Who hasn’t dreamed of having a mane of long hair? It’s no wonder these hairstyles are trending at the moment. From braids to curls, mermaid waves and a bombshell blowout, there’s no limit to the looks you can create when your hair is long. Even better, there’s a hairstyle that will flatter every face shape. Long hair is known for its power to soften out sharp features, balance proportions and make you look younger, healthier and more feminine. So, if you’re growing your locks out or just looking for a change, check out these inspiring hairstyles for long hair.
RELATED: 10 Easy Hairstyles for Long Hair
If you’re looking for a mid-year hair change but don’t want to sacrifice your long locks, try a layered style. It suits both fine and thick hair types, as it can be used to create depth and dimension as well as break up the dense ‘hair helmet’ look. Asking for layers means the stylist will cut your hair to different lengths. The exact position and length of the layers will be adjusted to flatter your face shape. For example, long and airy layers look best on square and round face shapes, while oval faces look good with soft, subtle layers. A long hairstyle with layers is a great way to give your mane more movement, texture and bounce without a dramatic change.
2. Long Hair and Bangs
Long hair looks fantastic, paired with bangs. The contrast gives you the face-framing powers of short hair while keeping the rest of your mane intact. Getting a fringe is a simple way to change your look, and there are endless options to flatter your features. A soft, centre-parted fringe – also called ‘curtain bangs’ – blends beautifully with thick, wavy hair. Meanwhile, wispy or ‘piece-y’ bangs are great if you have fine hair. If you’re feeling daring, you can experiment with a blunt or choppy fringe.
3. Long Bob
There’s a reason fashion editors all over the world love the long bob – otherwise known as the ‘lob‘. It’s super sophisticated, chic and easy to maintain, and it flatters every face shape because the cut ends several inches below the chin. Unlike a bob, there’s no risk of making your face look wide or square. The most on-trend way to style a lob is with an off-centre part and some extra volume at the roots. Keep your hair smooth and straight – this look is supposed to be chic, yet understated.
4. Long Shag
The retro, rock’n’roll style of the ’70s is trending again this year. That decade’s iconic haircut was the shag. For a modern take, try wearing this style with long hair, instead of the classic short or mid-length. To make it work for your face shape, have the stylist cut in a fringe. Long, side-swept bangs balance out the volume in the rest of the cut and draw the eye diagonally down, making it perfect for square faces. Add subtle highlights and lowlights to complement the natural movement in the long shag hairstyle.
5. Long Braids
There’s genuinely a braid for every occasion – and every hair length and type. Long hair suits braids because there’s more to work with, so you can get creative. A fluffy ponytail plait is one of the most popular because it looks chic while being very simple to create. Start a French braid at the back of your head instead of the front or side, and keep the tension reasonably loose for a relaxed, summery vibe. You don’t want the braid to look too neat or polished. If you’re not good at braiding, you can fake this look with the ‘pull-through’ technique. It involves securing your hair in parallel ponytails and looping them through each other for a braid-style effect.
6. Short in the Front Long in the Back
Another cool ’70s-inspired style is the short in the front, long in the back hairstyle. It is a great editorial style that takes an attitude to pull off. If you have a taste for retro fashion that makes a statement, this could be the long hair look for you. A variation on the classic shag cut, this hairstyle involves keeping the front layers more separate and defined. There’s also more emphasis on the fringe, which is cut longer and styled to look windswept. Leave the longer back layers to do their own thing, adding a little texturising spray to encourage waves.
7. Long Blonde Hair
Blonde hair never goes out of style, and the shade that’s trending right now is ice blonde. Not as stark as platinum, this is a cool-toned bleached look with an ashy wash, plus subtle champagne and peach highlights to add dimension. If you’re not a natural blonde, you can still get this style with the high balayage technique, where your roots are left dark but given a similarly cool undertone and expertly blended with the bleached strands. Like all blonde hairstyles, this one requires maintenance. Stock up on toner and hair masks, and be prepared to re-colour regularly. While it’s more of an investment than other hair colour changes, the results of going blonde are incredibly beautiful and worth it.
8. Natural Long Hair
Natural hair looks fantastic when worn long. To keep your mane healthy, make sure you moisturise and detangle regularly, and don’t overwash. The goal is to have hydrated and defined curls with no frizz or brittleness. One option is to braid in a protective style every once in a while to preserve the fragile ends of your hair. Your curls are still growing during this process, so you won’t sacrifice any length when you take the protective style out. It’s also worth remembering that it’s a slower process to grow out natural hair, as each strand is growing in curls and coils instead of straight lines. But once you’ve gone long, you might never want to chop it short ever again!
9. Long Black Hair
Black hair is an eye-catching colour choice that looks dramatic and bold on long hair. Think full-on femme fatale! Depending on the warm or cool undertones in the dye, black hair can also suit any skin tone – although those on the fairer end of the spectrum should note that it will emphasise any paleness in your complexion. Ensure you don’t look washed out by opting for a cool black and treating your dark tresses to shine-enhancing treatments. Statement make-up will also look great when teamed with this striking colour. Olive and deep skin tones can get away with more natural-looking long black hair; a warm black will pick up the equally rich tones in your complexion.
10. Long Updo
A beautiful look for every day – or dressed up for date night – the updo hairstyle for long hair is both simple and chic. It works best on smoother hair textures, so make sure you apply a serum if your tresses are on the dry and frizzy side. To get this style, make sure your hair has some grip to it too; either wait until the day after you’ve washed it, or add some texturising spray. You’ll also need to make sure you have a volumising product in your roots, as this oversized bun needs a good foundation to sit on. Leaving some pieces out to frame your face, twist the rest of your hair up to make the bun, then secure underneath with a clear hair tie and bobby pins. Like all updos, this style works best when paired with a statement earring and lipstick to balance out the top-heavy volume.
11. Long Thick Hair
Having long thick hair can be high maintenance, but it’s worth taking good care of your tresses. Thick hair makes you look younger and healthier, and your hair is usually in better condition because it’s stronger. The drawback is that your hair might be so heavy that it can’t hold a style. Fix this by having your hairstylist cut in some layers and thin your hair out. A curling wand is also your best friend – adding direction and movement with bombshell waves will break up the mass of your hair. Highlights will have the same effect, giving your locks some extra dimension.
12. Cute Long Hair
Long hair doesn’t have to be a bombshell, all the time. You can make this hair length look lovely with simple styling and accessories. A loose, ‘undone’ ponytail will make the most of your natural volume. Leave some longer pieces out at the front and let them naturally curl to frame your face. The finishing touch is a velvet ribbon as there’s nothing cuter than wearing a bow in your hair.
13. Long Straight Hair
The ultimate simple style is long straight hair. Because this look is so simple, you’ll need to make sure your locks are in tip-top condition. There’s no room for frizziness or split ends; otherwise, this hairstyle runs the risk of looking messy and unkempt. Long hair can be dense, so use a root building product to make sure your mane isn’t weighing itself down and looking too flat. Ask your stylist to add subtle highlights also, as this will stop your hair from looking like one solid block of colour. A significant upside to long straight hair is that it is the perfect canvas to show off your make-up, as it won’t distract from your face.
14. Pretty Long Hair
Long hair can be overwhelming at times, but it’s very easy to create a soft and beautiful look. If you want this type of style, try wearing your hair half-up, half-down. Ladies with ombré and balayage are particularly suited to this hairstyle because the focus is on the point where the two colours meet. Try twisting the upper section of your hair to create a seamless blend, and add soft waves to the bottom part for pretty, beachy vibes.
15. Medium Long Hair
Hair that falls just below the shoulders is medium long. It has all the volume and weight of long hair, plus the same power to add length to a round or square face by drawing the hair down. However, it’s not quite at the ‘epic mane’ level of long hair. This length works well if you have fine hair or are prone to developing split ends as you’ll still be able to create long hair favourites like bombshell waves and braids, but your hair won’t dry out or get frizzy. The only thing to keep in mind is that this hairstyle requires regular trims to keep it at the desired length.
16. 1920s Long Hair
While most people associate the 1920s with the bob, long hair was still very much in fashion in this roaring decade. Whether long or short, one of the defining styles of the time was finger waves. Super-sleek and polished, you can create this iconic look’s signature ‘s-shape’ waves with a flat iron, duckbill clips and a lot of hairspray. Alternatively, save this Great Gatsby-inspired style for a special occasion and have a professional do it for you. Unlike short hair, the weight of long hair will mean that your finger waves will likely form barrel curls at the ends as they drop – but that only adds to the old school elegance of the style.
17. 50s Long Hair
The 1950s was known for its ultra-feminine fashion and beauty trends, and hairstyles were less formal than in the ’40s. One ’50s-inspired look for long hair is the side-sweep with romantic waves. Part your hair on one side, then fold and pin a front section back to create volume and height. It is a particularly flattering technique if you want to add length to your face. Next, sweep back the side sections of your hair and secure them. Gently curl the rest of your hair, so it falls in soft yet bouncy waves. It is a classic and undeniably retro hairstyle with a clean-cut feel.
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