29 Shoulder-Length Layered Hairstyles to Get You Inspired

These medium-length layered hairstyles prove just how gorgeous this look can be.  

Not quite long enough to pass as long but also not short enough to count as short hair, medium-length cuts are the perfect middle ground. And the best part is, they can work for any hair type, whether your hair is on the thinner side, super thick, straight or curly.

To help inspire your next cut, we’ve put together an edit of some of the best medium layered hair looks. Keep scrolling to see some of our favourite celebs rocking the mid-length style and read our expert tips on how to make it work for you.

Soft Shoulder-length Layers

Rosie Huntington Whitley with blonde layered shoulder length hair
Credit: Instagram.com/rosiehw

Soft layers like those on Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are great for adding soft movement while retaining the overall length of the hair. Credit: @rosiehw

Soft Layered Lob

Shoulder length layered hair: Emilia Clarke with brunette mid-length light brown balayage hair worn in a side parting
The perfect in-between length. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Whether you’re growing out a bob or contemplating getting one cut, this mid-way length is a great transitional style and the soft shaping at the ends makes all the difference.

Textured Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: Gemma Chan with shoulder length wavy layered dark hair
Mermaid waves help to add soft texture. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

For those with straight hair, see how Gemma Chan’s subtle ombre and mermaid waves add texture to her mid-length layered hair.

Editor’s tip: There’s nothing worse than limp layers, so pump up the volume with a texturising spray, like the VO5 Dry Texturising Spray. This spray is great for adding an undone, messy texture to make your style look instantly cooler.

Curly Shoulder-length Layers

Woman with naturally curly shoulder length layered hair with fringe
Credit: Instagram.com/cashlawlesshair

Curls look amazing with layers! Not only do they add more definition to waves and curls but they help to give your hair a more natural shag finish especially when styled with a fringe. Credit: @cashlawlesshair

Long Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: Jennifer Aniston with mid-length blonde hair with a side fringe and layers
Jennifer Aniston is a great advocate for getting layers. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Jennifer Aniston adds the illusion of extra length to her mid-length hair with a swooping side fringe and long layers. Try this look if you’re craving a trim but still want to hang onto your length.

Face-framing Layers with Balayage

Woman with medium length wavy layered hair
Credit: Instagram.com/livetruelondon

If you’re looking for something new and subtle, we suggest asking your stylist for face-framing layers. This is also a great option for those who don’t want to sacrifice their overall length. Credit: @livetruelondon

Beachy Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: Hailey Baldwin with shoulder length golden blonde layered waves
We love Hailey’s beachy surfer style. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

If you’re looking for the perfect summer style, look no further. Hailey Baldwin‘s windswept layers give a surfer girl feel that pairs flawlessly with her sunny blonde strands.

Wispy Layers on Straight Hair

Dua Lipa with shoulder length straight layered hair
Credit: Instagram.com/dualipa

Slay your layered haircut by adding a fun ’90s blonde and brown colour combo just like Dua Lipa (AKA the poster girl for all things ’90s right now). Credit: @dualipa

Alexa Chung’s Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: british model alexa chung with shoulder length brunette hair with tousled layers
Ooze effortless cool with undone, tousled layers like Alexa. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Giving medium-length layered hairstyles the fashion-pack seal of approval is model and designer Alexa Chung, who oozes cool girl chic with this fab tousled style!

We love the way that she adds some loose, natural-looking waves to her hair to accentuate her shorter layers, working in perfect harmony with her effortless gappy fringe.

Tousled Shoulder-length Layers

Woman with dark brown shoulder length layered hair
Credit: Instagram.com/chrisjones_hair

Get that I woke up like this look with tousled layers that are just screaming to be styled with big waves and flipped over to one side. Credit: @chrisjones_hair

Lived-in Lob

Shoulder length layered hair: Margot Robbie with an ash blonde wavy long bob with layers
Margot’s lived-in lob looks effortlessly cool. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Margot Robbie is proof that layers always look better when styled into barely-there curls. So if you’re looking for the best way to show off your newly-cut layers, you know what to do!

Medium Layers with Bangs

Woman with brown medium layered hair with bangs
Credit: Instagram.com/renyaxydis

What better way to show off your shoulder-length layers than with bangs! For added texture, spray your hair with a dry shampoo or a texturising spray, this will help show off layers on straight hair and help to give your strands that rock’n’roll vibe. Credit: @renyaxydis

Rock Chick Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: Olivia Culpo with voluminous brunette medium length hair with layers, wearing a colourful animal print outfit
Would you look at that volume! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Olivia Culpo proves that medium layered haircuts can have just as much volume than longer, flowing styles.

Editor’s tip: Tempted to try out Olivia’s rock chick style? For Bardot-worthy volume, turn to the Toni&Guy Root Lift Sculpting Powder. Simply sprinkle into your roots and the weightless, matte formula will instantly create masses of volume, without leaving your hair feeling like its full of product.

Classic Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: Jenna Coleman with shoulder-length brunette hair with face-framing layers
Classy and sophisticated. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

How chic does Jenna Coleman look with this mid-length layered look? We love her gently curled ends, which bring out the shorter layers around her chin.

Shaggy Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: actress lily collins with shaggy shoulder length brown hair
Limp locks? Boost volume at your roots with 70s-inspired layers. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Lily Collins is bringing back the ‘70s shag with this amped-up mid-length layered hair look. With short layers and a bumped-up crown, this style radiates retro-chic with a totally modern twist!

Psst: it’s also the perfect way to boost fine tresses, so if you’re suffering from thinning hair this is definitely one to consider.

Layers on Thick Hair

Shoulder length layered hair: Priyanka Chopra with mid-length brunette hair with highlights and layers, styled in a side parting
Show off your thick hair with a layered look like Priyanka’s. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Who better to look to for hair inspiration than an actual Miss World winner, right? Priyanka’s shoulder-length layered cut has volume and sass aplenty and is the ideal source of inspiration for any thick-haired ladies.

Layers on Wavy Lob

Ashley Benson with blonde wavy shoulder length layered hair
Credit: Instagram.com/josephmaine

Choppy layers are great for adding volume and definition to fine and thick strands. While the style is modern and chic, it also works a treat for limp strands that lack movement. Credit: @josephmaine

Layers with Bangs

Shoulder length layered hair: british actress felicity jones with shoulder length brunette hair with bangs and layers
Bangs + layers = a match made in hair heaven! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Love medium layered haircuts but worried they won’t work with your fringe? Well, worry no more, as Felicity Jones is all the proof you need that bangs and layers are perfectly paired!

With her full, blunt fringe and subtle face-framing layers, this look brings out her stunning green eyes like a dream.

Shoulder-length Layers with Balayage

Woman with shoulder length wavy layered blonde balayage hair
Credit: Instagram.com/emilycooper_hair

Whether it’s a balayage, ombre or highlights, show off your shoulder-length layers with a subtle colour melt like this blonde balayage. Credit: @emilycooper_hair

Highlighted Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: Selena Gomez with a brunette shoulder length lob with lighter chocolate brown highlights around her face
Draw attention to face-framing layers with highlights. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

The best way to really make your medium layered hair shine? Highlights, of course! Note how Selena Gomez has added in some lighter chocolate highlights through her shoulder-length cut to accentuate her hue and make her eyes pop.


Blunt Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: comedy actress tina fey with shoulder length brown hair and blunt layers
Give your look a professional, polished finish with blunt layers. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

If you’re in need of an office-appropriate, shoulder-length layered hair look, Tina Fey’s simple layered ends are all the inspiration you need.

Letting all of your hair remain the same length but adding slight shape to the ends with some neat layers, this look is perfect if you’re looking for a more mature style.

Flicked-out Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: Sarah Hyland with honey blonde mid-length hair with retro flicked-out layers
Add a touch of retro flair with flicked-out layers. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Stay in keeping with the current retro hair trend with flicked-out layers. Sarah Hyland’s flattering style is also a good one to consider if you have thin hair as it’s the ultimate body-booster.

Choppy Layers on Highlighted Hair

Woman with shoulder length layered hair
Credit: Instagram.com/chadwoodhair

Light choppy layers, like above, are great for giving your hair a natural bedhead finish. Credit: @chadwoodhair

Sleek and Straight Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: nickelodeon actress victoria justice with sleek straight brunette hair with layers
Straightening your locks can help to accentuate any layers in your look! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Nickelodeon actress Victoria Justice knows that straightening your hair can really help to make the most of any layers in your mane. With her raven mid-length layered hair divided into a perfect centre parting (with chic straightened lengths), this is the perfect way to wear your layers for an evening out.

Flicky Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: actress eva longoria with shoulder length brunette hair and flicky layers
Open up your face with flicky layers a la Eva. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

For a sexy, sultry look, try working some flicked-out layers into your mane a la Eva Longoria. Adding a glam twist to mid-length layered hair, this is the perfect haircut for the woman who does it all, taking you seamlessly from desk to date night!

Face-Framing Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: 90210 actress annalynne mccord with shoulder length hair with face framing layers
Add shape to a classic cut with face-framing layers like AnnaLynne’s. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

With her naturally coiled locks straightened, AnnaLynne McCord’s graduated layers accentuate her heart-shaped face for an ultra-flattering finish.

Editor’s tip: Don’t forget to protect your delicate strands with a heat protectant before straightening. The TRESemmé Heat Defence Spray contains a heat activated complex to help protect your locks from heat, so you can rest assured that not only does your hair look good, it’s being cared for, too.

Medium Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: british actress keira knightley with shoulder length dark hair and medium layers
Fake your way to fuller locks by incorporating layers of varying lengths into your look. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Thought medium layered hairstyles were a little too ‘out there’ for you? Then take inspiration from Keira Knightley’s staggered, medium layered hair and ask your stylist to incorporate a mixture of short, medium and long length layers for a wispy, feminine look.

Long Layers

Shoulder length layered hair: blonde american actress elle fanning with shoulder length hair with long layers
Make the most of your length by asking for long, soft layers. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Want to maintain your length? No problem! Opting for mid-length layered hair with long layers (like blonde actress Elle Fanning) is a great way to work layers into your look, without sacrificing any of your length.

Highlighted Layers

Woman with blonde wavy layered bob
Credit: Instagram.com/chadwoodhair

Highlights help tp give strands a sunkissed finish whether you’re a blonde or brunette. So, if you’re looking for a summer cut and colour, consider highlighted layers. Credit: @chadwoodhair


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