10 shoulder-length haircuts to give your mane a style boost

Toying with the idea of a new look? Can't decide on a length? Well, haircuts for shoulder-length hair come in all kinds of beautiful styles – take a look!  

Fact: people make hair contact before eye contact, so a good ‘do is crucial, especially if you have shorter locks. You may also think that there isn’t much you can do with shoulder-length haircuts, but we’re here to tell you that these looks don’t have to be boring.

So, in order to save you from any awkward first hair encounters, we’re here to show you how to spruce up your mane with our favourite all-occasion styles for shoulder-length hair!

10 gorgeous hairstyles for shoulder-length hair


should length blonde hair with a waterfall braid and loose curls
The waterfall braid looks as stunning as it sounds. Credit: Instagram.com/hairbyhennav

1. Waterfall braid

When it comes to hairstyles for shoulder-length locks, you may be under the illusion that braids are strictly off limits. Well, it’s time to break out of your little daydream, ladies, because this beautiful waterfall braid is here to awaken you inner style goddess!

Ideal for just about any occasion imaginable, this intricate-looking style is actually really simple (and can be enhanced further with a few loose curls, too!). Ready to wow with this look? Then follow our step-by-step guide to cascading waterfall locks, here. Credit@hairbyhennav

model with a beach waves hairstyle in brunette shoulder length hair
Beachy waves are a girls BFF. Credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Beachy waves

Beachy waves may be associated with the summer months, but they’re actually a universally flattering look year-round – especially as shoulder-length hairstyles for women! Why, you ask? Because the tousled, lived-in waves provide shorter locks with a much-needed boost in the volume department.

If you’re blessed with curly or wavy-textured hair, then all you need to get the beach waves of your dreams is a good sea salt spray (the VO5 Give Me Texture Rough & Sexy Sea Salt Spray is our editors’ current favourite!). But if you have straight hair, fear not, just follow our super simple step-by-step tutorial, here!

woman with long graduated bob hairstyle on medium toned brown hair
Look at the high shine on this graduated bob. Credit: Instagram.com/hairbyedwin

3. Textured A-line lob

Bobs aren’t just reserved for super short locks, don’t you know? For a textured look that will last all day and night, opt for a stunning, shoulder-grazing A-line lob (AKA a long bob).

If you have naturally thin or limp hair, fake the volume with the help of the Toni&Guy Glamour 3D Volumiser. Before styling, mist it onto dry, lightly tousled hair from root to tip, for added volume and fullness. Credit: @hairbyedwin

asian model with shoulder length brunette hair and a casual side flip
Keep things cool with a casual side flip. Credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Casual side flip

It may seem like a cop-out move, but simply switching up your parting and adding a bit of volume to your shoulder-length locks can work a treat in giving it that extra bit of je ne sais quoi.

All you need is the Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Root Lift Spray  a couple of spritzes on the roots while your hair’s still damp should do the trick – and a fine-tooth comb to backcomb your tresses with.

Then create a deep side part and flip your hair over to the opposite side, et voila! A sexy, tousled look that’s glam enough for rooftop cocktails is all yours!

woman with a half up half down top knot hairstyles wearing sunglasses
The half-up, half-down top knot will earn you instant style points. Credit: Instagram.com/myfashdiary

5. Half-up, half-down top knot

Ooze chicness with a half-up, half-down top knot. Not only is this look easy to do in shoulder-length haircuts, but it’s also every lazy girl’s dream (the perfect style for second-day, greasy hair).

To create this look, simply divide your hair horizontally into 2 sections and put the top one into a high ponytail. Then simply twist the loose hair in your ponytail around its base to make a topknot and secure with some bobby pins. Yep, that’s it! Credit: @myfashdiary

model with dark medium length hair and a half up half down braided hairstyle
Why choose between an updo or a downdo?

6. Braided half-up, half-down ‘do

Loved the idea of a half up look, but after something with a more stylistic edge? Then instead of creating a top knot with your locks, try experimenting with braids!

Hairstyles for shoulder-length hair truly give you the best of both worlds, allowing you to keep the appearance of longer locks, yet still enabling you to play around with woven styles. The look we’re currently crushing on? This half-up crown braid, of course. Sold yet? We thought so!

black woman with shoulder length hair and a side parting
Be sleek and chic with a side parting. Credit: Instagram.com/ellarie

7. The sleek, side-parted ‘do

For a simple, sophisticated look that you can wear all day long, no matter the occasion, opt for a sleek, side-parted ‘do. Part your hair into a deep side parting and spritz it with some VO5 Smoothly Does It Heat Protect Serum.

This product will help to protect your hair from heat damage and make your mane look sleek, thanks to its clever formula. After applying your heat protectant serum, go over your hair using straighteners to achieve a super smooth, sleek look. Credit: @ellarie

model with blonde hair and a shoulder length bob and bangs
Bobs and bangs are always a winning combo. Credit: indigitalimages.com

8. Voluminous lob with bangs

Have thin locks and wondering how to give it some added oomph? Haircuts for shoulder-length hair are the key.

With its very subtle layers and face-framing bangs, this ultra modern long bob style will instantly add volume and create the illusion of thickness to your mane. Surely it’s a win-win, no?

woman with a dusty pink hair colour and a side boxer braid
Add an on-trend edge with a side boxer braid. Credit: Instagram.com/bescene

9. The side boxer braid

Not afraid to mix things up? Then, if you’re ready to stand out from the crowd, we suggest following in the footsteps of this Instagrammer and opting for a bold hair hue, plus weaving a boxer braid on one side of your head.

For a more glamorous edge, lightly curl the ends of your hair with a curling tong and set your loose waves with some VO5 Classic Firm Hold Hairspray. Now go flaunt your fresh new style! Credit: @bescene

model with platinum blonde hair and a twisted ponytail hairstyle
Be unique with a quirky twisted ponytail

10. Twisted ponytail

Want to put your hair up, but feel a ponytail might be a bit boring? Why not try this cool twist (quite literally) on the classic pony?

Cute, fun and easy to do, it’s one of our favourite hairstyles for shoulder-length locks, being the perfect way to inject a subtle playfulness into your look. To learn how to create this youthful-looking updo, follow our foolproof step-by-step tutorial and you’ll have it mastered in next to no time!


Which of these quick and easy shoulder-length hairstyles for women will become your signature ‘do? Let us know over on Twitter @AllThingsHairUK and share your pic! Also, don’t forget to check out all the other incredible looks over on our Medium Hairstyles page.