Think you have to be Rapunzel rock a beautiful updo? Think again! Medium-length hair can reach new heights with these beautiful, elegant, and just plain fabulous updos.
Whether you need some inspiration for a prom, wedding, or anniversary or just want to do something different, these photos will hit that inspiration spot for you. Grab some bobby pins and get ready to see this year’s best updos for medium-length hair!
#1: Romantic Updo
It is a loose, romantic updo. I love this style because it’s softer than perfectly pinned updos, and it’s also easy to fix if a piece or two comes loose throughout the day. I had her wash and blew dry her hair the day off because she gets oily. I used many products to provide texture (Moroccan Oil Dry Texture Spray, Puff Me, etc.). I finished with a firm hold hairspray and shine spray to set everything.
#2: Modern Twisted Bun
My favorite thing about this updo is its elegant, modern twisted bun. This is one of those formal hairstyles for medium hair that’s super charming and romantic. It’s easy to create and timeless. You can wear it for almost any occasion, whether going to a wedding, an evening out, a party, dinner, etc. It’s perfect for any event where you want to look fancy!
This is one of the easy updos for medium hair to do yourself. When styling, first divide your hair into two sections. Take each section from ear to ear to have a front and back part. In the front part, use a dry shampoo to create volume and texture and tease the roots. I like the Tecni Art Crepage de Chignon by L’Oreal Professionnel. It helps to create maximum volume with a textured, undone style.
Gather your hair into a ponytail, twist it, and secure it with a hair tie. Wrap it around itself to form the bun. Then, pull out the twist to create more volume. Use bobby pins to hold it in place. Remember to mist this hairstyle with a fixing spray so it will last all day. Use L’Oreal Professionnel for such medium-length updos.
#3: Romantic Curly Updo
I would describe this look as a romantic and loose curly updo. The key to this look is keeping the bun low and leaving hair pieces out as you pin the curls. I recommend this look for the client who wants to look glamorous yet somewhat effortless. This is such a romantic look that fits every face shape. If your face is rounder, I recommend leaving some pieces near the face to slim the sides. If you have naturally curly hair, such hair updos for medium hair also work because you can go with your natural curl pattern.
#4: Textured Twist Updo for Medium Hair
Tons of texture and volume make this simple twisted style the right updo for any occasion—the face-framing pieces in front work to showcase your best features.
#5: Ultimate Messy Bun
This rocker updo hairstyle is giving us the chills for its quirkiness! Enhance your hair’s definition with a simple updo. These messy updos for medium hair are ideal for highlighted strands.
#6: Sexy Fishtail Braid
FYI: Braids are not only for Coachella. Quirk up formal attire with a twist.
#7: Simple Braid Updo
Weaved into perfection, this messy yet impeccable hairstyle is for the carefree and graceful gals out there. This mid-length updo features lots of amazing texture and depth!
#8: Simple French Braid
This braid is a twist on the classic French braid. It combines traditional braiding techniques with macramé stitching – something I love incorporating into my work. I would tell anyone considering this braid that it looks great on many hair lengths and textures. Sometimes clients think braids only work on long hair, but this is not always true! If you wear your hair like this, you only need mid-length hair.
If your hair is long enough for a traditional French braid, it is long enough for this braid too! However, to continue this braid through the ponytail, add a weft or even a ribbon for added length to create the spiral. Here I kept the look sleek but also beautiful on textured hair. Such updo hairstyles for medium-length hair look elegant or edgy, depending on how you style it.
#9: Textured Loose Updo
I would describe this look as a textured loose updo with a braid. My favorite thing about this updo for medium-length hair is the two-stranded braid. It brings the whole look together!
To recreate awesome updos for shoulder-length hair like this, I recommend using one product that creates texture and one that has a flexible hold. For women who have smooth and straight hair, the texture would be greatly needed to hold this look well. I mainly use KMS hair products and recommend Hairplay Dry Wax because it builds texture and has a flexible hold. I would also finish with a finishing hairspray that doesn’t give it a hard and crunchy feel. I recommend the KMS Hairstay Firm Finishing Hairspray.
Also, I didn’t curl the hair before creating this look since this lady’s hair was naturally textured, thick, and very easy to work with. However, someone with smooth hair should curl their hair first because it would hold and control the braid and the twists much better. This would prevent straight strands from sticking out and make the whole updo look unfinished.
#10: Classy Low Twisted Bun
This medium updo is timeless and classy. My favorite thing about this upstyle is how it makes her fine, short hair appear fuller than it is. I love how it’s off her neck in a flattering way for those hot summer days. Twists are flattering to all ages and add much dimension to any style.
I used dry shampoo before working and hairspray to finish. I like dry shampoo because it adds texture and roughness to the hair while absorbing natural oils in the root area. When hair is super clean, it’s a bit harder to work with because it is so soft and smooth. Using dry shampoo adds a bit of roughness to help keep the hair in place as you work with it. I love hairspray to finish because it locks the look in place, so this beauty can go all night without worrying that her hair will come undone. Bobby pins and mini elastics will also be your best friend in achieving this look.
#11: Romantic Faux Updo
This style is a romantic and modern faux updo. This bridesmaid has medium-length hair, which makes this look easier to achieve.
#12: Voluminous Half Updo
This is a half-up, half-down updo that is smooth and has lots of volume. My favorite thing about this look is that you can wear it anywhere. You can dress it up for the perfect bridesmaid look or just wear it as an everyday style. Updos for medium haircuts are so versatile.
To create this look, I used Unite Expanda Dust in her crown. I did a lot of backcombing in the crown of her head and smoothed it out with my backcombing bush. I also used a flat iron to smooth and straighten her hair and to bend her ends on the top. I topped off this look with Unite Smooth and Shine styling cream on the hair we left down, Unite 7 Seconds glossing spray all over, and of course, the Unite hairspray.
#13: Classic Formal Updo
This medium-length updo is a classic formal bridal updo with a soft romantic aspect. My favorite thing is how it is structured and loose at the same time. I recommend this look for someone with light to medium hair thickness. Any hair texture would work as long as it is properly prepped. This looks for a woman who wants a classic romantic and formal look without it being too structured or messy. To me, this look is perfect for an a-line or trumpet gown.
I used Living Proof Dry Texture Spray, Living Proof Control Hairspray, and Aerogel Hair Finishing Spray to create this look. Pre-curling your hair with a 1 to 1.25-inch curling iron doesn’t hurt. Instead of doing a sleek chignon, I added crisscrossing overlapped twists from the middle and each side, then loosened them gently.
#14: Effortless Casual Updo
This style is the epitome of effortless perfection. I love that it’s soft and romantic with an air of “I just threw it up.” This look is great for everyone and would best suit someone with fine to medium-textured hair of any thickness. It is perfect for an unexpected night out after work or an outdoor wedding.
I love a good texture spray as Kevin Murphy’s Doo.Over is perfect for giving texture with a bit of hold while still maintaining the tousled and effortless nature of the style. Give a quick wave to your hair with a wand or iron, followed by finger combing. Pull your hair into a low pony, knot it, and then secure it with bobby pins. Leave face-framing tendrils if desired. The looser, the better!
#15: Romantic Contrast
This updo for shoulder-length hair was created for a rustic and romantic wedding. It’s soft and compliments any dress, being classic and elegant. This look is great for clients with color contrast, specifically blondes or lighter brunettes. With dark hair, we sometimes lose the intricacy of a style. Medium to thick hair texture is best as well. If the client had finer hair, I would deconstruct this style more. This style is soft enough and elegant enough to wear to any event.
To create this style, I used a hair primer from Scruples to prepare the hair for heat. I also used their Hi-Definition Hairspray because it is flexible and allows me to work with the hair. For added shine and to control flyaways, I used their Velvet Molding Gloss from Scruples, then finished with Kenra Maximum Hold Hairspray.
#16: Youthful Braided Updo
We created this look out of necessity. It was over 90 degrees outside this day and very humid, so this bridesmaid wanted a look that would stay put all day and not fall flat. I French braided the front of her hair, leaving out just a few wispy pieces, and pulled the rest into a bun off the side. I love that this look has fun details and texture from every angle.
Curl your hair first. I used a flat iron to curl, but a curling iron would also work. This gives the hair more fullness and holds when creating an updo. Always use bobby pins that match your hair color. You do not want pins to show in your final look!
#17: Modern Bun
This look is soft, loose, and modern. I love that it has a classic feel with a modern edge. This style would work well for anyone with longer hair with face-framing layers and fringe. When doing bridal styling, I always remember that these looks should be timeless. No one wants to look back at their wedding pictures and wonder what they were thinking! So when I consult with the client, I always try to ensure we choose something that stands the test of time.
#18: Boho Chic Updo
This is a bohemian chic updo, and it’s such an awesome look because it is very versatile. It can be worn to a formal event, change your outfit, and later hit up the after-party.
I used quite a bit of Davines Texture Spray and Fresh.Hair dry shampoo by Kevin Murphy to get more texture and volume after I curled the hair. Everything was loosely pinned, and the key points are the pieces around the face that gives it that calm feel.
#19: Textured Side Bun
This look is a textured side bun. The client wanted something with texture and body at the root. My favorite thing about this hairstyle is how it looks balanced and beautiful from every angle. We wanted it to look done but not overdone, and I think we achieved that.
These hair up styles suit many face shapes. You can soften this style for someone with a square and harder jawline by pulling pieces around the face and ears. This look would be great for a bride, bridesmaid, wedding guest, or engagement party.
#20: Sophisticated Bohemian
I describe this look as “sophisticated bohemian.” I love the detail yet softness that the look provides. The back of the updo allows for a little detailed expression, while the front imparts a more “boho,” lived-in look. I love creating that juxtaposition. I use Aquage Working Spray to set and cool the curls and Aquage Finishing Spray to hold them. I recommend a Marcel 1-inch barrel curling iron to curl with. Always clip and cool your curls. It makes for a long-lasting updo!
This is the perfect updo for the bride looking for a style that can impart elegance and trendiness with a bohemian touch. The addition of florals gives it even more of a bohemian touch. This updo also works well for those ladies with medium-length hair, finer hair strands, or even those whose hair doesn’t necessarily hold a curl. These updo hairstyles for medium-length hair are great for brides who hope to have beautiful hair when they are dancing queens at their reception.
#21: Double Crown Braid
This is a half-double crown braided style with soft waves. My favorite thing about it is that it’s so natural and looks effortless. I always say that building a great foundation is key for any style, whether it’s up, down, or half up. The main products I used for this easy updo for medium-length hair were Kevin Murphy Hair.Resort Spray for setting and Redken Braid Aid for the braids themselves. I finished it off with Kevin Murphy Session.Spray.
These half updos for shoulder-length hair are great for anyone trying to achieve a soft and effortless look, from a young girl to a bridesmaid to walking the red carpet.
#22: Free-Spirited Waves
My favorite thing about this hairstyle is that it is loose and organic looking, especially with the addition of flowers. This look is currently popular and goes well with bohemian-style weddings/events. This look is very elegant and can be dressed up or down. This particular look is very versatile and great for the free-spirited festival goer. It’s also a lovely, less formal approach for a bridesmaid. This style makes easy updos for medium hair texture and fine types! This also works perfectly for mid-length to long hair.
#23: Trendy Topknot
This is a fantastic mid-length hairstyle. Topknots can be dressed up with a sexy dress or dressed down with a tee and jeans.
#24: Soft Flowing Updo
This look is a softly curled, flowing updo. I love how her fringe curves and sits neatly, blending into the curls at the back. I recommend a lot of hairspray! You can also add thickening cream to blow dry before creating the updo.
These hairdos for medium hair would suit any face shape because they’re not pulled back off the face. I recommend it to ladies with shoulder-length cuts, shorter hair, and fine to medium thickness. It’s versatile enough to wear for an evening meal or a wedding party.
#25: Undone Updo
This look has a more undone and casual feel. It is not overly done and not too loose at the same time. I love this look because the hair looks very soft, tousled, and romantic. I recommend using hair matting powder products so the hair can achieve more texture and volume. I recommend a working hairspray as well to create fine detailing work.
I recommend medium-length updos to clients who prefer a more natural look without screaming for attention. It’s perfect for someone who prefers more casual and relaxed atmospheres. These medium hair updos work nicely with highlighted hair and can suit any face shape as the shape of the overall look can easily be adjusted.