The 32 Best Shoulder Length Curly Hair Styles and Cuts

The best shoulder length curly hair ideas

Did you know you can fall in love with your shoulder-length curly hair by adding texture and using specialized products? Whether you prefer a soft, romantic look or voluminous curls, these curly hairstyles for medium hair can take you from the office to an evening garden party.

With plenty of great products to help define your shape and remain frizz-free; you’ll be certain to embrace warmer temperatures.

Curly hair isn’t better long or short. As you’ll see below, curly hair cuts are better when cut right in the middle! Opt for medium-length curly hair instead and you’ll get the best of both worlds!

So before your next hair appointment, check out these photos of the best shoulder-length curly hair ideas:

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Shoulder-Grazing Very Curly Hair

Shoulder grazing very curly hair
Instagram @keshiaeast

Enhance your shape with shoulder-grazing very curly hair which will give a beautiful flow of curls. Shoulder-length curly hairstyles are such a great length to allow for extra layering which creates a soft, rounded shape. This length of haircut for curly hair will require some form of shaping or layering to avoid the curly triangle.

Medium U-Cut for Curls

Medium u-cut for curls
Instagram @curlyonq

Medium U-Cut for curls is perfect for ladies looking to grow their hair while keeping their curls’ bounce. Adding in layers will lessen the weight of your hair and help achieve extra volume and bounce.

Mid-Length Inverted Bob for Curly Locks

Mid-length inverted bob for curly locks
Instagram @uptowncurlmpls

A mid-length inverted bob for curly locks is shorter in the back with stacked layers and long, curved lines in the front. Curly hair thus allows for the weight off the back but a stunning waterfall of curls throughout.

Red Medium-to-Long Curly Hair

Red medium-to-long curly hair
Instagram @hairbyamck3nzie

Red medium-to-long curly hair is achievable with the right cut and styling technique. Ask your stylist to cut your hair using a “curly” cut technique. This haircut is done on dry hair to achieve even layers. Curls have endless possibilities if you’re bold enough to have fun with them!

Voluminous Curls for Black Women

Voluminous curls for black women
Instagram @curlyme_com

Voluminous curls for black women have endless possibilities and look fabulous on almost all face shapes. Black ladies with curly hair will want a more moisturizing product to keep their curls happy all day long.

Messy Lob for Curly Girls

Messy lob for curly girls
Instagram @hypedkidssociety

Messy lob hairstyles are any curly girls’ favorite hairdo. Ask your stylist to do a “curly cut.” This hairdo is done on dry, styled hair to best achieve the layered fullness you’re looking for.

Romantic Curly Bun Updo for Mid-Length Hair

Romantic curly bun updo for mid-length hair
Instagram @ashleylnedd

A romantic curly bun updo for mid-length hair has endless possibilities. It is both easy to achieve and easy to style. Section off your bangs, add a gorgeous hair scarf, let your curls swirl their way off, and you’re good to go.

Balayage Ombre on Mid-Length Curls

Balayage ombre on mid-length curls
Instagram @curlykate2020

A balayage ombré on mid-length curls is very practical if you’re wanting to grow out your hair color as it allows your natural color to blend in smoothly. Opting for balayage ombré on those mid-length curls adds extra definition to those intricate curls while suitably framing your face. This hairstyle requires a non-strict and low-maintenance hair care routine.

Shoulder-Length Curly Hairstyle with Bangs

This shoulder-length curly hairstyle with bangs and a side part was created by stylist Sara Maria of Coral Gables, FL.

“Curly girls are sometimes terrified of volume,” she says, “but here’s the thing, curls will always have volume. It’s just where that volume is distributed. I’d tell them to choose wisely.”

There are various reasons that cause our hair to act up, so different products help different situations. With that said,  take advice from a stylist they trust rather than a YouTuber.

Dark Brown Medium-Length Curly Hair Style

Dark brown medium length curly hair style
Instagram @nubiarezo

Dark brown medium-length curly hair style for super reflective rich colored curls. Darker bases will always reflect so much more shine and that’s one thing curly girls crave. A layered medium curly hairstyle keeps a little weight on the length, pushing the layers up for a blended shape.

Naturally Curly Mid-Length Cut for a Round Face

Naturally curly mid-length cut for a round face
Instagram @jhairieciprian

A naturally curly mid-length cut for a round face shape needs choppy layers throughout. Medium length curly hairstyles, without added layers, can look a bit heavy if left too short as it adds width to round face shapes.

Deva Curly Hairstyle for Medium Length Hair

Deva curly hairstyle for medium length hair
Instagram @devacurl

Deva curly hairstyle for medium-length hair gives off an instant boost of texture, volume, and bounce. Medium-length naturally curly hairstyles are well-suited for women who aspire to have a voluminous flow of layering. The DevaCurl method works on the individuality of the curls to attain their fullest potential.

Wonderful Shoulder-Length Curly Bob with Loose Curls

“This is a long curly bob I cut to enhance her natural curl,” says style creator and curl specialist Sarah Chaney of Los Angeles, CA. “I love that the waves and layers give the cut a nice, strong shape with a nice drape as opposed to a wide triangle, which so often happens with such curly haircuts,” she adds.

Sarah’s advice to naturally curly girls looking for this look is to not be afraid! Many women considering medium-length naturally curly hair styles think that they are limited to only having long hair below their shoulders, but it just isn’t true. Find a stylist who specializes in curly cuts, and they can create a shape to enhance your curl instead of fighting against it.

Medium Layered Curly Hair Idea

Medium Layered Curly Hair Idea
Instagram @adri_alb

This medium layered curly hair with length and face-framing was created and styled by curly hair specialist Adriana Albornoz of Tampa, FL.

“Don’t be afraid of layer,” she states. Medium hairstyles for curly hair look best when they have layers, or you’ll end up with the dreaded triangle.

Find a stylist who’s comfortable cutting the locks dry and curl by curl, so they can give you a custom cut for your medium springy curls. Albornoz’s favorite products are a medium hold silicone free (water based) gel and a diffuser. “We diffused upside down, and tipped to the sides to achieve maximum volume,” she notes.

Beachy Natural Curls for Medium Hair

This is one of the cute haircuts for naturally curly hair that was cut and styled by Karlie Johnson, a DevaCurl advance stylist in Jacksonville Beach, FL.

“I took off at least eight to ten inches before I gave her the Deva Curl Waterfall Cut with soft layers and these fun playful bangs,” she says.

To style this medium curly hair with curly bangs, Johnson says “I strongly follow the Deva Curl No Poo Transformation for hairstyles like this. I left a good amount of Deva Curl Condition One conditioner in at the shampoo bowl after I detangled the curls so they could reform.”

“Then I used the Deva Curl Light Defining Gel and followed with the Deva Curl Frizz Free Foam, and started removing as much moisture as I could with the Deva towel (strongly suggest using if you have natural curl). I cut it under the dryer and finished her ends with my diffuser for a fuller look. After fully dry, I flipped her head upside down and fluffed the curls,” she adds.

Big Curls on Shoulder-Length Hair

These big curls on shoulder-length hair were created by curl specialist Anjelica Dabrowski of Baltimore, MD.

Daborwski’s best advice for women wanting to recreate hairstyles for medium curly hair is to know what ingredients are going into the products you choose. “Harsh sulfates are going to strip vital moisture from the hair, leaving it dry and very difficult to style. Silicones are going to leave a film on the hair strand and build up over time, creating a cast that interferes with shine, vibrancy, and elasticity,” she says.

She goes on to say, “To achieve this look, our focus is hydration, flexibility, and control. Prepping curls with the right amount of moisture is vital.”

For our curly textures, hydration starts in the shower. To start this curly haircut off, a deep cleansing of the scalp should be done with DevaCurl Low-Poo Original Cleanser, followed by DevaCurl One Condition. The mixture of two products allows for easy slip while detangling, and because no sulfates are used, essential moisture is not stripped away during the process.

“For parched strands, leaving in a good bit of conditioner is a great secret weapon to aid in fighting frizz,” she adds. “After I finger detangled with the conditioner, I very lightly rinsed then scrunched to expel out excess water while encouraging the curl pattern.”

For an added control factor that helps curls last for days, apply DevaCurl Light Defining Gel. Gloss it over the entire shape, and scrunch upwards to enhance definition. This gel creates a zero crunch protective moisture barrier that adds shine and repels frizz. The end result is curls that are touchable and controlled.

Lovely Curly Layered Hair

Lovely Curly Layered Hair
Instagram @devadoll10

This lovely medium layered cut on curls was created by Deva Certified curly specialist Lynne DaSilva of Temecula, CA. “One of my favorite things about haircuts for curly hair women like this is how seamless the layers are. It’s perfect for creating lift and lightness with heavy hair. It also brings volume and fullness to fine or thin hair,” she adds.

The amazing finish was created with DevaCurl products. Super Cream added moisture to help smooth the hair texture and the Ultra Defining Gel was used for definition and hold.

Collarbone-Length Curls for Women Over 60

Collarbone Length Curls for Women Over 60
Instagram @jordanaveryz

When you’re at that age where everything that you put on is an epitome of elegance, these fringing curls are the best way to show that. This silver-gray curly hairstyle is perfect and works best on thin curly hair.

Messy Medium Cut with Bangs

Messy medium cut with bangs
Instagram @erikast.pierre

A messy medium cut with bangs is super low-maintenance and gives a maximum volume. Portland-based stylist Erika St. Pierre shares how to achieve this haircut.

“I used a 90-degree layering technique all around the head. I then made rounded layers with point-cutting,” St. Pierre explains. “The fringe and face-framing are cut separately to match the facial features.”

Layered Blonde Curls on a Lob

Layered Blonde Curls on a Lob
Instagram @kurly.kennah

A layered curly lob can enhance natural curls. Adding in structured layers creates volume on top and the “perfectly undone” texture. To avoid frizz and less curl definition, use styling or curl cream. Such products are sure to freshen up the next-day curls.

This medium curly combover hairstyle was made by curly enthusiast McKennah Chafin using the method called a DevaCut. “A DevaCut is a dry, curly cut. Doing so allows your curls to lay in their natural state so your hair shape and length are seen properly,” she explains. “Traditional cuts stretch your curls, so when you style, your shape dries differently. Curls tend to lay better with a Deva Cut.”

You need the proper technique and the right products for your hair type to get the outcome you desire. The technique used is called Brush Styling. It smooths and enhances your curl pattern. Plus, it allows you to choose the amount of volume you wish. The best advice for wearing your hair curly, is to not compare yourself to others. Curly girls with gorgeous curls are can be hard on themselves. This is because they want someone else’s curl type. Embrace your beautiful curls. There is only one you!

Curly & Thick Shoulder-Length Hair

Curly & Thick Shoulder-Length Hair
Instagram @jjlynn34_hair

This layered cut for thick curly hair was created by hairstylist Jessica Johnson of Richmond, VA. “It is designed for women who want to remove some weight near the length of their hair but still have movement and volume,” she explains. It’s an easy transition from having the long curly hair to having the mid-length one.

This is a low-maintenance style that works best for women with medium to thick hair. It’s suitable for most face shapes as the layering naturally elongates and creates a nice silhouette. Keeping the layers long enough to still easily pull back into a bun or simply away from the face makes this a versatile and easy style to maintain.

Johnson suggests, “a great leave-in conditioner and a medium hold curl gel are all you need to recreate this shape at home.”

Layered Curly Bob Hairstyle with Thick Curls

“I like to cut my curly girls dry so that I can see the immediate results for stubborn curls,” says hairstylist Tina Wherry of Plymouth, MN. “This long layered bob haircut creates a serious bounce in her curls to give this curly girl a sophisticated and flirty look!” Those layers of short curls also add more volume to the hair.

Some looking to achieve this hairstyle for curly hair will be happy with the ease of this style! With the right cut, this style simply takes a heavy dose of moisture and a curl defining product like Living Proof Curl Defining Creme. Diffuse or air dry, and voila!

“If you have a looser curl, I would create texture in the crown with the cut and throw in a few loose curls with a curling iron,” adds Johnson.

Medium-Length Layered Curly Cut

“This medium-length layered cut allows the curls to fall beautifully and naturally where they need to lay,” says master stylist and curl whisperer Heather Hall of Columbus, OH.

“The cut was done dry, and I love the way dry cutting brings out the best in naturally curly hair. It allows me to see where each curl wants to live and will thrive the best in the cut,” explains Hall.

The curly hair journey is a lifetime commitment! To achieve beautiful natural curly hairstyles like this, you first have to get rid of ingredients such as silicones and sulfates that will be damaging and weigh down curly hair. You also need to consider the hair’s porosity and balance between moisture and protein in order to really give your hair what it needs.

“In this photo, we styled the hair wet (not dripping), and finger raked DevaCurl’s Frizz Free Volumizing Foam from roots to ends, followed by Jessicurl’s Spiralicious Gel. I finger raked until curl clumps begin to form and all the hair was as smooth as silk,” says Hall. “Then scrunched the hair using my hands or a cotton t-shirt to bring out the curls. I diffused the hair until dry using my Babyliss diffuser attachment with the dryer setting at low heat and low airspeed. Flip the hair upside down, right side up, and back and forth while drying to achieve lift at the root!”

Messy and Sweet Curly Shag with Curly Bangs

This modern messy curly shag for medium-length hair with curly bangs was created by hairstylist and Devacurl advanced specialist Christina Valenzuela of Studio City, CA.

When looking at hairstyles for medium to long curls, modern and low-maintenance are what it’s all about. Adding product when the hair is super wet helps distribute the product evenly throughout the hair. Use DevaCurl Supercream and Ultra Defining Gel.

“Diffuse dry the hair to bump up the body. To prevent the bangs from splitting, diffuse them dry first. Finish with Mirror Curls for extra shine,” adds Valenzuela.

Before and After Medium Curly Locks

Before and After Photos of Medium Curly Locks
Instagram @hairmajestiii

This is a before and after of a Deva Cut which is a dry cut for curly hair. It was cut and styled by hairstylist Alisha Rodrigues of Providence, RI.

“She told me she likes her curls more conservative and less unruly, but she wanted shape. I gave her long round layers specifically for her natural curl pattern. Then I cut her hair one curl at a time to ensure the accuracy of the haircut,” explains Rodrigues.

“I used the Deva Curl Super Cream to style her hair. This is a light moisturizing cream that is perfect to style the hair on clients with fine to medium texture hair,” she says. “It gives you that soft subtle look and feel. I cut her hair right under the collarbone which is a trendy length. It’s the perfect length to brighten up your face and is still long enough to tie back.”

This medium-length curly hair is a perfect haircut for women that wear their hair curled and want some definition in their curl pattern that brightens them up without too much volume.

Cascading Curly Wavy Hair

Cascading Curly Wavy Hair
Instagram @bristleandprim

This curly wavy hair was created by master stylist Krystle Sosa Kirchgessner of Lancaster, PA.

Like all curly gals, the hair needs moisture. From wavy to corkscrew curls, they all deal with the dreaded frizz factor. So the products have to keep all moisture locked in. It’s important to use a sulfate-free cleanser (which keeps oils in) and a silicone-free conditioner (silicones = synthetics and they are water blockers!).

“I cleansed her scalp with DEVACURL DELIGHT LOW-POO. Then used hydrated and detangled with DEVACURL DELIGHT ONE-CONDITIONER. Next, I scrunched in DEVACURL BELIEVE-IN leave-in conditioner on sopping wet hair. I finished the style by scrunching in DEVACURL ULTRA DEFINING GEL,” explains Sosa.

She adds, “to maintain the look for 2-3 days more, sleep with a “pineapple” ponytail and spritz with a water/conditioner mist.”

As far as the cut goes, this is a universal look for many curly girls. Elevating layers so they cascade over the other removes bulk along with proper styling. When the hair reaches collarbone-length and past, this a great low-maintenance look for any curly girl with any face shape to consider.

Big Bouncy Curls

These big bouncy curls were created by master stylist Starresha Renae of Chicago, IL.

“I recommend any curling gel layered with a cream to give life to these strands,” she says.

These defined curls are ideal for any woman with any lifestyle. And yes, hair colors would be great, too!

Medium-Short Curly Hair

medium-short curly hair
Instagram @hairbymadisonrenee

This medium-short curly hair looks dramatic, inspiring, and very pretty! This is the cut that benefits babes with a naturally curly texture. The secret to its nice-looking shape lies in the top layers. If top layers get too long, the result may appear bulky and rounded. Now when it comes to styling, hairspray can be your friend. The amount of definition that the product provides will add height and volume to curls.

Tight Curls on Medium Hair

tight curls on medium hair
Instagram @hairbytoriahlachell

Wear these tight curls, and show off your natural hair texture! This big curly hair style is side-parted to give your super-curly hair an instant lift. Keep the locks hydrated from roots to ends for a healthier, bouncier result.

Natural Curly Blonde Hair

medium natural curly blonde hair
Instagram @1curlyfashionista

Opt for natural curly blonde hair, and achieve that fun, fresh-looking edge that’s similar to Charlize Theron’s! The secret to its perfection is the curls’ natural texture. The bright blonde shade suits a woman with blue eyes. It’s the trendy style that gives tresses a livelier finish.

Shoulder-Length Curly Locks with Side Bangs

Shoulder Length Curly Hair with Side Bangs
Instagram @beautybyalasia

Admit it, you’ve always wanted to try donning a curly crown with your natural hair color. Go for the full young look with your curly locks on a medium cut and some side bangs.

Curly Half-Up Half-Down

Curly Half-Up Half-Down
Instagram @st_biton

This curly half-up half-down hairstyle was created by stylist Esti Biton of Tel Aviv, Israel. “I love this look because it preserves the natural curls. It defines them and creates a lush backdrop that wraps the face of the bride,” she adds.

The asymmetrical lift of the hair from the direction of the temples gives an elegant and easygoing appearance.

Curly hair haircuts are great for girls who want to keep their natural curls, recognize themselves on their wedding day, but still be the best version of themself. For girls with thin or not so full hair, use hair extensions.

“For this look, you need to have some patience because you have to work on the curls one by one. To maintain durability, I recommend that you use hair spray with stronghold formula,” explains Biton.