Shoulder-Length Hairdos for Every Stage and Occasion

Style that lob!

This is the year that everyone is finally getting in on the lob, a.k.a that coveted medium-length chop. And we’re obsessed, to say the least. In general, shoulder-length hairdos look good on everyone, and they can be styled in tons of cool ways too! It’s all the variety you can get with long hair, but without having to deal with the extra length.

But as with any hair type, you can get bored by wearing your hair the same old way. To inspire you to try something new, we’re sharing some new ways to style your shoulder-length hairdos. No matter what your age and no matter what the occasion or season, we’ve got a shoulder-length style for you, so read on:

Blonde woman wearing shoulder-length hairdos fluffy curls and curtain bangs.
Rock those barely-there curls. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. Fluffy Curls and Curtain Bangs

These easy, breezy curls can be done in mere minutes, depending on the thickness of your hair. You just need to use a large three inch barrel curling iron to wrap random bits of hair around for bendy curls. Then you can add in that texture with a defining cream. We like to use Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator Matte Cream for a cool matte finish. Worn with a center part and curtain bans, you can’t go wrong.

Blonde woman wearing shoulder length hairdos of dutch braids.
Our favorite braids for shoulder grazing cuts. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

2. Double Boxer Braids and Bangs

Braids are still achievable on shorter hair. We love these Dutch braided pigtails! Dutch braids (or boxer braids or cornrows) are essentially just a French braid, but you braid under instead of over. This lets the bulk of the braid sit on top of your hair, and it also looks pretty cool, to be honest. Pair up your Dutch braids with long and sleek side bangs.

Red haired woman wearing shoulder length hairdos of slicked down '70s style hair.
A perfect mix of ’20s and ’70s styles. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

3. ’70s Center Part

We like this style on all hair types, and not just on pin straight hair. You can emphasize the center part on curlier textures by slicking down your roots with hair gel.

 

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos curly hair.
A gradual curl looks best!

4. Curly Ends

Who needs volume all over when you can wear this chic partially curled look? We suggest working in these mini twists with a conical curling wand. You know, the kind that is skinnier at the tip? It will help you get a good flow from where the curls start around your ears, through to the ends. When you’re done curling, make sure to add some shine with Catwalk by TIGI Camera Ready Shine Spray.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos deep side part and beach waves.
The deepest side parts help give more volume. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. Deep Side Part

For shoulder length hair, the deeper the side part, the better! We love this look for adding extra volume on thinner hair types. It’s also a great option if you want to add some asymmetry to your look without getting a haircut.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos braids and updo.
Braid from the neck upwards and finish it off with a bun. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

6. Back Braided Updo

The one drawback to shorter hair is that you may have a harder time getting it all up into an updo at once. We like to cheat our way to a cool updo with upside down braids. It can help you get all those shorter strands from the nape of your neck to fit into the updo hairstyle!

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos tousled and wavy hair.
Voluminous second-day hair? Sign us up. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

7. Rough Tousled Lob

How gorgeous is this look? We’re a little in love with the simplicity of this style. We always think this look works the best with a little extra oil in your hair. You can achieve this style by loosely curling freshly washed hair. The next day, once the curls have fallen a bit, you can add more texture. We suggest using Nexxus Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist to refresh your roots and add volume.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos voluminous and curly hair.
For non-curly girls: take your time and curl from root to tip! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

8. Tight Coiled Curls

Shorter curly cuts are our cup of tea. They add gorgeous shape and volume to naturally curly hair. You can always curl your hair to get this effect if you use a half-inch curling wand.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos space buns and center part.
Double buns are twice as fun!

9. Space Buns

We’re totally on board with the space buns hair trend! On shoulder-length hair, you can wear all of your hair in space buns to get a voluminous look. We’re also big fans of doing half up space buns on lob length hair to give you a little more hair to frame your face.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos tucked braid updo.
Tuck that tail for a sleek braided look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

10. Tucked Braid

If you love your lob length hair but sometimes need all of it out of the way, this style is for you. The tucked braid is one of those deceptively easy styles that anyone can do! Create a French braid from the top of your head all the way down to the ends. Secure it in place with a clear mini hair elastic. Then, you can take the tail of the braid and fold it up and under. There should be a little space under the braid at the nape of your neck where the tail can fit! Just tuck it in and pin into place.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder-length hairdos wet hair look
Anyone and everyone should try the wet hair look at least once. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

11. Wet Look Hair

Wet look hair is so trendy all of the sudden and we are here for it. This NYFW look is easy to replicate at home, all you need is some hair gel! We’re particular fans of TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Firm Control Gel. Just apply to your hair, comb back and rock this fun wet look.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder length hairdos messy hair updo.
This messy updo is almost victorian, no? Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

12. Messy Bun Updo

An updo anyone can try is the simple bun. Mixed together with messy, tousled hair and you’ve got yourself an interesting hairstyle. You can start with day old curls, just make sure not to smooth down your hair before styling. You want it to look rumpled! Then just pull back and secure into a simple bun. You can pull out random sections of hair to make it look even messier.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder-length hairdos dutch braid and voluminous hair.
The bigger the braid the better!

13. Beefy Braid

This is the perfect example of how dutch braids show off the texture of braids. They also make it so much easier to get a larger look to your braid. Just braid it on the back, then you can pull and tug on the curves of the braid to get a wider plait.

Brunette woman wearing shoulder-length hairdos french girl hair and center part.
Casual and chic, french girl hair can do no wrong. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

14. French Girl Hair

We’re pretty sure that it’s only possible to get that authentic French girl hairdo when it’s brushing around your shoulders. We love this style because it’s quick and easy and looks good with everything. Start off with a center part, and add in random curls here and there. Inconsistency is key! Rough it up a little bit and you’re good to go.

shoulder length hairstyles blonde
A bright blonde stands out even while covered up.

1. Bright Blonde Locks

Vibrant, blonde hair doesn’t need an introduction, and certainly doesn’t need much dressing up to stand out. Even while snuggled under a skull cap, the mid-lengths and ends are vibrant enough to make a statement. A medium-length cut that dusts the shoulders and collarbones is ideal for bleached hair, too as it cuts off damaged ends and keeps the hair healthy-looking. Bonus points for some texture too.

shoulder length hairstyles side bangs
Side-swept bangs resist cowlicks longer. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

2. Side-Swept Layers

Jonesing for bangs but afraid of the dreaded helmet head? Opt for a fuller fringe or loose side layers instead. Thicker hair means more density on the hairline and crown, which means a smaller risk of your beanie or hat carving in a dent on your mid-lengths. It’s also the fringe to go for if static and cowlicks are a problem, as strands cut in this manner usually lay down neater from the crown and keep their integrity when swept to the side, as above. As far as length goes, keep your bangs at the golden mean—we like ’em around three millimeters past the brows—for a softer, more graceful gaze (and for a bit of wiggle room when peeking under your brim). Otherwise, keep them at cheekbone level for a layered effect.

shoulder length hairstyles pigtail braids
Go to market or stay home: Trendy pigtail braids quickly inject some style into any casual look. Photo credit: Dvora

3. Pigtail Braids

Pigtails that are worn under a baseball cap or beanie lose any juvenile associations when rendered in a casual, haphazard (read: not campy) braid. It’s this almost-an-afterthought feel that gives the look its street cred. For a more directional look, go for plaits that are pancaked or tugged outwards: This imparts a more textured, overall rumpled aesthetic that goes perfectly with your cozy fall headgear.

shoulder length hairstyles loose waves
Chunky waves balance out a wide brim.

4. Loose Waves

Put that growing-out lob haircut to hard work by maximizing its layers. Dividing hair into sections, twirl each loosely around a curling iron, going in different directions, and shake them out for a tousled look. This gives your look more heft at the bottom, which effectively balances out a big-brimmed hat or other substantial headgear (side-eyeing you, pom-pom beanie fans!).

shoulder length hairstyles straight beanie
Lazy bends are made for the beanie life. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. Rich Girl Hair

What to do when your hair is straight and prone to the dreaded hat head bend? Cut it off at the pass, that’s what. Styling straight shoulder length hairstyles with a loose, slightly lazy bend is true effortless chic. It has a rather too-cool-to-care look, like you just rolled out of bed and had better things to do than struggle with your curling iron (which may or may not be a true story).

braided crown blonde hair
Show your date the princess you are with a braided crown.

1. Side Part With a Braided Crown

Who doesn’t love a date with great taste or one who’s on top of the trends? Pull your hair up, but add a little trendy touch for date night. Try a braided crown on one side of your hair that will show off your stylish side. Pull out some hair around your front hairline for a ritzy finish that makes the look. Don’t be surprised if your date starts asking you for fashion and style tips!

side part wavy hair
Show your boyfriend your edgy side with waves. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Wavy Tresses with a Fringe

Bowling or ping-pong? Take your pick and complement game night with your date with a fun hairstyle. Style your fringe for date night with a piece-y and airy feel. Finish off the remainder of hair with a touch of loose waves. Win or lose, give your date some competitive edge will love this carefree look.

neat ballerina bun
Keep it simple, sleek, and neat for meeting your date’s parents. Photo credit: Indigital

3. Sleek Midi Bun 

Keep it simple with a sleek pulled back bun secured at the middle of your dome. This midi bun is your go-to versatile hairstyle for a semi-formal date night. And, if this date involves meeting the parents, what better way to show off your beautiful face. If cowlicks are getting in the way keep them tame with the help of some hair gel.

use hair setting lotion to create vintage finger waves
Smooth Operator: Show off your stylish vintage finger waves hairstyle and wow your date! Want to update your length? Opt for some fun clip-ins. Photo credit: Indigital

4. Smooth Waves 

Heading out to a musical or a luxe five-star restaurant? Add an elegant touch to your shoulder length hair with smooth vintage inspired waves. This hairstyle rises to the occasion with its sexy and feminine touch. Make sure to finish off with a hairspray to keep your wave in place.

long hair with bangs
Keep it cool, calm and collected with a straight ‘do for date night. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. Straight Cut

Maybe a stroll in the park on a cool summer night is more up your alley for date night. Show off your shoulder grazing length and blunt cut with a straight hairdo. Give the tresses in the front a little bump to the ends to frame your face.

shoulder length hairstyles with soft curls
Luscious Curls for Date Night? Why Not! Style it with a floral hair accessory to add a touch of girly glam. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

6. Glamorous Curls

Feeling cute and flirty? Give your mane some touchable and bouncy romantic curls. Your curls are bound to win some flattering compliments from your lovely date. Wear this style to a jazz concert or have your curls blowing in the wind while you’re cruising around town. Be sure to use some mousse like Dove Style+Care Volume Amplifier Mousse to help you achieve bouncy and full curls.

low and cute ponytail hairstyle complete look
One of the easiest shoulder length hairstyles is the ponytail. Highlight your face features with a pulled back look for date night.

7. Fun Ponytail 

No need to feel like plain Jane because your nerves have you worked up for your first date. Keep your date night hairstyle simple with a ponytail. This style is ideal for a casual date night at the movies. Play around with tendrils at the front hairline to add a carefree yet stylish touch to your hairstyle.

shoulder length hairstyles bob
Try a mature looking wispy shoulder-length style.

1. Shoulder Length Bob

Opt for a classic hairstyle with a blunt, layered bob. The stacked bob is super simple for an everyday look; just add some hair mousse, like the Dove Style+Care Volume Amplifier Mousseto amp up your volume. Then, towel-dry your hair and blow-dry it with a round ceramic brush for some added lift. You’ll look blowout chic in no time.

shoulder length hairstyles Goldilocks length
Blonde and beautiful.

2. Wavy Mid-Length

Not too long and not too short, the shoulder length cut is just the right length for any specific hairstyle you want to achieve. To make the most of your mid-length cut, ask your stylist to add a few layers. The addition of piecey sections of hair will add a sense of movement and flair, not to mention added volume which is always good in our book.

shoulder length hairstyles natural
Rock your natural curls when you get older. Photo credit: Dvora

3. Go for Natural Curls

Constantly blown-out hair eventually loses its appeal, at least for every day. Why not embrace your natural curls? Try out TRESemmé Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse to help shape your curls while adding moisture and shine.

shoulder length hairstyles highlights
The most flattering layers.

4. Hair Highlights

Dismiss the notion that highlights aren’t age-appropriate because the slight golden tints will only liven up your look. Whether you want to keep it super subtle or go a bit chunky, the addition of a blonde hue can take your look from drab to fab. What’s more, blonde highlights have a certain way of disguising gray hair; so if you’re in the market for a solution to your silver fox syndrome, this just might prove to be the perfect fix.

shoulder length hairstyles color
Go darker than you’ve gone before.

6. Full Color

With age comes a desire for total renovations—whether that’s for your home, your wardrobe or your hair; we’re on board for an adventure into the unknown. When determining your hair color make sure you let your stylist know exactly what you’re going for and be sure to bring in a picture for reference. Apart from the obvious color boost, dying middle-aged hair has the added benefit of reviving slightly less lively locks by adding some texture.