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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.