In the hair world, there’s always a new trend to try. Influencers will recommend baby bangs and all your friends might try the ever-stylish lob, but that doesn’t mean you have to conform to their taste. If you’ve spent the last three years willing your hair to grow long, don’t quit now.
They may not be the trendiest look possible, but long, layered haircuts are a truly beautiful way to embrace your length without sacrificing style. There’s a reason long hair for women never goes out of style: It’s sexy and youthful, not to mention easily pulled back.
L'Oréal Professionnel artist Kristjun Holt has some thoughts of his own about long hair. The cutting edge (no pun intended) stylist sees dozens of women who want to add life back into their length.
According to Holt, long hair is so endlessly popular because it’s a great equalizer.
If there’s something missing from your long-haired style, it’s time to go get layers. In addition to lightening up the physical weight of your mane, you’ll be impressed at how much movement and texture they can create.
Thinking of opting for shorter, shaggier pieces? Holt is an expert on the subject. Let him guide you.
Choosing Your Long, Layered Style
As with all the best things in life, haircuts start with creativity. Holt recommends his clients turn to social media for inspiration before beginning to think seriously about getting new cuts. Following accounts dedicated specifically to hairstyling may lead you to the look you never knew you needed.
While hunting for a new look, keep in mind that layers do far more than just break up your length.
“Layers break up weight, create movement in the hair, boost volume, and emphasize color placement,” Holt explains.
If you’ve eyed a hair trend but aren’t sure you can try it while preserving length, don’t panic. Most hairstylists are perfectly happy adapting trends to fit your needs. Save a few photos of shag haircuts to your phone, then broach the subject during your hair consultation.
Finding the Right Stylist
Every hair professional will tell you the same thing about getting a good cut: Make sure you’ve chosen the right stylist for the look you want.
First of all, you’re searching for a pro who has significant experience with your hair type (thick, thin, curly, or straight), length, and—if your strands are dyed—color. These days, most stylists treat their social media pages as professional portfolios. Even if your friend recommends her go-to gal, a cursory glance at social media is still a smart idea.
Think of your hair stylist as more than just a person holding extremely sharp scissors. It’s his or her job to visualize the look you want and help you achieve in a realistic way. Holt agrees, adding that communication is a necessity.
“I think it’s important [for clients] to agree upon an action plan with their stylist at the consultation and work together from there to achieve the look that they want without setting back their goal of length,” he says.
Once you’ve booked your appointment, it’s time for the cut.
If you’re working with long, fine hair, Holt has the perfect style for you. Concave layers—the kind that ever-so-slightly curve around the face—create bouncy volume while boosting movement.
“Concave layers take out some of the inevitable weight in long tresses with shorter pieces around the face to contour,” Holt says of the “effortlessly sexy” haircut. “They look great natural or blown out, straight or curled.”
Needless to say, we’re utterly smitten with a hairstyle the slims out our faces while making our strands look better. Who needs makeup when you have a talented stylist?
Ladies with thick, wavy hair, embrace your texture. The right layers can thin out your mane and help make your hair more manageable. Plus, the shag—a 1970s ‘do that’s all about fine ends and volume at the crown—is trendy in a major way right now.
Who ever said long-haired girls couldn’t take part in the latest and greatest styles? Your natural waves scream “bedhead chic,” a texture Holt adores for the shag.
“A focus on texture makes this cut very cool and quite versatile in terms of the client’s personal style,” Holt says. “This cut looks great with bangs, but can be rocked with some face framing pieces just the same.”
Don’t be afraid when your stylist grabs her scissors. You may lose a little more length than you’re used to, but it’s worthwhile for a look that’s so versatile. The shag is entirely customizable in terms of your hairstyling habits and go-to aesthetic.
Every curly-haired woman has suffered the dreaded triangle cut. Instead of falling evenly around your face, this look ends with curls sticking every which way like some kind of deranged, wind-blown parrot. It doesn’t have to be that way, according to Holt.
“Focus on longer, rounder layers that blend weightlessly around the head for the movement without the weight,” Holt says, adding that the right cut should cut down on the bulkiness of hair, too.
Once your cut is done, go back over your ringlets with L’Oréal Professionnel’s Bouncy & Tender Dual Benefit Styling Cream. Holt stands by the formula for its ability to help create defined curls with a soft touch.
Maintaining a Layered Cut
Once you’ve left your tip and exited the salon, it may seem as if your haircare days are over. Although long layers are relatively low maintenance, that doesn’t mean there’s absolutely no care involved.
“I usually recommend coming in every 8 to 10 weeks,” Holt says. “This way [clients] see…growth in the intervals and can regularly consult with their stylist on the growth progress and integrity of their hair. At that point their appointments are more check-ins than actual cuts.”
While trimming split ends is important for f your hair, you’ll also want to spend money on a salon quality haircare system. Holt’s a big fan of L’Oréal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Vitamino Color AOX range, which helps with color radiance protection and the Absolut Repair Lipidium line, designed for instant resurfacing.
With the right cut and support, having long, layered hair is simple.