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The 15 Most Beautiful Updos for Medium Length Hair

Think you have to be Rapunzel rock a beautiful updo? Think again! Mid-length hair can reach new heights with these sassy, elegant, and just plain fabulous updos.

Whether you need some inspiration for a prom, wedding, anniversary, or just want to do something different, this is the article for you. Grab some bobby pins and enjoy these stunning updos for medium length hair!

15. Gatsby Girl

Medium lengths are brought to new levels with this awesomely chic formal style. The hair has volume, texture, and a touch of bling! This vintage wavy hairstyle is not only super hot, but very easy to recreate.

Medium Vintage Updo with Volume

Style by Alyssa Shatek, Makeup by Claudia Alvarado, Blaze Hair Color Salon, Cedar Rapids, IA

Medium Vintage Updo with Volume Back

Style by Alyssa Shatek, Makeup by Claudia Alvarado, Blaze Hair Color Salon, Cedar Rapids, IA

How to Style:

  1. Curl your hair with a large curling iron. You want to create a wave, so don’t keep the heat on the strands for very long, just enough to make a soft curly effect.
  2. Use a comb to tease roots at the crown, then gently smooth hair over on top.
  3. Put on your favorite glitzy headband and position it about an inch back from the hairline on top.
  4. Pull out a few loose tendrils towards the front to frame your face.
  5. Grab the remaining hair in the back into a big messy bun and secure with pins or by wrapping the hair into your hairband.

Recommended Products:

One of the best go-to hairsprays for any formal style is L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray – Strong Hold.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This gorgeous hairstyle can be worn by all face shapes and all hair types.

Tip:

Take your head to toe look into account when styling your hair so decade specific. Harmonize with complementary makeup and clothing so your whole look is pulled together.

14. Twisted Edge

This medium length updo is super sweet and super edgy. Hair is twisted back and away from the face, then pulled back into a messy low ponytail. Adding a sophisticated hair accessory in the back elevates the style from everyday to more formal.

Medium Length Updo with Twist

Style by Flonnie Westbrook, Elon Salon, Marietta, GA

Medium Length Updo with Twist Back

Style by Flonnie Westbrook, Elon Salon, Marietta, GA

How to Style:

  1. Start with dry hair that has a little grit to it. Go through section by section and add some hairspray to strands to help add some texture. This is an especially important step if hair is too clean.
  2. Part hair to the side with your fingers, then tease the top of your hair slightly to add some volume at the roots.
  3. Twist the hair back on both sides and secure with an elastic band. Keep the twist loose so you don’t lose your volume.
  4. Use some bobby pins to twist and secure strands that need it.
  5. Polish the look off with a chic clip or barrette.

Recommended Products:

Global Keratin Light Hold Hairspray adds both hold and shine!

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes can rock this chic edgy hairstyle. This particular model shows a cool straight and textured style, but you could actually pull it off with other textures and hair types too.

Tip:

Wear this as more of an everyday style by ditching the hair accessory and dressing the overall look down.

13. Curls to Remember

These soft, natural curls are swirled up effortlessly into a beautiful and unique updo. A few tendrils are left out in front to provide nice movement and texture around the face.

Medium Updo with Soft Curls

Style by Flonnie Westbrook, Elon Salon, Marietta, GA

Medium Updo with Soft Curls Side

Style by Flonnie Westbrook, Elon Salon, Marietta, GA

How to Style:

  1. Make sure you start with the right curl enhancing products – a good frizz fighting cream and a strong hold mousse. Comb products through to disperse evenly and then scrunch up to create the curls.
  2. Use your diffuser attachment to dry strands into thick, luscious curls.
  3. Delicately handle your hair to leave the front strands down to frame the face and twist the rest up in the back.
  4. Secure with bobby pins and a nice coat of hairspray.

Recommended Products:

Pureology Illuminating Curl is a great light hold gel. Oribe Curl Shaping Mousse is awesome at defining curls.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes can pull off this elegant hairstyle. Naturally curly hair is required for this look!

Tip:

Using a curl enhancing shampoo and conditioner is great idea too. Look for really hydrating formulas that will help fight frizz and make your curls look the best they can be.

12. Messy French Twist

This retro hairstyle is made modern in the soft, messy details. The slightly unkempt look makes it totally sexy instead of uptight. Soft short layers frame the face to complete this gorgeous hairstyle.

Messy French Twist Updo

Style by Ivy Hibberts, Makeup by Lauren West, Bob Steele Salon, Atlanta, GA

Updos for Medium Length Hair

Style by Ivy Hibberts, Makeup by Lauren West, Bob Steele Salon, Atlanta, GA

How to Style:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair and part it in the middle.
  2. Use a large curling iron to add some wave and create some volume to hair strands.
  3. Spray your entire head of hair with a texture spray or a light hairspray to give it some hold.
  4. Leave the bangs out to frame the face but tease the back crown area for lift and volume.
  5. Grab hair into a ponytail with your hands and then twist it up into a French twist.
  6. Secure with bobby pins and hairspray

Recommended Products:

Try a good quality hairspray like Kerastase Laque Couture Micro Mist – Medium Hold.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes work with this French twist. Thin, to thick amounts of hair with naturally wavy texture is ideal for this look.

Tip:

Use bobby pins that match your hair color so they don’t stand out. Pins come in all kinds of shades of brown, gold, and blonde – not just the standard black.

11. Cascaded Bliss

This asymmetrical hairstyle is very formal and a great option to get all your hair up and out of the way. The back is straight and super sleek and contrasts nicely with the textured ringlets on top.

Medium Asymmetrical Updo with Curls

Style by Alterea Baxter, Pamper Me by Al, Goose Creek, SC

Medium Asymmetrical Updo with Curls Back

Style by Alterea Baxter, Pamper Me by Al, Goose Creek, SC

How to Style:

  1. Diffuse your natural curls with a strong holding mousse or gel.
  2. Gently section out the top portion of curls and temporarily pin them towards your face so you won’t ruin them as you twist up the back of your hair.
  3. Use a brush to direct hair up to one side of your head (above one ear). Really brush hair tightly to create as flat a result as you can.
  4. Twist hair into a bun and secure with an elastic band and pins for a strong base.
  5. Remove the curly section you previously isolated in front to create a cascade on top of your head. Use pins to secure strands in the arrangement you wish into your bun.

Recommended Products:

The Sheriff Firm Hold Hairspray from Drybar is amazing!

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

The best face shapes for this look would be oval, rectangular, square or round. The best hair type for this style would be naturally curly.

Tip:

If you don’t have naturally curly hair, use a 1-inch curling iron or wand to create a similar texture. Spray each piece before and after you curl so you create a really crisp ringlet.

10. Tousled and Teased

Soft ringlets lay down and flirty around the face while the rest of the textured hair is swept up into a beautiful twist. The bangs are kept up and off the face for an elegant touch. Playful pieces poke out here and there making this a fun and sassy style for multiple occasions.

medium length updos tousled

Style by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

medium length updos tousled 2

Style by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

How to Style:

  1. Start with clean dry hair.
  2. Take small sections of hair and curl with a 1-inch barrel curling iron to create the curly and wavy texture.
  3. Section out a triangle-sized section of hair right on top of your forehead.
  4. Tease the crown slightly to create a little volume.
  5. Leave out a few ringlets around your face and pull back the rest of the hair to twist and pin.
  6. Tease the top triangular section at the roots and then smooth gently.
  7. Secure the teased triangular section back and into the updo.

Recommended Products:

Use a heat protectant like Redken’s Smooth Down Heat Glide. Just use a small dime-sized amount, rub it into your hands and then apply to hair. When you finish styling spray for some hold with Matrix Biolage Complete Control Hairspray. It has a medium hold to lock in the style.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This look is ravishing on heart shaped faces. All hair types can achieve this style. If your hair is naturally curly, you can simple diffuse and twist it up.

Tip:

Make sure the ringlets around the face aren’t too tight or else you’ll look dated. If they’re too tight, then soften them up by running your fingers through them.

9. A Bump and a Twist

This elegant updo would look great with any hair color, but we absolutely love this glowing copper hue! A side part, a teased crown, and a sleek twist all come together beautifully into a low messy bun. This updo is super cute without looking too stuffy.

medium updo twist

Style by Kathy Adams Salon, Buford, GA

medium updo twist 2

Style by Kathy Adams Salon, Buford, GA

How to Style:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair and part to the side.
  2. Take a fine toothed comb and tease the top crown area. Really push hair down to the roots and then smooth over gently to create a sleek bump.
  3. Grab the front section of hair above the ear and twist up and back, adding hair as you travel to the back of the head, twisting as you go. Secure with a bobby pin.
  4. Repeat the last step on the other side of the head.
  5. Gather all the hair remaining at the back of the head and twist and secure into a messy bun. Use a clear colored elastic to secure.
  6. Use your fingers to mess it up a little and use bobby pins to help pin up or back any pieces that may need to be more secure.
  7. Spray with a strong hold hairspray so you don’t have to worry about your hair moving throughout the day.

Recommended Products:

Use a good strong hold hairspray like L’Oreal Elnett Extra StrongHold Hairspray.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes will be complimented by this soft updo and medium to thicker hair will look best. If you have straight or curly hair you can achieve this hairstyle.

Tip:

If you have front or side bangs, leave them out of the twist so you will have a fun face-framing look.

8. Sweet Innocence

This sweet and girly style makes Charlize sparkle as much as her glittery headband. Soft finger wave-like curls frame the face as they cascade back into a cotton candy feeling bun. Topped with a bit of glitz, this style is perfect for brides or proms.

medium length updo headband

Photo Credits – Andrew Evans, PR Photos

Photo Credits – Andrew Evans, PR Photos

How to Style:

  1. Curl your entire head of hair with a one to two-inch curling iron. Really curl the front piece of hair up and away from the face to create a pretty face framing wave.
  2. Spray hair with flexible hold hairspray and then pull hair into a low side ponytail and secure with a clear elastic.
  3. Grab the ponytail and gently roll in up and pin into a soft bun.
  4. Add a headband or ribbon an inch back from your hairline to complete the look.

Recommended Products:

Use a light shine spray like Prive’s Flash Brilliance before doing any iron work. It protects hair from heat and also adds incredible shine. Use Healthy Sexy Hair’s Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray for a flexible hold that won’t make the curls look stiff.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

The hairstyle looks great on round, oval, square and heart shaped faces. Pear shaped faces or fuller jawlines should opt out of this look. All hair thicknesses and textures can try this angel-like style.

Tip:

Try to not touch the waves too much when pulling over the hair to secure. You want the hair to keep its curl and look as effortless as possible.

7. Sweet Updo

This pretty style would be great for a wedding or prom hairstyle. Sweet curls are pinned up and off the shoulders and onto the top of the head. The thick fringe area helps add softness and frames the face.

medium length wispy updo

Style by Edie’s Styling Center, Oldsmar, FL

medium length wispy updo 2

Style by Edie’s Styling Center, Oldsmar, FL

How to Style:

  1. Flat iron bangs to the side so they are nice and smooth.
  2. Use any size curling iron to curl the rest of the hair and spray with hairspray.
  3. Grab the section of hair from behind the bangs to behind the ears and tie it up into a high ponytail as a base.
  4. Use bobby pins to arrange the curls from the ponytail into a nice shape and secure the pins into the base of the ponytail for extra hold.
  5. Grab sections of the remaining hair from the neck to the nape, then lift them up and pin into the ponytail.

Recommended Products:

Always start by protecting your hair before using hot tools. Try Suave’s Styling Heat Protection Spray. It’s great because you can use it on damp or dry hair before blow drying, flat ironing or curling. Lock your look into place by using a hairspray with hold. Try Big Sexy Hair Spray and Stay Intense Hold Hair Spray for ultimate control.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Pretty much all face shapes will be complimented by this sweet updo. All hair types can achieve this look — thick or thin. This style is awesome if you already have curly hair because you don’t have to spend time with the curling iron!

Tip:

Add a bright colorful flower or two to really add some pizzazz. This look is also great to try in the summer months when it’s hot out because your hair will be up and off of your neck and shoulders.

6. Rockabilly Roll

Take your ponytail to a whole new level by adding a dramatic hair roll to the front. A slicked back ponytail is elevated with thick curls and a retro style-coiled bang. We especially love this deep copper color that really shines!

retro medium length updo

Style by The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH

retro medium length updo 2

Style by The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH

How to Style:

  1. Use a comb to section out a large triangular top section of your hair for the roll, then secure with a hair clip.
  2. Slick back the remaining hair as tight as you can into a medium height ponytail and secure with an elastic.
  3. Start teasing the base of the top triangular section. Lift the hair up and roll it down into a spiral. Use a lot of hairspray on the hair to keep in together and make rolling easier.
  4. Push the bobby pin into the roll, securing it to the scalp and keeping the roll solid.
  5. Take a curling iron and curl a few pieces of the ponytail to create a fun round curly shape.

Recommended Products:

Use a hairspray that will keep your hair healthy and shiny like Kerastase’s Double Force Hairspray. It works great and it’s a hairspray that won’t flake.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Oval faces may be elongated even more due to the high amount of volume on top of the head. The straighter or wavier your hair ,the better. Natural curls would change the look of this particular style a little too much. Medium to thick hair is best.

Tip:

To amp up this rockabilly look even more, use a fun bandana to tie around and really make the look retro.

5. Retro Twist

Thick side bangs and a teased twist create this gorgeous retro hairstyle. Create this classy look anytime you want to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn. It’s timeless and beautiful in any decade.

retro twist updo

Style by Hairbenders International, Chattanooga, TN

retro twist updo 2

Style by Hairbenders International, Chattanooga, TN

How to Style:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair and flat iron your bangs to the side so they are nice and sleek.
  2. Start in the back crown area and take horizontal sections to tease. Continue teasing forward until you reach the bangs and then smooth hair back.
  3. Gather all your hair down into a ponytail and then twist it clockwise and up, tucking the hair into the twist and securing with bobby pins.

Recommended Products:

Goody brand bobby pins are great for securing a twist. Start with the classic pins and then up the security with their corkscrew pins to really amp up the hold. Don’t forget to finish off with a strong hold hairspray like Big Sexy Hair’s Spray and Stay.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This style is great for all face shapes and really works well with medium to thick hair. Curlier hair may be harder to tame, but you will just have more of a textured style.

Tip:

Instead of a twist, pull your hair back and up into a sleek ponytail for a more cute and casual style. Add a headband or scarf for a more retro look.

4. Faux Bob

This cute curly style is a true illusion. Shoulder length hair is curled and pinned just right so it looks like a short, sassy bob. Make this look extra glamorous by boosting your color to rich red, chocolate brown, or multi-dimensional blonde. Healthy, shiny hair will dazzle with this adorable hairstyle.

medium updo faux bob

Style by Brittany Lefebure, Kenneth’s Studio for Hair, New Orleans, LA

medium updo faux bob 2

Style by Brittany Lefebure, Kenneth’s Studio for Hair, New Orleans, LA

How to Style:

  1. Start with clean dry hair and part it to the side.
  2. Section up a huge majority of hair and leave down the hair by your neck.
  3. Use a 1-inch curling iron and curl small pieces of hair from the dropped down section.
  4. Drop down another small section and curl.
  5. Continue curling your entire head of hair except the front bangs.
  6. Flat iron the bangs to the side and flick them back to blend into the curls.
  7. Gently section up the top crown area of curls so you can pin the bottom longer hair under and up. Secure with bobby pins at the scalp.
  8. Drop down the top layer so it blends and covers the underneath, then you magically appear to have short hair!

Recommended Products:

For this particular style, you’ll want the curls to stay but still look soft and silky. Use a light hold hairspray like Super Clean Light Hold Finishing Spray from Paul Mitchell. Follow up with a shine spray like Gold Glimmer Shine Spray by Moroccan Oil.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Round, square and heart shaped faces will really be complimented by this particular bob. The soft curls helps soften and frame. Any hair texture or thickness can attempt this style.

Tip:

Make sure you leave the top layer loose and free so it looks most natural.

3. Quick and Cute

I love this idea for an updo! It can be done quickly and can even be achieved with day two hair. The spicy ginger colors help add fun dimension and shine. Soft layers add texture and a bit of flirty fun to this cute side pony.

cute medium length updo

Style by Dia Spa & Salon, Toledo, OH

cute medium length updo 2

Style by Dia Spa & Salon, Toledo, OH

How to Style:

  1. Flat iron bangs to the side to really make them shiny and sleek.
  2. Tease the top crown area and smooth.
  3. Gather all of your hair into a low ponytail opposite the side of your part. Secure with a clear elastic tie.
  4. Back comb the ponytail so it has volume. Also grab some pieces of the ponytail and curl the ends for some fun flip.
  5. Gently pull out a few pieces around the face and curl them loosely for framing.

Recommended Products:

Clients ask all the time how to get shiny hair and one of the easiest ways is found in shine sprays. Try Fructis Style Shine Glossing Spray Brilliantine for a spritz of happy! Spray on dry hair before using hot tools to really amp up the sparkle.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Round faces will look thinner and stunning with this cute asymmetrical style. All hair textures and thicknesses can enjoy this adorable side pony hairstyle.

Tip: Try this same look with pigtails for another fun and flirty style.

2. Romantic Waves

Here is another classic twist with lots of girly softness and accents. This stunning hairstyle boasts beautiful highlights, curls, and whimsical texture. Try this sweet style out for high end occasions or even casual summer parties and barbeques.

romantic updo

Style by London Hair Salon, Mt. Pleasant, SC

romantic updo 2

Style by London Hair Salon, Mt. Pleasant, SC

How to Style:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair and flat iron your bangs to the side so they are nice and sleek.
  2. Use a medium-sized curling iron to curl your entire head.
  3. Start in the back crown area and take horizontal sections to tease slightly. Continue teasing forward until you reach the bangs, then softly smooth hair back.
  4. Gather all your hair down into a ponytail, then twist it clockwise and up, tucking the hair into the twist and securing with bobby pins.
  5. Let some curls fall around your face for softness instead of pinning them all back.

Recommended Products:

Try Paul Mitchell’s Heat Seal Thermal Protection and Style Spray to help protect hair from any hot tools as well as add luminous shine.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

These soft, face framing tendrils are awesome because they will compliment all face shapes, especially with the deep side part. Thin to medium thickness hair is best and wavy hair is the ideal texture to have to rock this look.

Tip:

If you just can’t master pinning the French twist, cheat with a pretty bejeweled claw clip.

1. Starburst Style

This spiky stunner is super fun due its contrasting smooth and edgy textures. The sprayed out ponytail makes this hairstyle more youthful and better suited for proms or formal dances.

starburst updo medium

Style by London Hair Salon, Mt. Pleasant, SC

starburst updo medium 2

Style by London Hair Salon, Mt. Pleasant, SC

How to Style:

  1. Start with clean dry hair and flat iron if you need to so that hair is on the straighter side.
  2. Comb hair into a deep side part and smooth it against the head, down into a low ponytail.
  3. Lift and twist the ponytail hair up and backcomb with a comb then hairspray to keep it spiky.

Recommended Products:

You want something that will really keep the hair in place, so try Power Surge Strong Hold Hair Spray by Bel Air Beauty.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

This hairstyle would really look fabulous on round faces and looks best with thicker hair that is on the straighter side.

Tip:

Add an exotic flower to play up the youthful feel this hairstyle offers.

Shoulder length haired girls rejoice! There are finally some fun ideas for putting your hair up and looking glamorous. These updos are a great foundation to spice up your hairstyling routine. Feel free to be creative and customize any of these unique updos for medium length hair!