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Dassi was previously an editor at and is now a contributor in skin care. Her work has appeared in Who What Wear, WWD, InStyle and Bustle.
Hairstyles And Cuts For Medium Length Hair
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Cute & Trendy Medium Length Hairstyles
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When you have thick hair, going shorter can be scary—and risky—because your curls can be prone to building up extra body that can change the shape of your cut. On the other hand, a long mane means you have more hair to wash, dry and style. Translation: extra time added to your hair care routine. However, a foolproof length for thick hair worth trying is just above or just below the shoulders. But don’t just take their word for it; We caught up with Fallon experts Toni Chavez and Marcus Francis, who revealed why medium-length haircuts are flattering for thicker hair types and shared their tips for styling a thicker man.
So whatever your hair texture, whether it’s straight, wavy, curly, relaxed or natural, there’s an ultra-flattering shoulder length hairstyle that’s right for you. To prove it, we’ve rounded up our favorite mid-length styles to inspire your next salon visit.
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Olivia Palermo’s wavy locks look effortlessly cool with a rough chop that adds dimension to her blunt cut. Chavez adds, “Shoulder-length haircuts for thick hair are great for a few reasons. First of all, to eliminate dry damaged ends, get a fresh start—it’s a great alternative to cutting your hair short for a whole new look.”
Sleek hair looks impeccably polished in long layers that fall just below the shoulders. For extra shine like Joan Smalls, finish with Kenra Professional Shine Spray ($19).
As proven by Olivia Munn, long layers of wavy hair give an extra boost of body. Ask your stylist to angle the ends so they meet just above and below the shoulders. “The length looks great with a soft natural beachy wave,” adds Chavez. A few spritzes of a salt spray can give you this visually effortless style.
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Lili Reinhart’s cascading layers frame her face in dramatic flowing waves that suit her thick, straight locks. For maximum hold, secure your finished waves with a hairspray like L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray ($12).
Kerry Washington’s tresses make a dazzling statement as they sit right next to her shoulders. You just need to ask your stylist to cut a little more, so the length is maintained after your curls are set. To get Washington’s shiny, bouncy curls, we suggest investing in a curl cream. Amika Curl Corps Curl Defining Cream ($26) works especially well for thick curls.
Okay, technically this cut is a little shorter than shoulder length, but we have to include how good it looks on JLaw. Francis especially likes this cut because of its versatility: “The length is long enough to keep the texture manageable and has multiple styling options. The shaggy layers give the cut a lot of movement and body while keeping the natural texture looking its best.” he says.
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Thick hair can take time to style, so why not go all natural like Solange? The light layers of her locks gently shape her voluminous locks that sit just above her shoulders. The effect is ethereal.
There’s nothing boring about a blunt cut like Margot Robbie’s that shows off the healthy thickness of your locks. Chavez says that when it comes to shoulder-length cuts for thick hair, you can’t go wrong with “a super clean, straight polished look.”
Long layers that fall just below the shoulders show off Jourdan Dunn’s gorgeous ombre. The gradient color is ideal for those with thick locks as the lighter shade at the ends of the hair creates an effect that makes them appear less heavy.
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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s choppy, face-framing layers give her hair shape when worn wavy or straight. It’s a versatile cut that can match any mood or occasion. In other words, this ‘do is a winner among her many great hair moments.
Nathalie Kelley’s varied layers, cut just above the shoulder, are an easy look for wavy girls who require little styling. Her caramel highlights show off her delicately woven hair, thus adding dimension.
The same cut stays fresh even when you grow up a bit like Aimee Song’s cool girl lab. While we highlight the best cuts for thick hair, this length is known to flatter all hair types and textures.
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British singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae’s naturally curly mane is stunningly beautiful. Keeping her layers at different lengths adds some personality and shows that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. It also gives shape to thick, curly curls.
Choppy layers in a loose cut just above the shoulders help add voluminous body to Selena Gomez’s platinum locks. Layers are key here as they soften the cut and prevent it from looking blocked – a risk when it comes to thick curls.
Jennifer Hudson’s sharp asymmetrical bob comes just past the shoulder at its longest point. To get that pin-straight effect, you’ll want to iron your strands. Then follow up with a hair serum like Garner Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum ($5) to add shine and keep flyaways at bay.
Choppy Medium Length Hairstyles
Padma Lakshmi looks sophisticated with this mid-length cut, but the choppy ends add some edge. They also serve to make thick strands look less heavy and stiff. Finish with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for gritty perfection.
From long to short, Zendaya has many looks that gave us hair envy. We’re interested in this shoulder-length shag that beautifully incorporates bangs. “Cool or wavy bangs are having a moment because it has shown many women her
Wear bangs even if your hair is not straight. They are sexy and light with the shaggy cut, which gives lots of movement and texture. The style is fuss-free and makes a statement,” says Francis.
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A blunt cut can also look just as good on hair with a slight wave, like here on Kendall Jenner. The best thing about shoulder length hair? “You can get a fresh new look without cutting off all your hair,” Chavez told us. “The length is also great with long layers or even bangs, and it can still be pulled back and up for other looks or training,” she adds.
Tessa Thompson’s well-oiled waves are vintage glam. This style also serves a practical purpose by maintaining and shaping her thick locks. To get your silky glass strands, we recommend using a product that coats locks in shine, like Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($38).
Star Camila Mendes has amazing natural waves. This shorter, choppier, shoulder-grazing style suits her heart-shaped face and adds tons of texture to her strands. Layers like this can also remove the bulk of thick hair.
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But now she’s grown up and she’s never looked better. Her modern shag is on point, striking the perfect balance between a thick, heavy bang and soft, romantic waves.
Janelle Monáe serves as one of our top sources for beauty inspiration, especially when it comes to hair. While we’ve seen her rock many styles, we can’t take our eyes off this shoulder-length ‘do. Full of body, it’s finished with a side-swept wave that gives off a slightly retro vibe.
Hair gems are a quick and easy way to dress up your ‘do. Kerry Washington’s textured curls are slicked down and pulled back in a small section near the part to create a canvas for bright stickers. Copy her look with Bitzy Stick On Assorted Color Crystal Hair Gems ($4).
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Bella Hadid is modeling slicked back hair that has us considering jumping on the celebrity hair trend. Not only is this the look, it’s also a great option for thick hair, making it less heavy. Its slightly androgynous tone is not only beautiful but inspiring.
Vanessa Hudgens rocks a straight ’70s-style lob
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