How to layer hair around the face

Face-framing layers can create contours where there previously was none. Hair that is properly layered can complement and soften an angular face or create flattering lines for a heavy jaw line. Layered hair is usually in style and can range from short pixie cuts to long and flowing locks. You also don't have to make an appointment at the beauty salon to get this look. With a few items, you can create this look at home.

Shampoo and condition dirty hair or thoroughly wet clean hair before beginning a layer cut. Cover yourself or the client in a cutting cape or towel to protect clothing.

Section hair vertically from ear to ear using the edge of a cutting comb and comb sectioned hair forward. Comb hair behind the ears and secure at the nape with a clip.

Comb the front hair straight forward over the face and determine the length you desire for the layers. Allow for up to an inch or more of shrinkage when hair dries. Wavy or curly hair will bounce up more when dry than straight hair will.

Section the front hair using the edge of the cutting comb from the vertical ear parts forward to the temple on both sides of the head. Comb flat down and forward. Pull the hair toward the middle of the forehead, face or chin until it forms a point. Hold with the index and thumb of one hand and cut to the desired length below the fingers using scissors you have placed in the other hand.

Drop the cut hair and comb into place to view the results. The hair should form an upside-down U-shape with shorter lengths toward the centre. Check the cut by combing the hair straight down with one hand and cutting any stray hairs below the first and second fingers of the non-dominant hand.

Bring up the side hair to meet the cut hair by combing straight forward and grasping a piece of the cut hair to act as a guide to determine length. The dominant hand should be facing you with fingers pointed up. Hair is grasped between the first and second fingers and cut to form a horseshoe shape around the face. Overextend the hair (pull the hair gradually upward) as you cut downward to maintain length.

Use the perimeter of the hair to cut the length of the layers by using the comb to section a half-inch vertical part down the centre of the head from forehead to crown and combing it straight up, holding between first and second fingers. Pull fingers until the front guide is no longer visible and then cut the remaining hair above the fingers. Overextend, or gradually angle up, toward the back to lengthen layers in long hair. Section in half-inch partings down each side of the head and pull up to meet the centre part for long hair.

Check evenness by sectioning horizontally from temple to temple and combing straight up. Cut any uneven hairs to form a straight line. After the middle portion of the hair extending from forehead to crown and temple to temple is cut to the desired length, use it as a guide to cut shorter hair. Pull side hair out at a 45-degree angle by sectioning vertical 1-inch sections and cutting them to the length of the top.

Blend back hair by releasing the hair clip and combing hair straight down. Cut the hair in an angle from side length to back. Overextend for long hair. Blend layering into the back by continuing to section and layer.

Inspect the length and evenness of the haircut by pulling the hair forward and visually inspecting the length, or by measuring from side to side using the measuring tool on a hair-cutting comb.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair-cutting comb
  • Cutting cape or towel
  • Spray bottle
  • Cutting scissors
  • Butterfly clips
  • Shampoo and conditioner
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About the Author

Robin McDaniel is a writer, educator and musician. She holds a master's degree in higher educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as well as a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in adult in community education. McDaniel enjoys writing, blogging, web design, singing and playing bass guitar.