40 Gorgeous Celebrity-Inspired Hairstyles for Medium Length Hair
Thick Bangs and Loose Waves
Volume is the name of the game with this shoulder length hairstyle worn by Jill Winternitz. She doubles down with loose, hearty waves and long, thick bangs. For even more volume, try a volumizing shampoo, such as Frederic Fekkai The Uplifting One Volume Shampoo ($30; ulta.com).
Full Body and Tousled Waves
Deep Side Part
If you love to rock your natural texture, try a deep side part like Yara Shahidi to create unexpected, notice-me volume on one side. You can also add pretty barrettes or bobby pins to keep things unexpected.
Slick, Wet Look
Kristen Bell demonstrates just how chic a wet-look hairstyle can be. To maintain the look long after you’ve showered, use a robust styling gel, such as Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Super Sculpt Gel ($21; ulta.com).
Loose and Casual Chignon
If anyone is the princess (or duchess) of effortless hairstyles, it’s Meghan Markle. This low chignon feels polished but still casual because of the loose, face-framing pieces.
Severe Middle Part
Kendall Jenner’s shoulder length, blunt haircut with a severe middle part is the perfect vehicle for super smooth strands. It also feels very minimalist, making it the perfect accessory to almost any outfit.
Loose All-Over Curl
Kerry Washington’s soft curls start at the root for a full-bodied take on an otherwise blunt haircut. Since the curls are loose, you can still see the very defined chop of her hair, giving the look a modern, sexy vibe.
Our prediction: Emma Watson's short, choppy baby bangs will inspire more than one trip to the salon. She’s not the only celebrity rocking micro fringe, either, which looks especially good paired with medium hair.
Nothing says “cool girl” like effortlessly slicked-back hair a la Paris Jackson. This look is also highly achievable for women with medium or shoulder length hair. Rake a styling gel, such as Kenra Professional Styling Gel 17 ($16; ulta.com), through your hair with your fingers and allow to dry.
Pretty Side Part
Margot Robbie sports a pretty, shoulder length hairstyle that’s easy enough for anyone to recreate with a trusty flat iron. Simply straighten with a slight flip inward on the ends to create definition and then tuck bangs behind the ear.
Face Framing Layers
A layered hairstyle for medium length hair, like Kate Middleton’s, adds body without taking away from length. It's also super flattering and highly versatile, allowing you to play with texture and curl.
We love how naturally curly Nicole Kidman went stick straight with razor-sharp blunt ends. The striking middle part adds even more dimension to this medium length hairstyle.
Shaggy and Undone
If you have medium length fine hair like Alexa Chung, a shaggy cut to the shoulders will give you the body and movement you’re looking for. After washing, apply a finishing cream, such as Ouai Finishing Cream ($24; sephora.com), to damp or dry hair for that done-but-undone look.
Shoulder length hair with loose, cascading curls looks pretty and pulled together. We love the way Chrissy Teigen uses a single curl to frame her face.
Whether you want to accent your natural curls or tame frizz, investing in a calming cream, such as Credo Quiet Calm Curl Control ($29; amazon.com), is key if you've got thick medium length hair like Lorde.
We’re feeling the retro Hollywood vibe of Jessica Biel’s silky, cascading curls that hit at right about the shoulder. She creates movement at the front and ends for the right amount of bounce and classic glamour.
If you want to pair your medium length hair with blunt bangs, aim for light, choppy bangs like Octavia Spencer. The feathered texture works well with a shoulder grazing 'do.
Beachy Textured Side Part
Kiernan Shipka’s textured, shoulder-length hairstyle mimics the texture you’d get after lounging around beachside for a few hours. It’s windswept but still controlled and just laid-back enough. A bit of texturizing spray, such as Amika Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray ($25; sephora.com), which doesn’t include hair-drying salt, will give you that piecey, textured look without actually having to go to the beach.
It's a total scene-stealer: A curled piece of hair makes Olivia Culpo's simple bun the ultimate Bond girl hairstyle.
If you love to rock a middle part, Lily Collins’ loose wave hairstyle is one to try out on yourself. After curling small pieces of hair with a curling wand, run your fingers through your hair with a bit of texturizing paste to channel the same casual, undone look.
If your medium length hair is naturally thick and curly, embrace your natural texture and rock what you’ve got. To get Drew Barrymore’s look, rub in a curl-enhancing balm, like Bumble and Bumble Bb. Curl (Style) Defining Creme ($16; sephora.com), and let air dry.
Janelle Monáe is known for her amazing hairstyles, but we particularly love this one: two low buns that put a whimsical spin on an otherwise classic style. Don’t worry too much about frizz or texture, the more natural movement your hair has the better.
Pulled-out Front Layers
This hairstyle idea for medium length hair feels romantic, feminine, and best of all, effortless. No matter what kind of updo you’re wearing, pull out a few pieces from the front and curl, as seen here on Salma Hayek.
Liu Wen upgrades the classic ponytail with chic, slicked-back strands. The on-purpose, wet hair look takes this post-gym hairstyle to the streets.
Feathery Bangs and Bouncy Curls
The feathered, piecey bangs and barrel curls complement each other without overpowering, which is why Jaime King’s style works so well. We’re getting updated 70s vibes here, so if you recreate this one on your medium length hair, lean into the decade with clothing and accessories.
Felicity Jones' long layers give her medium length hairstyle incredible movement, including a slight flip at the ends.
Easy Low Bun
Charlize Theron doesn’t let her mid-length hair stop her from pulling off a clean, sophisticated updo. A small bun at the base of the neck is just as elegant as a full top bun.
Naomi Watts' cut sits a little bit longer on one side, adding an unexpected edge to a classic long bob. Try soft, tousled waves and a side part to fully recreate this look on medium length hair.
If you’ve got a lot of hair, a high pony is still possible for girls with medium length hair. Secure it and lightly tease it out out for a retro look, like Rihanna’s.
Shoulder-length hair like Olivia Palermo’s looks fresh and pretty worn half up. The style works, whether hair is straight or curly. Just keep volume down at the sides to avoid the dreaded triangle look.
Emma Stone’s medium length waves start right at her cheekbones, drawing attention to her face. Copying the look is simple: start curling halfway down the length of hair, then comb through.
Pulled Back and Curly
Make a hair statement a la Viola Davis with a smooth base that fans out into big, tight curls. This hairstyle works perfectly on medium length hair that’s natural and thick.
Winona Ryder’s hairstyle has a lock on shine, thanks to a one-length cut, middle part, and semi-defined waves.
Messy Top Bun
If you can’t pull all your hair up into a messy bun without it falling out…you're doing something right. Ciara's half-up topknot is a whimsical hybrid of both classic styles.
Deep Side Part and Vintage Curls
Shannon Purser's hair looks vintage-chic thanks to a super deep side part and curls that flip in the same upward direction. This is a great medium length hairstyle option for thin hair, too, since all that hair on one side creates the illusion of twice the volume. A volumizing mousse, such as Drybar Southern Belle Volume-Boosting Mousse ($26; ulta.com), can add even more texture and height.
Quirky Double High Buns
Leave it to singer Billie Eilish to throw care to the wind when it comes to her hair. This double high bun feels more laid-back than your standard festival buns thanks to the asymmetry and disheveled effect.
Super sleek, almost-too-perfect glass hair is ultra-trendy right now, as seen on Lucy Hale. It takes some patience to recreate, but the right tools can help. Use a texturizing paste on flyaways at the part—R+Co Sand Castle Dry Texture Crème ($29; dermstore.com) is a good one—and then go over it with a baby flat iron. Try Kristin Ess Defining + Detailing Mini Flat Iron ($50; target.com).
Low French Side Braid
The low French braid worn by Rita Ora works for all medium length hair types. Dress it up with a glitzy barrette and chandelier earrings at a formal event, keep it casual with a sun hat at the pool, or throw on your favorite romper for some weekend shopping.
60s French Twist
We rarely see Ashley Graham in an updo, so it’s a real treat to see her rock this sideswept French twist straight from the 60s. If you recreate this look at home, try a flexible hairspray to keep everything in place, such as Garnier Fructis Style Flexible Control Hairspray ($2.99; target.com).