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Hair Length Chart: 9 Most Popular Hair Lengths on One Chart

Are you looking in the mirror trying to decide what new hairstyle you want? If so, then there are a few things to consider:

  • What is your hair type?
  • What is your hair texture?
  • What are your hair goals?
  • Do you want to grow your short style to waist-length hair?
  • Do you want to cut your long locks to shoulder length?
  • Do you have naturally straight hair, or do you have curly hair?
  • Do you want to buzz it all off?

Maybe you’re struggling to grow your hair, and you want to look into getting hair extensions.

Whatever your specific hair goals are, we are here to help! This article offers advice on using a hair length chart to get the hair of your dreams and some solutions to protecting and growing longer hair.

What Is a Hair Length Chart?

When you’re discussing hair length with your hairdresser, misunderstandings can be detrimental. A hair length chart is a handy reference point for making sure you maintain or reach your desired hair length.

Image shows the back of a woman with long hair, measurements indicate locations on the body for hair length

Ultimately, a hair length chart is exactly what it sounds like: a chart showing various hair lengths in relation to body parts. In this article, you’ll find a hair length guide and tips to help your hair grow to the perfect length for your face shape.

Who Uses a Hair Length Chart?

As a hair stylist, it’s crucial to have a clear frame of reference when discussing actual length with your clients. Cutting too much hair off can be a fatal mistake for your business and your reputation; you need to be able to describe hair length effectively and accurately.

Hair length charts are also often used when getting extensions or purchasing a wig.

The truth is anyone can use a hair length chart. Whether you’re looking to figure out how long your hair is, how long your hair can grow, or trying to decide whether or not to get a haircut, a hair length chart can help you do just that.

Why Do You Need a Hair Length Chart?

It’s important to know that length can mean different things to one person and an entirely different thing to someone with different hair types. All in all, hair length is a pretty subjective topic, and you want to make sure your expectations for the right length are clear.

You don’t have to use a hair length chart, but it’s a great idea to make sure you get to your goal length. We highly recommend it! How else will you get the long mane you desire?

How to Measure Your Hair Length?

The two most common ways to discuss hair length are in inches and body parts.

When discussing inches, this may be the most ‘accurate’ way to measure hair length, but it is often not the most easily visualized by people.

When talking about hair in inches, this can be tricky depending on a person’s height. 30″ of hair on one woman may be mid-back length if they have a longer torso, or that same length on a more petite woman may result in tailbone length hair.

Discussing hair length in inches is also difficult because those measurements will appear to be different lengths for those with straight hair, compared to those with wavy and curly hair.

That’s why the best way to talk about hair length is in terms of body parts. Referring to hair as ‘shoulder-length hair’ or ‘chin length’ is much easier for a person to visualize.

Straight Hair vs. Curly Hair Length Chart

When you measure your hair, it needs to be straight. If you have curly hair, pull the strands you’re working with you get them fully straight for an accurate measurement.

Hair Length Basics

There are three common types of hair lengths in our guide: short hair, medium hair, and longer hair. To figure out which length you want, the easiest step is to start by assessing the length of hair you have now.

Whether you want to grow your short hair or cut it back, start by taking a measuring tape to your head.

From root to tip, start at your scalp and measure some strands. Then you’ll know what length you’re starting at and how far you need to go to your goal.

Short Hair

Short hair stops just above the shoulders and includes any variety of lengths to that point. For straight tresses, this means up to 12 inches, and for those with wavy or curly hair, those measurements are 14-16″.

Black woman, with eyes closed, pulls a curly strand of hair in front of her face with a smile

Some shorter hairstyles that you may be familiar with include: the buzz cut, ear-length cuts like the pixie, or chin-length styles like the bob.

Woman looks to her left, displaying closely buzzed hair

Shorter cuts like a buzz cut, and the pixie hairstyle reveals the facial features and can be a flattering look for longer face shapes.

Black woman with head turned towwards the camera, looking over her shoulder displays short pixie cut hair style
Portrait photo of blone woman with chin length hair, also called a 'bob'

Medium Length Hair

Medium-length hair goes from anywhere between shoulder-length to armpit-length hair. This means for straight hair, anywhere between 12-18″ and for wavy hair, the measurement is up to 24″.

Women standing with her back facing the camera, showing wavy hair that falls just below her shoulders

While shorter hair may require more specific styling, medium-length hair can easily be worn loose, or up in a modest ponytail. Some examples of medium hair are the lob or long bob.

Woman with head turned showing off hair with angled cut; shorter in the front and longer in the back, the long bob

Long Hair

Long hair, simply put, is anything beyond those measurements listed above.

Woman facing the camera with arms crossed, golden wavy hair flows past her shoulders at armpit level

The most popular length for long hair is mid-back, which has also been called bra strap length.

What Is the Perfect Length of Hair?

If you are having trouble deciding on a new look, consider some of the insights below on choosing a hair length.

How to Pick Your Hair Length?

The best way to pick the right hair length for you is to consider your face shape. Everyone’s facial features are a little different, so choosing a natural hair length that flatters your head shape and skin tone is important.

What Are Face Shapes?

How do you figure out what your face shape is? This depends on three different features:

  1. the widest part of your jaw
  2. the shape of your jaw
  3. the length of your face

When you measure each of these, you’ll be better able to assess which different hair lengths are right for you. Below are four examples of the most common facial shapes and some suggestions of the best hairstyles to try.

Graphic shows four face shapes: Round, Square, Long, and Oval

Round Face

The horizontal and vertical ratios are equal if you have a round face. You have rounded features, and your cheeks are likely the widest part of your face.

Brunette woman with round face

Best Haircut for Round Faces

  • asymmetrical lob
  • tousled pixie

Long Face

With a long face, your forehead, cheeks, and jawline are all the same width. Sometimes known as an oblong or rectangular face, someone with a long face will have a more rounded jawline.

Asian woman looking to the left, facial structure shows vertical structure is longer than horizontal

Best Haircuts For Long Faces

  • long pixie
  • shoulder-length hair with bangs

Square Face

A person with a square face has a proportional face with an angled jaw. They have straight sides of the face with a minimal curve at the chin.

Portrait of blonde female, face is notably wider than longer vertically, chin is less round/pointed

Best Haircut for Square Faces

  • angled bob
  • side-swept bangs

Oval Face

Having an oval face shape means that you have a longer version of the round face. Your chin is still rounded, but the length of your face may be slightly larger than the width.

Asian woman with face tilted towards camera, displaying ovular facial structure

Best Haircuts for Oval Faces

  • side-swept pixie cut
  • tousled bob

Your ideal hair doesn’t have to be a style that directly compliments your face or body type. It can also be a haircut you want, simply because you want it!

Can Everyone Grow Long Hair?

Unfortunately, no, not everyone can grow long hair. Even if you never trim your hair again (which we don’t recommend), every person has a specific length to which their hair will grow.

While poor nutrition and an unhealthy hair care routine can contribute to hair’s appearance, genetics is often the overlooked culprit. Take a look at the hair of your parents and grandparents. This is usually a good indicator of what you’re in for in the future.

How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster?

Choosing the right hair length and growing your hair can be a long journey. On average, hair grows around 6 inches per year.

The good news is that even if your hair only grows to a certain length, you can still help it grow faster and healthier!

The first and most important step is to have patience. Growing your hair is like watching paint dry or grass grow. You can’t always see the effects immediately, but each day it grows a little more, and over time, you’ll have reached your goal.

The next step is to try hair vitamins and supplements. Many women do not maintain the proper biotin, so consider adding a daily vitamin for your hair, skin & nails!

We’ve mentioned other hair care techniques on our website, so take a look there to see if any of these remedies may help.

Don’t forget to lock in moisture with the right shampoo and conditioner, as well as a hair mask once or twice a week. Keeping your hair healthy is one of the best ways to promote natural growth.

How to Protect Your Hair

It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s important to trim the ends of your hair regularly to maintain health. You don’t have to chop the several inches you’ve worked hard to grow, but with long tresses comes more responsibility.

Trimming the ends of your hair helps clean the split and dead ends off, preventing breakages from spreading.

Use hair ties and towels that are silk or cotton. These softer materials cause less friction and help prevent daily wear and tear. Many women overlook these simple daily items, but they can make a significant difference over time!

Black and gold hair care tools: hair dryer, scissors, spray bottle, various brushes, etc.

Hair Length Final Words

We know that cutting too much hair can be scary, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and be specific! Using a hair length chart can help you decide on the right length, and make your expectations clear.

Now you know how to figure out what hair length you want and how to take care of your mane. Next time you meet with your hairdresser, you’ll be better prepared to explain exactly what haircut you’re looking for!

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