You Can Totally Cop Khaleesi Braids with Shorter Hair

Hey, we all need practical and majestic hairstyles to overthrow Westeros.
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Publish date:
April 12, 2016
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braids, How-To, tutorial, Game of Thrones, Khaleesi

Never have braids been more challenge-inducing than when Emilia Clarke had to go around wearing the most glorious wigs in all of Westeros as Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons and khaleesi of silver-white hair.

I get it — princesses and queens have long hair and also braids sometimes. But for those of us whose princess hair is more like a post-chop Rapunzel, this bob doesn't really scream "majestic."

It's not totally impossible to create a Khaleesi-inspired braids look if you have short hair. For this medium-level braiding confection you mostly just have to know how to do a dutch braid, which is actually really easy if you know how to do a regular braid. Instead of passing hair sections over each other, pass them under. So simple! Kind of!

Let me break it down.

It helps to have your hair separated into four quadrants: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right — with a center part. If you're one of those pros who can just grab exactly the amount of hair you need, mentally sectioning as you go, bravo!

Start braiding beginning from the very front and work your way back, dutch-braiding your hair, collecting and including small sections of hair into the braid as you go back so that the section is fully braided. Secure that with a baby elastic or whatever you use to temporarily secure braids.

Now repeat on the other side.

And now you'll see why those ends were secured temporarily.

Take those two braided top sections and combine them down the back. What I do when combining braids is just undo the parts that will be combined and then separate them into the three pieces to be braided together again. Secure that braid, too.

Now onto the bottom sections.

These are a bit easier since you don't really have to worry about grabbing any loose hairs from the other sections, but it can get tricky towards the end because the short hairs near the nape of my neck do not ever wish to be included into any hairstyles. They just want to be left alone to hang out, covering the back of my neck. For this purpose, I'll allow it because it's going to get combined cumulatively later on.

Repeat for your last quadrant and secure that braid as well. For the final lasso, I used those long alligator hair clips to secure both rows of braids on each side where they are, so they don't get too loose in the process of messing with them once more — something that always happens to me when there are too many pots on the boiler (aka braids on my head to be braided together).

So you're basically just combining as much of the braid tails together into one mega braid in the back and then securing it with whatever your choice of hair-tie is.


As you can see, things got a bit messy, but honestly I'm fine with it because I'm mostly just astonished that my brittle, stubborn hair deigned to be coaxed into this braided tangle.

Personally, I think messy braids are more "romantic" anyway (and neat braids give me migraines because they need to be kept so tight), so yay for me, but if you're a Type A with hairstyling, I really hope you have way more patience than me as well as upper arm endurance.

Also, little tail of hair sticking out at the end — you won this round.

The best part about this style, other than it looking like a badass interpretation of a braid crown (almost like dragon eye ridges?), is that it keeps my hair out of my face and secures it to my head for the whole day. Plus, if you sleep in them, you wake up with really nice waves — dare I say, princess-like waves.

What else do you do with just-above-the-shoulder-hair anyway, if it isn't left just "down" or maybe pulled back in a tiny ponytail or tinier bun?