30 Medium-Length Haircuts for Every Hair Type and Aesthetic 

30 Medium-Length Haircuts for Every Hair Type and Aesthetic  featured image
Stefania D’Alessandro / Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

As a middle-of-the-road option, medium-length haircuts offer the best of both worlds. They’re long enough that you can pull your hair back into a ponytail but don’t take as long to style as long haircuts. Moreover, they’re often easy to grow out, meaning they won’t look awkward if you take long stretches between salon appointments.

The sweet spot is just past your shoulders. “‘Medium-length’ hair typically ranges from about 12 to 18 inches long,” says Nickie Alton, a Westlake Village, CA-based hair extensions specialist. “This length usually starts just past the shoulders and can extend to a few inches below the collarbone, roughly around the chest area.”

That 12 to 18-inch range allows for endless possibilities, from crisp, blunt lobs to choppy shags. We’ve gathered examples of medium-length haircuts so that you can find a cut that suits your hair type and personal taste.

Featured experts

  • Nickie Alton is a hair extensions specialist
  • Clyde Haygood is a celebrity hairstylist
  • Kevin Marques is a professional hairstylist

Medium-length haircut inspiration

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Butterfly Cut

One of the most popular haircuts of the moment is the “butterfly cut,” according to celebrity hairstylist and PURA D’OR partner Clyde Haygood. The cut’s all-over layers contribute to bouncy, voluminous styles.

Sydney Sweeney wearing a pink strapless dress on the red carpet
Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage/ Getty Images
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Wolf Cut

Another one of the most popular medium-length layered haircuts right now is the wolf cut, which has shaggy layering, says Haygood. Both the butterfly and wolf cuts are suited for straight, wavy and curly hair thanks to their ample layering, he says.

Reneé Rapp performing onstage wearing black shirt and sunglasses
Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images
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Blunt Lob with Straight-Across Bangs

The long bob or “lob” refers to a medium-length bob. A blunt lob with straight-across bangs is perfect if you’re partial to haircuts with defined edges.

Bella Hadid with blunt bob and bangs wearing a pink blazer
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
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Face-Framing Layers

Alton often recommends long face-framing layers. “It’s [good] for those with wavy or curly hair to weigh down any unruly or unwanted frizz,” he says.

jennifer aniston in black pantsuit
Jeff Kravitz / Contributor/ Getty Images
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Asymmetrical Lob

If you’re partial to cuts that are a little off-kilter, you can go with something asymmetrical like Priyanka Chopra’s layered lob.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas wearing a coral full-length gown
Steve Granitz/WireImage/ Getty Images
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Long Layers

Long layers work well for thick hair, says Kevin Marques, FEKKAI stylist at The Mark Salon. “Layers help reduce bulk and add movement, making thick hair more manageable,” he explains.

Close view of Gemma Chan who's wearing a white halter dress and wavy medium-length brown hair
Stefania D’Alessandro / Contributor/ Getty Images
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Collarbone-length with Fringe

Whether or not to get bangs is a haircut dilemma as old as time. Ciara’s long bob with bangs and subtle layering makes a convincing case for throwing caution to the wind.

Ciara with short hair and bangs wearing a full-length black dress
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
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Side-Swept Bangs

If you tend to go for a side part, you can style longer bangs into side-swept bangs.

Emma Stone with blonde hair wearing a gold and black turtleneck
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
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Collarbone-Length Blunt Lob

Margot Robbie’s blunt lob is a common request among those who are interested in a medium-length haircut, says Marques.

Margot Robbie with a long straight lob hairstyle
ETIENNE LAURENT / Contributor/ Getty Images
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Collarbone-Length with Micro Bangs

Micro bangs, which hit above the eyebrows, are polarizing. That said, they’re worth considering if you’re after a bold hair transformation.

Krysten Ritter on the red carpet with brown short hair and bangs
Paul Redmond / Contributor / Getty Images
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Lob with Subtle Layering

A lob with discreet layering is ideal for those with fine hair, according to Marques. “A long bob with subtle, light layers adds body without removing too much volume,” he says.

Close view of Chloe Sevigny with medium-length, wavy blonde hair
Gary Gershoff/WireImage/ Getty Images
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Shoulder-Length Blunt Lob

Few haircuts can make you look as put-together as a blunt bob that just grazes the shoulders.

Kim Kardashian sitting down with short bob hairstyle and wearing a blazer
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
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Collarbone-Length with Curtain Bangs

Considering medium-length haircuts with bangs but not ready to fully dive in? Curtain bangs are longer bangs that can be parted down the center, making them a less intimidating alternative to shorter bangs.

Nicole Richie in black and gold metallic dress
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images
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Soft Layers with Wispy Bangs

Wispy bangs pair well with layered haircuts that are on the longer end of the medium-length spectrum.

close view of Reese Witherspoon with blonde hair and bangs
Christian JENTZ / Contributor/ Getty Images
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Curl-Enhancing Layers

If you have curly hair, ideally you’ll ask for a cut that incorporates layering, says Haygood. “The layering of these cuts can clean up dry ends and give volume and bounce to curls,” he says.

Logan Browning posing in front of a purple background with short coily hair and wearing a multi-colored mini dresss
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
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Kitty Cut

The recently trending “kitty cut” shares the wolf cut’s bangs and face-framing layering, but overall the layering is more subtle.

jenna ortega kitty cut
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
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Collarbone-Length Layered Bob

Layered bobs are one of the best options for those with naturally straight hair, says Marques. “Adding layers can give straight hair more movement and texture, preventing it from looking flat,” he says.

jennifer aniston square face
Taylor Hill / Getty Images
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Chest-Length with Curtain Bangs

Halle Berry got in on the curtain bangs trend with a haircut that extended just past her collarbone.

Close view of Halle Berry with caramel-colored, medium length wavy hair and curtain bangs
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
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Long Bangs

Long bangs that reach graze the eyelashes have a cool, lived-in feel, whether they’re intentional or slightly grown out.

Kaia Gerber posing on the red carpet in black dress
Miikka Skaffari/Stringer/ Getty Images
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Textured Layering

A lot of people who are interested in a medium-length haircut and want a more textured cut look to Alexa Chung for inspiration, says Marques. Lately, she’s been opting for a chest-length haircut with long layering throughout.

Alexa Chung posing on the red carpet with wavy brown hair
JB Lacroix/FilmMagic/ Getty Images
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Italian Bob

Similarly to the French bob, the Italian bob is a bouncy, layered haircut, but the Italian version is a bit longer. “The Italian Bob is a great haircut to give medium-length hair a fresh crispness and bounce, especially if the ends are dry,” says Haygood. “The subtle layering will create movement and ease when styling.”

Aubrey Plaza in orange dress
JB Lacroix/FilmMagic/ Getty Images
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Long Bob with Choppy Bangs

Here, Mila Kunis opted for a long bob that just grazed her shoulders along with a darker color than her usual brunette shade.

Mila Kunis with short black hair and bangs in black cut-out dress
Getty Images
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Curl-Enhancing Layers with Bangs

Rihanna has undergone plenty of hair transformations over the years, with haircuts ranging from close crops to waist-length cuts. This shoulder-length style with layers and bangs was among her mid-length haircuts.

Rihanna with curly blonde hair and bangs
Steve Granitz/WireImage/ Getty Images
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Textured Lob

The textured lob is one of the best low maintenance medium-length haircuts, and they work well for thick hair. “A long bob with texturizing helps thin out the hair and add some lightness, preventing it from appearing too heavy,” says Marques.

Selena Gomez walking in black turtleneck and white coat
James Devaney/GC Images/ Getty Images
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The choppy, layered haircut that took hold in the ‘70s recently made a comeback. “A medium shag with layers throughout can add volume control and a stylish, undone look,” says Marques.

Chloe Grace Moretz with a blonde shag hairstyle and wearing a multi-colored blazer
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/ Getty Images
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Curly Shag

You can look to celebrities like Zendaya and Natasha Lyonne to see what the shag haircut looks like on curly hair.

Zendaya with curly shag hairstyle with bandgs wearing a pink metallic jumpsuit
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
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Shoulder-Length Blunt Cut

The right medium-length haircut can make fine hair appear more dense. “A blunt cut at shoulder length can make fine hair look fuller and thicker,” says Marques.

Penelope Cruz poses on red carpet in white dress and short bob hairstyle
Christopher Polk / Getty Images
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Blunt, Chest-Length Cut

If a lob feels too short, you can create the illusion of thicker hair with a slightly longer blunt haircut.

Kerry Washington with straight mid-length hair
Frederick M. Brown / Stringer
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A-Line Lob

The A-line bob, which is longer toward the face, also works as a lob.

Emily Ratajkowski with straight bob hairstyle in a strapless black dress
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
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Bouncy Layers

With this bouncy, voluminous style, Zendaya defended her reign as the queen of medium-length layered haircuts.

zendaya layered bob
Greg Doherty/FilmMagic/ Getty Images

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