There’s nothing better than a fresh haircut from your favorite hairdresser. It can add a certain edge to your look and help keep your hair healthy. But when growing out your hair from a short pixie, bob, lob, or even bangs, you might feel an awkwardness as your strands start to hang — leaving you wondering what to do in the in-between stage. “It can be tempting to cut your hair back off,” says Whitney Eaddy, celebrity natural hair expert and founder of Juices & Botanics. “But with the options for mid-length haircuts, you will find less daily and overall maintenance that work great on all textures.”
And sure, medium-length hair (cut that is somewhere between the chin and a few inches below the shoulders) isn’t as dramatic as a sharp pixie or big chop, but you can still have fun with it. In fact, this summer they’ve been upgraded with layers and strategic shaping to create volume and movement. Translation, the midway point doesn’t have to be so awkward for you and your hair.
To help you achieve the look, sans fuss, TZR enlisted the advice of top hair stylists to uncover the best mid-length haircuts and tips to avoid the awkward grow out phase.
Multi-Length Curly Fringe
Embracing your natural texture with a low maintenance style that shows off your spirals and coils is always in fashion. Upgrade the look with curly bangs cut at different lengths. The variety will help shape the face giving you more of a square and dramatic silhouette. To style, simply apply a hydrating leave-in conditioner and light oil or mousse for volume and definition, without the crunch. To maintain the look, plait hair in braids, twists, or bantu knots and unravel after it sets.
An upgrade on a classic lob, some ombré color is an easy way to add a little flavor to the cut. “The lob is always a good haircut for those mid-length styles because it can be styled in many ways,” Matt Swinney, RUSK global creative director tells TZR. “Lobs are great for textures 1 – 3a unless you plan on straightening your locks, then you may be able to get away with this style on 3b texture.” You can style with a round brush to blow it out or let it air dry for a more voluminous finish.
The Modern Shag
The modern shag features a blend of multiple shoulder-grazing layers that help to frame the face. It’s great for on-the-go schedules as the shattered layers add volume and movement for a natural air-dry. “The modern shag lends the benefits of a short haircut (shorter drying time and less weight) and can be styled wavy or curly, and straight,” says Ashley Streicher, hairstylist for Garnier who recommends Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Glass Hair Water when styling.
Curly Layered Lob
A lob is one of the easiest options to growing out your curls as its pretty low maintenance and requires minimal upkeep. “A lob is the perfect mid-length haircut,” says Eaddy. “Having a lob also means your hair is more or less one length so it needs trims less often.” Adding in face-framing layers also keeps your curls from getting weighed down and promotes movement. To maintain the shine, massage in a lightweight hair oil every few days.
Blunt Collarbone Cut
Cut right at the nape of the neck, this haircut takes after a chic grown-out bob, hitting right at the collarbone. It’s blunt and has minimal layering and works the best with a little texture. And if you want to play around with the cut, Swinney suggests experimenting with styling. “Finding fun and new ways to pull your hair back, curling your hair in different ways, and blowing out the hair with a round brush, can help you find your signature style that makes you feel the most confident,” the pro shares.
Voluminous Wolf Cut
For those that like the drama of a short cut but want to retain length, the wolf cut (a combination of a shag, mullet, and overall grow-out) is a great answer. To keep hair hydrated and looking its best, Eaddy recommends deep conditioning your hair once a week. “Deep conditioning improves elasticity, hydrates and softens the hair while restoring moisture, and offers a smoother finish.” This crucial step will also help combat breakage and protect hair from heat styling.
According to Swinney, invisible layers are a great approach for mid-length hair with 3b textures and higher. “This will help bring volume and movement, so your hair shape doesn’t get triangular,” the expert tells TZR. The key here is to add in invisible layers that are not harsh, but instead softly flow throughout the head.
Extended Curtain Bangs
Seen on all major A-listers, curtain bangs, the amazing face-framing fringe were all the rage last summer, aren’t loosing any steam this year. In fact, they have been updated to a long, lived-in bang — with added length and styled in a disheveled way. These messy, cool-girl bangs add an edge to mid-length hair and blends in well as they grow out.
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