A medium length may set some restrictions on variability of hairstyles, since some ‘dos really look more advantageous on longer lengths. However, with shoulder-grazing hair you can also afford plenty of gorgeous updos which won’t ever give out your actual length. Updo hairstyles are an urgent topic for summer days when you need to keep your locks off the face and more or less organized. Besides, every formal event suggests an elegant ‘do, preferably a pulled up style. Whether you’ve dropped in to check on fresh ideas for casual looks or formal updos for shoulder-length hair, you are going to find here both. So, better take some minutes to check what we’ve found for you on the subject.
What updos are the best for medium length? It, certainly, depends on the occasion. However, we can sum up the most popular hairstyles for mid length and create a sort of summary on this topic. In brief, we can list these: buns, simple knots and French knots, braided updos and up hairstyles with tucked ends. Read further for a more detailed review.
Best Updos for Medium Length Hair
- Buns. A bun is probably the easiest updo you can do yourself. With medium length hair that is not thick enough, you may lack body which eventually tells on the bun’s size. Backcombing helps to add body and visually enlarge the bun’s size.
- Knots. Modern knots are rather loose and messy. Tease your hair at the roots to provide some lift around your face and make a low or high “imperfect” knot. Once it’s ready and fixed, you may pull at occasional strands to make loops. Don’t forget that deliberately messy styles are currently trendy.
- Braids. A rare casual updo comes these days without a braid. Whether it’s a chunky crown braid or a tight thin braid on one side to complement a bun, braids are very welcome in modern updos.
- Multi-Component Styles. Sometimes we do not want to keep it plain. The fanciest hairstyle designs come from multi-component hairstyles, combining, for example, twists and curls, a braid and a bun, a braid and a knot, etc. You may also create your own style, drawing inspiration from the following ideas.
#1: Updo with Fringe Bangs
While fringe bangs are perfect for shaggy layered styles, they can sometimes look disjointed in elegant pin-ups. It is important to blend them with the rest of the low bun by incorporating a few face-framing pieces.
#2: Blonde Bouffant Up Do
Fine hair can look incredibly flat in updo hairstyles because the strands have less width than average. In some cases, especially with light-colored hair, you can see the scalp peeking through. To combat this, create some height through the crown with a big bouffant.
#3: Fancy Roll for Medium Hair
If you opt for a simple look like this messy looped style, it would help to have some chunky highlights to add visual interest. They are especially exciting when twisted together to create a swirled mix of caramel and coffee hues.
#4: Ballerina Updo
A ballerina bun can seem juvenile if it is pulled too tight or high on the head. Make it modern with wispy waves tied at the nape of the neck. Those with thin hair can use a sock to create the ideal donut shape.
#5: Low-key Loose Updo
Updos for medium hair do not always have to be polished and sleek for formal settings; they are perfect for everyday wear as well. Try a look that’s as low maintenance as possible so that you can spend more time enjoying your day and less time getting ready.
#6: Cinnamon Roll Updo
Planning your hairstyle as a wedding guest can be tough. You want to be polished enough for the environment without stealing the shine away from the bride. A twisted chignon is low-key enough for a guest and will suit any dress code—just skip any added hair embellishments.
#7: Loose Curly Updos
Women who are fans of the romantic updo hairstyles in period movies like Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice will love these looks. These styles are pretty formal on their own, but you can take them up a notch with accessories like flowers or barrettes.
#8: Low Side Buns with Braids
One of the best ways to add texture and interest if your updo seems too flat is with braided details. You can use braids to frame your face, outline a loose bun or create intricate designs. If you are looking for a style for prom, this is a trendy hairdo that is sure to turn heads.
#9: Rosette Side Updo
Sometimes it’s the details that matter. At first glance this appears to be a simple side bun, but upon further inspection one notices that it resembles the petals of a blooming bud. This look can be casual or classy and can easily take you from work to happy hour.
#10: Curly Pin-Up for Medium Hair
Shoulder length hair may look short in low buns because of the lack of length from the nape of the neck to the ends. Pinning curled pieces into a loose low updo gives a full style with no need for extensions.
#11: Elegant Buns and Chignons
Minimalism is a major trend in fashion, and it can easily be applied to the beauty industry as well. In fact, the simple, but elegant hairstyles you see here would be the perfect accent to a polished shift dress or a cashmere sweater and midi skirt.
#12: Chic Medium Chignon
Short on time? Just roll and go. A chignon is perfect for medium length hair because it gives the fullness and volume that you might not get with a tight coil. If the event you are attending is more formal, try adding some soft coiled details to make the style stand out.
#13: Bold Braided Updo
A quick way to make hairstyles for medium hair stand out is with braids. Not only do they add visual interest, but also texture. Try playing with different sizes as shown in this fun faux Mohawk style.
#14: Flawless French Roll Updo
One of the most common hair updos is the French roll. Not only is it sleek and stylish, but it’s also very easy to do. All you need is five minutes and some bobby pins! The best part is that it is universally appealing and will work pretty much anywhere that you go.
#15: Halo Fishtail Braid
Welcome a stunning version of braided updo on the base of fishtail braid. Halo braids are so perfect and at the same time they can look casual thanks to the texture and cute flyaways!
#16: Messy Textured Hairstyles
French roll styles are chic and classic updos, but they can seem mature on younger girls. Make them modern and trendy by incorporating rough messy texture and wispy layers surrounding the face.
#17: Honey Blonde Updo with Twists
Easy updos for medium hair can be created by twisting hair and pinning it into place. Just use a bit of trial and error until you get a look that satisfies your taste. With all of the intricate details, make sure you spritz a heavy dose of hairspray to keep it all in place.
#18: Low Updo with Pin Curls
While a messy up do is all the rage right now, sometimes it is not appropriate for certain environments. If texture is what you desire in a polished style, flat pin curls will give you that without any added bulk or frizz. For additional patterns, intertwine a few small braids.
#19: Upside Down Braid with Bun
It can be slightly difficult to braid upwards from the nape of your neck, but every extra ounce of effort exerted while your head is flipped over will be rewarded by this gorgeous style. Try pinning a little flower into the bun as a finishing touch.
#20: Pretty Messy Buns
For a new take on the standard buns, why not try messy knots and rolls instead? The smaller size gives you the ability to create anything from a faux Mohawk to one large updo comprised of intertwined knots. Whether you want a casual look or a formal one, you can twist your hair into an appropriate look for any occasion.
#21: Loose Messy Updos
One of the shining points of Dolce & Gabbana’s show was the hair and makeup. Not only do they make a striking statement on the runways, but the messy updos for medium hair paired with a dark romantic lip and gilded accessories would be perfect for your next formal event.
#22: Contemporary French Roll Updos
Despite the previous look, there is some advantage to wearing a more traditional updo, like a French twist — especially if you are a busy woman who has to juggle many different kinds of events in one day. Easy updos, which can be done in 10 minutes or less, are your best bet.
#23: Low Loose Updo with Headpiece
To create the illusion of longer, thicker hair, a low updo with large twists is a great trick. This pretty hairstyle is casual yet fancy, and looks extra special with a statement headpiece.
#24: High Voluminous Updo
If low buns aren’t your thing, a high voluminous hair updo may be the option for you! Hair is pulled back in the front, and has lots of texture and height in the back! Accessorize with a fancy hairpiece that complements your outfit.
#25: Messy Braid Medium Updo
Ladies with straight, medium length hair, this one is for you! Step away from the curling wand and try out this loose, messy braid. It’s effortlessly gorgeous, and relatively easy to DIY— leave out some pieces to frame your face, create a large braid on one side of your hair and loosely gather the remaining hair at the nape of your neck with bobby pins. Fan out some loops and you are good to go!
#26: French Twist with Headpiece
Shoulder length hair is long enough to rock a French twist! Pull your hair back so that it has no part, and twist it to one side to shape a roll. Secure and decorate with flowers on the side of the twist. If you have shorter mid-layers, leave them out to frame your face for a more laidback look.
#27: Gathered Mid-Length Updo
Gathered updos are a go-to hairstyle for many occasions since they are delicate and flattering on all types of hair. It’s also an easy updo for medium hair! Curl your locks with a large barrel wand and gather them into a loose, curly chignon. The beauty of this ‘do is that it doesn’t need to be arranged perfectly to achieve the desired effect.
#28: Medium Length Chignon with Twists
Another gorgeous chignon, but this one is a bit more refined. With romantic twirls from both sides of your hair, create a pulled up chignon where both ends of the twists meet. An optional choice is adding a smaller brooch!
#29: Wavy Pulled Back Bun
This is an excellent example of how to work with medium layered hair! Create this easy hairstyle by styling your hair wavy, and softly gathering it all back sans part. Depending on the length of your hair, arrange what’s left in a messy bun and voila!
#30: Neat Twisted Low Updo
If you like your hairstyles to be on the neater, cleaner side but with a personal touch, this one is to try out! This updo works for shoulder length hair since all you need is hair long enough to twist at the nape of your neck! Accessorize with some sparkly hairpins, and you’re good to go.
#31: French Braid and Low Bun
Take the standard chignon to the next level by French braiding along the center of your head and overlapping the side sections at the nape of your neck. This style will work better if you have longer layers that won’t stick out of the braid, but shoulder length hair will work with it, too! Simply pull up the remaining hair into a smaller, cute roll!
#32: Classic Low Updo
A classic low updo is a timeless choice that suits all face shapes. Tease the hair at the crown of your head for extra lift, leave out a longer layer in the front for accentuation, and skip the hair accessories if you are going for an understated glamour look.
#33: Updo with Twists
Who needs a boring ‘do when you can have a masterpiece on the back of your head? A piecey style with many twists is a lovely updo for medium length hair. With so much going on, it’s better to skip any extra accessories.
#34: Messy Low Chignon
This is a versatile coiffure for a semi-formal event or everyday wear! Show off the multiple tones of your hair color, whether you have highlights or balayage, and play around with your messy-chic chignon!
#35: High Twist Updo with Headband
This high updo for shoulder length hair takes 3 simple steps, and looks very clean and formal! Step 1: Pull your hair back and loosely twist into a roll (the look depends on the length of your hair). Step 2: Leave out a nice chunk of hair to frame the side of your face. Step 3: Add a headband!
#36: Simple and Elegant Chignon
How chic is this ‘do?! This chignon is very elegant and it’s a pretty updo for medium hair. The classic up hairstyle with a modern messy touch is fancy enough for formal events and will complement different types of occasion dresses.
#37: Double Twist Half Updo
If you feel more like yourself with some of your hair down, a half up style will be your best friend. Great for shoulder length hair— style with loose curls, and make two double twists on each side to form this cute hairstyle.
#38: Retro Chignon with Bling
With themed parties being so popular nowadays, a retro hairstyle is a wonderful choice for any ‘20s era glamour events. Add a sparkly headpiece above your low bun, and you will be the belle of the ball.
#39: Twisted Medium Updo
Let this cute hairstyle for medium length hair inspire you on trying creative ‘dos that look simple yet special! Skip the classic chignon, and roll pieces of twisted hair into an intricate design. A small hairpin partly hidden by your creation will add some extra intrigue.
#40: Large Rolled Up Chignon
Gather your hair as if you’re about to create a low ponytail and roll it to form a large chignon. Decorate with a twist around its base and a sparkly barrette. This style works best for straight hair that is about shoulder length.
#41: Flower Updo with Twists
How gorgeous is this updo? With loosely braided strands on every side of your head, this romantic style oozes a feminine and soft appeal. The textured flower updo works beautifully with the twin twist— make sure to add a lot of hairspray to make the volume last!
#42: Natural Hair Low Bun
A low neat bun is a formal updo that suits mid length natural hair. Pull hair back shaping a small bouffant, create thin braids or twists along the hairline and feed them into your chignon. A lace headband that compliments your gown is a wonderful choice for a bride!
#43: Ribbon Braid Up Do
When it’s your big day, any old updo hairstyle will not do. Try a fancy variation that mimics a beautiful bouquet with a winding ribbon and a few springs of baby’s breath.
#44: Caramel and Coffee Medium Pin-Up
Let your color do the work for you in cute updos. Without the striking contrast between the caramel highlights and the dark brown base, this style would be underwhelming—which goes to show that professional highlights are an investment that keeps on giving.
#45: Low Updo with Jewels
One of the easiest updo hairstyles to master is the low bun. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity, this style can be super glamorous. Elevate it with the addition of a fancy hair piece like the one shown in this example.
#46: Soft Wavy Updos
Braids and colors aren’t the only ways to make cute hairstyles for medium length hair unique; curls can also be manipulated into intricate designs. From coiled chignons to low buns and messy loose updos, the spiraled styles are sure to impress.
#47: Half Updos with Braided Details
Half updos are the best of both worlds; they can pull hair out of your face while still retaining some length to frame it. Braids and twists can take the basic style to the next level; from date night to a debutante ball, this look is a no brainer.
#48: Sleek Formal Bun Updos
Messy looks are great, but they aren’t always appropriate. A sleek medium updo is great to balance out an embellished dress or a frilly gown, so that your look isn’t too overdone. Plus, it is tight enough to withstand a night of dancing and debauchery without budging.
#49: Pinned Up Vintage Wavy Updos
Waves are so versatile – they can be used in a variety of ways within medium hair updos; slicked down finger waves give a retro Old Hollywood vibe, while more intricate loops can appear modern and futuristic.
#50: Magnificent Bouffant Updos
Middle parts are perfect for formal hair updos because they give you the ability to highlight and soften your face, while still maintaining a pinned style. If you want some extra height and volume, a bouffant is your best bet.
#51: Twisted Pulled-Back Style
Not quite a bun, this pulled-back look works for a woman with shoulder length hair who wants the fullness of a large low bun. Pinning tight curls at the nape gives such an appearance; finish with a small gilded accessory for a touch of whimsy.
#52: Voluminous Platinum Blonde ‘Do
Make a statement on your wedding day with gorgeous platinum blonde hair and a delicate wispy side bang. Add some volume with a bouffant. This is an ideal option for women with thinner hair.
#53: Side Curly Bun with Braided Accent
Keep a formal updo from appearing too sweet by adding an interesting braided detail. Flatten the curls into creative coils and gather them into a low voluminous bun for a slightly updated take on the expected look. This is a worthy option for women with medium to long hair.
#54: Messy Waves with Floral Pearl Headband
Effortless and carefree waves are given a posh boost when paired with a glamorous pearl headband. This could take the place of a traditional veil on your wedding day or elevate your casual look to meet the level of a formal event.
#55: Low Curly Roll with Silver Details
Gorgeous curls are a great way to show off dimensional highlights. Instead of doing a tight bun, opt for a larger low roll that will keep the coils in place but won’t hide the interesting aspects of them. Finish off with silver details to get the cute hairstyle for medium hair you see in this picture.
#56: Mid-Ponytail with Sparkled Comb
Gathering curls neither too low, nor high – somewhere in the middle creates the cutest fullness and a ponytail-like effect. Let the tendrils hang for a loose and lush look, leaving a few out around the front to frame the face. A small comb adds visual interest and makes this the perfect look for a prom or school dance.
#57: Curly Gibson Tuck with Pearls
Here is a beautiful bridal look. This style combines a gorgeous roll of curls with a delicate hair accessory. The pearls are just large enough to catch the eye, but small enough to allow the style to be the focal point; a lovely look for ladies with medium to long hair lengths.
#58: Twisted Low Roll
Like Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast.” It seems like there’s always something fun going on, always something new to try out. Think of all the barbeques, fireworks, ski trips and late nights drinking beer on the couch with your friends. For any last minute outing, throw your hair up in this style. It’s easy to recreate and it looks beautiful.
#59: Tight Back Twist Updo
Repeat after me: twist and pin. That’s all it takes to get this gorgeous, classic updo at home. Twist your hair as if you were going to make a bun, but then don’t follow through. Instead, fold the twist over on itself and pin it into picture perfect place.
#60: Messy Hair Roll with Highlights
This style is all about the messiness. To create it yourself, you can’t be too careful, otherwise you’ll lose the relaxed nature of it. All you have to do is to twist and pin both sides away from your face; then you can go wild pinning the stray ends. The messier, the better!
Well, these were pulled up styles for your shoulder-grazing locks. As you see, medium length provides you with multiple choices in modern updos. Some of them you can do yourself in a matter of minutes and others can be duplicated by a good stylist. Just pick the picture you like and be ready to try on a new stunning look…