When it comes to haircut length, shoulder-length locks will always be a sweet spot. Not too short to rule out ponytails or updos, yet not so long that you’re feeling weighed down; shoulder-length strands are pretty much the best of both worlds. And if you think having medium-length hair is basic, think again! Rather, there are endless options when it comes to shoulder-length hairstyles and haircuts. Here, we’re sharing 42 shoulder-length styles that you’re sure to love.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #1: HALF-UP HALF-DOWN BUN
Can’t decide whether you want to wear your hair up or down? Well, you don’t have to! Rock a half-up, half-down bun instead.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #2: SLEEK TOPKNOT
Will the topknot ever go out of style? We think not—and the best part of this hairstyle is how easy it is to create. Want to up your top knot technique? Here’s How to Do the Perfect Top Knot.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #3: SLEEK PONYTAIL
Another chic hairstyle is the forever classic sleek ponytail. In addition to being easy to master on your own, it’s also versatile: Wear it high or low, with or without a hair part. For a super sleek finish, apply the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Clean Style Gel onto your strands before fastening them up into the ponytail. Then, toss on a trendy scrunchie or accessorize with statement hair clips for a fun, updated take on this timeless look. For a full tutorial, check out our article How to Create a Sleek Ponytail.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #4: HALF-UP BRAIDED TOP KNOT
A mix of three of our favorite hairstyles—the half-up look, braids, and the top knot—this look doesn’t disappoint. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to create it yourself, head to our article How to Weave a Half-Up Braided Top Knot.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #5: WET HAIR
Seen on celebrities, red carpets, and catwalks alike, the wet hair look doesn’t require you to actually get your hair wet. Rather, it involves recreating a shiny appearance using hair styling products. Interested? Here’s How to Get the Wet Hair Look.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #6: WET PONYTAIL
Transform your trendy wet hair look with a ponytail for a super chic and sleek look.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #7: SIMPLE LOW BUN
You can never really go wrong with keeping things simple, and the classic low bun allows you to do just that!
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #8: CRISS-CROSS PONYTAIL
If you’re looking for another way to upgrade your ponytail, consider a criss-cross ponytail instead. It’s an updated take on your classic pony that involves a few bobby pins and some patience, but we promise the end result is worth it. To get the look, follow the steps in our article, Perk Up Your Pony: Criss-Cross Ponytail Tutorial.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #9: BALLERINA BUN
This chic updo isn’t just for dance class—it also makes for a perfectly polished hairstyle. Here’s How to Create a Super Slick Ballerina Bun.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #10: FEATHERED WAVES
Laidback, beachy waves are always a good go-to, but why not take things up a notch with a feathered look? That’s right, the ‘70s are making a big comeback, and it’s high time you got in on the retro feathered hairstyle trend. This soft, layered look is perfect for any occasion.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #11: SOCK BUN
Yet another variation of your basic bun is the sock bun, which involves using a sock to create and customize a perfectly round bun. Here, learn How to Create a Sock Bun.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #12: ELASTIC CURLS
We love curls of any shape, but elastic curls are particularly on-trend at the moment. To make sure your tight curls stay defined, but not weighed down, scrunch some of the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse through your lengths and ends.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #13: SIDE-SWEPT BANGS
If you have medium-length hair and are interested in trying bangs, but perhaps aren’t ready to commit to full-on blunt bangs, consider the side-swept version. Romantic and always in style, side-swept bangs are perfect for mid-length strands. To keep them in place and out of your face (since side-swept bangs are typically longer than other bangs), use a spritz or two of the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Fine Control Hairspray.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #14: Brun Hairstyle
If you haven’t yet heard of the brun hairstyle, prepare to be impressed. This stylish take on the traditional bun adds in a braided element, and the final look is chic with laidback vibes. Take your updo to the next level with a little help from our article, How to Get a Brun Hairstyle.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #15: FISHTAIL BRAID
We’re big fans of all types of braids, and the fishtail always makes us swoon. Besides, once you’ve got the technique down, all it takes is a few minutes and one hair elastic to create.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #16: BEACHY WAVES
Of all the many, many hairstyles that are well-suited for shoulder-length strands, beachy waves just might be number one. Why, you ask? There’s something about this relaxed, laidback look that will never go out of style—ever. To try it out for yourself, simply spray the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray onto damp strands, scrunch up the bottom, and let your hair dry on its own.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #17: ACCESSORIZED BRAID
Running short on time? No problem—go with the good ol’ three-strand braid and jazz it up with whatever accessories you have on hand. A scrunchie, bold hair pins, colored ribbon, a headband, or even seashells! Get creative and go forth rocking your braid in confidence.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #18: DOUBLE-DUTCH BRAIDS
What’s better than one braid? Two braids! This school girl-esque look is equally appropriate for a workout class as it is for a night on the town.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #19: CLASSIC FRENCH BRAID
Keep things tried and true with a French braid—you really can never go wrong with this look!
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #20: PIN-STRAIGHT STRANDS
Super straight strands are in. But wait—before you grab your flat-iron, prep your hair with the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Iron Straight Heatspray to protect it and create a sleek look that lasts.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #21: CROWN BRAID
This regal braided look involves styling your strands in a tight braid that wraps around your head. Go ahead, give yourself the royal treatment. Here’s How to Create a Beautiful Crown Braid.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #22: HALF-UP WATERFALL BRAID
A braided, half-up style that cascades into gorgeous curls is the perfect way to have everyone asking how you styled your hair. Click through to learn How to Create a Waterfall Braid all on your own.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #23: A-LINE HAIRCUT
Looking to keep your length, but break out of your comfort zone a little bit? Try an A-line cut. Here, learn How to Pull Off an A-Line Haircut.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #24: RAINBOW HIGHLIGHTS
Colorful hair works well on hair of all lengths, and thanks to new hair color products, it’s super easy to DIY it without requiring long-term commitment. Simply reach for the L'Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray or the L'Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup 1-Day Color and get to work applying vivid highlights wherever you desire.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #25: WAVY SIDE-SWEPT FISHTAIL BRAID
Keep your fishtail braid loose and pull it toward one side of your face for an effortlessly cool take on this braided style.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #26: MESSY BUN
Pulling your hair up in a jiffy can look quite chic! Commit to a carefree look with a messy bun, worn high or low.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #27: SPACE BUNS
Want a hairstyle that’s out of this world? Try the space bun trend for a fun look with a celestial twist.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #28: BOX BRAIDS
Box braids involve small, square-shaped hair divisions and tight long braids worn all over your head. Here’s How to Create Box Braids.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #29: FINGER WAVES
A curled hairstyle inspired by the roaring twenties, finger waves are an elegant addition to any outfit on a night out. They do take some time to create, but the pictures you’ll snap afterward are sure to make it well worth it. Plus, we’ve got step-by-step instructions to make it easier for you. This is How to Get a 1920s Hairstyle.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #30: CURLY BANGS
Unless you’ve been living in a beauty bubble, you’ve almost certainly heard about the curly bangs trend. Give it a try for yourself with a small curling iron or crimper (or just use your hands to scrunch) and a little bit of the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #31: MESSY PIGTAILS
Pigtails aren’t just for grade school—they’re back, and trendier than ever. In fact, pigtails have become surprisingly chic, thanks to some of our favorite celebs sporting them. Need a few ideas for transforming this nostalgic ‘do? Here’s How to Make Pigtails Look Chic.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #32: CURTAIN BANGS
Parted down the middle to frame your gorgeous face, curtain bangs have wispy ends and are perfect for mid-length locks.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #33: VOLUMINOUS CURLS
Pumping up the volume is always a good idea—and we mean always! If you think your hair isn’t suited for this full-bodied look, we’ve got news for you: You can create voluminous curls on any hair type.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #34: LONG, TRIANGULAR LAYERS
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #35: SIDE PONYTAIL
Switch up your go-to ponytail style by sweeping it to the side.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #36: HEAD WRAP
Wearing a trendy head wrap works on just about any hair length and texture, and it’s the perfect way to accessorize your outfit. Plus, it makes for a quick way to have your hair perfectly styled in literally 30 seconds flat! Here’s How to Wear a Trendy Head Wrap.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #37: CLASSIC FRENCH TWIST
Another classic that’s perfect for a job interview, or perhaps dinner with the in-laws: the French twist. It always looks classy and is easier to create than it looks. Don’t believe us? Here, find out How to Create a Classic French Twist.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #38: COOL-GIRL HEADBAND
Another versatile hair accessory that will always be timeless: the headband. Whether you use a ribbon to tie your hair, pop on a thin headband, or go for a headband that has some volume, this quick hairstyle will keep your hair out of your face while looking super chic in the process.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #39: CHOPPY LAYERS
One of the best ways to add volume and dimension to medium-length hair is with a layered look. Try choppy layers to add instant contrast and bounce.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #40: ZIG-ZAG PART
Trying out a fun new hairstyle can be as easy as switching up your part! Use a fine-tooth comb to create it, then lock down your look with the L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Strong Hold.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #41: DOUBLE PONYTAIL
When it comes to pumping up your ponytail, sometimes one pony just won't do. Two might just be the way to go, especially if you have fine or thin hair, or just want a more volumized updo. Apply a bit of mousse to pump up the body even more, then stack two ponytails on top of each other. The bottom ponytail should be effectively hidden but will still boost your overall look.
SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIRSTYLE #42: MIX AND MATCH BRAIDED PONYTAIL
Another combo hairstyle we love is the mix and match braided ponytail, which involves exactly what it sounds like. Medium-length strands are ideal for this look since you’ll be able to really show off this cool braiding technique. Follow our tutorial: How to Perfect a Mix and Match Braided Ponytail.
Now that you have plenty of hairstyle ideas in mind, perhaps it’s time for a new cut. Here are 5 Medium-Length Layered Haircuts You Should Give a Try.