When it comes to elaborate updos, those with above-the-shoulder strands seem to have gotten the short end of the stick (literally). While their Rapunzel-esque counterparts can twist, bun, braid, and pin to their heart's content, short-haired girls face a much smaller pool of options. After all, how much can you really do when you're working with the length of, say, a Lucy Hale–inspired chop?
For all our short-haired or above-the-shoulder sisters out there, know this: You, too, can partake in the updo game. While pixie-length hair is a bit tough to gather for an updo (we've still included quite a few for you, don't worry!), we've searched high and low for bob-to-shoulder-length updos that won't consume your entire morning. So grab some bobby pins ($4), a scarf, and some hair ties, and get ready to transform your hair.
Keep scrolling for 44 cool bun, braid, and pinned-up ideas for short hair!
Messy Braided Bun
This style works best on shoulder-length hair, but those with shorter strands can re-create this by simply using more bobby pins. Here's the full tutorial!
Bantu knots are a super easy protective hairstyle for natural hair. Bonus: it looks very cool as an everyday style or for a special event. Check out this tutorial.
All Tied Up
Why not add some retro flair to your look with a sleek silk scarf and major volume? Plus, the scarf hides all your bobby pins, so feel free to pin with abandon. See the full instructions here.
Half roll, half braid, this might just be your new everyday hairstyle. Click over here for the instructions!
When all else fails, rock a cool-girl half-bun—so simple, yet so effective.
Loop your ponytail, and then twist it into a messy chignon. Your secret weapon: a braid and ponytail maker ($5).
Remember Anne Hathaway's pixie? This simple 'do with rolled-back sections and a gold starry clip proves that, yes, even pixies can be pinned up.
A simple way to add a bit more dimension to short, natural texture is to braid the sides, creating a chic fauxhawk.
Endless French Braid
The beauty of short hair? Among other things, we like that it has the ability to disappear—tucked out of sight—at the end of a french braid.
The short-haired girl's version of a chignon, this messy, yet polished 'do can be dressed up or down (tousled side fringe is encouraged).
Sporty Space Buns
Two high-placed buns can easily go straight from the gym to the office or to drinks with friends (just remember to freshen up first!). All you need are two hair elastics and a few bobby pins to secure the buns in place. For a full breakdown, check out this tutorial.
In this instance, knots in your hair are totally welcome. Split your mane up into three segments, twist each section, and knot each before pinning. Take a look at the full tutorial here.
High Bun With a Headscarf
For something low-maintenance and chic, pull your hair back into a high bun or pony, and keep the stray hairs in place with a colorful headscarf. No muss, no fuss.
Pixie Cut With a Ribbon
Pixies have fun, too. A ribbon or a headband can give this edgy cut an unexpected touch.
Half Space Buns
Rock the space buns just on the top half of your hair. Loose face-framing bangs are a gorgeous touch.
Pixie Braided Topknot
She's just being Miley—and showing that anything is possible with short hair. This braided topknot looks pretty eccentric, yes, but if you love getting a little funky with your hair, then this style's for you.
Dutch Crown Braid
Hairstylist extraordinaire Jenny Cho does a crown braid on a cropped cut like no other.
Textured Pixie With a Metallic Headband
For another take on the pixie cut with a headband, look to Janelle Monae's iconic look for inspiration. A metallic headband gives her soft curls a little edge. We're getting major princess vibes here.
Side Dutch Braids on a Pixie
Side braids are totally possible on cuts as short as the pixie. This Dutch braid adds even more flair to an already edgy haircut.
Side French Braid With Volume on Top
An updo with high volume on top is complemented by the unexpected detail of a side French braid to give the illusion of an undercut.
An undercut with a topknot is an unconventional and eye-catching look.
A wavy S-shaped pompadour turns a long pixie cut into brand new look.
When in doubt, curls are always elegant. Pin them in place to give them structure and hold.
Textured Side Dutch Braid
A loose Dutch braid on the side paired with textured hair is fun and flirty.
Half-Up Stacked Twists
A textured half-up hairstyle is elevated with stacked twists.
Laced-Up Dutch-Style Braid
Here's a half-up style that features a Dutch-style braid with hair lacing up two sections. It's unexpected, yet very simple.
Stacked Side Dutch Braids
Breathe new life into a bob with two Dutch braids on one side, plus a deep side-part.
Cropped Cut With Double French Braids
Super-short hair with double French braids is a striking look. To add some grit and hold, work in a texturizer like Bumble and Bumble Bb Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme ($31) before you start.
Half Up With a Bow
The legendary Jen Atkin said it best: "When in doubt, put a bow on it." This style comes courtesy of hairstylist Irinel de León.
A pair of stacked messy chignons is a no-fuss hairstyle that translates well for special events.
Short Finger Waves
A pixie cut with finger waves is the ultimate throwback to 1920s glamour.
Bob With Finger Waves
Finger waves are just as classic on a bob. Tuck the hair undearneath in the back for a boost in volume.
Low Ponytail With a Side-Part
This simple and sophisticated low ponytail with a side-part is flawless. Use Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Hair Oil ($40) to keep it sleek.
Short Ponytail With Fringe
A short, low ponytail with blunt bangs has a modern look and feel.
Tight, Sleek Ponytail
For an ultra-sleek look, slick hair back into a tight ponytail at the middle of the back of the head.
Classic cornrows are perfect for short lengths; not to mention, the wearable look serves as a protective style for natural hair.
Cornrows With Loose Tendrils
Here's another cool take on cornrows: loose tendrils at the back and sides, and baby hairs combed down at the hairline.
Kinky Front Topknot
If you have naturally kinky hair, this front topknot is a fresh, fun look. The braid is an unexpected detail.
Mini-braids going across the head look effortlessly cool.
Double Dutch Braids With Fringe
Side-swept bangs give these double Dutch braids a modern look. Pin the hair at the nape of the neck to keep the style neat.
Pixie Cut With a Crown Braid
Crown braids aren't just for long hair. Here's how to rock one with a pixie cut.
When your hair is at a transitional length, have some fun by experimenting with knots using funky colored hair ties.
Half-Up Topknot With Fringe
This bob with a half-up topknot and a thick fringe is super hip.
A mussed-up topnot with loose tendrils is our go-to everyday look.