Having long hair leaves plenty of hairstyles at your disposal. Even if your hair is technically up in a ponytail, long hair has an effortless fall that casually cascades down your neck, back or shoulders. As a hairstylist, long hair is my favorite to play with because the options feel truly endless. Ahead, see 45 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
Long hair gives you the freedom to create some of the most intricate, voluminous updos. Go beyond your basic bun by using some of your hair to create a braided wrap at the base, then arranging the rest as high as it can go and allowing any face-framing pieces to hang loose.
To get added body and volume, allow your blow dryer attachments to lend you a helping hand. Start by flipping your 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, voluminous shape.
With hair props this good, there really isn't a need to do much else with your hair. To try a similar look to these falling florals, 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 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 frequently straighten 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 blow dryer 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 strands to effortlessly fall into place.
For beautiful, stylized braids, technique is truly everything. For the best results, make sure you're applying good tension. You'll need a styling cream to help your look 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 braids to last a good one to two weeks.
Flat Iron "S" Waves
You can create a few variations of waves with your flat iron, one of our favorites being the "S" wave. Simply grab an inch-wide 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, 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 on board.
This woven fishtail braid requires some seriously long, cascading locks to get this level of detail. To recreate it, create two smaller braids around the crown of your head, then begin the main braid at the top of the occipital bone, bringing small pieces from each side across and tightening as you go. End classically with delicate, sheer ribbon to tie things off. Don't forget to go slowly in very fine sections in order to get the most 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 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 fanciful 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 Brigitte 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. To maximize the effect, sweep your teased strands back with a padded headband.
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.
With strands this long, your ponytails are bound to be nothing short of chic. Pulling your strands straight back to the nape of the neck will give a clean, tight look from the front as your ponytail cascades itself down the back.
Take your bedhead waves from messy to glam by throwing in a simple adorned hair pin or two. For a piece-y look on the ends, rub some pomade between your fingers and spread it 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 go too small, it can 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? Show off your long hair with a style you can do in minutes. If you want more exaggerated length than you naturally have, weaving in some extensions will do the trick.
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 a blow dryer. Once your 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 beachy waves.
Brushed Out Curls
To get a full head of curls, wrap sections of your hair around a one-inch 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 three-quarter-inch 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 easier than that?
Long, cascading hair is the perfect canvas for beachy mermaid waves. Whether this is your hair's natural texture or you choose to recreate the look with heat tools, braids, or other styling methods, the result is sure to be stunning.
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, 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 braids. Split the hair down the center to create two french braids. From there, either secure ends with elastics or 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.
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 her 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 some of 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 brand, Hill House Home.
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.
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 to shape and set the hair closest to your roots.
Sometimes, keeping it minimalist is the best way to make a major statement. A sleek ponytail pairs well with all sorts of looks and can be personalized with hair accessories if you're looking to take it up a notch.
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.