36 Reasons to Cut Your Long Hair Medium Length

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No matter your hair color or hair texture, this length will work on you

Gillian Jacobs. Getty

I present to you 36 reasons to cut your long hair off into a more manageable medium length.

Many of us have been there: we have hair that's grown so long, it hangs limply like a withered balloon a day after the party. It needs to be cut, if only to freshen up the dead ends. You kinda, sorta flirt with the idea of cutting it all off. But that scares you because what if you hate how you look in a pixie? No one wants to look at themselves in a mirror for a year while their hair slowly grows out. 

To you, I say, go medium-length. It is, after all, the most flattering length on virtually everyone. Start there and maybe on your next cut you can take it up to the chin or even the ear. Or you can add bangs or a fun new color.

There has never been a better time to cut off your hair and try something new. Everyone in Hollywood, it seems is doing it or has done it and is on to the next trend.

Here I feature 40 of the best reasons to go shorter, at least to shoulder-length.

Let's start with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who cut off a few inches from her trademark long hair in mid-December, 2015.

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The Duchess of Cambridge Cuts Off a Few Inches

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

She's known for her long chestnut brown hair, so when Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, first cut bangs into them in late summer 2015, and then cut several inches off her hair to this shoulder-sweeping length in mid-December 2015, of course the Internet went crazy.

It is a mark of maturity, I suppose, to go from super long to this length. Kate is, after all, the mummy to 2 Royals now, including an heir to the throne.

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January Jones's Gorgeous Wavy Bob

January Jones. Alberto E. Rodriguez // Getty Images

I love this long bob hairstyle on actress January Jones. Get this look with styling spray and a medium-barreled curling iron. If your hair is curly tame curls with pomade -- rub a bit between your hands and then palm it over your curls, forming them with your fingers.

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Leigh Lezark Sultry Dark Hair

Leigh Lezark attends the Burberry Womenswear Spring/Summer 2016 show during London Fashion Week at Kensington Gardens on September 21, 2015 in London, England. Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Burberry

Leigh Lezark rolls with the hip kids of the fashion set. We're talking supermodels, Victoria Secret angels, you know -- those girls. So of course she takes her average shoulder-length hair and dyes it jet black. Because it works on her. Gives her added edge.

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Dianna Agron

Dianna Agron. Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

For years, Dianna Agron wore her hair long. She then cut it and wore it as a mussy long bob before, it seems, starting to grow it out. I like this cut on her.

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Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay. Getty Images

Mariska Hargitay is someone I'm fascinated with. The daughter of pinup model and actress Jayne Mansfield and Mr. Universe Mickey Hartigay, Hartigay managed to grow up relatively normal despite surviving the car crash when she was 3 that killed her famous mother. She is married to the gorgeous Peter Hermann and they have one biological child and have adopted 2 others. I just love that. 

And her hair here, of course.

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Actress Alana De La Garza

Actress Alana De La Garza. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

Alana De La Garza is a TV actress. I'm not really familiar with her roles, but I love her hair.

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Anja Rubik

Model Anja Rubik attends the 2014 God's Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards at Spring Studios on October 16, 2014 in New York City. Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Anja Ribik is your quintessential modern supermodel. I like her super light hair here with just the right amount of natural wave to it that you might assume was air-dried. She strikes me as an unfussy person when it comes to makeup and hair -- many of these "It Girls" are.

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The Long Bob: A Sleek and Sophisticated Medium-Length Hairstyle

Alexandra Von Furstenberg. Astrid Stawiarz // Getty Images

A huge trend in hair right now is the long bob, not long hair, not short hair but cut somewhat blunt and just above the shoulders. Alexandra Von Furstenberg dons a classic long bob here, though she has since grown her hair out long again. I think shorter hair suits her long face better.

Here are the rules of getting this coveted hairstyle.

  • Longer bobs, like this one on Von Furstenberg, can be bland if too blunt. Stacked layers in the back add dimension.
  • A bob can't be too layered, or it's not a bob. For an edgier look, ask the stylist to thin out the ends with scissors or a razor.
  • Ask the stylist to make your bob a touch shorter in the back.
  • This cut works on straight and wavy hair. It's a versatile cut because you can wear it wavy or flat-ironed.

See more long bob hairstyles.

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Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum plays around with hair length. She can go really long but never short. This shoulder-length cut was a great one on her.

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Layers Add Body to Medium-Length Hair

Pixie Lott. Stuart Wilson for Getty Images

Whether you're growing your hair out and it's in an awkward in-between stage, or your hair grows super slowly and you're considering going short, you should consider layers. As you can see here, the look is super-cute on medium-length hair. Forget long hair! We think you'll embrace your hair length and will trim it to this length every time. Just add a bit of curl.

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Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel. Matt Carr // Getty

I like the side-swept bangs on Jessica Biel.

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Casual With a Bit of a Wave

Frazer Harrison // Getty Images

I love Mariska Hargitay's medium-length hairstyle here. To get this look, make sure you have a few long layers, then allow hair to air dry.

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Nicole Richie Lilac Bob

nicole-richie-bob-pictures.png
Nicole Richie's bob, two ways. Stefanie Keenan & Paul Zimmerman for Getty Images

This was a fun phase Nichole Richie went through. I particularly like this cut on her.

Don't miss Pastel Hair Color: 20 Gorgeous Looks.

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Add Curls to Hair for Extra Body

Alberto E. Rodriguez // Getty Images

Medium-length hair holds curls better than long hair does. I love this look on Kim Basinger (can you believe she was born in 1953?). To get this look, you'll need long layers and a great medium-barreled curling iron.

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Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore. Michael Tran for Getty

We haven't seen much of Mandy Moore recently, but here she is, looking gorgeous as always.

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Nicole Richie's Shag Haircut

Nicole Richie. Jamie McCarthy for Getty

This is an older cut on Nicole Richie, but I like its shaggy nature.

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Jennifer Love-Hewitt's Shoulder-length Cut

What pretty natural curls here.

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A Sweet, Simple Hairstyle

Maria Teresa Arida. Frazer Harrison / Getty

I love this hairstyle, the sideswept bangs are flattering and it has just the right amount of curl.

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Curls Are Super Flattering

Frazer Harrison // Getty Images

Here's another look at a curly hairstyle on medium-length hair. This is modeled by Mad Men's Christina Hendricks.

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Nicole Richie Goes Sleek and Sophisticated

Nicole Ritchie. Photo credit: Phil Han for Zuma Press

This look is incredibly flattering to all face shapes and grows out beautifully. To get this look, your stylist will need to cut in a few face-framing layers and thin out your hair so your 'do isn't bottom-heavy. Consider getting highlights as well. If you have naturally curly hair, you can get this look with a professional straigtening OR a flat iron. Top this look off with a spritz of high gloss.

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Casual But Super Cool: Naomi Watts's Medium-Length Hairstyle

Jason Merritt // Getty Images

Here, Naomi Watts lets her hair go super casual. I love this look.

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Naturally Curly Hair? Shoulder-length Cuts Look Great On You

Melina Kanakaredes. Paul Hawthorne // Getty Images

The secret to curly hair is to cut in layers.

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Get a Bob & You'll Never Go Back

AnnaLynne McCord. Valerie Macon // Getty Images

Not a huge fan of layers? No problem, this bob is one of our favorite looks because it's so sleek & sophisticated. You can wear it chin-length to just below your shoulders. Any lower and you'll want to cut in some layers otherwise you'll risk looking dated. This look is extra gorgeous with high- or lowlights.

See Hair Lowlights vs. Hair Highlights.

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Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is just adorable, always, and I love her natural thick mane of hair.

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Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum. Frazer Harrison for Getty

Another shot of Heidi Klum in a shorter hairstyle than she usually wears.

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Judith Light

Judith Light. Stephen Lovekin for Getty

A nice hairstyle.

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A Great Wavy Hairstyle

Gillian Jacobs. Kevin Winter // Getty

Here's Gillian Jacobs as a blonde. The first image in this series is of her as a brunette.

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Yet Another Heidi Klum Hairstyle

Heidi Klum reveals her red carpet look for the 2009 Academy Awards at the Victoria's Secret Lexington Avenue Store on February 16, 2009 in New York City. Photo by Gabriela Maj/Getty Images

She wears this length very well.

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Laya Marti

Laya Marti. Juan Naharro Gimenez

A nice haircut.

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Keri Hilson

Keri Hilson. Charley Gallay/Getty

I like the waves.

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Paulina Porizkova

Paulina Porizkova. Paulina Porizkova attends the 2015 DreamBall at Cipriani 42nd Street on September 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)

Paulina, beautiful as always.

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Maria Valverde

Maria Valverde. Carlos Alvarez for Getty

This cut is kind of shaggy, which I like.

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Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde's shag haircut. Jason Kempin for Getty

This is another shaggy hairstyle, this time on Olivia Wilde.

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Becky Tong

Becky Tong attends the launch of Jess Glynne's new album 'I Cry When I Laugh' in partnership with Crystal Head Vodka at Tape London on August 26, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

I love the hair color and length here.

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Leeza Gibbons

Leeza Gibbons. Steve Granitz for Getty

Notice Leeza has added bangs to her hair.