How to make choppy layers

Written by verity jones
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How to make choppy layers
You can make your own choppy layers. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Meg Ryan and Lauren McKnight are just two celebrities who have been photographed with choppy layers. This messy but fashionable style is achieved by cutting rough layers throughout the hair, and styling with a light wax or hairspray. Choppy layers are easy to maintain because it doesn't matter if they get too tangled -- ruffling the hair enhances the unkempt appearance. Grab a pair of hair scissors to cut your own layers.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Brush
  • Mirror
  • Hair clip
  • Hair razor
  • Hair wax

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  1. 1

    Wash, dry and thoroughly brush your hair. Remove all the knots and tangles.

  2. 2

    Lean your head forward slightly and sweep the front portion of your hair to the side. Lift a chunk of hair between the fingers of your less dominant hand.

  3. 3

    Hold the hair razor in your dominant hand so you have control. Hold it at a 45 degree angle against the head and gently slide it in through the bottom third portion of the hair, or from the length you want the layer to begin. Begin teasing the razor downward. As you do so, you shave off hair to develop a layer.

  4. 4

    Glide the razor through the front portion of your hair to create a choppy layer. Work through it once, and look at yourself in the mirror. Assess whether you want the layer to be shorter and lighter -- if you do, continue working with the hair razor to remove more length.

  5. 5

    Turn your head to one side. Pick up a section of hair at the back and bring it around to the side of your ear so you can see it in the mirror. Razor cut this section as you did with the front portion of your hair. Cut through it twice with the razor to make the choppy layer more dramatic.

  6. 6

    Switch to the other side of your head. Create another a choppy layer by picking up sections of hair and gliding the razor across the ends. Wriggle your fingers through your hair to see if it is as you want it.

  7. 7

    Create other sections of layers in your hair. Collect a thin layer from the top, and lightly cut the ends with a razor. Make sure you shave lightly so the choppy layer blends with the length of hair below.

  8. 8

    Shake your hair thoroughly to remove the pieces of hair you shaved off and brush through once again.

  9. 9

    Rub a small amount of wax between your fingers and work it through the ends of your hair while twisting slightly. This lifts the ends to enhance the appearance the layers. If you want a fuller look, add more wax and scrunch the ends upward.

Tips and warnings

  • Set the style with hairspray.

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