Layers can refresh a hairstyle while also creating the illusion of volume. The layered look complements any face shape and works well with straight or curly hair. Continue reading to find out how to prepare your hair for layering, cut it, and give your look the finishing touches it requires to look professional and chic.
Getting Your Hair Ready for a Layer Cut
1. Examine yourself in the mirror. Take extra time to examine your hair in the mirror and decide where you want the layers to be because you’re cutting it at home. Take a picture of your face, print it, and mark out where the layers should go if you want. Some people prefer long, natural-looking layers, whereas others prefer bolder looks with sharper distinctions between hair lengths. Take into account the following factors:
- The texture of your hair. Layering adds body to hair, especially when some of the layers are short. If your hair is already full-bodied or curly, go for longer layers with little variation to frame your face.
- Your facial structure. Consider the length of your layers in relation to the shape of your face. Longer layers complement round or square faces, while shorter layers complement oval or heart-shaped faces.
- Your fashion preferences. If you want to look like a celebrity or wear a popular hairstyle, figure out how to make it work with your hair. Choose where you want your layers to fall, how you want your hair parted, and how you want to style it in the end.
2. Purchase a good pair of scissors. A sharp, professional-grade pair of barber scissors, also known as shears, is the most important tool required to ensure your hair looks great – and not like your little sister cut it in your sleep. You will be dissatisfied with the end result if you use craft or kitchen scissors. Purchase a good pair of scissors from a beauty or drugstore.
3. Set up your own barbershop at home. Work in a well-lit area with easy access to a sink and a mirror, most likely the bathroom. Prepare a towel to drape over your shoulders, as well as a set of hair clips for holding back sections of your hair, scissors, and a comb. A second mirror for inspecting the back of your hair is also required. Depending on how quickly your hair dries, you may also require a spray bottle filled with water to keep it damp.
4. You should wash your hair. When you’re ready to begin, wash your hair and use a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles. Towel it dry until damp but not dripping. Starting with clean hair will yield the best results.
Cutting Your Hair Layer by Layer
1. Make sections in your hair. Unless you’re going for an asymmetrical look, make sure the layers on both sides of your head are the same length. In other words, the layers at your temples should be the same length as the layers behind your ears, and so on. Divide them into layers to accomplish this. Check that all of your parts are straight and even.
- Create a section called “top box.” Make two sections with the comb: one on the left and one on the right side of your head. The top box represents the hair between the two layers.
- Divide the top box into two sections: the first from your crown of your head to your forehead, and the second from your crown of your head to the nape of your neck. To keep the sections in place, use hair clips.
- Make front sections on the right and left. The two front sections run from your temples to the top of your ears. Comb out the right and left front sections and clip them together.
- Allow the back sections to hang free. You won’t be cutting the longest part of your hair, so leave it as a guide to measure the other layers against.
2. Trim the top box on the front. Unclip the top box section on the front. Lift your hair from your head at a 90-degree angle and hold it straight between your forefinger and middle finger. Bring your hair down in front of your face while holding it between your fingers. Slide your fingers toward the tips of your hair until they are level with the beginning of your shortest layers. Hair sticking out between your fingers should be trimmed.
- The ninety-degree angle straightens the hair out from the head, resulting in a uniformly layered haircut.
- The shortest layer is usually cut just below the earlobe or at the jawline. Make use of the self-portrait you took as a guide. For longer hair, cut the shortest layer just above the shoulders.
- Err on the side of making the layer longer rather than shorter than desired. Your hair will shrink slightly as it dries. You can always cut more if necessary.
3. Trim the front right corner. Unclip the hair in the front right corner. Lift your hair at a 90-degree angle from your head with your fingers. Maintain a straight grip with your forefinger and middle finger. Bring it down the side of your face and slide your fingers to the tips of your hair until they are level with where you want the side layers cut. Trim the hair that extends from your fingers with the scissors.
For softer-looking layers, cut at an angle rather than in a straight line.
4. Trim the front left corner. Unclip the hair in the front left section. Lift your hair at a 90-degree angle from your head with your fingers. Maintain a straight grip with your forefinger and middle finger. Bring it down the side of your face and slide your fingers to the tips of your hair until they are level with the cut right side layer. Trim the hair that extends from your fingers with the scissors.
5. Back sections should be trimmed. You can also add layers to the sides and back of your hair if you want. Lift small sections of hair and trim them with the scissors, checking your work frequently with the second mirror. Avoid cutting the layers in the back sections too short; they should be the same length or longer than the other layers.
6. Examine your layers and comb your hair out. Check all of the layers after you’ve finished cutting to ensure they fall where you want them to. Examine the hair vertically and horizontally to double-check your cut. If you notice uneven layers, trim the hair carefully to make them look even.
Using a Shortcut
1. Create a ponytail on top of your head. It’s easiest to gather it by turning your head upside down and using a comb. Secure the ponytail at the top of your head with an elastic band. The ponytail should be placed on top of your scalp rather than on the crown of your head. This ensures that the layers are properly positioned.
Check that it isn’t cocked to one side, which could result in uneven layers.
2. Slide the elastic down your hair’s length. Stop sliding the elastic several inches from the tip of your hair if you want short layers. Slide it down until it’s about one inch from the end of the ponytail for longer layers.
Alternatively, instead of the elastic, slide your fingers down. Those with longer hair may find this method more beneficial.
3. Remove the end of your hair. Cut the section of hair sticking out from the ponytail with the scissors.
- If you have thick hair, you may need to snip more than once to get through all of the layers. Make sure you cut them all in the same spot.
- If you cut at an angle, the layers will appear jagged. Hold your scissors horizontally and cut straight across.
4. Take off the elastic and inspect your layers. Your hair will be styled in even, natural-looking layers around your head. If you want to change the look, trim individual pieces.
What is the difference between step cut and layer cut?
The distinction between a step cut and a layer cut is that step cuts are more visibly trimmed to appear edgy and daring, whereas layer cuts are focused on enhancing your natural hair look with blended out layers. It all depends on the type of hair aesthetic you desire.
What angle should I cut my hair for layers?
between 135 and 180°
Angle layers are added to your hair to help it retain the shape and style of the hairstyle. Long layers can be cut at a 90-degree angle. However, most stylists prefer to cut angles between 135 and 180 degrees, depending on the shape of your head and the length of your hair.
How do you cut invisible layers?
Though invisible layers may not seem like much, they can be surprisingly effective in practice. To avoid harsh lines, they’re cut with thinning scissors or a razor. “They’re not cut in a way where the ends are as blunt and ruler-like,” Luke says.
What are face framing layers?
Face-framing layers, in case you didn’t know, involve your hairstylist cutting your hair in varying lengths at the front of your face to define or “frame” your features.
Which is better layer cut or feather cut?
While layers necessitate the removal of a significant portion of your hair in order for the layers to be visible, a feather cut focuses on adding bounce and a ‘feathered’ look to the ends of your hair. This adds volume without removing much hair. This haircut is ideal for those with thin hair.
Does layer cut damage hair?
If you have fine hair, cutting it too short can cause the ends to become finer and brittle. This will cause your hair to break and become more damaged. So, if you have fine hair, keep the layers subtle. Take into account your hair’s thickness.