Shoulder length hair is so versatile! It’s long enough to pull up, short enough to stay out of the way when you wear it down and easy enough to style fast. But if you’re like me, you probably like to change up your hairdo now and again.
Maybe you’re going to an event and need to find simple and easy wedding hairstyles or prom hair ideas. Perhaps you want inspiration to look trendier and pulled together on days you don’t have time to wash and blow dry your locks. Or perhaps it’s warm outside and your hair is just long enough to feel hot and sticky on the back of your neck.
Well, this collection of simple updos for shoulder length hair will give you tons of ideas and cover all your bases. I found these tutorials on The Small Things Blog channel on YouTube. I’ve been watching Kate’s hair tutorials for MONTHS now. I love how simple and elegant they are, and how easy it is to recreate these hair ideas without shelling out hundreds of dollars at the salon.
Of course, as versatile as shoulder length hair can be, working with medium length hair isn’t always easy – especially if it’s layered! I’ve found the best way to hit the short hair/long hair balance is by using a good dry shampoo for texture (of all the ones I’ve tried over the years, my fave is Batiste Dry Shampoo), lots of bobby pins (I find the Goody Ouchless Bobby Pins stay in place the best), and liberal amounts of hairspray (I swear by Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray because it holds my hair well without making it look wet). Using these products will do wonders in helping you pull off these looks for all different hair types, textures, and cuts.
At the end of the day, medium length hair gives you the best of both worlds—long and short. With the right styles, you’ll love wearing your shoulder length hair up. It’s polished, professional and a heck of a lot easier than shampooing and blow drying every morning so you can wear your hair down!
Here are ten simple updos for shoulder length hair to try to today!
Low Chignon Hair Tutorial
This elegant chignon tutorial starts with wavy, second-day hair (although it would still work with straight hair as well). It’s super sophisticated and swept a little to the side, for extra interest. She adds volume using a powdered texturizer like L’ANZA Healing Style Powder Up Texturizer, which is a great way to add oomph to your style. Aside from the texturizer, it’s all about a few carefully placed bobby pins to create a style that comes together in minutes and looks ready for the office or even a night out.
Casual Half Up
I’m a huge fan of the casual half-up style for shoulder length hair. It works on straight or curly hair and looks oh-so-pretty. This is a sexy style that channels Bridget Bardot and other 70’s screen sirens. It’s got an easy, “just thrown together” look, but it’s romantic, soft and comes together in minutes. Again, a few pins and clear elastics are all you need for this lovely hairstyle.
Fold Over Bang Twist Tutorial
Girls with bangs know the struggle! Some days your fringe won’t cooperate or behave. This fold-over bang twist is a great solution for growing out your bangs, changing up your look or even creating a fun new look if you don’t have bangs, but want to sweep your hair to the side. So many women aren’t quite sure what to do with the in-between bang stage and this is a solution that is polished and put-together (as opposed to slapping in a clip and crossing your fingers). Bonus—only ONE bobby pin is required! So easy!
Side French Braid Ponytail
I love how “done” this style looks. This side French braid appears complicated but it’s SO easy to follow the tutorial, you’ll quickly do this in five minutes in the morning. It’s a perfect style for a hot day, a summer wedding or concert. Your hair will stay out of the way and cool all day (or night) long.
Lived In Messy Bun
We all love the messy bun look! It’s the perfect “just tossed together” look, but as she explains in the tutorial using a teeny bit of effort helps this hairstyle really come together. She recommends a texturizing spray like Amika Obliphica Un.Done texture Spray. She also uses the popular “no crease” fabric or ribbon ponytail holders. The best part of this shoulder-length messy bun is the style works even better with second-day dirty hair! No wash required!
The Twisted Phonytail
How cute is the “phonytail” name for this style? Kate’s tutorials are so accessible and easy to follow and she’s funny too! Her styles are truly effortless (but look fantastic). This phonytail is no exception. She adds texture with Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dry Spun Finish spray and then simply twists this style together in a few minutes using clear elastics and bobby pins. The final look is perfectly put-together and sophisticated.
French Twist Tutorial
The French twist is one of those classic hairstyles that always eluded me. It’s so sleek and pretty, but how does the hair tuck into the twist like that? Well, after watching this simple hairstyle tutorial, I finally get it! This French twist starts with dry shampoo—she uses KMS HairPlay Makeover Spray. After teasing the hair, she sweeps and pins it to one side, and then moves and twists pieces of hair in small sections. Like, magic, the twist comes together, and she finishes the hairstyle with a jeweled clip. Très belle!
Elegant Half Up
This style works best on medium length, fine hair, but as she says in the tutorial, the style is adjustable for all hair types and textures. This elegant half-up hairdo looks so gorgeous and complicated, but it only requires bobby pins! The crisscross woven texture across the back of the head looks like it requires fancy skills, but honestly, it’s simply swoop and pin! Such an easy, pretty hairstyle!
The Dutch Braid
The Dutch braid is also known as a reverse French braid. Instead of being tucked under, the braid sets on top of the hair. It’s a very striking look, especially with the deep side part. This is another excellent style for camouflaging bangs or dealing with the in-between bang stage when you’re growing them out. The pretty braid sets across the front of your hair like a cute headband or crown, holding hair off your face. Better still, it’s a great style for second day hair!
The Messiest of Buns Tutorial
Messy bun lovers this one is for you! She uses texture powder to start this style again, but suggests you could also use Redkin Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Finishing Spray to get a backcombed, big-hair look. To create the bun, you loosely clump the hair in your hand, wrap an elastic around it, pull it apart and loosen it up. From there, pin in any stray hairs and pull the top up to add volume. Spritz with a little hairspray and you’re good to go!
I love all of Kate’s great hairstyle tips and tutorial videos, and I’m sure you will too! To follow The Small Things Blog on YouTube, CLICK HERE!
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