Short hair can seem like a one-hit-wonder, but with a little imagination, there are many ways to style short hair, particularly when it comes to protective styling. Depending on your hair's length, you can try looks without any additional extensions or try shoulder-length styles that can last up to six weeks.
Even if you're opting for a short length protective style, you want to think about your hair type, hair concerns, and hair goals before seeing a stylist or working on your hair at home. For example, if your hair is fine or your edges are tender, you'll want to discuss with your stylist what options will ensure you come out of your protective style with healthy hair. With this in mind, we searched the net for short styles that can be done at home or ideas you can take to your next hair appointment. We found everything from cropped Bantu knots to blue Ombré twists. Keep scrolling for 20 short protective styles that we hope inspire your next styling session.
Twist-outs are among the most popular protective styles, not to mention the most versatile. To keep your twists hydrated, try the LOC (leave-in, oil, cream) or LCO (leave-in, cream, oil) method to lock in the good stuff from your products.
I love a Bantu knot, and Whitney's cropped knots show off her beautiful face while protecting her coils. Bantu knots can act as a simple way to create waves in the hair, so to keep your options open, use a lightweight gel, like Dove's Amplified Textures Shine & Moisture Finishing Gel ($7) for a soft, flexible hold.
Ombré Mini Twists
Hair color wax is one of our favorite products because you can try bright colors without damaging your hair. Since hair color wax rinses out easily, if you grow tired of your blue hair, you can rinse it away without taking out your twists.
Short Jumbo Braids
These large plaits offer up a great way to protect and stretch your coils at the same time. If you’re concerned about unraveling ends, try adding poly-bands to your ends. These are a better choice than traditional rubber bands since they won’t snag the hair and cause breakage.
Gold Embellished Twists
Gold adorned mini twists are a stylish way to minimize manipulation that can cause breakage. If you find your ends getting dry, wet the ends and apply a little olive oil.
Cropped Bantu Knots
If you have a cropped natural cut, these mini Bantus are a great way to switch things up. You'll need a good pomade to keep those edges in place. I enjoy using Oyin's Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade ($14) as edge control because it keeps my 4c hair in place, and is made with a mix of hydrating butters and candelilla wax.