Braids offer a number of diverse hair styles for African-American women. Whether choosing a hairstyle for vacation or everyday activities, braids provide low-maintenance versatility.
Though African-American women who wear shorter braids may have less style options than those with longer lengths, there are still a number of braided short hairstyles that are beautiful and easy to maintain.
If you have added synthetic or human hair or simply use your natural hair to create your short braids, curls add style and body to any braid type.
Create romantic spiral curls by rolling the ends of the hair toward the middle of the braid on a plastic hair roller and dipping the hair into hot water for 10 seconds. Be careful not to burn yourself by immediately catching your braids with a thick, cotton towel upon removal from the water.
After the hair cools, remove the curlers for beautiful spiral curls that can be worn down or in a ponytail. (See ref 1)
Many women add hair to create longer cornrow styles. However, women who enjoy the look of cornrows, but wish to maintain a short hairstyle can opt to simply cornrow only the front half of their hair, while leaving the remaining hair straight or curly.
Depending on the shape of your face, you may want to consider the direction in which your hair should be braided (i.e. straight back or with a part). You may also ask your stylist to braid your hair in a specific design to add flare to your 'do. (See Ref 2)
Twists are a popular alternative for women who seek to maintain a natural hair style and can be achieved with your own hair or natural-textured synthetic hair.
A variation of the traditional braid, twists require using only two strands of hair to braid the hair, instead of three. Once complete, you can wear your twists in a variety of styles for a beautiful night or day look.
Many women also enjoy wearing twists, as they create a natural curl pattern once undone. (See Ref 3)
Women who wear braids using added human hair may want to consider partial braids, which can be worn with short or long hair. Stylists generally create this look using very small braids, known as micro-braids. The micro-braids are braided halfway, while the rest of the braid remains loose and flowing. This look is both pretty and low-maintenance for shorter hairstyles. (See Ref 4)