Neither short nor long, a shoulder length hairstyle might sound like a safe option, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Shoulder-length hair is as versatile as it comes offering a middle ground between high maintenance chin-grazing bobs and extra long locks. Mid-length styles come in many forms, from tousled and textured to smooth and straight — but what is the best hair type for shoulder-length hair? Whether you have straight hair, curly hair or wavy hair, we’ve gathered the best shoulder length hairstyles and hair care products for every face shape and hair texture to inspire your next chop.
Wondering what face shape looks good with shoulder-length hair? Shoulder lengths are the most flattering on a heart shaped face. Here are a few of our favorite styles.
Otherwise known as a long bob, the lob is a great haircut that works well for heart-shaped faces. It’s also the perfect cut to try when transitioning from a longer length. Especially if you have fine or thin hair, a lob with a side flip gives an instant boost of volume.
The best set of bangs for a heart-shaped face are straight, curtain bangs. Cut slightly longer at the outer edges and hitting just above the jaw, the length helps to add width at the narrowest part of the face, near the chin. Add a fringe that hangs to the collarbone, as anything shorter tends to look too boxy. Keep the length in front and avoid very short layers to draw attention down and away from the forehead.
Almost any shoulder-length hairstyle or cut will work with oval faces. An oval face is longer than it is wide. You'll also have a round jawline and chin. Your forehead will be the widest part of your face, while your other features are round and soft. Mid-lengths frame the face perfectly, and these are a few of our favorite looks.
A blunt cut will never go out of style, and it suits most textures. The softness of the jawline and chin allows a blunt cut to hug an oval face, giving strands a flattering swinging effect. For low-maintenance styling, stick to one even length.
A fringe in the form of bangs also looks chic against an oval face. The covered forehead and wider bang width adds balance up top. Use a large round brush to blow out your fringe until smooth and to get the ends to flick out. Straight or wavy hair are great textures for this style.
The tell-tale features of a diamond-shaped face are a small pointed chin, wide cheekbones, and a hairline that peaks at the top center of a narrow forehead. If you want to keep your hair on the longer side, shoulder length or just below the shoulder are both great lengths for this face shape.
A center or slightly off-center parted curtain bang helps to maintain the silhouette of the diamond face shape, and is easy to maintain because you're not trying to fight their natural direction. Center these around tousled, collar-bone grazing strands with face-framing layers. Curtain bangs balance a diamond-faced silhouette by elongating the face and widening the forehead. The effect is French-girl chic.
A wavy lob gives a balanced fullness to a diamond shaped face. Instead of the volume gradually decreasing into thin ends, the hair maintains fullness toward the chin. The resulting look is proportionate and flattering. If you have naturally curly or wavy strands, you can replicate this look by air-drying your hair. Add a no-fuss fringe that will air-dry into the shag effortlessly.
Try to strike the perfect balance in the shape of the hair, as round face shapes are less suited to very sleek or very voluminous styles. Your goal with a round face is to trick the eye and create more definition, elongating the face. These are the shoulder-length looks that will do just that.
For round face shapes, straight bangs are generally a no-no, as they accentuate the face's fullness. But bangs can still look great — instead, go for thick, side-swept bangs that are cut at a strong angle. A side-swept bang will divert attention from the roundness of the face and is a classic, versatile style. These bangs can be worn at various lengths, by any hair type or texture, on any skin tone at any age. It's no wonder this trend is always coming back.
You can elongate a round face by adding soft layers just below the jawline, keeping the shape square throughout. Layered shoulder-length haircuts suit round faces by creating a more angular look, as well as adding movement, texture, and definition to the hair itself. Loose, face-framing layers that begin below the chin work best for a round face and can help it appear longer and more square.
A square face can be easily narrowed and elongated with straight shoulder-length strands along the cheeks. These will strategically cover the jaw corners for a soft feminine hairstyle, framing your face with waves or curls. Avoid a sharp, blunt cut that hits right at the chin. It will accentuate the jaw, creating a boxy effect. Here are a few of our faves.
To soften the edges of a square face as your hairstylist to texturize the ends of your shoulder-length cut. This is a technique where the tips of the hair are texturized using thinning scissors. This cut is smooth, layer-free and works best for mid-length to long hair. Starts the cheekbones and go down the diagonal to the end of the length to break up the hard angles of the face.
If you’re a classic, square-faced beauty, show off a just-below-the-collarbone cut with some tousled, messy waves. This look adds softness to a strong jawline. If you have any natural culs or waves, consider leaving them natural to soften your angular features. To style your waves, flip the hair upside down to dry the roots in the opposite direction for max volume. Finish with 1.5-inch large barrel curling iron to create some loose, bouncy waves.
A teasing comb and your favorite fine hair products are your very best friends if you’re dealing with hair loss or thinning hair. Use your comb to backcomb or tease the front of your hair for height at the crown. This create the illusion of more hair, while helping to hide any noticeable bald patches on your scalp.
These are our favorite volume-building hair products to bring life back to fine hair without weighing it down.
These are our favorite products to de-frizz, nourish and tame shoulder-length thick hair.
Bring bounce back to your curls with these curly hair products that resist humidity, prevent frizz and give elasticity back to your hair.
Remember that hair health is of the utmost priority, so using clean, natural products is a must. All of our Davines formulas are free of harmful toxins and made from natural ingredients. Our products are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. To find a Davines salon in your area, see our salon locator.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
All photos courtesy of Davines Hair Art Director Tom Connell