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20 Gorgeous Ways to Rock Waist Length Hair in 2024

If you’re growing your hair out with a mission for waist length hair, think you might’ve reached the goal but aren’t sure how long waist length hair should be, or just want to get inspired to grow your hair to your waist, this photo guide is for you.

Waist length hair is one of the most coveted looks for a woman with long hair. To finally reach your waist, it takes years of steady growth, purposeful maintenance and care, and lots of patience.

That, or extensions. We’ve all considered getting those flowing 24”-28” hair extensions to completely makeover our look.

There’s a huge difference in the way waist length hair looks with a V-shaped or heavily layered cut compared to blunt, unlayered ends. Likewise, curly or coily waist length hair has a vastly different appearance than straight or wavy textures. 

It’s helpful to see examples of waist length hair that feature similar hair types and textures as yours. You’ll see 20 gorgeous ways to rock waist length hair with different hair types, textures, colors, and cuts in this guide! 

We’ll also clear the air about what waist length hair actually is and spill some secrets to grow and maintain healthy hair at a super-long length. 

What Is Waist Length Hair?

Woman with waist length hair on a beach in a bikini


Waist length hair is long enough to hit the natural waist – usually somewhere between 20”-28”. It’s longer than mid-back length, which is closer to 18” on most people.

That’s the general definition, but the natural waist is situated at a slightly different height for everyone. Your natural waist may be just under the bust, midway between your bust and navel, or closer to your hips. 

Because of these body differences, waist length hair can be a different length for everyone. For your hair to hit your waist, it can be as short as 20 inches long to as much as 28 inches long. Your hair type and texture plays a role in how long your hair has to be to visibly reach your waist.

If you have type 1A1B, or 1C straight hair or type 2A hair with very slight waves, every bit of that length is going to visibly contribute to reaching your waist without curls or coils taking up any length. 

If you have very wavy type 2B or 2C hair or type 3A3B, or 3C curly hair, your hair will need to be longer than straight hair to visibly reach your waist. And with type 4A4B, and 4C coily or kinky hair (which experiences the most shrinkage), it takes even more raw length to reach your waist. 

How to Find Your Natural Waist

If your natural waist isn’t super defined, it can be a challenge to determine when your hair is truly “waist length.” Since waist length hair really depends on the shape and outline of your body, you may find that your hair is considered waist length at a shorter or longer length than examples you see online. 

The best way to determine when your hair is officially waist length (or to find where the length should be once you grow it out) is finding your natural waist with the help of measuring tape.

It’s really simple to do this, even if you feel your natural waist is invisible or undefined. 

  1. Wrap measuring tape around the middle of your torso. 
  2. Bend your top half to the right and feel for the indentation somewhere between your bust and hips. 
  3. Move the measuring tape to the location of the indentation and stand up straight again.
  4. Note the location and height of the tape, or take a photo with the tape in the correct spot to have a visual reminder. 

Now that you’ve found the true location of your natural waist, let’s take a look at some of the most gorgeous examples of waist length hair to inspire you! 

20 Gorgeous Waist Length Hair Examples

Women with all hair types, textures, and cuts can rock beautiful waist length strands. Whether you’re growing your hair to this coveted length or plan to get extensions for a quicker shortcut, check out these examples of waist length hair to see some of the different ways to wear this cascading, feminine length. 

1. Full-Length Layered Curls With Side Part 

Full-Length Layered Curls With Side Part, an example of waist length hair


Curls along the entire length of your hair will highlight and accentuate your length unlike any other texture.

With so many bends and curves, the light hits your hair at different angles to really make your waist length pop. Part your hair to the side for some extra volume on top to keep the look fresh and light. 

2. Blonde Waist Length Hair With Tapered Ends

Blonde Waist Length Hair With Tapered Ends

Max Kegfire/Shutterstock

Hair gets heavy as it gets long, and waist-length strands are notoriously weighty. You can lighten up the look with lots of long layers and tapered ends, which remove a lot of the bulk from the bottom and keep the style lightweight.

This beautiful blonde mane is tapered and layered to be thinner at the bottom so the weight won’t drag you down. 

3. Balayage Waist Length Ombre Blonde Waves

Balayage Waist Length Ombre Blonde Waves


Lighter color at the ends will really highlight (no pun intended) your extensive length, so consider getting balayage ombre color with waist length strands. Gentle waves add texture to make the color transition pop and we’re loving the deeper root color paired with white-blonde ends. 

4. Waist Length Hair With Curled Ends

Waist Length Hair With Curled Ends


Once your hair reaches this ultra-long length, it can get a little boring wearing your natural texture day in and day out.

If you have straight or wavy hair, curling the ends is a great way to liven up your locks for a different look when you’re down to dedicate some one-on-one time with your curling iron. 

5. Mega-Volume Waist-Length Beach Waves

Mega-Volume Waist-Length Beach Waves


Beachy waves are a beautiful way to rock hair that reaches your waist (or any length, really). They create a carefree, casual aesthetic that can tone down a more formal outfit or dress up a t-shirt and shorts.

Volume at the roots takes this look over the top and keeps it from looking messy. Volumizing mousse and root lift spray will be your best friends for this look! 

6. Layered Ends on Waist Length Strands

Layered Ends on Waist Length Strands

Dara Kaliton/Shutterstock

Too many layers can make waist-length strands too thin at the ends, though it’s a much lighter way to wear this look.

To keep the perfect balance, go for short layers at the ends of your hair for some added texture and movement without disrupting the length or fullness. The bucket hat is a fun throwback accessory to rock with super long hair! 

7. Side Bangs, Waist Length, and Barrel Curls

Side Bangs, Waist Length, and Barrel Curls

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

With the length hitting so low in waist length styles, the look may not be flattering for all face shapes. Bangs can help break up that length and accentuate your face without making it appear longer. We love a good side bang with hair this long, and big barrel curls help highlight the gorgeous spanning length!

8. Waist-Length Tapered Natural Curls 

Waist-Length Tapered Natural Curls 

Luis Molinero/Shutterstock

Curls create a ton of volume, and for long looks like this, you’ll want to taper them enough to keep the bulk out of the ends.

Heavy layers taper this length down to a thinner point at the ends and help keep the curls bouncy without being pulled down by the weight. Paired with a shadow root and warm, honey blonde locks, the look is très magnifique. 

9. Shiny Black Waist Length Strands With Face-Framing Layers

Shiny Black Waist Length Strands With Face-Framing Layers


Face-framing layers can help break up the solid length and make it more flattering for your face shape. Keeping the sides and back relatively untouched will keep the look full and healthy.

With so much length, you’ll want to focus on making your hair shiny and lustrous with regular hair masks and deep conditioning treatments. 

10. Waist Length Brunette-to-Honey Balayage

Waist Length Brunette-to-Honey Balayage

Kourdakova Alena/Shutterstock

Perfectly hand-painted highlights lighten the ends of this look for more emphasis on the length. If you have a warm skin tone or warm undertones, this brunette and honey blonde combo will look amazing on you!

Pair it with perfect waves by curling your mane in spiral curls, then tugging while they’re still warm to relax the curls into waves. 

11. Long Layered Silver Waist Length Strands

Waist Length Brunette-to-Honey Balayage

Kourdakova Alena/Shutterstock

Silver is such a unique color and always steals the spotlight. When you combine it with far-reaching lengths and lots of layers, you get a stunning look that can completely transform you.

Soft curls at the ends will bring up some of the length and help show off the staggered layers near the ends. A middle part keeps the hair perfectly balanced on each side. 

12. Waist Length Hair With Big, Glam Waves

Long Layered Silver Waist Length Strands


Add voluminous waves to any length for a polished, glamorous look. That effect is multiplied with ultra-long hair since it provides so much room for multiple layers of waves. With a simple middle part and tons of volume on the sides, this look is best suited for a heart or oval face. 

13. Sleek Brown Waist Length Strands

Sleek Brown Waist Length Strands

Kseniia Perminova/Shutterstock

If layers aren’t your thing, it’s totally possible to rock longer hair without them and still achieve a beautifully balanced look!

Warm, dimensional brown is super flattering on this length and we love the range of colors visible when the light hits this shade! Keep it sleek and point-cut the ends for a little texture and variation. 

14. Layered Waist Length Straight Hair With Extra Body

Layered Waist Length Straight Hair With Extra Body

Layers are almost essential for waist-length strands with movement and texture if you have straight hair.

A quick “blow out” with a regular brush and directing strands away from your face will leave you with extra body like this example. Long layers around the face and in the front sections help break up the super-long length. 

15. Waist Length Gentle U-Shaped Cut

Waist Length Gentle U-Shaped Cut

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

U-shaped cuts give some shape to ultra-long hair. If you’re worried about your waist length strands looking shapeless or hanging limply, a sloping cut like this can solve your problem easily.

The front sides are cut slightly shorter than the longest portion in the back and the lengths meet seamlessly with a gently sloping U-shape. 

16. Long Waist Length Auburn Curls

Long Waist Length Auburn Curls

Victoria Chudinova/Shutterstock

Natural curls, auburn color, and extensive length? This look is definitely a triple threat and it’s going to draw compliments and attention anywhere you go.

Natural curls take on a more subdued texture at extreme lengths, but we love the results here. The ends are shaped lightly but there are no heavy layers, bangs, or anything to detract from the gorgeous length here. 

17. Waist Length Relaxed Strands With Wavy Texture

Waist Length Relaxed Strands With Wavy Texture

Max Kegfire/Shutterstock

Whether your hair is natural and relaxed or you’re rocking long waist-length extensions, this is a great look to inspire you.

A deep side part stacks more of your mane on one side, giving it a more face-flattering shape with lots of volume. Use a curling iron (with heat protectant!) to create undone waves or curls from the midshaft to the ends for extra texture. 

18. Waist Length Box Braids With Side Part

Waist Length Box Braids With Side Part

Taras Grebinets/Shutterstock

Rocking super-long length is a lot easier and more manageable with a protective style like box braids. This style is perfect for coily or kinky hair, whether you’re going with your natural length or using extensions to accomplish it.

Box braids with loose ends will leave you with thin tendrils at the ends like the example shows, but if you prefer a fuller look, opt for sealed ends.

19. Blunt Waist Length Hair With Point-Cut Ends

Blunt Waist Length Hair With Point-Cut Ends

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Weighty length doesn’t bother some women as much as it does others. If you like the fuller, more natural look of blunt hair that reaches your waist, this is a pretty way to wear it.

A simple middle part keeps the hair evenly divided to distribute the length and weight perfectly on each side. The ends are point-cut with scissors vertically to create a little texture in the ends. 

20. Waist Length Strands With Voluminous Glam Curls

Waist Length Strands With Voluminous Glam Curls


Big, spiral curls take a while to finish on hair this long, but the voluminous results make it oh-so worth it. Part your hair down the middle and curl 2” sections with a large-barreled curling iron placed vertically to master these bodacious ringlets.

The look is glamorous and perfect for even the most formal events. Expect tons of compliments on your lush, flowing mane! 

Tips for Growing and Maintaining Waist Length Hair

Hair this long is a serious commitment and responsibility. You can’t rock waist length strands without taking your mane’s health seriously. 

Since ultra-long hair has a tendency to look thinner and scraggly at the ends, show split ends easily, and break off if the hair is weak or damaged, it’s really important to take good care of your hair.

Here are some tips to help you get there or keep your waist length mane in great condition. 

  • Use a hair mask at least once a month. Hair masks come in a variety of types, with some intended for dry, damaged, weak, or color-treated hair. Choose a mask that targets your main hair concern to keep it healthy and conditioned. Your hair will resist breakage better, get stronger, and stay hydrated when you use the right hair mask
  • Focus on strengthening your strands. The longer your hair gets, the more susceptible it will be to breakage that sacrifices your hard-won length. Focus on strengthening your strands with protein-packed shampoo, conditioner, masks, treatments, or styling products to ensure your hair is strong and able to resist breakage. See if your hair needs extra protein here: Does My Hair Need Protein? Quiz | It’s Only 5 Questions! 
  • Grow your hair faster with a little help. Hair usually grows at a slow rate of about half an inch per month. If you’re ready for it to reach your waist sooner, employ a few tricks to grow it out faster! Boosting your vitamin and mineral intake with supplements like Folexin, eating plenty of protein and a balanced diet, using proven topical treatments, and abandoning damaging hair care routines are all key to growing your hair faster
  • Don’t wash it too often. Washing your hair more than 2 or 3 times per week will only make your life more difficult and can potentially damage your hair. With so much length to wash and dry, it’s better to wash less often and rock a few ponytails, braids, buns, or headband styles in between wash days. Dry shampoo can also help you extend your time between washes for healthier hair! 
  • Get regular trims from a stylist you trust. We’ve all been there – you asked for a trim and ended up with a few inches lopped off before you knew it. Find a stylist you can trust to do what you ask and get regular trims to knock off split or scraggly ends. This will keep the bottom full and thick to make your long hair look and feel healthier. 
  • Take it easy with heat styling. Heat styling and long hair have a complicated relationship. On one hand, it’s the quickest way to make ultra-long locks look perfectly styled. On the other hand, the more often you do it, the worse your hair’s health will be. Always use heat protectant spray before you blow dry, curl, or straighten your mane and use the lowest heat setting possible. 
  • Protect your hair while you sleep. Sleeping is one of the main culprits of damage, especially for very long hair. Switch from a cotton pillowcase to a satin or silk one to allow your hair to slip without friction. Or, use a silk bonnet while you sleep to accomplish the same thing without switching pillowcases. Wearing your hair in braids or a bun while you sleep can also cut down on friction for smoother, tangle-free hair when you wake up. Try styles for overnight heatless curls to pull double duty! 

What Is Your Favorite Waist Length Hairstyle?

If waist length hair is #goals, make sure you’re ready to deal with the upkeep and added maintenance and care responsibilities that come along with it.

From using better products that keep your hair conditioned, strong, and shiny to protecting your hair from common sources of damage, rocking waist length strands will add a lot to your plate. 

But there’s no denying that long locks like this are gorgeous on every woman and hair type. Whether you’re pin-straight, wavy, curly, or coily up top, you’ll probably find that the longer your hair gets, the more compliments you’ll receive.

We think your super-long locks will boost your confidence and make you excited to try new styles and looks. 

As long as you maintain your hair properly, get flattering layers or cuts to help shape your mane, and commit to regular trims to keep it full and lush, you’re going to love how you look and feel with waist length hair!