InStyler Style Guide:
Learn How to Style Different Hair Types

InStyler Style Guide

Medium Hair Styles You Will Absolutely Love

Medium length hair is quite arguably the most versatile to work with when it comes to experimenting with new hairstyles. It doesn’t matter if your hair is thin or thick, curly or straight. Hair that falls below the shoulders, but not quite to the middle of the back, is an optimal length for styling.

Generally speaking, when it comes to hairstyles, one of the biggest factors to consider is: how long will it take to do? Since the majority of women are in a rush when they’re getting ready, we have 25 medium length hairstyles that are easy and fairly quick to achieve with the MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron.

1. Switch it up

One of the quickest ways to diversify your look is to go from curly to straight or straight to curly depending on what the norm is for you. If you’re used to pin straight locks, then adding a bit of a wave or loose curls can create a softer look. Or, if waves are more your everyday style, changing to sleek strands can look ultra chic.

2. Lob it off

The long bob is one of the biggest trends that has only increased in popularity over the past couple of years. Rather than cut the hair short enough to be a bob (a length hitting well above the shoulder), lob it off so the hair grazes the shoulders. Request a few layers added in from your stylist to incorporate movement in the hair for an effortless look. This look can be easy to maintain with the right tools.

3. Beachy waves

Everyone wants the secret to getting perfectly tousled beach waves for a slightly undone, but not sloppy, look. The MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron is the go-to tool that will help achieve this look. Section the hair while applying a sea salt spray or light mousse to add texture to the hair. Rather than curling the hair under, rotate the iron while holding it vertical to achieve a loose wave look. Spray on your favorite hair product and tousle the strands with your fingers.

4. Half up/half down

Pop singer Ariana Grande has made this hairstyle her signature look. Whether you want to achieve the height she does with her half up/half down pony or want to make the look a little subtler, this hairstyle calls for frizz-free strands to make it work. Smooth out any hair bumps or unruly strands to create this flirty style. Gather the top section of your hair into an elastic while leaving the rest down either curly or straight.

5. Pin it back

Bobby pins are an inexpensive accessory that can immediately change the look of your hair. The number of bobby pins needed depends on your hair’s thickness and texture. Keep hair in place by pulling it back on one side, both sides or adding two or three bobby pins to serve a more fashionable purpose rather than a purely functional one. Go classic with black pins or get funky with different colors. No matter how you pin it, you can’t go wrong.

6. High ponytail

Even a basic ponytail can be styled depending on your mood. You can have the hair slicked back tightly or leave it looser and more free-flowing. Play around with different styles and heights to change your ponytail based on the occasion. A ponytail can easily transition from a polished work look to a hairstyle more suited for happy hour cocktails.

7. Side braid

Usually, side braids work best with second-day hair that hasn’t been washed. A dry shampoo is a great product to absorb any excess oil and give your hair a boost. Add hairspray, hair gel or pomade to create texture and make your hair easier to work with. Gather the hair to the side, loosely braid and secure with an elastic. If there are stray strands, all the better. This slightly undone look is perfect for the weekend or if you want to give your hair a rest of from the flat iron or curling wand.

8. Small braids

In addition to one big braid, you can always play with different sizes of braids for your hair. Create a plait braided from the front to the back into your hair or create several smaller braids to pin or gather into a low ponytail.

9. Woven braid

For a trendy spin on the plain braid, choose a colorful headscarf to weave within the plait. Place the headscarf about a half-inch back from the forehead and tie it securely at the nape of the neck. Then, use the two loose ends of the scarf to weave in and out of your low braid. Double knot the ends so the whole thing doesn’t come undone and you’re good to go!

10. Try a topknot

As one of the most popular hairstyles for those with medium length hairstyles, a topknot looks good on nearly everyone. Ladies with thicker hair might want to use a hair sock to help guide the bun, but ladies with thinner hair shouldn’t have a problem with wrapping the hair around and securing with a band or clip. Leave the ends sticking out or tuck them in depending on the vibe you’re going for. The topknot is versatile; it can be professional, relaxed, elegant, or laid-back all depending on how you style it.

11. Low bun

This style is the same concept as the topknot, just different placement. Create a part down the middle and add a shine spray or apply a small amount of macadamia oil or other hair serum to create sleekness while gathering the hair into a low, tight bun.

12. The sweep back

This hairstyle calls for little else than a good blowout and a little pomade to keep hair in place. The slicked back hairstyle requires ultra-conditioned and sleek locks to create a “set and forget” type of hairstyle. Celebs that pull off this look well include Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Lopez. The style elongates the neck and looks both elegant and trendy at the same time.

13. Bubble braids

While not technically a braid, it’s not quite a ponytail either. To create the style, gather hair into a high ponytail. Then, about an inch or two from the elastic, secure another hair tie and slightly scrunch. Keep adding hair ties and scrunching until you reach the end of the hair. The “poufs” are the reason the style is referred to as a bubble braid and it keeps the hair away from the face in a stylish way.

14. Girly pigtails

Pigtails might first make us think they’re more suited for the playground than a put together look, but with the right styling they can be playful and fun. Section the hair and create soft curls to start with to add volume and flirty bounce to the hair. Tease the hair slightly and then gather into two, low pigtails. Add braids to the pigtails for an added element, use a light holding spray and you’ve got a grown-up spin on a childhood hairstyle.

15. Undone Updo

Few achieve this look better than Julia Roberts. By first blow drying the hair to achieve a natural wave, gather the hair into a low or medium ponytail and then twist the hair around it similar to a bun, but with the ends remaining free. Remember that you don’t have to aim for perfection, but should still appear polished. Secure loose strands with bobby pins and apply hairspray to hold.

16. Beautify with a blowout

A good blowout can make us go from feeling like plain Jane to a gorgeous glamazon in no time. Don’t have to wait for a five-star salon treatment to achieve this look. Although this hairstyle may take a little extra time, the results are well worth it. After shampooing, rough dry the hair first by lifting at the root and tousling along the way. Add mousse or other texturizing sprays to add volume. Once nearly dry, go in with a curling wand to add face-framing layers.

17. Add accessories

Headbands, hair crowns, flowers or hairpins are all great ways to fancify an otherwise basic look. Of course, don’t use all at once, but decide what kind of look you’re going for and what will fit best for the occasion. For example, a wide headband will look appropriate with a sleek hairstyle while hair crowns are typically better suited for loose, flowing waves. Play around with different colors and patterns. Hair accessories can be an easy way to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral look.

18. Go for a deep part

The way you part your hair can make a huge difference. For example, a deep side part with big, bouncy curls pulled to the side is an old Hollywood glam style that many celebrities favor on the red carpet. This look can be more easily achieved with second- or third-day hair with dry shampoo applied for texture and absorption of any extra oils. Create the part first and if necessary, hold in place with clips or pins while you use a bigger barrel to create the size of curls you want to achieve.

19. Twist it out

Similar to how you would add braids in your hair, simply twisting the hair can create a pretty look with little time needed. Start with smaller sections near the crown of and twist back and secure with a bobby pin. Or, divide the hair into two, low, thicker sections and twist back to meet in the middle. Secure with an elastic and leave as is, or flip the hair through the low pony.

20. Side buns

Channel Princess Leia and opt for big, loose buns off to each side. Opt to braid the hair first before twisting into a bun or get creative and add several mini buns instead. Spray to hold.

21. Bed head curls

When using a curling wand for this hairstyle, go for a tighter curl. Once all the hair has been curled, loosely separate the curls with your fingers and spray them with a setting mist to achieve an effortless look. You want to aim for big, bouncy curls, but not ones that seem too perfectly coiffed.

22. Crimp it

This look is a modern update to a throwback style for women with medium length hair who have a few layers blended in. Rather than applying zig-zag crimps via an 80’s hair tool, first create a part down the middle. Second, use a curling wand or flat iron to create a slight bend to the hair right at or below your chin for a subtle and sexy do.

23. Try a faux bob

If you’re thinking of changing your hair length permanently or if you just want a short hairdo for a day, a faux bob is a perfect way to see if you like this above-the-chin length. Start tucking sections of your hair up and securing with bobby pins. Use a holding spray to keep the hair in place.

24. Add subtle structure

For women who have naturally wavy hair, creating defined curls to only a few sections of hair can achieve a mermaid-esque look without being too time-consuming. Start with by smoothing the hair with a serum and use a curling wand to style different pieces for a tousled appearance.

25. Straighten

Super sleek strands are always on trend and give the extra polish you might need to rock a business meeting or for a date night out. Make sure you’re not handling too big of a section of hair at once. Also, remember to add a heat protectant to the hair before starting, to prevent damage to your locks.

Each of these styles is wonderful for medium-length hair and can help anyone who may be in a style rut or for those who simply want to try something new. The MAX 2-Way Rotating Iron is the ultimate hair tool to make styling easier in a shorter amount of time.