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 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.)

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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’s knotty braided updo epitomizes “business in the front, party in the back,” and we’re obsessed.

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

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.

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. 

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

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 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 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. 

Up next, How to Not Ruin Your Hair With Extensions, According to Angelina Jolie’s Stylist