Medium length haircuts are one of the most popular options for women who want a versatile and feminine look. Also known as shoulder length, a medium hairstyle generally features a cut between the chin and a few inches beyond the collarbone, offering a flattering and low-maintenance look. These shoulder length haircuts can be paired with different hair types and textures to create beautiful styles.
If you’re struggling with your hair, there are several great medium length styles. Some women will want a medium short haircut like a bob or beachy waves for a sexy vibe, while others may prefer a medium long style like a layered cut or shag with bangs for a fashionable finish.
With so many different medium haircut styles, it can be a challenge choosing the perfect length and cut.
To inspire you, we’ve compiled examples of the best medium-length hairstyles. From cute layered styles to edgy cuts, explore these shoulder length haircuts for women to find trendy styles.
Medium Length Haircuts
As one of the most popular medium length haircuts, long layers can offer instant volume and movement to your style. Longer layered hairstyles are beautiful and stylish looks that will complement your facial features and hair type. Perfect for thick hair that can appear heavy without shaping, light layering may offer a feathered look for a feminine and alluring touch. This style flatters most women and can be altered to match your specific face shape. Those with round faces should choose layers that lightly graze the chin to elongate the face, while women with square faces can use graduated layers to soften their features. To draw attention to your stunning layers, add natural highlights and ask for razor-cut layering to further boost texture.
Short layers are ideal for women who want to add impressive volume to their hair. Typically cut with little space between each layer, this style looks immediately lifted at the crown and gives mid-length hair a striking look. This medium-length haircut is easy to style and can be left loose and wavy for a bohemian vibe or worn poker straight for upscale events. Because of how short layers are cut, they naturally flick out at the ends. This lends the hairstyle a retro ‘70s look. Before taking the plunge, be aware that short layers are difficult to wear up as they don’t usually pull back without strands coming loose. To keep this style comfortable during the summer, pin your hair back with cute clips.
The asymmetric cut is a cute medium hairstyle that can be characterized by one side of the hair being longer than the other to create an edgy look. Asymmetric styles look chic and contemporary on medium-length hair and create a trendy look with minimal effort. Women can stick with a simple hairstyle with bangs or choose a flowing lob that looks incredible on textured hair. To make the most of your cut’s striking asymmetry, rock your locks in a sleek, straight style and ask for a blunt cut.
Long Front Short Back
A long front short back haircut is a trendy medium length style for women who want to create a bold and feminine look. Also known as an A-line cut, this gorgeous hairstyle uses face-framing layers at the front to create gorgeous dimension and movement. To achieve this trendy look, ask your stylist to keep front sections to collarbone length and back sections at the nape to give your locks a defined and angular silhouette. For more impact, don’t be afraid to pair this cut with a full and blunt bang.
Braids are a popular hairstyle for women with long locks who want a youthful and casual shoulder-length style. Unlike traditional braids which start from the nape, this mid-length style starts at the hairline for a timeless and low-maintenance look. Ideal for active women who still want to look cute, French braids can be worn sleek and tight against the head or loose messy and for a chic everyday style.
Half Up Half Down
A half up half down style looks classically elegant on most hair lengths and can be styled in several different ways depending on your taste. The mid-length half up half down look adds volume to the crown and can effortlessly balance strong features thanks to its softer appearance. This hairstyle can be worn with a half ponytail to disguise greasy locks or in a loose and tousled twist for a romantic appearance. Able to look both playful and sleek, this timeless style remains a versatile choice for daily wear.
A mid-length bob makes use of volume and layering to create a lifted cut that always looks full and dimensional. To achieve this medium-length hairstyle, ask your hairdresser for textured layers that give the illusion of movement and thickness. Keeping layers long offers more styling options, but short layers are effortlessly sexy and remove the bluntness that is often associated with bob styles. You can style your cut with a sultry side part or incorporate a full bang for a distinctive ‘60s feel.
Curtain bangs are a trendy and wearable style that will flatter any face shape and texture. Perfectly complementing medium-length hair, curtain bangs can be worn in a striking side part, a wispy style or subtly blended into the surrounding hair for a low-maintenance look. Wearing these bangs with straight hair looks slick and precise, while curly hair types can use their bangs to achieve a beachy, boho vibe. For a casual appearance that’s perfect for the summer months, wear your hair in a loose ponytail and let your bangs take center stage.
The slick back is a sleek and flattering hairstyle that always looks fresh. When sporting the slick back on medium-length hair, keep things sharp and upscale with a wet-look finish. To achieve this, use plenty of gel and a fine-toothed comb to scrape the hair back. Alternatively, choose a loose and lifted slick back that can be achieved using a blow dryer, hairspray, and round brush. Wearing your hair slicked back will draw attention to your features and is ideal for showing off a sharp jawline and cheekbones. To switch things up, wear your hair in a side part and tousle gel through the hair for a slightly grungier appearance.
A side part never fails to look stunning and remains one of the most versatile hairstyles for women. The medium-length side part can easily be adapted to suit your face shape, with deep parts and subtle sweeps being equally popular. This cut pairs equally well with long layers for a casual, wearable look and classic curls for a vintage appearance. To enhance your side part, consider adding subtle highlights to frame your face and define your features.
A ponytail is a simple and effective hairstyle that is easy to pull off. Looking charming and youthful on mid-length hair, the ponytail can be worn high or low on the head to achieve different looks. A loose and low style is effortlessly chic while a sleek high ponytail is ideal for high-profile events or days at the office. You can rock this classic style in a sleek slick back or incorporate bangs for a more relaxed aesthetic. Be careful not to pull your hair back tightly regularly though, as this may lead to hair loss or damage.
The shag haircut is characterized by messy layers and was extremely popular back in the ‘70s. Now making a triumphant comeback, the modern shag cut is a low-maintenance and textured style that looks amazing on medium-length hair. This style is often worn by women with thick hair, as it offers impressive volume while removing excess weight from the strands. To prevent your hair from looking too uniform, keep layers choppy and work subtle highlights through the length for more dimension.
Medium Length Hair with Bangs
Medium-length hair looks incredible with bangs as they draw your look together and help frame the face. Depending on your taste and lifestyle, you can choose anything from a soft side-swept bang for a romantic look, to a full fringe for a blunt and streamlined appearance. Women with fine hair may want to discuss wispy bangs with their stylist. This lightweight bang should give hair dimension without drawing attention to thin strands. Suiting hair textures from pin-straight to curly, it’s unsurprising that bangs are one of the most popular additions for women with mid-length hair.
A blunt cut isn’t for everyone, but this unlayered and precise style is a wonderful choice for straight-haired women. This medium-length cut can easily be customized to suit your face shape. The straight and slim structure of the blunt cut creates the illusion of angles on round faces and emphasizes chiseled features on square faces for an alluring appearance. Easy to style and grow out, this low-maintenance cut is ideal for everything from weekend brunches to upscale events.
The mullet was the style of choice back in the ‘80s and features mid-length hair at the back paired with a short crop at the top and sides. Designed to be daring, this haircut is ideal for women who love to draw attention to their fashion choices. The modern mullet is more subtle than the original style, incorporating soft layers and shaggy cuts for a casual feel. The cut you choose will depend on your face shape and you can easily add bangs or a sweeping side part to give more edge to your appearance. Suitable for all hair textures, this style can be worn by rebellious women of all ages.
The blowout is one of the most popular medium length hairstyles for women who want intense volume and body. This style can be achieved by blow-drying damp hair with a round brush to give your hair lift and texture. Although you can blow your hair straight, adding a subtle wave to the locks will give them a glamorous appearance with little effort. For even more fullness at the roots, affix jumbo Velcro rollers to the hair after blowing each section to draw it away from the head for an all-day lift.
Shoulder Length Balayage
A shoulder-length balayage can revitalize tired locks, giving them instant depth and vibrancy. Unlike typical highlights, a balayage on medium hair requires color to be painted onto sections of the hair. The gradient effect is more pronounced at the ends, resulting in an ombre effect that starts at the roots. Balayage works best on brunette hair and women can choose subtle honey tones or more intense blonde shades for a more dramatic gradient effect. The result will be a bohemian, sun-kissed look that flatters most hair textures.
An angled haircut is characterized by a sloping angle that graduates from the back to the front for an eye-catching and contemporary style. Medium hair looks particularly good with this cut, as it instantly adds shape and definition where it’s needed most. Thick hair types can remove some weight from the back with this cut, while women with fine hair can pair their style with choppy layers for a slightly disconnected and modern finish. For something more rebellious, ask your stylist to work in a subtle undercut that becomes visible when you sport an updo.
Shoulder Length Hair with Highlights
Shoulder-length hair with highlights can look striking, as the contrast adds dimension and depth to your locks. Highlights are typically lower-maintenance than a full dye job, but they can freshen up your look without your hair incurring as much damage. Before diving in, ask your hairdresser about the right hues for your skin tone. Blondes can add vibrancy to their shoulder-length hair with honey highlights while brunettes should stick with caramel or chocolate tones to warm and brighten their features.
A middle part is a highly symmetrical style that offers women with oval or diamond faces a practical, eye-catching, and elongated look. The medium-length middle part is versatile and can be worn with curtain bangs to add depth and dimension to an otherwise uniform style. Although this part can be beneficial for women with thinning hair, it can be difficult to pull off as it draws attention to any asymmetry you may have on your face. If you’re worried about this, stick with a sweeping side part to balance your features.
An A-line haircut is defined by a short back and long front, offering women an edgy, alternative style that looks fresh and flattering. This angular cut is an excellent choice for women who want to make their hair look longer, as the contrast created draws the eye downward for the illusion of length. You can ask your stylist for choppy layers for a shaggy appearance or keep the cut relatively uniform for a sleek look. However you choose to rock this cut, the A-line is a flattering mid-length hairstyle that promises to make a statement.
Space buns are extremely cute and have gained plenty of traction with young women in recent years. The space bun style features two buns worn on both sides of the head and is beautiful on medium-length hair of any texture. This ‘90s style can be rocked half up half down for a casual look or slicked back tightly with a middle part for a dramatic appearance. To better frame your face, leave wispy strands out of the buns for a hippie vibe. Alternatively, wear your hair in a side part for a soft and romantic feel that looks extremely attractive on any face shape.
The crown braid may look complex, but this soft and romantic style is surprisingly easy to achieve. Women with mid-length hair can rock a crown braid by separating the hair into two parts and creating a French plait along either side of the head. The two braids can then be wrapped around the head and pinned up for a wedding-worthy look. This gorgeous hairstyle works equally well on straight and textured hair types. To soften the look further, leave loose tendrils out of the braids and skip the hairspray for an undone but chic appearance.
Straight Medium Hair
Straight hair always looks alluring and can be easier to work with than textured hair types. Although long locks may be more popular with this hair texture, straight medium-length haircuts can be an excellent compromise between aesthetics and manageability. To breathe life into your strands, experiment with short and choppy layers to add dimension and lift. For effortless elegance, style your straight hair with sweeping curtain bangs or a side part before finishing your look with a voluminous blow-dry. To make a bolder statement, rock a blunt full fringe with an angular cut.
Curly Medium Hair
Curly hair ranges from loose waves to tight coils and gives women irresistible organic volume to work with. While medium-length curly hair may be tougher to work with than super-short styles, it offers plenty of versatility when cared for correctly. Soft layers can be used to soften and round your curls, generating impressive volume at the roots that will boost your natural texture. To channel old-fashioned Hollywood glamour, pin your natural curls into an updo with bobby pins or let a few tendrils loose for a more casual feel. Regardless of how you choose to style your curly hair, it’s wise to invest in high-quality curl-defining products and hydrating serums to control unsightly frizz.
Wavy Medium Hair
Wavy hair has inherent sex appeal, and the subtle texture makes it more versatile than straight or curly locks. Mid-length wavy hair strikes the perfect balance between practical and attractive. The shorter length makes it more manageable than long hair but offers more styling options than a pixie cut or typical bob. Able to be worn loose for beachy vibes or pinned back in a low bun for formal occasions, wavy hair gives you plenty to work with. If you aren’t blessed with natural waves, you can achieve them with a wide-barrel wand or flat iron.
Thin Medium Hair
Thin hair can be difficult to work with but can be completely transformed with the addition of layers and blunt ends. The combination of these techniques on mid-length thin hair will create the illusion of thickness. This can be further boosted with strategic highlights or a stylish balayage. To avoid drawing too much attention to thin ends, opt for a long bob or shag hairstyle.
Blonde Medium Length Hair
Blonde hair looks naturally sexy, and this vibrant color can inject life into dull strands. There are many options available to women with medium-length blonde hair, and you can add highlights to further lift your style. Women with straight locks can take advantage of their hair texture by experimenting with an angled lob or blunt cut. Alternatively, they can showcase curly or wavy hair by rocking a shaggy or messy cut. It’s important to keep on top of maintenance when it comes to blonde hair. Unsightly roots and regular hair damage can come through quickly if not taken care of. Therefore, it’s best to organize regular trips to a stylist to tackle issues before they arise.
Brown Medium Length Hair
Brown hair always looks classic and can be easily dialed up with highlights, layers or an elegant balayage. Depending on your personality, you can style medium-length brown hair with everything from angular lobs to flowing waves. This hue usually shows less damage than lighter colors, as it allows less light to bounce off it. As a result, you can experiment with more radical styles without worrying about glaring heat damage or breakage.
Wispy bangs offer a delicate alternative to blunt bangs and are more relaxed than traditional styles. When paired with medium-length hair, wispy bangs offer a sexy tousled look that’s perfect for young women. From a practical perspective, feathered bangs can also disguise a long forehead and give balance to your features with little effort.
Goddess braids are designed to protect delicate black hair and can be styled in several ways to suit different occasions. Medium-length goddess braids are versatile and are easier to care for and wear in an updo. As you won’t be working with your natural hair, work with a stylist to achieve the thickness and length that works best for you. Regardless of how you choose to wear your goddess braids, they will prevent moisture loss and significantly reduce styling time.
Ombre hair is characterized by its graduated dye effect that starts at the roots and gets progressively lighter towards the ends. Medium-length ombre hair looks striking and on-trend thanks to the seamlessly blended finish, making it a stylish and popular hairstyle for women. Brunette women can take advantage of their natural hue and create an impressive contrast with dark roots and blonde ends. To make a larger statement, channel your fiery side with a dramatic red or purple ombre.
Messy Medium Length Style
Messy hair can make any woman look playfully disheveled, but it takes a bit of styling to get right. To achieve the perfect messy mid-length haircut, ask your stylist for choppy layers to create plenty of texture. You’ll then want to create a natural lift with a blow dryer before tousling your locks with a light-hold gel. For even more texture, opt for a modern shag cut with voluminous curtain bangs.
Shaved sides can often look extreme, but they’re ideal for edgy trendsetters who want an eye-catching style that helps them stand out from the crowd. To get shaved sides on medium hair, shave hair close to the skin on one side and fashion a deep side part on the other. This will create a striking contrast that looks dramatic but remains versatile. If you’re willing to go one step further, shave both sides to create a punkish and fashionable mohawk that will have all eyes on you.
Waterfall braids are easy to achieve and can be adorned with flowers or clips for a cute and feminine touch. To achieve this trendy style, simply section your mid-length hair and cross the sections over in a half-French braid pattern. The result will be a highly wearable and dreamy look that’s ideal for special events.
Viking braids are a bold and rebellious hairstyle that is guaranteed to turn heads. Typical medium-length Viking braids feature two braids on the side of the head with a central French braid that cascades down the nape. To make this style your own, incorporate a dramatic side part or partial shave for an even more daring appearance. The beauty of medium-length hair lies in its adaptability, so don’t be afraid to experiment with tight braids, curls, and everything in between.