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20 Hairstyles for Short- to Medium-Length Hair

New season, new hair! Find spring and summer inspiration with these short and medium celebrity hairstyles.

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hairstylephoto credit: shutterstock

Short and Medium Hairstyles as Seen on Your Fave Celebs

Craving a change? A new haircut is just what the hairstylist ordered. And even if you’re not ready to go under the scissors, these trendy celebrity hairstyles will give you a kick in the butt to swap your everyday look for something fresh. Use these photos—and tips from international hair and beauty expert Olivia Colacci—as a dose of inspiration next time you need to shake things up.

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Sarah PaulsonPhoto credit: @bridgetbragerhair/Instagram

Short and Sweet

This cropped ‘do rocked by American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson is ideal for people with heart- or inverted triangle–shaped faces. The full section around the neck widens the appearance of the base of the face, while the long side fringe covers part of a wide forehead to slim it, which is a good thing because “the ideal face shape is oval,” says Colacci. Plus, tucking hair behind the ears is having a moment.

Product Pick: John Masters Organics Bourbon, Vanilla and Tangerine Hair Texturizer, $35, clementinefields.ca.

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January JonesPhoto credit: @bridgetbragerhair/Instagram

Retro Glam

The reason actress January Jones looks so gorgeous in this style? Because her hair is blonde. “Blonde hair shows more detail,” says Colacci. “Had you done this style with dark hair, you wouldn’t see all the movement and texture.” To get this ‘do to stick, apply a mousse before blow-drying, then spritz all over with a thickening spray.

Product Pick: Tigi Bed Head Superstar Queen For a Day, $12, walmart.ca.

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Taraji P HensonPhoto credit: @tarajiphenson/Instagram

Side Eye

Empire’s Taraji P. Henson rocks this edgy, asymmetrical cut that balances a long face. To achieve the feathered ends, ask your hairstylist to cut into your ends or feather them with a razor. Keep the style piecey with a texturizing spray.

Product Pick: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $53, Holt Renfrew.

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Nina DobrevPhoto credit: @ninadobrev/Instagram

Put a Pin In It

Sweeping your hair back and securing it with a barrette, as shown by The Vampire Diaries’ Nina Dobrev, adds visual interest to a simple hairstyle. To get the barrette to stay in place, Colacci recommends braiding a small section of hair underneath your top layer, then clipping the barrette around the braid so it won’t slide out.

Product Pick: Pantene Pro-V Airspray Hairspray, $8.50, well.ca.

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Jenna Dewan TatumPhoto credit: @jennaldewan/Instagram

Surf’s Up

“I’m a huge fan of the wet look, but you need to use the correct product,” says Colacci. To appear as though you’ve just stepped out of the ocean à la actress Jenna Dewan Tatum, run mousse through dry hair, then diffuse the strands to pick up some of the moisture. Your hair will become a little crunchy. Next, apply an oil-based pomade throughout your locks. “You have to commit. Your hair is going to look like this until you wash it.”

Product Pick: Crown Shaving Co. Hippie Killer Styling Pomade, $24, crownshavingco.com.

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Emma StonePhoto credit: @mararoszak/Instagram

Natural Beauty

“A lot of hair now is very effortless and undone,” says Colacci. In the case of La La Land actress Emma Stone, it’s all about preparation. After a smooth blow dry, Colacci recommends putting a bit of curl through the ends and brushing it out to give the style movement. Don’t use too many pins because they’ll make your hair stiff and too perfect.

Product Pick: Aveda Smooth Infusion Nourishing Styling Crème, $36, aveda.ca.

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Ali LarterPhoto credit: @marktownsend1/Instagram

Knotty But Nice

Actress Ali Larter’s messy bun is on point—especially because it doesn’t look flat. To create lift at your crown, apply a texturing powder to your root, then backcomb to build up volume.

Product Pick: Osis+ Schwarzkopf Professional Dust It Mattifying Powder, $13, amazon.ca.

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Cara DelevingnePhoto credit: @jenatkinhair/Instagram

Plaits, Please

Model Cara Delevingne looks tough as nails in her tight “boxer braids,” which are a huge trend for 2017. This style is edgy because the French braids are inverted, which makes them more visible. It also appears a little damp, which adds to the boxer/fighter feel. To get this look, keep your hair slightly damp before braiding and apply styling pomade around the hairline once the style is complete.

Product Pick: Bumble and bumble Semisumo, $33, sephora.ca.

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Kendall JennerPhoto credit: @jenatkinhair/Instagram

Stranded

“When curling hair around the face, you always want to curl it away from the face,” says Colacci. Then you can alternate directions for the rest of the head. That way, the hair will frame your cheeks and jaw and you’ll look as effortless as Kardashian sister Kendall Jenner. Layers are a must to make this style work.

Product Pick: Kérastase Crème de la Crème, $41, kerastase.ca.

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Chrissy TeigenPhoto credit: @jenatkinhair/Instagram

Curls Gone Wild

Bow down to Lip Sync Battle co-host Chrissy Teigen’s curly mop. It has volume, bounce and hold—everything that good curls should. To prevent your spirals from deflating, apply mousse to damp hair and blow dry. Then spray one-inch sections with medium-hold hairspray before wrapping each one around a ¾-inch curling iron, one at a time. “Don’t spray too close because the hair will get wet and crunchy,” warns Colacci. Release each curl and pin it to your head to cool and set.

Product Pick: Herbal Essences Curl Defining Mousse, $10, mass retailers.

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Kristen StewartPhoto credit: @bridgetbragerhair/Instagram

Little Punk

Fake an undercut (where the sides of your head are buzzed close to the scalp) by making a deep side part and slicking the smaller side of your hair back. Toss the remaining hair over to one side.

Product Pick: Sebastian Professional Sublimate Invisible Finishing Crème, $19, sebastianprofessional.com.

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Lily CollinsPhoto credit: @jenatkinhair/Instagram

Fringe Benefits

“I’m a huge fan of bangs,” assures Colacci. “Get a fringe if you’re looking for an update or a change, or if you want to look more polished. It’s an accessory that never goes away.” To get smooth, shiny bangs like Lily Collins, blow-dry your fringe before the rest of your hair and get the root straight by brushing or combing your bangs back and forth until dry. If your bangs tend to get greasy, you can apply a little bit of dry shampoo.

Product Pick: Batiste Dry Shampoo Plus in Beautiful Brunette, $10, mass retailers.

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Miranda KerrPhoto credit: @mirandakerr/Instagram

Half and Half

To get Miranda Kerr’s half-up, half-down look, use your fingers instead of a brush to pull the top section of your hair back into a small knot. “You don’t want it to look too done or clean,” Colacci cautions. When creating a high pony or bun and pulling it tight, use a hair ring (it looks like an old-fashioned telephone cord) to secure the hair and prevent tension that can cause headaches.

Product Pick: Invisibobble Original The Traceless Hair Ring, $10, sephora.ca.

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Kerry WashingtonPhoto credit: @kerrywashington/Instagram

Smooth Moves

For women with kinky hair like Kerry Washington, achieving a smooth, sleek hairstyle can be a chore. Unlike women with straight, wavy or curly hair, “natural-haired women can use all of the product they want. It won’t weigh the hair down,” says Colacci. Make sure you protect your wet locks with a heat-styling spray before blow-drying and straightening. Then apply a waterless pomade to keep things sleek and shiny.

Product Pick: IGK Call Time Styling Primer, $19, sephora.ca.

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Khloe KardashianPhoto credit: @khloekardashian/Instagram

The Bigger, The Better

Though Khloe Kardashian has “tons of extensions in,” says Colacci, this look can still act as inspiration for big volume and waves. Colacci recommends prepping with a mousse or volumizing spray and blow-drying it in, waiting until your hair is about 80 percent dry before flipping it over and drying the remainder. Then spray each section before wrapping it once around a curling iron (held vertically) to create a wave—not a curl.

Product Pick: Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast, $38, sephora.ca.

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Kate BosworthPhoto credit: @katebosworth/Instagram

Prima Ballerina

Ballerina buns like this style worn by Kate Bosworth are pretty and sophisticated, but keeping all of the hair in place when you only have medium-length hair is a challenge. Colacci recommends blow-drying your hair in the direction that you want it to stay (back for the front of the face and up for the back of the head), then secure loose hair with French pins. “They’re invisible,” says Colacci. “You can weave them into the updo and they’ll keep all your baby hairs up and it won’t look like you’ve used 100 bobby pins.”

Product Pick: Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray, $42, Holt Renfrew.

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Lily Rose DeppPhoto credit: @lilyrose_depp/Instagram

Pony Up

Lily-Rose Depp, daughter to Johnny, rocks a bow tied around her ponytail and it’s totally modern. Colacci recommends picking up ribbon at a fabric store to create custom hair ties that will add a little extra wow to your look.

Product Pick: Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray, $33, sephora.ca.

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Kristen StewartPhoto credit: @bridgetbragerhair/Instagram

Pomp and Circumstance

Kristen Stewart’s masculine pompadour still manages to be sexy when paired with soft ends and a smoky eye. To get the look, prep with a thickening spray before blow-drying to give it hold, then backcomb at your roots to get mega height. Smooth the top with pomade.

Product Pick: Gliss Extra Volume Lift-Up Spray, $10, Shoppers Drug Mart.

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Nicole RichiePhoto credit: @nicolerichie/Instagram

Easy Facelift

Want to look a few years younger? Try a tight ponytail or bun, which will lift your face. “It tightens everything,” Colacci says. “You look more awake and your eyes open up. Even though Nicole Richie doesn’t have makeup on, the hairstyle does wonders for her face.”

Product Pick: Earth’s Nectar Hair Gloss, $20, sephora.ca.

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Emma StonePhoto credit: @mararoszak/Instagram

Frizz Free

“I call this a Jessica Rabbit wave,” says Colacci of Emma Stone’s soft, retro waves and deep side part. In order to create smooth, frizz-free waves, always use a blow dryer with a nozzle. “You want the cuticle to be smooth, so you want to blow air down the cuticle, as opposed to all around or up,” says Colacci. Also choose a brush with mixed bristles—part boar bristles and part synthetic.

Product Pick: Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, $500, dysoncanada.ca.