Often mislabeled as a transitional length, medium-length hair has recently become the go-to look for men who want to add to their cool-guy clout.
For those who are bored of a polished short style but can’t commit to the transgressive look of long hair, a mid-length haircut is a perfect intersection between the two phases.
This length offers flexible options when it comes to styling. Adding a bit of product, trying out different styling techniques, or even just letting the hair run with its natural form can shift the look dramatically.
Check out our compilation of fuss-free styles.
Layered Curtain Bangs
You’d think curtain bangs cannot be tailored to your liking, and you’d end up looking like the next Nick Carter from Backstreet Boys – but you’d be surprised at the wide variation a little trimming can do. With some layering, this look can go from tame to edgy. All you need to do is grow your hair to about an inch or two underneath your ears and get it layered. Part in the middle and you’re good to go. Accessorize with a minimalistic earring if you’d like. Works well for oval and square face shapes.
Side Swept Quiff
When a quiff is not enough, you can style it by sweeping it to the side. You would need short sides, not necessarily shaved ones, and a top part that is at least 2 to 3 inches long to hold a quiff up. If your hair naturally has texture, you wouldn’t need as many hair products as the volume will speak for itself. However, if you have straight, fine hair, you might need a lot of styling products to hold the hair together. This works for all face shapes. Sport without any beards or accessories for a clean, polished look.
Classic Dapper Hairstyle
If you want to be a dashing debonair and yet exude effortlessness, this classic medium-length dapper haircut is the one for you. With minimum prep time, all you need is to brush your fingers through your hair (bonus points if you use a hair product with medium strength), and voila! You’re good to go.
The versatility of the haircut is best for those who have their 9 to 5 and like to do client meetings in between – you are polished enough to be business-as-usual and if the client requests a more casual meeting in a cafe or bar, just loosen up the tie and you’d blend right in.
Best for those with oval and oblong-shaped faces, sport this haircut with a short-boxed beard, a nose ring, and Windsor sunglasses to elevate the look.
Semi Curls Are Bliss Indeed
These waves are surely gonna let others surf on its panache. The volume managed here is quite an artmanship. The sides are tapered more than the top so that all the hair can be pushed back whereas the top is slicked back with a lot of fluff.
Back Swept Medium Hairstyle with Temple Fade
Reveal the richness and complex layers of your mane with this back swept hairstyle. Shake things up a bit by incorporating a temple fade into your look for a seamless blend into your skin.
Temple Faded Sides with All Over the Place Strands
Strands can technically be all over the place and still look good, with the correct haircut. Given here they’ve purposely styled them in a slightly messy manner to showcase the playful almost-pompadour that’s happening seemingly by accident.
Curly Scissors Crop
Another perfect example of why curly hair looks its best at this length. A more uniform taper has been done on the sides by hand and it finishes a picture-perfect look for any occasion.
If you want to experiment with a few more details, consider asking for some front highlights or lowlights a tone or two lighter than your natural one.
Regulation Inspired Medium Crop
If you’ve had a regulation cut, this look is an easy transition into something slightly different and longer in comparison. You can play around with the top and brush it to the side like in the picture here, or you can try a front brush-up.
Medium Length Back Swept Hairstyle
This style looks best when paired with highlights to create depth and dimension, as they bring out all the layers of the cut. The highlights can be subtle or more dramatic, depending on your preference. The highlights add personality to the style, allowing you to create a unique look that expresses your individuality. It’s great for those who want their hair styled but still look effortless and natural.
Pocky Temple with Pushed Back Thin Hair
Feel free to use this example as temple design inspiration as well! For the folk with naturally wavy hair, this look will be super easy to pull off.
Faded Sides with Long Wavy Top
A sleek way of giving the top all the protagonist is by creating a hard part to divide the guiding lines of your haircut. Neat and tidy on one side and curly and funky on the other.
Temple Faded Curled Strands on Top
Get your curls messy by combing them with a fine-tooth comb and then set them with some light hairspray to accomplish this handsome do.
Curly Partial Mohawk
This level of volume can be only be reached by the folk with the right hair texture. Especially in order for it to hold in place like this without a ton of product. The length is a key part of making this partial mohawk a star.
High Volume Curls with Highlights
These gorgeous ringlets deserve their stage to shine and I am pretty sure this preppy look can be pulled off by anyone. Make sure you specify what length you’ll want for the fringe as it is a super important part of the hairstyle.
Devious Lengthy Strands
There’s something sort of Devil-ish about this haircut. It could be the cheeky way the curls come together and the super avant-garde sideburns, especially because of the contrast they create with their straight beard line. Play with the shapes people!
Subtly Longer Top and Thin Temple
Thug looks right here but the hairstyle is quite unique. The strands are longer than usual but they are less in volume so as to make it look all controlled. This is possible due to the thin hair texture.
Wavy Swayed Back Thin Hair
For this style, less is more. A swift fully side-swept top takes the prize home by showing off the luscious locks in the natural hair texture. For this look, choose an undercut of your liking and you’ll be set!
Longer Stranded Mullet with Mustache
Longer strands make the best of mullets. The top and the sides are all laid straight for maximum length. This makes everything so subtle yet so trendy. The mullet here is also very light for that chill vibe.
Medium Scissors Crop and Taper
No matter what kind of hair pattern or texture you have, this medium scissor crop will fit you like a glove. There is something about the classics that one can’t mess up.
A haircut like this also needs very little product to look good. Your wallet will thank you.
Wavy Side Retro Sweep
Retro styles can be mixed and matched with recent trends for a neat look. This one is a waved side sweep with longer strands just to taper sides as it puts all the emphasis on the top.
Layered Side Brush with Elephant Trunk
Side brushes are often very adventurers and this one is an adventure of a style. The top is side brushed with thick layers plus the sides are slightly tapered but the thick beard balances the face just perfect.
Layered Push Back with Beard
Medium hair is something that has to be polished a bit for maximum panache. The key here is pushing all the hair back and then letting some strands fall by themselves. The beard here provides great support to the face.
Medium Top Strands with Pushed Back Sides
Free falling strands are always a closer move to retro look. The top is dominantly side swept with sides being pushed back. The strands are falling on forehead with some tucked behind the ears. The length of these strands is what makes this fancy.
Tousled Curly Top with Fringe
There is a rock and roll edge to a curly textured top that looks like you just got out of bed. And you most likely did just get out of bed, as this tousled look gives exactly this vibe because of the textured look on top. No need to keep the sides shaven for this look, but preferably short enough to not compete for the attention that should go on top. Sport a short stubble and some necklaces for accessories. Best works for round, oval and diamond face shapes.
High Pompadour with Long Back
Most pompadours require that the majority of the hair on top should all be clumped together. However, this version works well with straight, medium-length hair on a receding hairline so you only need to put the middle portion of the hair up. And this is also for those who prefer to keep their long backs. This haircut and style work well for round faces. Wear without accessories to not remove attention from the hair on top.
Temple Fade Medium Quiff
If you want a medium-length style that will attract tons of attention, this is the one you’ve been looking for. The top and fringe are long enough to comb back in a similar direction and sweep over toward the middle of the head. A temple fade adds a bit of contrast that makes the length of the hairstyle pop, while the beard and two-tone jacket add a fashion-forward feel to the style.
Wispy Medium Quiff
Having medium hair gives you a lot of options when it comes to cuts. This guy exudes a classy style with a flowing and rising quiff. The fringe is left long enough to style up in waving strands as it moves through to the top. Combing the side back toward the nape creates a break between the top of the head and the sides. The neatly trimmed beard adds a bit of rugged style as the black blazer adds class.
Classic Taper and Messy Brush-Back
The leather jacket, the beard, the gaze! That right there is a complete vibe on its own. This hairstyle can look shockingly different when styled and when not, and it looks gorgeous either way.
Just picture this handsome face all sleepy and with a messy fringe that falls along the sides of their face and framing it perfectly.
Chaotic Natural Curls
If you’re looking for a medium-length hairstyle, you just found it. This fella uses his curls to create a full and textured look. The hair is trimmed to keep it clean around the ears and through the sideburns, while the nape is left to give a little flair. In a bit of simple class, the black tee and short kept stubbly beard top the look off.
Classic Taper and Medium Top
This sharp style impresses on people that you are aware of your personal style and want to excel in life.
It shows maturity without feeling old and stodgy. Get this style by keeping hair longer on top and tapering the sides.
Sweep hair to the side and let it fall where it wants.
Side Parted Long Hair with Mullet
Interestingly enough that this style is long and not long at the same time. The top is side-parted with sides long enough to set it all the way back. Adding up to that the back is a mullet with just enough length to be subtle.
Wavy Medium Length Mess
Play with the volume and length of your hair with this carefully careless look.
Blonde High Brushed Quiff
The nexus of this style comes down to length. This strawberry blonde hairstyle has so much character when hair is at just the right mid-point.
When the hair is too short, it can look conventional. When the hair is too long, it can look cartoonish. When hair is just right, use a lightweight wax in damp hair and blow dry hair up and back.
To ensure that hair stays up, use a strong-hold hairspray. Keep the sides compact against the scalp with a few loose strands poking out.
Sometimes the best thing to do with your hair is to let it do what it wants. At this length, it’s hard to go wrong.
The hair is long enough to create interesting shapes on its own and short enough to not get in your eyes and mouth.
Even when you do nothing to your hair, this trouble-free length gives the illusion that you know how to present yourself.
Pushed Side Strands
The obvious part allows hair to be pushed back in opposite directions. The countering lines are interrupted with a fade down the sides.
The differing lines make this design interesting and exciting.
This refreshing take on the quiff makes a statement. The sides are styled back and pulled up with pomade and hairspray to create dynamic shapes that are compelling and unique.
Add sea salt spray to the top to add volume.
Strands All Over The Place
The paradoxical look of messy and neat is perfected in these medial strands.
Pushing the sides of the hair back keeps the style looking elegant and polished, while the wisps of hair flying around give a more casual impression.
Frizzled Strands with Subtle Part
The 90s floppy heartthrob hair is making a serious comeback.
Often with a single strategically placed curl swept across the forehead, this look defines “laid-back sophisticate”.
Slicked Back with Temple Fade
This style keeps hair out of the face. Cleaning up the sides with a temple fade is a fresh take on this desirable length.
Recently, the popularity of the middle part has been increasing. This hair part is hard to achieve with anything shorter than medium length hair.
Hence, keep the top of the hair a bit longer and the sides shorter.
All About Textured Fringes
The choppy layers make this noticeably styled look easy to achieve. After a proper visit to the barber, all it takes is a bit of wax pieced through the layers.
Side Swept Undercut
Want a haircut that offers style flexibility? Then a side-swept undercut is the right one for you. You can go semi-formal and have it in a pompadour or quiff when needed, but easily let your hair down with a side sweep when going casual. Though this haircut is ideal for straight hair, you can still sport it even if you have a textured one – with the help of some hair products.
This haircut works best with a heart-faced shape as it adds height and makes your temple area narrower. Style it however you want as well – this haircut allows styling freedom. You can go overboard and don nose piercings and earrings plus some tattoos here and there or if you want to tame it down as well, no worries. You can let your hair do the talking.
Rusty Brown Loose Strands
Mid-length hair is the medial length for hair. Rusty brown is the medial color. The rich tone is found between blonde and black and perfectly complements loose strands.
This cut requires minimal effort to maintain and is good for any occasion.
Finger Combed with Low Fade
Gone are the days when finger-combed hairstyles are only worn by politicians. Yes, despite being a classic hairstyle for people in this line of work, you can add in a variation to make it a contemporary, fresh look. Enter the low fade.
Adding a low fade to the finger-combed hairstyle creates a transition – which makes the top part of your hair appear to have natural movement instead of just being one big chunk of hair. Great for round or heart-shaped faces, you can sport this haircut without a beard or accessories and you’ll get people saying that you look younger and fresher!
To pull this curtain hairstyle off, you need two important things – middle-length hair (very obvious reasons) and the right hair texture. Bringing back this look comes with modern upgrades, which include volume (something that was not a requirement when this haircut was popular in the 90s, in fact only guys with straight hair donned this look back then). If your hair doesn’t have the volume nor the texture to achieve the carefree, just-woke-up look, then you’d need some hair products on it.
This look also does not require a rigid middle parting. In fact, you can have a side part or just run a brush from the edge of your hairline to the back and let it free fall.
Another thing to consider when choosing this haircut is your face shape as it is good for those with a narrow face shape (oval or oblong) because the volume on the sides make it appear the opposite. Wear with no beard or the faintest hint of a 5 o’clock shadow and bare minimum accessories such as a simple dotted earring.
Mid Parted Strands
This look can be found everywhere: from the streets of New York to fashion magazines and red carpets.
It tells the world you’re easygoing and mellow, with smart style and an understanding of what looks good.
Pushed Back Fluff Top with Thinner Sides
Long hair has the versatility to be styled in many ways and here we see one way to do it. The key to this style is to let it grow long at first and then pushed it back like a side brush. The sides are chopped to reduce the volume as compared to the top.
Medium Cut with Temple Fade
Sporting medium-length hair might come with extra baggage, literally. If you’re the type of guy who likes their mane light then you’d probably choose not to grow your hair. But worry not, there is a way to have medium-length hair without having to worry if you’d sweat it out around your ears – get a temple fade.
Yes, it’s definitely possible. You wouldn’t have to keep putting your hair behind your ears, but still get to wear long hair. And if you want your haircut to be the center of attention, don’t wear a beard and just the bare minimum accessory such as one earring.
If you have a heart-shaped face with a wide forehead, this haircut will definitely soften it up.
Side Swept Undercut
Not all undercuts are created equal, and the side-swept one is often seen worn on a runway or on editorials. With a long top (at least three to five inches of hair length) and volumized to perfection, this haircut requires prep time. It’s easy enough to achieve as long as know which side is your good one for the direction of the sweep and a handy dryer and a rat tail comb. Keep the rest of your face clean and beard free and you’re good to go.
Rusty Rough Texture
This hairstyle does require a bit of upkeep for those with a slight wave or curl in their hair. Even those with naturally straight hair will need to blow dry hair straight to get this linear look.
After blow-drying (and straightening, for those with waves), run a pomade through large sections to get that extra texture.
Side Parted Long Top
Not all side parts are thick and have loads of undercut. Some are just old-fashioned side part with the top being longer than the sides and sides being pushed back. This retro touch to the side part makes it quite an interesting look.
High Volume Curls
Some may see curls as a beast that must be tamed, but tight ringlets can really give shape to an otherwise dull haircut.
To get this look, leave length on top while keeping sides and back short.
Pushed Back Top with Massive Quiff
Not all medium length is top knot or pony. This one is pushed back with some side brush makes it so much unique yet subtle at the same time. The sides are still tapered for thinning effect and the top is very puffy quiffed.
High Faded Sides with Wavy Top
High faded sides add a lot of definition to the style and the top being longer adds volume. The wavy texture helps the top to fall off freely on sides but that is not too long that covers sides. The temple fade makes it even neater with that semi-faded line up.
Thick Side Brushed Strands
Brush Up strands can always be spiced up with a little side brush to it. The faded sides are very fun with a tinge of drop fade to back it up. All of it is supported by the beard at the bottom to even it out.
Combed Push Back with Long Beard
The key to this dapper look is controlling the volume with the long strands. The beard adds to the panache with the long thin strands that perfectly compliment with top pushed back on the top which is also layered for more panache.
Highlighted Thick Side Slicked Back
Woah! Now that is the look of a pure gentleman with class. The top is slicked back but has enough fluff. The highlighted strand dye just adds life to the look by separating few strands from the other. What a classy look overall.
Outgrown Curly Buzz Cut
This haircut is exactly what it looks like, an outgrown buzz cut. This can be achieved by telling your stylist to follow the shape of the buzz cut without the short length and maintain a medium length. Take note that for curly locks, the medium length would look short if you take into consideration the actual length of the hair when stretched. The look is simple yet eye-popping because the natural curls are embraced. Wear with an earring for the added oomph, but keep the facial hair scarce. Works well with all face shapes.
Thin Hair Cluster with Brushed Up Top
Who doesn’t fall for this thin hair long-stranded push back? The hair is long on all ends but the sides are elegantly tapered so that the top looks more fluffy than anything else. The thin stubble beard is a great way to balance the face.
Side Parted Medium Hair
Medium length always needs quite a decent amount of care taken. The top is side brushed for that length to show off yet the sides ate parted with layering done right so that it is controlled. Using some hair products is handy at this point as it would help maintain the hair.
Ginger Pompadour with Longer Strands
Thick hair can do wonders and we clearly see that here. The top is rounded pompadour with longer strands that rock a casual look. The sides are slightly layered or tapered for volume, this is something we can classify as a rugged look rather than a neat look.
Long Brush Up Dyed Thin Hair
MAJOR Zac Efron vibes and I’m not even mad about it. Ashy and grey tones are super in and let it be your naturally graying hair or a total make-over dye you’ll look amazing sporting this medium-length brush-up.
Side Brushed Open Puff
A cut like this looks good on so many face shapes. It can be styled with more volume on top to lengthen the face.
It can be tousled around for a deliberately unkempt look. It can be styled with a rounded or angled edge to balance out a person’s jawline.
The main focus is to keep the sides clean and exaggerate the top of the hair.
Front Caramel Highlights
Loving the come-back of highlights into men’s styles. This look, a lot like a blow-out utilizes the front to line up a messy brush-up in order to show off those new colors.
Classic Taper on Scissors Crop
Can’t go wrong with something as classy as a taper. In order to get a similar look to the one in this example, if you don’t already have straight hair you can use a round brush and a blowdryer to style the front. It will add a bunch of movement to your hair.
Undercut and Classic Top
The judicious decision to get this classic haircut offers countless rewards. It not only looks great on almost any face shape, but it is also easy to style and maintain.
Peter Facinelli Layered Medium Crop
There is a very slight chance you haven’t heard about the show Grey’s Anatomy. And if you haven’t, go watch! But wait, this right here is doctor Mc. Dreamy’s go-to haircut and is very easy to know why. Easygoing and flirty.
Josh Bowman's Scissor Crop and Taper
A great advantage about scissor crops is that the stylist gets to play with texture to make sure the haircut is doing what’s best for you. See how the front is a little shorter than the strides that fall off to the side?
This is a prime example of a hairstyle that’s been around for ages and will most likely be around for ages to come.
Messy Brush Up and Drop Fade
If you’ve got a thick head of hair, this look might be for you! This messy brush-up is expertly paired with a tapered drop fade and I couldn’t like it more.
High Volume Brush Up
To get a look that is a bit reminiscent of vintage Colin Farrell, use a blow dryer to direct hair upwards. Takedown the volume on the sides with a brush.
Use wax for texture and hairspray for volume. For dimension, push a few strands forward. Look in the mirror. You’re an Irish superstar.
Styled Brush Up and Low Fade
To be fair, there are only a small number of occasions when you’d actually want to take the time and style your hair this way (although if you do something like this every day, hats off to you!) a faded undercut and a specially textured top would look great any day.
Natural Part and Blonde Highlights
Have some fun with highlights and completely change the way your haircut looks! They add depth and welcome contrast to the front. For the natural part, just comb it the way you like it with your fingers.
Long Top Strands with Tapered Strands
Consider getting a medium scissor crop if the look you’re going for involves the evenness that we’re being served here. From the beard to the taper, this has excellent hand precision all over it.
Undercut Layered Push Back
Hair is cleanly swept back in this immaculate style. The line detail carved behind the ear gives the cut personality and keeps it from being “too perfect”.
To prevent flyaways, use a good conditioner, a wide-tooth comb, and an anti-frizz cream.
Lengthy, Flowy and Faded Wings
These wings are actually an ‘open’ ducktail! And we do have a whole article on the subject of the retro sty that it is the ducktail you can go check out.
Wavy Combed Top
This textbook medium fade has been skillfully executed and although this is on the shorter side, it could still be considered of medium legth and is super easy to handle!
Side Swayed Ginger-Blonde Top
Possibilities are nearly endless when you’ve learnt to work with your hair’s natural texture and volume. Here we got a pretty cheeky swayed brush-up with the hair strands ending in a nice wave.
Informal Puffed Top with Balancing Beard
Life is all about balance and so is your style. The need for a medium scissor crop here is to outweigh a hefty full beard, and the super neat burst fade acts as a connector between the two!
Dyed Blue Magic with Side Brush
These blue undertones are giving me life. Even though any hair length can rock dyes like the one in this example, it definitely is pleasant to get to see it develop on more than just on an inch or two of hair.
Trendy Stiff Side Swayed Top
To keep your hair like this all day, you’ll need some good product to hold their end of the deal. As for the regulation-inspired part, well, I can never not like it when it’s paired with most hairstyles!
That Wavy Bowl
The bowl cut has gotten some bad reputation over the years but this variation is here to restore it! I love especially how it takes advantage of the hair’s natural waves to add depth it the whole thing.
The Classic Side Swept Pompy Guy
A side-swept pompadour can be just the way to showcase how good the little extra length works for you. Whether you decide to part it with a regular comb like it’s done here, or with your fingers, you’ll be looking super dapper.
Brushed Back Thin Hair with Temple Shave
Thin hair is common. One of the greatest benefits of having mid-length hair is that it can give the illusion of thicker hair.
Long hair has too much weight, which makes concealing thinning areas a bit more difficult.
Short hair doesn’t offer enough length to fully cover thin spots. Brushing mid-length hair back can thoroughly camouflage any thinning areas.
For added character, trimming the temples can leave an interesting separation between the haircut and facial hair.
High Volume Top with Tapered Sides
Yeah, yeah, I know. You’re wondering if sides this short (an undercut) still qualify this as a medium length hairstyle and the answer is that it does! Just check out how far down that side-swept fringe goes.
Loving the shaved lines design as well. For certain with this look, you can have the best of both worlds.
Medium Top with Drop Faded Sides
A longer ivy league haircut might be the answer to finding a middle ground between short and medium length hair that won’t get into your eyes. Here they’ve paired it with a sharp burst fade making it a little bit more hip than what an ivy crop would suggest.
Touseled Quiff with Wavy Temple
I’m getting a “styled modern mullet” look and I can’t look away. Everything going on here is absolutely perfect.
What are some of the best medium length hairstyles for men?
From the classic taper cut to a modern pompadour or quiff, there is plenty of inspiration when it comes to medium length hairstyles for men. For those who prefer longer styles, slicked back undercuts and shoulder-length cuts also work well. They can be further customized with texture or highlights to create an even more unique look.
How do I style medium length hairstyle?
For a professional look, consider combing the hair straight back using a small amount of pomade or gel. For naturally wavy or curly hair, use a light mousse or emollient conditioner in the shower and let the hair dry naturally for styling later. Alternatively, you can use an oval-shaped brush and gently blow-dry while brushing outwards to give your hair more volume. Regardless of which style men choose, they should always remember to use proper techniques – such as towel blotting when wet – and the right products to achieve their desired look.
Justin Bounds has been working as a barber in Florida for years and is the founder of The Barbr - a Men's Hair Care/Grooming blog dedicated to providing honest advice and useful tips about the topic. You can learn more about him through his Twitter' and his blog.