When considering a new haircut, the conversation often comes down to long and luxurious or short and stylized. But what about the low-maintenance, medium-length haircut? “The appeal lies in the simplicity and versatility; they can be adapted for various hair textures and face shapes,” says celebrity hairstylist Dimitris Giannetos, who favors lobs, shaggy layers, blunt cuts, and textured ends for the medium set. “These cuts offer a modern, edgy vibe while allowing for easy styling, making them memorable and stylish choices for medium-length hair.”
Factors like natural texture, face shape, and desired routine should all be taken into account when selecting your cut. “Opt for styles with minimal layers that work well with your hair’s natural tendencies, whether straight, curly, or wavy,” says Giannetos, who suggests cuts that can be air-dried or achieved with little to no effort, along with ones that will grow out gracefully.
Related: 20 Medium Shag Haircut Ideas to Copy
Experts agree that layers lend well to medium styles. “To make these super easy to handle, especially for thicker hair types, layers are always the way to go,” says hairstylist Annagjid “Kee" Taylor. “This will add dimension to your hair, make it lighter, and will not be so noticeable as it grows out.” That said, there is a layering limit, especially for those after a timeless look. “I would avoid overdoing it,” says celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons. “Following trends and doing something like the butterfly cut, which is cut into many tiered layers, can leave you with a haircut you have to constantly style–so keep that in mind when you’re looking for your next layered cut.”
Meet Our Expert
Dimitris Giannetos is a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Megan Fox and Ciara.
Annagjid “Kee" Taylor is a hairstylist based in Los Angeles.
Andrew Fitzsimons is a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Kim and Khloé Kardashian.
With all of that in mind, eschew extremes in favor of a chic middle ground. Here, 30 low-maintenance medium-length haircuts to inspire your next salon visit.
If your air-dry results in straight lengths with a subtle wave, Taylor Swift’s full-yet-wispy fringe may be the right choice for you. The addition transforms a simple style into something sophisticated, Keep in mind that bangs will require extra thought, trims, and styling time.
Soft, medium-length waves benefit from subtle, face-framing layers, as demonstrated by Phoebe Tonkin. The tiered sections add flattering texture without distracting from the ease of the style.
Old Hollywood Polish
A predominantly blunt cut becomes romantic when parted deeply and run through with curls. Though this cut works well with practically any texture, the Old Hollywood vibes pictured here are all down to the polished finish.
For a medium cut that plays up your curl pattern, opt for a predominantly blunt style, rounded to allow your natural texture to achieve its final form. Invest in products that enhance your curls—and if you ever wear your hair straight, give your stylist a heads up so they can take both options into account.
A great option for those with pin-straight texture, Chloë Moretz’s long and flippy layers afford her medium-length hair a playful shape. If you’re a fan of an easy updo, make sure that the shortest layers can be easily incorporated.
Embrace thicker texture with a medium-length cut that draws inspiration from the sumptuous ‘60s. Bella Hadid’s cut is defined by volume-boosting layers throughout.
Piece-y and blended, Kylie Jenner’s long layers seem almost razored in finish. Hair worn straight or in soft waves allows the somewhat jagged edges (the highlight of this cut) to shine as intended.
Bohemian Curtain Bangs
Emily Ratajkowki’s curtain bangs give way to face-framing layers and an otherwise blunt cut that pairs well with wavy texture. The style is bohemian, romantic, and easy to tie back if need be.
A wavy bob snipped just back the shoulders is a cool and easy medium-length cut. Along with the style’s opportunity to show off texture, the chop is primed for a low-maintenance grow-out.
This long style is designed for easy wear and an even easier grow-out. While layers can offer volume, Camila Mendes’ long, choppy tiers allow the cut to cascade more naturally, all while framing her face,
The long bob—or lob, as we have come to know it—is timeless and chic. This one-length cut artfully showcases any and all textures and parts, and is easy to style.
Though worn straight and cut simply, Kendall Jenner’s lengths are afforded extra interest via piece-y, textured ends. The uneven ends allow for a beachier feel than a blunt finish and can be further played up with pastes and dry texture sprays.
Rumpled, tousled, undone—Priyanka Chopra’s cut is primed for chic messiness. Subtle, choppy layers are featured throughout, ramping up texture and volume.
“I love a shag cut on medium-length hair,” says Fitzsimons. “The front layers can easily be styled in so many different ways and give off a chic, care-free look that grows out really nicely.“ For extra impact, make like Jenna Ortega and add an easily-parted bang.
Fuller fringe may be trending, but there’s something to be said for a side-swept style. A single, well-placed snip teams with Emma Stone’s deep side part to add drama and dimension
Related: The 8 Most Popular Types of Bangs
Hailey Bieber’s hair is single-length without appearing blunt. High-gloss, easy bends make for an insouciant style.
Abbreviated Curtain Bangs
While most curtain bangs are cut extra-long and bohemian, Emilia Jones’ fringe is snipped to skim the lash line. The result is an effortless polish that elevates her air-dried waves.
Voluminous Curly Lob
Leave it to Ciara to amp up the volume. Here, the singer's curls look extra full and defined thanks to tactful layers and collarbone-grazing length.
To lighten up your look, try thinning out the ends. As demonstrated here by Kate Bosworth, tapered ends help create a soft and cool look that’s infinitely wearable.
The butterfly cut, often blown out in a feathered finish, is a favorite of social media darlings. Marion Cotillard’s take on the heavily-layered style relies on waves and curls to play up the glamorous style.
No one wears a sleek chop like Gabrielle Union. What makes this cut extra chic is the blunt ends combined with a slightly graduated shape.
Gemma Chan’s center-separated cut offers the illusion of curtain bangs without the commitment. Eschew fringe and layers, instead curling hair away from your face at the cheekbone (or wherever you imagine your bangs would finish).
Curtain Bangs With Layers
Another curtain bang moment, Sydney Sweeney’s low-maintenance cut is worthy of a ‘70s rockstar. A parted bang snipped to the temple gives way to choppy, shoulder-grazing layers
Feather Finish Layers
Another for the straight-haired set. Alana Haim’s glossy lengths culminate in a cascade of long layers that start at the shoulder.
Blunt With Bangs
Amped-up texture and ample layers may be an aesthetic serve, but there’s something to be said for clean lines. Joey King’s hyper-blunt bob is elevated by a full, slightly rounded bang.
What’s more low-maintenance than designing a cut that looks even better mussed? Suki Waterhouse is the master of this specific art, this cut featuring piece-y bangs and layers that look cooler when worn slightly unstyled.
Long Bob With Layers
The addition of some barely-there layers, along with an air-dried wave, offers Elsa Hosk’s lob a beachy feel. Lean in, or flat iron for a quintessential Y2K moment.
The most accessible of low-maintenance cuts is offered a punkish edge via a baby bang. Cut straight across and well above her brows, Ella Purnell’s abbreviated fringe transforms her shoulder-length brunette into a statement style.
Dakota Johnson is the master of easy bohemian bangs. Channel the laissez-faire glamour of the 1970s with fringe snipped to graze brows at the center, extending to lashes as they reach the temples.
Full Bangs and Curls
Natural curls play up cuts and bangs alike. Zendaya’s long shag is provided softness and eye-catching volume via brushed-up texture. Reach for your favorite hair oil for a glossy, polished finish.
Halo of Curls
Angela Bassett's brushed-out curls look extra ethereal thanks to a subtle cascade of layers that instantly create more dimension and volume.
Whether you favor the Rachel or something a touch longer, channeling the early aughts is as easy as copious face-framing layers. Start the tiered portion of your cut at chin level for simplified styling.
For an of-the-moment (though retro-inspired) take on the long bob, opt for flipped-up ends. A blunt finish allows you to embrace the flip on occasion.
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