When it comes to styling medium-length curls, it's all about knowing your texture and figuring out how to make it work for you. Many people get this confused, so let's clear this up. Wearing your hair curly is not a singular style. In fact, there are countless hairstyles for curly girls that are great for work, play, and beyond. Don't get us wrong, we're total advocates of letting your curls roam free as they please, but there are just some moments that may call for a bit more creativity. For those looking for a bit of inspiration, we've come up with a list of some cool styles that you're definitely going to want to try.
All curl grounds are covered: loose, spiral, barrel, and natural. Below are the celeb hairstyles for medium-length curly hair currently occupying space in our camera rolls.
Blunt and Wavy
Charlize Theron stunned at the red carpet premiere of Sleepwalking with these tightly coiled waves. You can use a one-inch curling wand, like Remington's Shine Therapy Wand ($25), to re-create these curls.
Asymmetric and Natural
Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel's tousled curls add amazing dimension to her overall look. This style is actually super easy to create. Simply sweep your curls over to one side and secure with a few of these Conair bobby pins ($7).
Wavy and Textured
Rihanna's golden blonde curls and bangs frame her face perfectly. This is a style that works great with either natural or heat-wanded curls. After your curls are in place, be sure to secure the look with a hairspray like Morrocanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong Finish ($26).
Updo With Tight Curls
For a more Old Hollywood–appropriate occasion, pin your curls up into a classic updo like Taylor Swift’s. These Goody spin pins will help keep the look in place.
Kristen Stewart is forever giving us hair envy. Rough up your waves by running your hands through them with a pomade, like this SexyHair Pomade ($26) to add extra volume. She created more structure by tucking one side behind her ear and pulling her hair to the side.
Side-Parted Retro Waves
Jessica Alba looked radiant in these big, bouncy curls. Add movement and body to your shoulder-length hair by using Drybar's self-grip velcro rollers ($12) to shape the look.
Natural With Headband
Amandla Stenberg added this glorious silver headband to their natural curls. So regal, no? Recreate this look by adding your own headband ($18) or standout accessory.
Janelle Monáe’s ever-changing hairstyles never get old. If you’re looking for a no-fuss style, try double buns like these, using Goody elastic hair ties ($5).
Center-Parted Blunt Waves
Ariel Winter looked like a walking vintage glamour ad in these waves. And that shine! Duplicate the look by spritzing with Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Serum ($26).
Natural and Loose
Just as free as her music is her hair. Solange exuded etherealism with her free-flowing curls. Keep your curls in their natural state as you dry them by using a diffuser attachment like DevaCurl's DevaFuser ($50) at the end of your blow dryer.
Voluminous and Natural
A cool way to elevate a classic half-up, half-down curly hairstyle is by adding braids like Jourdan Dunn’s. Use a rattail comb ($8) to create perfect parts.
Volume With Textured Bangs
Zendaya, a living, breathing goddess, wore these voluminous curls like they were made for her. The Euphoria star's coppery highlights add extra depth and dimension to the layered look. You can ask your stylist to recreate Zendaya's chunky bits of colors or do it yourself with an at-home kit like Revlon Color Effects Frost & Glow ($12).
Actress Jaime King arrived at Variety’s Power of Women event in these defined spiral curls paired with sleek bangs. Using a flat iron like this Babyliss Pro Nano ($30) will totally help you perfect the look.
Glamorous Side Part
Hailey Bieber gave us glamour in her fairly long lob accompanied by effortless waves. Mimic this style using a large barrel curling wand like Conair's Infinity Ceramic Iron ($19).
Classic Waves With Side Part
Sailor Brinkley-Cook’s glamorous curls just might be our favorite hairstyle on her. Finished with a side part and soft waves, this simple and sophisticated style can be held in place with a simple spray of Bumble and Bumble Does It All Light Hold Hairspray ($34).
Yara Shahidi should honestly create a rule book on how to fabulously wear curls 24/7. We absolutely love the way her coils peek out of this effortless topknot. Give curly bangs extra definition with As I Am Curling Gel ($23).
Updo With Texture
Issa Rae is another shining example of inspiring Black women who wear their curls in beautiful ways; her endless updos always take the cake. Before styling, cleanse and nourish your natural ringlets with a moisturizing deep-conditioner, to keep hair healthy.
Who says messy buns don’t belong on the red carpet? Jasmine Sanders totally rebukes the notion with her chicly undone style, which is simply jaw-dropping at any event.
Another imperfect style for the win, worn by the stunning Jennifer Lawrence. This look is living proof that messy hair is more fun.
Half-Up and Natural
Kerry Washington is such a queen and her natural curls are just the best. This time, she gently pulled half of her hair back, bringing more attention to her flawless makeup. Using a small claw clip ($8) to secure the top portion is an easy way to tame curly hair.
A sleek blowout adds sheen and volume to those with natural curls. While a blowout does smooth everything out, your natural waves can still be on display—as Oprah Winfrey demonstrates, here.
Voluminous Waves With Side Part
As Lucy Hale demonstrates, bouncy waves can look at once chic and casual. Here, volume is added through the mid-length, and ends are kept blunt. The result is a modern, evening-worthy take on beach waves.
Wavy Bob With Deep Side Part
This sleek and retro look oozes glamour thanks to a deep side part and waves that curl into tendrils near the ends. Use a shine spray to add extra gloss once the hair is styled.
Pinned-Back Textured Waves
Freida Pinto's textured waves are pulled back with a clip on one side. The resulting look helps show off her style (and killer earrings), but also helps the wavy coif veer in a more evening-worthy direction.
Low Bun With Wavy Tendrils
Make like Gemma Chan and go the updo route, adding wavy tendrils around the face. Pulling the hair into a low bun is easy whether your hair is tightly curled or slightly wavy—just use texture spray for added grit.
Tone curls down by using a flat iron to create S-shaped waves throughout. We love defining waves with a product like Fekkai Shea Butter Gel Crème ($26), applied through the mid-lengths of the hair and down.
Add extra volume to shoulder-length curls with layers. Here, layers start lower than the ears, and concentrate on the ends. The result is more volume throughout the hair and extra dimension, too.
Keri Russell is proof that even those with ringlets can do the tousled look. Here, her hair is left air-dried and textured, with a subtle wave throughout.
Olivia Munn's waves are great, but this look is all about the sleek finish. Turn to a product such as Fekkai Brilliant Gloss Multitasker Perfecting Crème ($24) to add shine and shape to locks.
We love Rashida Jones's choppy bangs, which perfectly contrast with her sleek 'do. To get this look, ask your stylist to use a razor to trim the bangs and try dry scrunching the rest of the hair with a diffuser set to low speed and on medium heat.
For these luxurious waves, turn to a waving iron like Trademark Beauty Babe Waves ($59), which comes in three sizes so you can use it with any length or texture. Once you've waved the hair, finish with hair spray and go.
Voluminous Curls With Bangs
Those with natural curls and texture can use a product like Bumble and Bumble's Thickening Full Form Soft Mousse ($32) for a lightweight and non-sticky hold that amps up the volume. A little smoothing cream, to tame down any frizz, doesn't hurt, either.
We love Sandra Oh's take on curls, which extend to her eyebrow-skimming fringe. Use a moisture cream with a light hold, like L'Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths Super Curls Leave-In Cream ($7) to replicate the look.
We love this face-framing style, which eschews layers in favor of one-length, classic curls. To get this look, saturate the hair with a light-hold mousse, then, take small subsections and twist. The twists will create a direction in which hair can fall naturally.
Feathered Center Part
A blowout can do wonders, and doesn't require smoothing out natural curls. Here, the look is all about a feathered, 1970s-inspired style. Blow out, then add some waves with a medium-barrelled curling iron, and finish with hairspray. We like Living Proof's Flex Hairspray ($27).
Sleek Low Waves
We love the idea of focusing waves at the ends of the hair, and keeping the top half sleek and smooth. Be sure to invest in a product that will add shine and shape to the hair, like OUAI Finishing Créme ($24).
For this asymmetric look, keep the part at a slant or angle, and secure all the waves by pinning to one side. Finish with shine spray for good measure.
Easy and Natural
Curls like this need moisture, so in between styling use a deep conditioning mask for dry hair, such as Pureology Hydrate Superfood Deep Treatment Mask ($41). When you're ready to style, dry with a diffuser, and apply curl cream.
This updated take on the classic 1990s style puts a fun twist on crimped hair. Try a Beachwaver to replicate the look. Just add a lightweight mousse to wet hair before drying and styling, so the style will get more hold.
Subtle Side-Parted Waves
For those who want to play down their curls, try applying lots of mousse to damp hair, before blow-drying to keep the waves subtle. Adding a side part adds retro glam.
Ear-Tucked Natural Curls
Perhaps the easiest way to style, tucking curls behind one ear (or, alternately, using a pin or barrette to hold curls back) ensures your natural curls are kept out of your face. Keep the hair well-moisturized to ensure flyways stay at bay.
This pageant-queen-worthy hair is all thanks to a lot of good product (and, of course, natural curls). For full, bouncy waves, spritz volumizing or texturizing dry shampoo through day-old hair, then curl with your favorite iron. Finish with hair spray. The added grit from not washing your hair will help enhance volume.
Curtain Bang With Sleek Waves
May Rudolph's long, eyebrow-grazing curtain bang is swept to one side in this romantic look. The rest of her shoulder-length hair is kept sleek, with bouncy curls concentrated at the bottom of the hair.
In this look, the volume is kept at the ends of the hair, for an A-line style. You'll want a very light hair spray to ensure the ends stay bouncy and wide without being weighed down.
Old-School Glamorous Curls
Emma Stone's retro look comes via a quality curl cream and bouncy, loose curls. A deep side part keeps the look from going too casual, making it perfect for an evening celebration.