60 Medium-Length Hairstyles To Inspire Your Next Beauty Look
Once considered a lackluster, run-of-the-mill cut for those unable to commit to dramatically short hair or waist-skimming lengths, medium-length hairstyles have returned to the forefront of the hair-length lexicon as of late—and for good reason. As celebrities have continued to embrace the medium-length haircut in recent seasons, popularizing everything from the bob to the lob to the modern shag, the shoulder-length hairstyle has quickly shed it’s status quo connotation, emerging as one of the chicest and most versatile looks to try this season. Whether you prefer a blunt chop, long, tousled layers, textured beach waves, or a bit of fringe, there are an endless number of mid-length hairstyles and cuts to consider. To prove it, we rounded up 60 of our favorite celebrity-approved medium-length hairstyles to help inspire your next beauty look. From Margot Robbie’s blunt bob to Jennifer Lopez’s retro-inspired ponytail, scroll through the slideshow below for some of our favorite mid-length looks to try now.
The Best Medium-Length Hairstyles On Celebrities
Margot Robbie’s Loose Mini Braids
If you love the idea of braids, but are looking for something a little bit more modern than a traditional school girl plait, consider Margot Robbie’s effortlessly chic mini braids. For an appearance at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, the Oscar-nominated actress wore her medium length hair long and straight, but elevated the look by incorporating four loose, face-framing braids that lent a touch of bohemian charm to her understated Chanel look. This unique styling technique brings an effortless, experimental beauty vibe that’s relatively simple to achieve. Just remember to keep the braids loose, securing them only with a touch of lightweight texturizing spray like Kérastase’s VIP Texturizing Hair Spray.
Kim Kardashian’s Sleek Half-Up Half-Down Style
Kim Kardashian’s sleek, half-up half-down ponytail gives a nod to the retro styles of the ‘60s and ‘90s thanks to her dramatically styled curled-up ends. To master the summer-ready look, be sure to style your ponytail high and tight and finish it off with a spritz of shine-enhancing hairspray like Moroccan Oil Luminous Medium Hold Hairspray to give it that super glossy, luminous effect. For added style points, you can also take a cue from Kardashian’s hair stylist Chris Appleton and wrap a small section of hair around the base of your ponytail to help camouflage the elastic and create the illusion of added volume.
Meghan Markle’s Signature Messy Bun
If her wedding day beauty look wasn’t already evidence enough, this gorgeous updo proves it: Meghan Markle is the queen of the elegant, messy bun look. An iconic style in-the-making, this perfectly undone updo looks as if the former Duchess of Sussex just casually tossed her hair up on-the-go and yet still somehow manages to look ready for an appointment with the Queen. The key is to neatly brush your hair back into a ponytail, twist it into a polished bun, and then gently pull at it until you achieve Markle’s signature soft, loose finish.
Taylor Swift’s Modern Shag
The modern shag haircut is hands down one of the chicest new medium-length haircuts of 2020, and for the proof look no further than Taylor Swift’s tousled, rocker-inspired style. A modern update to the cut previously made famous in the ‘70s, this latest iteration sported by the Lover singer combines soft, feathered bangs with piece-y face-framing layers and plenty of volume. The result is an effortlessly cool style with plenty of red carpet-worthy appeal.
Jennifer Lopez’s Retro Ponytail
Jennifer Lopez’s half-up half-down ponytail manages to feel both classic and of the moment thanks to the hairstyle’s luminous finish and retro-inspired flipped-up ends. The medium-length hairstyle is a reiteration of the ‘90s version of a ‘60’s-era look, which means it’s the perfect effortlessly chic updo to opt for right now. To get the look, start by applying a shine-enhancing gel like IGK’s Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel to the roots before brushing the hair back into a tight ponytail at the top of the head. To finish it off, lightly mist the hair with a light-hold hairspray and use a large barrel curling iron to flip out the ends to the desired effect.
Janelle Monáe’s Pretty Beaded Updo
Janelle Monáe’s glistening, pearl-sprinkled topknot is definitely a statement look for the books. This classic style has been given a touch of the contemporary with the added aspect of being bejeweled, which makes it feel playful yet still sophisticated enough for a more formal event.
Kate Hudson’s Stunningly Simple Braid
Who knew a simple plait could look so pretty and chic? Kate Hudson mastered this elegant yet understated style by keeping it relaxed—allowing a few face-framing layers to hang loose around her face—and securing it with a delicate black bow at the end. It’s a look that could take you from a casual brunch with friends to a formal dinner at night with ease.
Karlie Kloss’s Blunt Bob
Supermodel Karlie Kloss dons her blunt, pin-straight, medium-length bob with sleek finesse. The fairly simple styling relies heavily on the cut, which is trimmed longer in the front and shorter in the back to give it a modern, plumped-up feel. Execute a precise center part and straighten your tresses to a “T” to tap the runway-ready look.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Sky-High Volume
Leave it to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to transform the basic lob into the ultimate bombshell ‘do. The dramatic flipped-over part and subtle face-framing layers give it a sultry, ‘90s supermodel vibe that is impossible to resist. To achieve the look, spritz your roots with a volumizing spray like Christophe Robin’s Instant Volumizing Spray and dry your damp hair upside-down, using a wide round brush to curve your face-framing layers around your jaw.
Rihanna’s High Curly Ponytail
On days where you don’t want to deal with your hair hanging all over your shoulders, take inspiration from Rihanna and opt for a textured high ponytail. Her naturally curly hair gives the style added volume, while also ensuring that it stays both casual and polished. Pair it with an off-the-shoulder neckline to accentuate your features and any sparkly accessories you might be wearing.
Emily Ratajkowski’s Feminine Braid
To elevate your simple waves, look to Emily Ratajkowski’s soft side braid for a quick fix. With loosely curled face framed layers and a little black ribbon tying it all together, the easy-to-do style adds a romantic touch to any look.
Bella Hadid’s Sleek, Flipped-Up Ponytail
Channel an on-trend early aughts vibe with a high, slicked back ponytail, as seen here on Bella Hadid at the MTV Video Music Awards. The style icon gave new life to the retro-inspired look by having her hair—sans a few face-framing bangs—slicked back into a high and tight ponytail, the ends of which were curled in to create a flattering shoulder-length hairstyle. For added polish, take a cue from the supermodel and wrap a strand of your own hair around the base of the ponytail to create a seamless transition from roots to pony.
Yara Shahidi’s Voluminous Curls
Super-tight, glossy curls make for the ultimate level of texture in Yara Shahidi’s stunning medium-length hairstyle. Part your hair off to the side for even more added volume and keep it looking smooth and frizz-free by applying a touch of Oribe Curl Control Silkening Creme to finish.
Chrissy Teigen’s Feathered Bangs and Topknot
Eye-skimming bangs, honey highlights, and a sleek, elegant topknot turn Chrissy Teigen’s medium-length hair into the ultimate date night hairstyle. If you’re considering bangs, take a cue from Teigen and ask your stylist for a piece-y cut offset by graduated face-framing layers to help keep your look soft and fluttery.
Selena Gomez’s Bombshell Volume
Soft, bouncy, and voluminous, Selena Gomez’s bombshell medium-length hairstyle radiates pure glamour and ease. To achieve a similar gravity-defying finish, work a volumizing mousse like GHD’s Total Volume Foam through damp hair and flip your hair over to blow-dry it. For the waves themselves, curl them in two-inch sections and pin them to your scalp while they cool for some added staying power.
Lady Gaga’s Sleek Curtain Bangs and Topknot
As Lady Gaga proves here, few things can be as flattering to the face as the perfect set of fringe. Her soft curtain bangs taper off right at her cheekbones, highlighting her gorgeous features, while the sleek, polished bun strikes a classic, Old Hollywood vibe that will forever be in style.
Beyoncé’s Glamorous Half-Up Half-Down ‘Do
Beyoncé’s voluminous half-up half-down hairstyle takes the trending look into a whole new glamorous territory thanks to the addition of her tight barrel curls. For an added touch of drama, the Lemonade singer also wrapped a braided hair piece around the base of her sky-high ponytail, adding an extra layer of glamour and texture to an otherwise classic look.
Zoe Saldana’s Pulled-Back Waves
If you love the idea of long, loose waves, but can’t stand to have your hair hanging in your face, consider Zoe Saldana’s effortlessly chic solution. The Guardians of the Galaxy actress achieved the best of both worlds by pushing her perfectly tousled waves back with a slim, understated headband. Slide it over your waves to keep your hair smooth while also pulling your strands away from your face.
Brie Larson’s Soft Waves & Deep Side Part
Brie Larson’s silky smooth waves cascade down the deep parted end of her face while the other end sits tucked behind her ear, giving a relaxed yet refined tone to this medium-length hairstyle. To channel the look at home, use a large barrel curling iron to create soft, Old Hollywood-inspired waves, before gently running a wide-tooth comb through them to help break up the look. The result is glamorous style with just the right amount of laid-back appeal.
Kate Middleton’s Perfect Barrel Curls
Leave it to Kate Middleton to inspire us to whip out our curling irons to recreate this gorgeous, bouncy blowout. The pile of soft barrel curls near the ends of her hair lend added body and polish to an otherwise low-key look, making it feel elevated yet approachable enough for everything from school drop-offs to casual brunch dates.
Anne Hathaway’s Classic Chignon
Anne Hathaway’s soft, elegant, chignon falling at the nape of her neck clearly drew inspiration from Old Hollywood glamour. The demure hairstyle maintains a quiet sophistication worthy of Oscars’ red carpet history. The loose, dangling face-framing layers the actress left undone add a more relaxed element to this refined style, making it perfect for both glamorous and low-key events alike.
Natalia Dyer’s Polished High Ponytail
High ponytails might actually be one of the most functional and versatile looks for those with long to medium-length hair. Without a bump in sight or a hair out of place, Dyer’s slicked back pony with spiraled ends is both sleek and sophisticated and best of all, easy to recreate.
Ashley Graham’s Blunt Lob
There’s a reason why the lob haircut seems to be everywhere these days. It’s because the medium-length haircut is ultra-flattering and works on just about everyone regardless of your face shape or hair type. For the most updated take on the enduring hairstyle, opt for blunt ends that just skim your collarbone à la Ashley Graham.
Natalie Portman’s Wavy Bob
If you’re currently sporting a medium-length bob, take a cue from Natalie Portman and nix the pin straight flat ironed look for a more natural, “I woke up like this” texture. The center part keeps the look feeling relaxed and modern while the actress’s shiny honey highlights give the look added dimension.
Ciara’s Piece-y Fringe
Ciara is no stranger to gorgeous hair transformations, and this look is by far one of our favorites. Her blunt, medium-length bob pairs perfectly with her choppy, eye-skimming fringe, making for a cool, effortlessly tousled red carpet look. Ask your stylist to feather your bangs for a soft, fluttery effect, and then finish the look with IGK’s Beach Club Texture Spray for that perfectly undone, beachy look.
Charlize Theron’s Wind-Swept Side Part and Bangs
Before she made the bowl cut chic and famous, Charlize Theron was known for her gorgeous medium-length hairstyles like this one showcased at the premiere of her 2017 film Atomic Blonde. The deep side part, long, wispy bangs, and soft, textured curls make it the perfect hairstyle for those with fine hair to try.
Barbara Palvin’s Modern Bouffant
Barbara Palvin’s retro, mod-girl bouffant is reminiscent of our favorite sixties it-girls. The likes of Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot donned this sculpturized, voluminous look—most certainly befriending the closest bottle of hairspray in the process. This favored medium-length hairstyle is made modern with her blunt, flipped-up ends and the addition of a thin, barely-there headband.
Margot Robbie’s Soft, Tousled Waves
If your medium-length hair is on the finer side, you can still create effortlessly tousled beach waves—the key is to not overdo it on heavy styling products. Instead, try spritzing your hair with a texturizing spray—we love Playa’s Endless Summer Spray—and then using a flat iron, create alternating bends down the length of your hair. For a modern, model-inspired finish, run the flat iron over your ends to keep the look sleek and cool.
Laura Harrier’s Pinned-Back Curls
Can’t decide between wearing your curly, medium-length hair down or pinned back? Follow Laura Harrier’s lead and go for both. Pin back just a small front section of your hair so that it stays out of your face throughout the day while still allowing you to show off your flawless natural texture.
Cara Delevingne’s Glossy Retro Curls
Cara Delevingne strikes the perfect balance between modern beauty and Old Hollywood glam with this glossy, curled look. In addition to the deep side part, we love the sort of asymmetric look she created by tucking one half behind her ears. To achieve her runway-worthy level of shine, try sealing your look in with Drybar’s The Chaser High-Shine Finishing Cream.
Jessica Alba’s Statement Headband
Jessica Alba’s simple, medium-length bob with curved ends skims her shoulders perfectly. The pearl-studded headband is the cherry on top of this polished ‘do, amplifying her look to the next level. To dress up a simple style, add a trending statement headband to really bring the look together.
Bella Hadid’s Sultry, Shoulder-Length Layered Hairstyle
Curled-in ends and piece-y face-framing layers are the ultimate nod to the ‘90s—and they’re especially gorgeous when styled with bombshell-worthy volume, as seen here on Bella Hadid. The supermodel’s glossy, shoulder-length hair channeled a retro vibe while still maintaining a sense of modern cool thanks to her sleek center part. To achieve a similar look, try working a texturizing volume spray like Ouai’s Volumizing Hair Spray through the length of your hair for added body and hold.
Ciara’s Sleek, Pinned-Back Locks
The simplest way to elevate your medium-length hairstyle in an instant? Take a cue from Ciara and add in a couple of bobby pins. The singer proved that you can switch up your typical pin-straight tresses without putting in too much effort or committing to anything outrageous simply by pinning a couple of face-framing pieces off to the side. For an added effect, opt for an embellished style with plenty of light-catching sparkle.
Kendall Jenner’s Voluminous Layers
Keeping ends light and wispy is what helps to give Kendall Jenner’s style plenty of ‘90s supermodel-inspired volume. To enhance the look, use a large round brush to create a bit of body and then flip over a few front sections of hair around your crown to create a deep, side part secured in place with a bit of volumizing hair spray.
Hailey Bieber’s Bow-Embellished Ponytail
If you’re looking to add a feminine touch to your go-to high ponytail look, consider Hailey Bieber’s glamorous Met Gala hairstyle. The model accentuated her ‘60-inspired ponytail with a soft, black velvet bow that perfectly accentuated her sultry cat-eye look. Tie your hair bow around the base of a ponytail or at the end of a loose braid for a polished, red carpet-worthy finish.
Emily Ratajkowski’s Sleek, Sophisticated Bob
When attempting to channel a classic ‘90s hairstyle, you can never go wrong opting for a sleek and sophisticated bob like the one seen here on model Emily Ratajkowski. When styled with curled-in ends, this style perfectly frames a multitude of face shapes, making it a universally appealing style with major beauty potential.
Elle Fanning’s Soft Layers
To rock tousled, medium-length locks with effortless flair, look no further than Elle Fanning’s textured, choppy layers. The wispy, low maintenance hairstyle fits perfectly with the contradicting formality of her gown, inspiring us to reach for our trusty round brush ahead of our next formal event.
Alicia Vikander’s Textured Braided Updo
Alicia Vikander is widely known for her assortment of chic, braided updos, including this one spotted at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. The actress sported a breezy chignon defined by a frame of French braids that edged from the crown to the back of the head, allowing just a few wispy pieces to poke out here and there. If you’ve grown tired of your usual topknot hairstyle, this is the look to try now.
Dakota Johnson’s Wispy Bangs and Updo
Blunt, thick bangs can look (and feel) heavy when paired with a medium-length haircut, but Dakota Johnson masters the look by pairing her fringe with a perfectly undone top knot. Keep the look feeling relaxed and romantic by letting a few face-framing pieces hang loose.
Elsa Hosk’s Soft Mermaid Waves
The epitome of the wave, model Elsa Hosk’s glossy locks swirl down her shoulders in loose bends to strike the perfect balance between beachy beauty and old school glam. Accentuate the subtle wave effect by creating a deep side part and tucking the smaller section of hair behind your ear for an asymmetrical finish.
Gigi Hadid’s Brushed Back Tresses
Slicked-back hair has been the “it” style for several seasons now, but if you’re afraid to go for the full ‘wet-hair’ look, consider Gigi Hadid’s more approachable take on the trend. The supermodel opted for a softer, more voluminous iteration that gave it more of an effortless, relaxed feel. To recreate it, spray your roots with a thickening spray like R+Co’s Dallas Thickening Spray and then, using a large round brush, blow dry your hair one section at a time. Once dried, tease the front section of hair surrounding your face and lightly spray it with a medium hold hair spray to help keep it in place.
Emma Roberts’ Sleek Middle Part
Simply embrace your flat-iron to achieve Emma Roberts’ chic medium-length hairstyle. The understated, pin-straight tresses are imbued with just the slightest bit of movement courtesy of their curled-in ends to give this look an air of elegant, uncomplicated style.
Brie Larson’s Flipped-Up Ends
While flipped up ends can definitely strike a more retro note, Brie Larson managed to keep her red carpet style looking fresh and modern by embracing her natural texture and styling her medium-length hair into a deep side part. Recreate the look at home with ease by using a large round brush to curl your ends up and away from the face.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s Piecey Layers
Priyanka Chopra’s voluminous yet piece-y layered look gives off a very effortless, cool girl feel. It’s versatility mirrors that of the iconic hairstyles of Jennifer Anniston’s 90’s cut of choice and Meg Ryan’s layered locks, and yet still feels entirely of the moment thanks to it’s soft, wide-swept texture.
Regina King’s Blunt, Textured Lob
The blunt cut and center part of this medium-length hairstyle keep Regina King’s wavy lob looking sleek and sophisticated as opposed to sloppy. To recreate her perfectly undone style, use a flat iron to create subtle bends from the mid-length of your hair down, be sure to straighten the very ends for a modern finish.
Hailey Bieber’s Slick Bob & Zig-Zag Part
Hailey Bieber is no stranger to the blunt bob. And yet, this glossy, medium-length hairstyle feels completely refreshed thanks to the introduction of an unexpected zig-zag part. With an ample amount of anti-frizz cream, setting spray, and a thin parting comb, you can easily recreate the look whenever you’re in need of a quick go-to style.
Sienna Miller’s Natural Beachy Waves
We’ll never tire of the perfect beachy waves look, especially when it comes courtesy of Sienna Miller. The British actress is the queen of the effortlessly tousled look and somehow also manages to make it look both cool and sophisticated all at once. If your hair isn’t naturally as low maintenance as Miller’s, recreate the look by spritzing a sea salt spray like Rahua’s Enchanted Island Salt Spray on dry hair before twisting random sections around a medium-barrel curling iron in alternating directions.
Kerry Washington’s Pinned-Back Lob
When you’ve got too much hair to know what to do with (or you’re just looking for an easy way to switch up your usual lob hairstyle), take a cue from Kerry Washington and pin back a section of tousled waves behind your ear for a bit of added polish and—if you’re using embellished bobby pins—sparkle!
Saoirse Ronan’s Side-Swept Volume
Like any good side part, Saoirse Ronan’s deep-set part creates the illusion of added volume, making the case for a glamorous red carpet-ready style. If you’re in need of a quick, polished ‘do, channel Ronan’s low-key look by brushing a small section of hair over to the other side and, using a large barrel curling iron, create a soft bend at the ends for a touch of added bounce and movement.
Jennifer Lopez’s Pin-Straight Bob
JLo’s poker-straight lob just grazes the collarbone to create an ultra-flattering blunt cut. The dramatic chop paired with sleek styling is universal in that it works on just about everyone. To add a touch of modernity, opt for blunt ends and a smooth center part.
Elsa Hosk’s Rumpled Texture
Creating textured waves on fine, straight hair can feel like an impossible task sometimes, but as Elsa Hosk proves here, it’s doable when given the right cut. To recreate the look, simply ask your go-to stylist for a series of short, choppy layers (starting at your chin) and invest in a high-quality sea salt spray, and you’ll be on your way to cool, model-off-duty style in no time.
Olivia Culpo’s Retro Flipped Ends
If you’re looking for a new, glamorous way to elevate your everyday medium-length bob haircut, look no further than Olivia Culpo’s retro-inspired style. With the added combed-over volume up top and the sleek, flipped up ends, the model hints at a sophisticated ‘60s vibe that still works for modern day. Take a note from her beauty playbook, and opt for super-sleek strands infused with mega-watt shine.
Rachel McAdams Asymmetrical Bob
If you’re considering chopping your hair into a medium-length bob, take a page from Rachel McAdams’ beauty playbook and opt for an asymmetrical cut. The shorter-in-the-back and longer-in-the-front hairstyle is ultra-flattering as it ensures your hair falls neatly above the shoulders without any weird bends or flips. The subtle unevenness of the look also imbues the style with a little added edge for a more contemporary spin.
Jessica Chastain’s Pinned-Back Curls
Jessica Chastain’s soft, pinned-back curls seem to have shot right out of the 1940s. The demure, period styling gives a nod to vintage styles of the past, securing Chastain’s look as a classic silver screen siren worth emulating.
Scarlett Johanson’s Elegant Twist
Scarlett Johanson’s elegant updo, twisted and wrapped with metallic wire, is a unique take on the classic Oscars-worthy chignon. With wispy loose tendrils hanging in front to contour her face, they give the look a relaxed and effortless feel.
Emma Stone’s Flipped Over Beach Waves
The scrunched, side-swept look from Emma Stone channels both an eighties rock star and laid-back surfer vibe all at once. To achieve this textured style, scrunch damp hair with heat-defying lotion. Once dry, add some volume and texture by waving indiscriminate sections with your curling iron and top it off with a light sea salt spray like this one from Bumble & Bumble.
Solange Knowles’ Soft Texture
Solange may very well be one of the coolest, chicest, and most eclectic women in the spotlight today, and this haircut communicates just that. While never one to shy away from her natural curls, the singer took her signature look into ‘70s disco territory by opting for a brushed-out style with minimal styling. To get the look, run a wide-tooth comb from the mid-lengths to the ends of your curls for a soft finish.
Diane Kruger’s Floral Updo
Diane Kruger’s loosely curled updo gives off an undeniable 1940’s flair. The cluster of flowers pinned to the back of her hair were once a hairstyle staple for pinups and women of the ‘40s, but are recreated here with modern appeal. If you’re ever in doubt about how to amp up your medium-length hairstyle, grab the nearest sprig of blooms and bobby-pin them back behind your ear.
Rachel Brosnahan’s Super-Shiny Curls
Rachel Brosnahan’s loose, cascading barrel curls are catching the light in an ethereal, other-worldly way that’s impossible to ignore. Thankfully, the look can easily be recreated at home with little more than a large barrel curling iron and a lightweight frizz-fighting spray like the Kérastase Discipline Anti-Frizz Smoothing Spray.