How to Layer Hair

A layered haircut is designed to make the top layers of hair shorter than the bottom layers. This popular style gives the hair a full, blended appearance and is easy to manage because the style is cut right into the hair. People layer their hair to add volume, frame the face, thin out unruly hair or have a wash-and-go look.

Buy professional haircutting scissors for best results. Dull scissors can lead to uneven layers and split ends.

Shampoo your hair thoroughly. If you have thick hair, condition it, as well. Rinse well and either partially towel dry or leave your hair wet to cut it.

Brush or comb your hair with a large tooth comb before attempting to layer it. Remove all tangles.

Flip your head upside down to begin.

Use a fine toothed comb to comb your hair straight down to the floor.

Cut your hair straight across. Your shortest top layer will be the length you cut the hair from the top of your forehead. Your longest layer will be about three times the length of the layer on top.

Create a short hair style with a top layer that rests beneath the eyes.

Create a layered cut on long hair by making the top layer hit below the ear.

Check your layers in the front and back by using two mirrors to get both perspectives.

Consider layering your hair with a quick ponytail cut. Put your hair into a high ponytail in the middle of the top of your head, and then cut the ponytail straight across.


Condition newly layered hair regularly to avoid split ends and frizz. Trim your hair every 8 to 12 weeks to maintain its shape. Each layer will need a trim, even when you are growing out your layered style. Straighten curly hair before attempting to layer it. If you leave hair curly before cutting it, there is no guarantee the layers will be even.


Stand comfortably while you are cutting your hair. To avoid lightheadedness and fainting, do not lock your knees when you bend over. Proceed with caution if you do not want a hairstyle that is too short. Cut a few centimeters at a time and check each layer in the mirror to ensure the hair is even. If you cut too much hair initially, it may be impossible to correct mistakes.

Things You'll Need

  • Two mirrors
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Sharp scissors
  • Comb
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