Let’s be honest: Medium-length haircuts get a bad rap. Often, we treat mid-length hairstyles as if they’re a burden on us. “It’s at that awkward length at the moment,” we say. For some time, medium-length haircuts have been considered (dare we say it) a little dated. Here at Who What Wear, however, we like to see the potential in everything and have concluded that we’ve been sat on mid-length styles for too long. In fact, we’d go as far to say medium-length cuts are back. Short hair can be high-maintenance, and long hair can prove a pain, so in theory, medium-length haircuts should be the crowd favourite—and they’re becoming increasingly popular.
Forget blunt chops and shapeless mops. The midi cut can be cooler than you ever believed, especially in 2022. “A lot of current medium-length haircuts are taking a ’70s outline at the moment—where the back section is being left slightly longer to create more of a shag style,” says Paul Percival, hairstylist and co-founder of Percy & Reed. The secret to a great medium-length cut, Percival adds, is in how it is shaped around the face. “If you can incorporate a DIY-looking fringe, or maybe some lighter tones through the front sections, you can lift the whole look. Increase movement by embracing natural texture, using sea salt and volumising sprays to help,” he adds.
If you’re in the market for a change of hairstyle, keep scrolling for 18 medium-length haircuts that just might persuade you to go for the chop.
1. Blunt Lob
Alexa Chung's waved lob has reached icon status and has barely changed over the years, proving just how timeless this cut really is.
2. Fringed Curls
We can't get enough of the fine ribbons of highlights that give this style a super-fresh look for summer.
3. Loose Waves
Notice how Kaia Gerber's undone waves lend themselves to the face-framing layers, giving this medium-length cut a cool, modern twist.
4. Grungy Fringe
Mid-length hairstyles never look cooler than when they're styled out in a grungy way with a choppy fringe, à la Sadie Stanley.
5. Noughties Feathering
There's something wonderfully S Club 7 about Laura Harrier's sleek, glossy cut. The shaping and feathering around the front keep things looking cool and fresh rather than boring and dated.
6. Soft Wolf Cut
The wolf cut was a lot; we get it. But Nicola Peltz's wearable take on the trend is sitting front and centre of our shag-hairstyle inspo board.
7. Face-Framing Curls
Keep curls looking light and weightless by incorporating subtle layers throughout and around the face.
8. Layered Waves
HoYeon Jung's choppy mid-length cut is absolute hair goals. The gloss! The shape! The undone waves! We want it all.
9. Retro Volume
10. Beachy Side Part
The best thing about medium-length cuts is just how versatile they can be—whether you want a super-glam finish or a more effortless, beachy look like Gemma Chan's.
11. Blunt Sweep
Brie Larson's medium-length style perfectly shows how a midi cut can be elevated with some subtle texture. If you have straight hair, a quick blast with some texturising spray and sweeping your hair over to the side could be all it takes to elevate your style.
12. Wavy Shag
If your hair is naturally thick, take weight out of your medium-length style by opting for a fringed, shag style. We can't get enough of this ’70s style from Bryce Dallas Howard.
13. Layered Lob
Keep coils and curls looking hydrated and defined with a curl cream to really allow layers to pop in medium-length cuts.
14. Grown-Out Shag
A traditional shag cut might seem a little daunting for those who aren't used to having heavily layered hair. If that's you, why not opt for a softer take on the trend and go for a grown-out look like Georgia May Jagger’s?
15. Middle-Part Feathering
We're blinded by the healthy shine of Jodie Comer's feathered lengths. Some expensive-looking highlights styled into a middle parting with sharp shaping around the face is a recipe for delight.
16. Wet-Look Waves
17. Curtain Bangs
18. Beachy Dip-Dye
If you're concerned that a medium-length haircut might be playing it a bit safe, take notes from Florence Pugh and experiment with colour and texture.
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