Layered haircuts can often be the answer to all of your hair styling woes. Hair lacking volume? Get layers. Has your style got no movement? Try long, layered hair. Thick strands weighing your mane down? Layered hair to the rescue again. Hair on the thin side? You get the idea.
The best part about layers is that they can work for all hair types and lengths, which means there’s a layered hairstyle perfect for you and a totally different layered haircut that complements your bestie. The key to slaying layered hair is to find the right cut for your hair type, length, and aesthetic.
So how do you figure out which layered haircut is best for you? You’ve come to the right place. We’re dishing on our best products for layered hair and showcasing some of our favorite layered hair looks. Whether you’re looking for short layered hair, medium layered hair, layered curly hair, or long layered hair with bangs, we’re sure you’ll find a flattering cut that’s just calling your name.
What Is Layered Hair?
Layered hair simply means having hair of varying lengths versus a uniform length all around. From long layered hair or shoulder length layered hair, many hairstyles incorporate layers. Sometimes these layers are focused just around the face, others at the ends, and some throughout the head.
For Sal Salcedo, co-owner of Nova Arts Salon in Los Angeles, layers are a way to add nuance to hair without taking it any shorter. He says, “[Layers] create a shape in the hairstyle as hair is removed. The idea is that as you remove hair, the focus goes to what is left in the head and how that hair then creates the desired shape.”
Layers can help create artificial volume on fine, flat hair, and bring orderliness to wild curls. If you’re still thinking of them as the culprit behind the triangle-shaped cut you wore in middle school, now is the time to reconsider them.
Why Try Layered Hair?
Here’s the thing about layers: They’re universally flattering.
“They hide flaws and give options to every hairstyle,” says Danielle Keasling, L’Oréal global artist.
While layers look good on just about everyone, there are several different techniques to cutting layers and each produces a distinct look. Before asking your stylist for a cut, you’ll need to figure out what hair goals you’re trying to accomplish.
For example, if you’re looking for an edgier style, Keasling recommends asking for square or horizontal layers.
“Square or horizontal layers are going to create hard lines and choppy texture,” explains Keasling. She adds that if you’ve got super thick hair and are trying to get rid of some volume, then vertical layers will “take away density at the perimeter [of your hair]” while “diagonal layers can create more diffused layers and add volume and body.”
What Are The Different Types Of Layered Haircuts?
From medium layered hairstyles with internal layers to long layered hair with just a hint of varying length through the ends, there are all sorts of approaches to layered hair.
These include face-framing layers that are super complementary to different face shapes, side-swept bangs that offer a bit more movement at the front, and long layers that create more dimension in longer tresses. There are also plenty of options for shorter hairstyles, too, including graduated bob and lobs.
Which Layer Cut Is Best?
When it comes right down to it, Salcedo is a firm believer that layers work on every hair type, age, and face shape. However, there’s no one type of layered hair that’s “best” for everyone. The truth is that the best layered hairstyles are the ones personalized specifically for you.
“Hair itself changes through time, so although a haircut might work one time, during the next visit the person’s hair might be completely different,” he explains. “Therefore, it should be analyzed and approached differently—customized.”
When choosing a layered haircut, consider your face shape, hair density, hair texture, and preferred length and style. And when in doubt, also ask your stylist for suggestions and recommendations. They spend a lot of time training behind the chair, which means they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction.
The Best Layered Haircuts And Styles To Try Now
Check out some of our favorite layered hairstyles.
Classic Long Layered Hair
One of the best ways to refresh your lengths is by adding long layers, which adds something simple but always chic. You’ll instantly seem to have more dimension and interesting texture that will prevent your locks from becoming flat and lifeless.
Long Layers With Thick Bangs
Add some extra oomph to your long layers by incorporating some full-out fringe at the front. Oh, and Don’t hesitate to play around with your varying lengths using Matrix Miss Mess Dry Texturizing Spray for messy and effortless siren waves.
Subtle Long Layered Hair
Your layers don’t have to be obvious for them to make a statement. Ask your stylist to incorporate just a touch of variation at the lengths to help create movement. This is especially important if you have thick hair that tends to fall flat at the ends. Another way to boost volume is to use a product that creates lift at the root, such as L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Volume Envy Extra Mousse.
Long, face-framing layers are a favorite for a good reason—they’re insanely flattering. Ask your stylist to cut a few diagonal face-framing layers for a supremely flattering style. If you're looking to add more length to your face, consider adding side-swept bangs to your ‘do. Side-swept bangs move the eyes diagonally across your face, making it appear longer (and thinner).
The layered lob is especially flattering on oval faces. Unlike super long locks that can often highlight the length of the face, the ideal lob will make your face look perfectly proportioned. While the lob would look flawless on its own, adding layers to an already flattering cut allows you to highlight the best parts of your face.
A graduated bob is another way to add some softness to the jawline. When styling your hair at home, try styles with deep side parts to create volume near the top of your head. The volume near the crown of your head will help to balance out your face.
To achieve this level of shiny, healthy hair, make sure to use a high-quality hair care system, such as Kérastase Elixir Ultime L'Huile Original Hair Oil. This luxe blend of five precious hair oils adds shine, deeply nourishes, and helps to prevent breakage.
To help soften the lines of your strong jaw, consider a choppy lob with layers that begin at the jawline. The longest part of the bob will soften any harsh lines, and the layers will create just the right amount of movement.
For this look, celebrity stylist Anh Co Tran says to ask your stylist about the point cutting technique. Rather than simply cutting hair straight across, point cutting involves carefully pointing scissors upwards on an angle.
Tran says, “It’s a precise technique, but it brings a lot of internal movement. If you put internal structure into a bob or any regular haircut, it will make the haircut last longer.”
People with diamond face shapes should consider cuts that bring more fullness to their narrow jawlines. A layered bob with lots of volume will bring fullness to the top and bottom of your face. If your face is on the longer side, consider adding piece-y bangs to visually shorten your face.
Pro Tip: Try using Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo to refresh your bangs between washes. They tend to get greasier before the rest of your strands!
For just a hint of layered goodness, try some classic curtain bangs. They’re a softer approach to piece-y, textured bangs but still pack a lot of pow. Plus, we love the retro-meets-modern vibe they give.
Wispy Short Layers
Short layers create much more distinction between different lengths, making them perfect for hairstyles such as a rocker chic shag. For something more romantic, try this fashion-inspired rebellious blowout. You can lightly flip the ends of your blow-dried layers with a bristle brush for a windswept effect and a truly whimsical look.
Curly Layered Hair
Straight-haired people don’t get to lap up all the layered hair fun. Curls look gorgeous with layers, too, and can help create more shape and dimension. Make sure you seek out a stylist who specializes in curly hair, and then use products at home that help bring your curls to life. We love Mizani Curl Define Pudding, which helps elongate coily to extremely tight texture types for the prettiest curls of your life.
Curly Layered Hair with Bangs
For even more dimension, consider adding bangs to your curly layered hair. You could try side-swept bangs like this, or try long, face-framing bangs, wispy bangs, or curtain bangs.
A long shag bob is the perfect look for summer—and the shorter style can make the heat more bearable, too. “This shag cut is a weathered cut and is soft with a lot of movement making it super light and wearable for the hot season,” says Eduardo Sánchez, Spanish L’Oréal Professionnel stylist and brand ambassador. Run some Pureology Style + Protect Mess It Up Texture Paste loosely through your lengths to effortlessly inject long-lasting style!
Shoulder Length Layered Hair
If a lob or bob isn’t quite your jam but you don’t want to go too long, try medium-length layered hair that hits at the shoulders. This is also an excellent option if you’re trying to grow your hair longer!
Long Shag with Bangs
Go all-out retro and combine your long shag haircut with some bangs! “A shag is the type of cut where you can play with different lengths, giving you many possibilities,” Sánchez says. Your stylist can advise you on the right type to suit your face. L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Masque is infused with amino acids to help keep your shaggy layers strong, shiny, and gorgeous—just how we want them!
Want to keep your layered hair looking great? You’ll find the best salon-quality products at Hair.com.