Having long hair leaves plenty of hairstyles at your disposal. Even if your hair is technically up in a ponytail let's say, long hair has an effortless fall that casually cascades down your neck, back or shoulders. As a hair stylist, long hair is my favorite to play with because the options feel truly endless. Here are 50 covetable styles for long, cascading strands with tips to get you there every step of the way.
Double Waterfall Braids
While you have a little extra time on your hands, it might be worth trying a YouTube or Instagram video tutorial and learning a new braiding technique, like this waterfall braid. This cascading duo is definitely a skill we want to acquire. Be gracious with yourself of course, and try starting with a single waterfall braid before crushing it and taking on the second.
Bubbled Top Knot
This hairstyle is a two for one deal right here. What appears as a casual half-up top knot from the front is also part bubble ponytail! What a quick way to elevate such a simple style.
To get added body and volume, rely on your blow dryer attachments to lend you a helping hand. Start by flipping those ringlets upside down and using a diffuser to evenly distribute air flow through your curls and help define their shape. Finish your blow dry with a wide tooth comb attachment to get added lift off the scalp. As you shake your curls out, apply a little hairspray to help hold their airy, volumized shape.
With hair props this good, there really isn't a need to do much else with your hair. To try a similar look as these falling florals, you can use floral wire or a needle and thread to attach heavier props to your strands.
When it comes to having super long locks, you want to make sure your color is on point. With so much hair to work through, mistakes can be left in there to hide underneath the surface, and when you leave with your hair curled they can be harder to detect. Try asking for a straight, smooth blowout, especially if you're more prone to straightening it yourself at home.
Tired of your hair splitting down the center or always falling to one side? Try wearing the hair back without a parting for a change. By using a mixed bristle brush (like a Mason Pearson) and your blowdryer with a nozzle attachment, start by directing the hair back and forth at the root to neutralize things. Then, brush the hair back into your desired placement and spritz with hairspray before allowing the heat of your blowdryer to follow. Do this a few times and help the hair set with flat duck bill clips or no-crease clips. When you're finished, attach a sock diffuser to your dryer and gently apply the cool setting to your strands.
To add a hippie look to your tresses, apply a generous spritz of hairspray all over before creating four three-strand braids in the hair. Run over each braid with your flat iron, gliding (not tapping) from roots to tips. Do this a few times before unraveling your braids. Use a wide tooth comb to break up those subtle bends and air it out with your favorite dry texture spray. Throw up a peace sign and you're groovy, baby.
To get the most body out of your curls or waves, make sure you have a haircut that provides good form. Adding layers to hair types with lots of natural movement allows for your tresses to effortlessly fall into place.
For beautiful, stylized twists, technique is truly everything. For the best results, make sure you're applying good tension. You'll need a styling cream to help your twists hold and a stronghold gel to apply to your ends to keep them together. Be sure you're starting with clean, detangled hair to help your twists last a good one to two weeks.
Flat Iron "S" Waves
There are a few variations of waves you can create with your flat iron. One of our favorites being the "S" wave. Simply grab a 1" section of hair and gently push it up from below so it naturally pushes itself into a "C" shape. Tap over that shape with the flat iron and continue making your way down your section, alternating the direction of that "C" shape to create your "S". It sounds like a lot of letters to follow, but your hair will naturally create the shapes needed for this outcome.
We love this modernization of a Japanese style bun, high and structural in its shape with intentionally long ends cascading down. Trading out chopsticks for a sleek, gold hairpin and round barrette bring a contemporary edge to this style and we're fully onboard for it.
This woven fishtail requires some seriously long, cascading locks to get this level of detail. To recreate, begin high up at the top of the occipital bone by bringing together both sides from a center parting and end classically with delicate, sheer ribbon to tie things off. This braid requires some very fine sections in order to get such an intricate looking weave.
Box braids are a classic go-to for long, cascading strands, natural or not. If your hair isn't long enough, weaving in extensions is pretty typical of this look. It's a really fun way to sport long hair for a couple months.
Slicked Back (Without Gel)
For a "gelled" look that's more natural and doesn't "crunch" up or leave residue around the hairline, turn to a soft mousse instead of a gel. Using your diffuser and some no-crease clips will help you direct the hair how you'd like it to sit at the roots. You can use a water-based pomade for a detailing your edges or smoothing over your hairline if needed.
Protective accessories are going to help your hairstyles last for days on end by preventing creases in the hair. Some of my favorites are the gold claw clips and silk or satin scrunchies from My Kitsch.
For soft curls like this, try using extra large hot rollers and brushing it out with your Mason Pearson. Bumble's Dryspun thickening spray will help add more body to your style if needed, and adding a ribbon or bow to the mix will give your style a very dainty, feminine feel.
An easy way to accessorize long braids is this criss cross method with your banding of choice. This could be elastic, shoelaces, or any type of colored thread. Simply wrap the center of your band around the top of your braid and criss cross them all the way down, tying the ends together.
Va Va Volume
For a retro-inspired '60s look, a la Brigette Bardot, use a teasing tail comb like this one from YS Park. Use the end of your comb to create a deep side part, then take thin sections at the crown and first spray the back of each section with hairspray before going in with your teasing comb. When you lay all your sections down, gently brush over it to smooth it out with your Mason Pearson.
Lizzo's Cascading Waves
When it comes to selecting products for ultra-long waves, be on the lookout for ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, or avocado oil to help keep moisture a top priority for your hair.
Straight Back Pony
With strands this long, your ponytails are bound to be nothing short of chic. Pulling your strands straight back from the eye line will give a clean, tight look from the front as your ponytail cascades itself down the back.
Messy but Glam'd Up
Take your bedhead waves from messy to glam'd up by throwing in a simple bejeweled hair pin or two. For a piece-y look on the ends, rub some pomade between your fingers and run them through your ends to get some separation.
Buns n' Braids
As if long, cascading braids aren't attention-grabbing enough, wrapping some of them up into knots and letting others hang down has definitely caught our eye.
Defining Your Curls
Keeping your long, luscious curls defined is really just a matter of using the right size barrel. If you choose a barrel too small, it will leave a very unnatural look and if you go too wide, you'll be lacking the serious volume your texture is capable of giving you. Using a serum or oil like EVOLVh's Wonderbalm will also help provide a natural, lightweight separation.
Long Braided Pony
What's not to love about a classic cascading braid? A quick addition of this extra large scrunchie around the base makes all the difference.
Blown Out Ends
You can use your favorite round brush to get a straight, full look from your blowout. When you get to the ends, give them a quick little twist for a fun, soft detail to your look.
If you don't have wavy hair naturally, fake it till you make it by adding some OUAI Wave Spray ($26) to your strands and then scrunching up sections into your hand. Hit each hand held pile with the blow dryer. Once the hair is fully dry, you can touch things up by going over any quirky waves or frizzier areas with your curling iron, switching the direction of your barrel wrap halfway down the strand for those perfectly imperfect wild waves.
Brushed Out Curls
To get a full head of curls, wrap 1" sections of your hair around a 1" curling iron. Make sure to wrap each section in the same direction. Once that's done, grab a wet brush and rake through those curls, brushing out until what you get is a single, cohesive wave pattern with lots of fluff and extra volume.
Side-swept hair is an easy way to elevate your look for any occasion. If pinning it back on one side like Awkwafina isn't your jam, check out our list of 20 Glamorous Side-Swept Looks for more inspo.
These 3/4" waves have left us googly eyed. With extensions added for length, and a wet brush taken only through the ends of the hair, we're left with this amazing Disco Glam fever. For more '70s hair inspo, click here for our nod to feathered hairstyles.
Sometimes, all it takes to get a retro-mod beauty look is pairing your cat eye with a chunky headband. Can it get more low key than that?
When a natural ginger or redhead has long, cascading hair, the Little Mermaid fangirl within me lives vicariously through her.
Fun, funky updos like this one require long strands to get the full effect. After you've secured your ponytail straight back from the ears, begin twisting your ponytail and then, just before it gets too tight, lift the twist up to the base of your head and secure with hair pins. Adding a bobby pin discreetly at the base will help give extra hold to your strands before letting the ends hang out loosely.
A triple or double barrel iron is an easy way to get a lot of beautiful movement into the hair with minimal effort. When you have extra long strands, any tool that can help cut down on styling time is crucial to your styling efforts.
Getting a major bombshell barbie blowout requires starting from the beginning. Get your hands on a good volumizing shampoo and conditioner and follow up with a volumizing primer like this one from Virtue Labs. Applying the primer generously to the roots (wet or dry) and blow drying it in with your hands will have your hair reaching for the sky in no time.
Long hair is a prerequisite for some updo styles, like these double dutch braided buns. Split the hair down the center to create two french braids. Then wrap your ends up into two buns and secure with hairpins.
Ultimate Top Knot
Long hair can provide a lot of natural volume when it's all pooled together tightly like this ballerina top knot. Flip your head upside down and spray your hairbrush with hairspray, keeping good tension as you pull your hair together in order to eliminate bumps.
Super soft layers call for super soft color. With an effortless color and cut combo that looks this natural, you can stretch your salon visits to every six months at minimum.
More Glitter, Please
Glitter always signifies a good time, am I right?! Whether braided or straight down, use a color brush or fine tooth comb to apply some gel around your parting or style and dust your glitter on while the product is wet so it'll stick.
Who says face framing bits around the hairline have to be short?? Nobody, that's who. We love seeing Jessica Alba embracing these long cascading bits around the face. Add a scarf wrap into the mix and a good view to channel the ultimate, laid-back vacation vibes.
Let It All Hang Out
Long hair doesn't always cascade down. Sometimes it cascades out. Which ever way it falls, we vote to just let it all hang out.
Bows on Bows
The queen of bows, Nell Diamond, who also has the longest hair in all the land, launched some of her very own hair accessories—equipped with bows, of course —to accompany the nap dresses and silk pillowcases of her bedding brand, Hill House Home.
A perfectly imperfect attempt at random fishtail braids will have others swooning over your strands from every direction.
Classic Half Up
When you have long, thick hair, it doesn't require a ton of effort in the hair styling department for you to look totally put together. A simple classic like this half-up half-down style is sure to get heaps of admirers.
Another fun way to spruce up an easy hairstyle on long strands is to add a different texture to your ends. Try pulling the hair up into a high ponytail and crimping it to add some variation to your day-to-day.
Colored bobby pins are a playful touch to any hairstyle. Adding two or three here and there can have a nice, subtle touch, or you can go all in and do a loud statement piece like this color gradient of criss crossed bobby pins from roots to ends.
Woven from the Wild
Sometimes your best accessories are right under your nose. We love this woven in wild grass on Olivia Wilde that was pulled from her stylists' own garden.
Wet and Dry
If you want to get really experimental with your long strands, try doing a wet to dry look. Using a styling lotion or gel will help you shape and set the hair closest to your roots.
Accessories are every hair length's best friend. These Jennifer Behr pins elevate a clean, sleek ponytail to the next level.
Giving yourself a deep side parting is a really fun way to amp up your look when you need an easy route to getting yourself event ready. We've rounded up some more of our favorite side-swept looks for you here.
If you have long blonde hair, you could try making a bold statement with a pop of pastel. Adding a temporary, playful color like pink or lavender will give an instant, head-turning change to previously bleached hair. It will fade with every wash, so it's a short lived relationship. To learn more, check out our Complete Guide to Going Pastel.