Today, we're showing curly girls some love—and we're proving that you don't have to default to long locks with this hair type.
That's right, this post is all about medium-length hairstyles for curls. With all things '80s and '90s being de rigueur right now, I think this hair type might be having a comeback!
There's lots of inspiration ahead, from short bobs just below the earlobes to lobs that end around the collarbones. I've got 15 celebs to show you; some have naturally curly hair and some used a small-barrelled curling iron or waving tool to achieve tight curls.
Here's your medium-length curly hair inspiration:
Deep Side Part
Part your hair deep on one side, touch up your curls with an iron and then fluff (but don't brush) them out. Voilà, you'll have Salma Hayek's glamorous, slightly retro take on the curly bob. Surprisingly flattering, huh?
Deep Side Part With Volume
By now, you probably know about the "swoop"—the height near the part that you can achieve by flipping your hair way over to one side, or in the opposite direction to where it wants to go. Stana Katic's got it going on, and as you can see, it gives her curls automatic volume and style.
Side-Parted Layered Lob
Remember when Rita Ora was all about the curly lob and red lipstick? I miss those days! This layered cut gives her curls a subtle rounded shape (although pretty sure they were achieved with a curling iron). The simple side part adds polish.
Lily Cole made her short strawberry bob look very Marilyn Monroe, equal parts cute and sexy. The key things are the big, almost ringlet-like curls, with a gentle side part and flirty pieces over one eye.
Lob-length curls take on a whole new vibe when you part them down the middle, as January Jones demonstrates. Again, the point was not to separate them. The straighter hair near the part is what keeps it from looking too wild. This would look great (maybe even better) all brushed out.
Here's what the centre part looks like when you crop off a few inches and leave the texture au naturel. You wouldn't think this would look good—but leave it to Beyoncé to show us that yes, natural curly texture and a slightly triangle-shaped short bob can be amazing. Such a strong style statement, I love it!
Another way to add interest at this length is to get an asymmetrical cut, where the bob is shorter in the back and longer in the front. This suits Maggie Gyllenhaal to a T, especially with her amazing shine and well-defined curls. You could touch up the ends with a flat iron so they are more straight.
How fun is Katie Cooper's rounded, voluminous shape? This style is really coming back in fashion, and it creates such a cool halo effect around the face. I think the little side bangs are important to make it flattering... otherwise it would be a bit too round.
Here's a shorter version on Vanessa Hudgens, with lots of piecey, defined curls. This is quite an effortless, playful style that you could fluff with your fingertips or tuck behind one ear. Again, we have a bit of a bang pushed across the forehead to soften it.
At one point, triangle-shaped bobs were considered a beauty crime... not anymore! Suddenly, Fearne's (which was achieved with hot tools) looks incredibly cool and fashion-forward. Notice how the width at the bottom is exaggerated, with flat, straight hair near the part. I adore the fluffy texture!
So fun to see Halle Berry's natural hair texture! This is another example of the new rounder shape, but with the addition of bangs. See, curly bangs CAN work sometimes. The more they match the rest of the hair texture, the better, and they should always end below the eyebrows when curled. (So don't pull them straight when you cut!)
Audrey Tautou is wearing one of my favourite looks for natural curls—a side parted lob, pinned back on one side. Even though the curls are wild, that bit of definition makes all the difference.
Probably my most-loved of all these curly looks is Marion Cotillard's (quelle surprise!). Hers is the shorter version of Audrey Tautou's style, with a bit more control to her curls and a more defined crop. So vintagey and pretty!
Updos don't have to be so precise when you have curls. It looks like Annie Ilonzeh just piled hers high and then let tons of tendrils escape. Add the headband across the forehead, and the effect is like a modern Grecian goddess.
The other updo option with curly, medium-length hair is to tie back what you can into a low bun. That leaves the shorter front pieces, which can be styled like Charlize Theron's brushed curls, with one side tucked behind the ear.
Medium-Length Curly Hair Cheat Sheet
What’s your favourite look for medium, curly hair?