Medium Curly Hair Styles

pretty curly medium length hair

Women who have curly hair have multiple options when it comes to styling their medium length hair cuts. "Medium" curly hair is hair that is neither long nor short. Long hair can be described as anything that flows lower than the shoulders, and short hair can be described as anything cut between the ears and the top of the neck. Medium cuts are very flattering for all types of curly hair, but certain looks can add more personality or offer easier styling options.

Four Popular Medium Length Styles for Curls

Medium Cuts with Uniform Layers

A medium cut with uniform, well-blended layers is a common way to let curls stick out on their own. This type of cut works best with kinky hair or tightly spiraled curly hair. With smaller curls you never want to add too dramatic of layers, as it can make the curls look messy or out of control. Ask your stylist for long subtle layers with your cut and for her to give your hair some shape. This will be enough to add definition to the cut in a flattering manner.

Combination Layers

layered medium curls

Medium hair cuts with a combination of short and long layers work best with wavy hair or hair with larger natural curls. Ask for shorter layers near the front of the face to add balance to the cut. There shouldn't be too many short layers near the crown of the head as this can add extra bulk to the hair.


Bangs can look good with some types of curly hair styles. However, if you have naturally curly hair, styling bangs can be a challenge. Bangs typically work best with wavy or loosely curled hair and are not as flattering with tight, spiral curls. Ask for soft, side swept bangs with a wavy hair cut. The bangs should hit at eye level or lower. Blunt, straight across bangs should be avoided with curly hair.


The swing bob, or the asymmetrical bob, looks great with wavy hair or with hair that has larger, looser curls. With this style, the hair is shorter in the back and longer in front. There should also be shorter layers around the face to help frame the face with this cut. This will be particularly flattering with naturally curly hair and looks good on nearly any face shape.

Creating Different Looks

Just because you have naturally curly hair, doesn't mean you can't style your locks in different ways.


Straightening curly hair can sometimes be a challenge. However, with some patience and the right tools and products it is possible.

  1. Wash the hair with a straightening shampoo.
  2. Once clean, add a nourishing all-natural oil (such as Argan oil) to damp hair to keep it from being damaged.
  3. Blow dry hair completely, using a large, flat, paddle brush. Brush hair from root to tip while drying.
  4. Spray hair with a heat protectant spray and straighten with a high power ceramic flat iron, such as the Chi flat iron. Go over each section of hair two or three times with the flat iron. Spray immediately with lasting hold hair spray.

Loose Curls

blonde medium curly hair

Even if you have curly hair, you may want to change the shape of your curls by making the curls larger and looser. A great way to do this is to wash the hair with a frizz-minimizing shampoo, and leave a thick deep conditioner in the hair for at least 15 minutes. Once finished, put volumizing mousse in the hair and dry with a diffuser. Instead of scrunching curls upwards, pull them down towards the ground while styling. This will make curls looser while still keeping them healthy and well-defined.

Defining Curls

One of the biggest challenges women with curly hair face is defining their curls and keeping them from being frizzy. A great way to help prevent frizz is to turn the hot water in the shower to cold after washing the hair. The cold water will help to calm the hair and prevent it from frizzing after it dries. Always use shampoo and conditioner, as well as an all natural oil in the hair to keep it healthy and well moisturized. Moisturized curls mean well defined curls. Also, carry a leave-in conditioner in your purse for daily pick-me-ups.

Celebrity Medium Length Curly Hair Styles

sarah jessica parker hair style

There are many celebrities with medium length curly hair styles that you can get inspiration from. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, is known for her full head of wavy locks. While she has sported many different looks, she spent many years with a medium length curly bob cut that drew in fans on her hit show Sex and the City.

Pop icon Madonna has also been known for sporting many styles, but her tight curls really stuck out in the 80s when she had a layered, medium length style. Today she sports softer waves in a shoulder length cut. Another icon with medium curls, is talk show host Oprah Winfrey. Her locks have been left kinky and curly, or put in looser curls, but she almost always keeps her curly hair at or above the shoulder.

Caring for Curly Styles

When it comes to caring for curly hair, look for products and conditioners designed specifically for curly hair. Aveda has an all natural curly hairline called BeCurly, this product line is made from natural products and won't damage curly hair, which is prone to breakage and damage. Another great line of curly hair products are the DevaCurl shampoos and conditioners. After showering, use a paper towel or old t-shirt to pat the hair dry and soak up extra water, instead of vigorously towel drying the hair. Then use a diffuser to dry the hair.

If you have curly hair and are deciding which length is best for your curls, try a medium cut. It makes curls more manageable while complementing nearly any face shape.

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Medium Curly Hair Styles