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If you’re thinking of updating your hairstyle but aren’t ready to make a full-on chop, we feel you. Eating all those foods for longer hair took effort, after all—effort you’re not ready to dismiss in one quick snip. But then there's the flip side—what exactly does one do with their long locks? "Long, thick hair is what most people dream of, but it can also be too much for some people," notes hairstylist Benjamin Mohapi. So to keep from feeling overwhelmed by a lengthier mane, it's important to consider your hair type and texture when choosing a cut or style.
To help you out, we rounded up the best long haircut ideas for every type of hair texture, from tight curls to stick-straight strands. Plus, we included styling tips from Mohapi and hair experts Tonya Thompson and Sharie Wilson. Bring these with you on your next trip to the salon and never experience post-haircut regret again.
Meet the Expert
• Tonya Thompson and Sharie Wilson are sisters and the cofounders of DreamGirls, a natural hair company and salon.
• Benjamin Mohapi is a hairstylist and the founder of Benjamin Salon, with bi-coastal locations in California and New York.
See below for 20 inspiring long haircuts for all types of textures.
Beyonce shows us that the key to pulling off a long shag begins with strategically placed layers. If you have naturally thick and wavy or curly hair, ask for a layered cut that starts at the chin. "Multi-layered hairstyles are good for thick hair because it’s easier to maintain and helps to add more shape and definition to the hair," Thompson says. It also removes excess weight, which lends movement to tresses.
Channel Esperanza Spalding and embrace your natural hair with sky-high voume. Spalding says she styles her afro by applying a concoction of shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, and tea tree oil, to damp strands and then brushes it through with a classic Goody Straight Talk Rubber Styler Brush ($7). Next, she sets her hair in eight twists and allows it to air-dry.
Naomi Campbell adds some flair to her sleek-straight mane with blunt bangs. And while we can't deny that she makes a strong case for long hair with bangs, unless you have straight hair—and even still—these bangs will require some upkeep to style and maintain. So if you're looking for something that won't add too much time to your hairstyle routine, you might want to opt for curtain bangs or side-swept bangs instead.
Strategically-placed layers can help shape your natural curls or waves. For Camila Alves's look, ask your hairstylist to thin out your curls and keep them all the same length. And if you want to up the trend factor—while defining curls—apply a cream-gel mixture for the perfect wet-hair look. Arrojo Hair Gel ($26) and Amika Supernova Moisture and Shine Hair Cream ($26) make the perfect pair.
Awkwafina'a long, jet-black mane is a dream. Throw in some gritty texture and shine—with the help of R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray ($26) and Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil ($21)—and it becomes It-girl cool. To keep straight locks from falling flat, consider adding some long layers which will create body and movement to your hair.
If you have textured tresses like Solange's, add the slightest hint of layers only at the very ends to accentuate the length. Add further interest by injecting plenty of volume towards the bottom of the hair, which creates an avant-garde style. And while red eye makeup isn't a must, it is highly encouraged.
Choppy layers like Kim Kardashian's give straight hair body. "Removing weight from the interior is often a good way to help manage long hair," says Mohapi. "Depending on the texture, you can slide weight out from the under sections and ends, or taper the ends, so they swish around more easily."
For well-defined curls like Serayah McNeill's, keep hair moisturized via regular cleansing, conditioning, and deep conditioning. For a more intense deep condition, try Aunt Jackie's Fix My Hair Intensive Repair Masque ($16). Style with a stark center part to play up the drama.
With fine hair, you don't want to go too heavy on the layers since this can remove much-needed volume. Instead, opt for face-framing layers like Gigi Hadid. Apply a high-quality product—we like Better Natured Beachy Texture Spray ($22)—to emphasize hair's natural waves.
Long, barely-there layers look amazing on Chrissy Teigen's thick mane. Style with sleek, glamorous waves and a deep side part to elongate a rounder face shape. Looking to add dimension and brighten your complexion at the same time? Highlights will do the trick.
Super Long and Wavy
A super-long length like Olivia Rodrigo's is head-turning. "For long hair, I love a natural, loose wave for thick hair, as well as beach waves," Wilson says. Still, this is a versatile look that also works well with straight and curly hair. Consider slicking back sides with a strong-hold hair gel à la Rodrigo to highlight contrasting textures.
The key to styling bangs like Dakota Johnson's? Blow them out as soon as you leave the shower. Use a smaller round brush to style them (we like the EX2 Ibiza Small Round Brush, $34).
With curly hair, you don't just have the option of either embracing curls or straightening them. Here, Zendaya goes for something in between the two: tousled texture that is visually effortless. By keeping her hair long, she lends extra weight to her mane that avoids having waves fall prey to the dreaded "pouf" shape.
Penelope Cruz's stick-straight hair looks great with the addition of a short side bang. If you aren't blessed with a similar texture, use a blow-dryer and a flat iron to replicate a professional blowout at home.
Shay Mitchell's glamorous bedhead is likely the result of a great salt spray, as well as her own enviable texture. Spritz Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist Spray ($31) all over hair before curling locks with a 1-inch wand and then raking your hands through your curls to recreate the look. Don't forget to ask your stylist for long layers since they will add body and movement to this style.
The key to making fine hair look thicker is face-framing layers—Olivia Palermo's start at her chin, adding volume and body to her roots. Tousled ends perfectly complement her square-shaped face. For those who aren't blessed with natural waves, fake the look by rolling hair with Ghd's Curve 1.25" Soft Curl Iron ($199).
Winnie Harlow makes a strong case to bring back '80s hair, albeit a toned-down version. If you've got thick tresses, thinning shears will remove some of your hair's weight so that this look doesn't look too dense. To style, a crimping iron and volumizing mousse are a must. Finish off with a volume-inducing side flip and shaped baby hairs.
As we age, there is a tendency to go shorter but Heidi Klum makes a strong case for rocking long hair. If you don't have medium to thick tresses—or the patience to grow out your mane—take a shortcut with hair extensions. An eyelash-grazing fringe will highlight your eyes, as will green neon liner.
Feathered Ends and Angles
While blunt ends make fine strands appear thicker, those with thicker tresses might opt for feathered ends so that hair appears less heavy. Angles that start at your chin will frame your face and lend shape to a thick mane.
Curly Shag With Curtain Bangs
Between her fiery red color and curly bangs, Natasha Leone's long shag is pure perfection. Natural curls and waves bring body and texture to this multi-layered cut. Although, unlike its '70s predecessor, the layers composing a modern shag are more gradual, creating a softer aesthetic.
What haircut is good for thin fine hair?
While shorter cuts are popular for those with thin fine hair, if you want to maintain your length, opt for a cut that is blunt or has long layers. Avoid anything that has choppy layers since this will only exacerbate thin hair.
What is the best long haircut for natural hair?
Long, gradual layers can lend shape and movement to coarse hair. As long as you don't go too heavy on the layers, curls can benefit from layers which define texture and bounce.
Should thick hair be layered or worn in one length?
Since thick hair has a tendency to appear dense, a layered haircut can remove some of its excess weight and also contribute to movement. While you can wear a blunt haircut if you have thick hair, know that it will make hair appear even thicker.