils. To really “lock” in the braid, try styling it fresh out the shower on damp hair, massaging a dab of edge control gel along your edges to make sure they stay smooth while styling.
For Tightly Coiled Hair: Remixed Cornrows
If this style looks familiar, it’s probably because it is: Issa Rae has rocked a similar braided look on her hit HBO show, Insecure, and it’s consistently gorgeous. Protective styles, especially cornrows, are a savior for curls, kinks, and coils, since they help lock in moisture.