Allure January 19, 2024



9 Long Haircut Ideas for Every Hair Type


Top hairstylists on the long haircuts that are on the rise.

Long haircuts can make a big impact. Whether we’re talking about a layered, curly cut or a one-length chop on silky, straight hair, the flow and movement of an expertly done cut has a certain je nais se quois. Plus, all that length lends itself to versatility. “Long hair provides a large canvas to experiment on,” says Dayna Stolze, a Brooklyn-based stylist at Whiteroom. “From ponytails and loose waves to complex braids and elegant updos, long hair can be styled for any occasion.”

Sure, the idea of a long haircut might seem counterintuitive (you have to cut your hair to keep it long?), but trust us: A long haircut is what you want if the goal is to maintain your hair’s health and length. “Although hair technically gains length from growth at the root, it’s retained from its ends,” says Cataanda James, a New York-based hairstylist, cosmetologist, and beauty educator.

Even if you’re actively growing out your hair, James suggests, regularly scheduled trims every six to eight weeks will ensure the ends do not split or fray.

Anyone who’s had long hair knows it can start to feel a little monotonous, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These nine expert-approved long haircut ideas are an easy way to make your style feel fresh without chopping it all off.

Meet the experts:

Dayna Stolze is a Brooklyn-based stylist at Whiteroom.

Cataanda James is a New York-based hairstylist, cosmetologist, and beauty educator who specializes in multicultural hair care and color. She is also a spokesperson for OurX.

Cortney Crace is a New York-based lead stylist at Butterfly Studio Salon.

Amy Abramite is a Chicago-based creative director and stylist at Maxine Salon.


Long butterfly layers

An ode to the '70s shag, this butterfly cut is all about face-framing pieces and layers throughout. “The layers make this style look as if you just flipped your hair,” says James. “A slight twist and drag with a big-barrel iron or flatiron is all you need to enhance volume and to direct the lengths in the flow you desire.”

Hime cut

Chances are you’ve seen the hime (meaning “princess” in Japanese) haircut trending on TikTok. This style features short, face-framing side pieces that provide a contrast to the rest of the hair, which is worn long and straight. “It's known for its distinctive Japanese influence and has gained popularity for its elegant and edgy combination,” says Stolze.

This haircut works best for those with straight or slightly wavy hair, Stolze explains: “Smoother hair ensures that the sideburns maintain their shape and fall neatly.”

If you’re hoping to get this cut, Stolze emphasizes the importance of clear communication with your stylist about the length of the sides and which parts of your face you want to accentuate. “Remember that precision cutting is key to achieving this distinctive look,” she says.

Long boho braids

Technically, this isn’t a haircut, but “long, bohemian braid style options mirror long haircuts that are free-flowing,” says James. These are feed-in box braids with a wavy or curly twist, installed by weaving natural and textured extensions together. As the hair is braided, random strands are left out, creating a tendril effect.

“Not only is it versatile," adds James, "but it gives a fresh look to the traditional box braid hairstyle and provides longevity for those who want to limit manipulation of their natural hair.”

Long boho braids are suitable for all hair types, she says. Just keep in mind, she advises, “those with fine or thin hair should avoid adding dense or highly textured extensions that may become too weighted on their natural hair, which can create tension and discomfort to the scalp.”

To ensure your braids are installed properly, James recommends going to a professional. She also notes the importance of clearly communicating with the stylist about how you want your hair styled, and to ask for clear instructions on care and maintenance.

On another point, James says, “It is important to regularly cleanse your scalp and strands, deep condition with a hydration and moisture retention regimen.” She suggests using the following lineup: OurX Scalp Purifying Solution (James is a spokesperson for the brand), Carol's Daughter Wash Day Delight Sulfate-Free Shampoo With Aloe, L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Conditioner, and Cantu Set and Refresh Foam.

Finish your look, says James, with a lightweight leave-in cream (such as It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product) through the lengths to nourish your natural hair and braids while in the protective style.

Silky one-length

“Cher hair” is just one of the names this timeless long haircut has adopted over the years. (We’ve heard it called “Marcia Brady-core” too.) “The secret to most modern one-length cuts is that they aren't actually one length” says Cortney Crace, a New York-based lead stylist at Butterfly Studio Salon. “For this style to not feel weighed down or too heavy, hidden micro layers and internal layers are often added, allowing it to sway and move like a cape.”

Says James, this haircut works best for those with straight to wavy textures. “There is no resistance or intense styling techniques necessary to achieve the look on straight to loosely textured hair,” she says, noting that the challenge in having this haircut is “preserving continuity and retention of healthy hair, from root to ends.”

This look is achieved by a precision cut at no elevation, and regularly scheduled haircuts ensure that it will not split or fray. James suggests an at-home maintenance routine using smoothing, protecting, and shine-inducing products like OurX Nutrient Cleanse Complex, Kérastase Chronologiste Hair Mask, Moroccanoil Perfect Defense Heat Protectant, and Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray Anti-Frizz Treatment.

Mermaid hair

This style conveys a carefree, beachy vibe (even when it’s 30 degrees outside). Mermaid hair celebrates the beauty of long, flowing hair with subtle elongated layers. “To achieve this," says Stolze, "I would consider the natural wave or curl pattern of the hair.” She would use techniques such as slide cutting and layering with a razor to enhance the texture while keeping the length intact, she explains. “Minimal shaping is often done to maintain the cascading effect.”

According to Stolze, this haircut thrives with hair that has a natural kick, wave, or curl pattern. “It’s the perfect choice for those who want to embrace their inner mermaid and radiate a relaxed yet enchanting aura,” she says.

To style this cut, she suggests using a texturizing spray, such as the Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray, to enhance and add subtle definition to your hair’s texture.

Soft-notched bangs

Soft-notched bangs are having a moment, and they balance well with long hair. But what makes these bangs different? Wispy pieces are cut above the eyes, making the bangs appear light even as they provide full coverage. “It’s a fresh take on the popular curtain bang that swings open to expose the forehead,” says Amy Abramite, a Chicago-based creative director and stylist at Maxine Salon. This look works best, she says, on straight to wavy textures with medium to thick density that will support full-looking bangs without any stringiness.

Long modern shag

For an effortlessly cool take on a long haircut, try the modern shag. Says Crace, this look is piece-y like a wolf cut, but also rounded and frames the face like a butterfly cut. She notes that it works best on “people who have a natural wave to their texture, with medium to fine hair density. However, I have seen this cut work so well on wavy/curly clients who have finer hair.”

Crace emphasizes that the secret to this haircut is in the tools used. “I like to go in with a razor to taper the ends of the hair for more bounce and movement," she explains. "The razor gives this cut its lived-in finish that is missing when many people attempt to accomplish it at home.”

Crace adds, “The only clients that I would use scissors on for this style are curly clients. With curls, you must be careful not to create stark shapes, so I'd opt for scissors.”

Long layers with a side part

Side parts are making a comeback on the red carpet, and we’re here for it. Says Abramite, “These layers are customized for a side part to frame the facial features by providing lift and movement.”

This look works best on those with medium to thick hair, she adds: “This will keep the volume reduced at the root area but allow lift around the face.”

To style this cut, Abramite suggests applying a heat protectant cream before blow drying with a large round brush. If you’re aiming for more curl definition, consider using a hot tool, like the Trademark Sunny Styler 2-in-1 Styling Iron, to create waves around the face.

Long hair with micro bangs

Play with proportions by pairing micro bangs with a long haircut. “There's something I love about the stark dichotomy of long hair, sharply interrupted by a tiny, piece-y micro bang,” says Crace, “It's bold, confident, and will garner attention.”

This style is easier to manage if you have naturally straight to slightly wavy hair. If that sounds like you, Crace says, you can expect your hair to be pinned back and cut into the front with a razor. If you have curly hair, your bangs should be cut with scissors.