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Unsure whether to opt for layers vs. no layers? Here, learn about the benefits of layered haircuts and blunt haircuts and discover how to determine which is right for you.

Layers vs. No Layers: Which Kind of Cut Should You Choose?

Unsure whether to opt for layers vs. no layers? Here, learn about the benefits of layered haircuts and blunt haircuts and discover how to determine which is right for you.
Layers vs. No Layers: Which Kind of Cut Should You Choose?

When you plop into a salon chair, you usually have an idea of how long you want your hair to be or what color you’re hoping to achieve. Deciding whether to opt for layers vs. no layers, however, can feel challenging—both layered and blunt cuts have their advantages. Layers are trendy, fun, and have an effortless feel. Plus, cut properly, they can instantly add movement and dimension to your mane. Blunt haircuts, meanwhile, are chic, polished, and streamlined (not to mention, usually fairly easy to style).

Your decision ultimately boils down to a few key factors, including your hair texture, how much maintenance you’re willing to commit to, and of course, your personal preferences. Ahead, we’ll explain the primary differences between layered cuts and blunt cuts and offer tips on choosing a haircut for your hair type.

Layered Haircut Benefits

Whether you’re going for long layered hair or a short layered bob, layers are great for giving the hair texture and movement. Depending on your stylist’s approach, layers can also boost volume—a major plus for those with fine, flat strands—or minimize bulk to make thick hair look sleeker.

Hair layering techniques

The ‘60s beehive hair was all about that sky-high volume, which required lots of hair teasing as well as the right products. To recreate that classic silhouette, follow these instructions: 

  • Classic layers: Traditional layering involves cutting the hair into soft “tiers” that seamlessly blend into one another. This technique can help make the hair look fuller and thicker, making it ideal for those with thinner strands.
  • Ghost layers: Unlike classic layers, which are cut throughout the uppermost sections of hair, ghost layers are placed beneath the hair. This technique helps remove bulk without making the hair appear obviously layered—perfect for those who like the look of a blunt haircut.
  • Curly layers: Layers can also work brilliantly for those with natural waves or curls, removing weight and improving shape for bouncier, springier spirals.
  • Face-framing layers: With intentional placement around the cheekbones and jaw, face-framing layers can help accentuate and draw attention to your features. You can also use face-framing layers to help visually balance your face shape for a more harmonious look.
  • Long layers: Long layers are a subtler twist on classic layers in which the tiers are cut into the bottom third of your mane, rather than throughout. With long layered hair, you can keep your length without having to worry about poofy, bulky-looking ends.
  • Choppy layers: These layers are cut throughout the hair at varying lengths to create a highly-textured look (think shags and wolf cuts). This technique adds significant movement and gives the hair an effortless tousled appearance.

Good hair day by @empireofhair_.

Blunt Haircut Benefits

While layers certainly have their appeal, a non-layered look offers striking results, too. Also known as “blunt cuts,” this type of haircut involves cutting the hair at a uniform length without any layering. This type of cut can help make fine, flat hair appear thicker and give the strands a smooth, sleek appearance. And while blunt cuts are a great pick for those with thinner strands, they can be flattering for those with thicker hair, too. Ultimately, this type of cut is a great choice for anyone seeking a chic, low-maintenance hairstyle that looks polished and sleek.

Good hair day by @thecurlcollectivephx.

Choosing the Right Option: Layers vs. No Layers

When choosing between a layered cut and a blunt cut, you’ll first want to consider your hair type and texture. For example, if you have naturally wavy or curly hair, adding layers can help highlight your natural texture and give your hair more of a defined shape. Layers can also remove weight, making your hair feel (and look) airier and bouncier. Blunt cuts, on the other hand, offer a sleek and polished look, making them a low-maintenance option for those with straight hair. When cut well, non-layered looks can also create the illusion of thicker hair for those with fine strands.

It’s also a good idea to consider how much maintenance you’re willing to commit to. While both layered and blunt cuts can be styled in different ways (more on that shortly), blunt cuts tend to require slightly less maintenance than layered styles, especially if your hair is on the straighter side.

If you’re unsure which approach is best for you, consult your stylist. Tapping your hairstylist for their input is crucial, too. They can give you personalized advice based on your hair texture, face shape, and upkeep preferences.

Good hair day by @mizani.

How Does Styling Layers vs. No Layers Differ?

Good hair day by @curlsbybrowsandstyles_.

Once you decide on a haircut, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your look when styling.

Tips for styling layered hair

  • To amplify volume and add soft texture to your layered haircut, apply a lightweight mousse to damp hair before blow drying or air drying. We like the Matrix Setter Mousse, as it provides lift, adds shine, and helps enhance style memory—all with a weightless feel.
  • If blow-drying your hair, be sure to prep your strands with a heat protectant, such as the Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray. Then, use a diffuser attachment when drying your hair—this can help minimize frizziness and amplify your natural texture. (If you need a refresher on how to diffuse your hair, check out our article Hair Diffusers: How To Use Them and 12 Best of 2024).
  • Embrace a piecey, lived-in look by working a small amount of texturizing paste throughout the ends of your layers. For hold without a crunchy or sticky feel, we recommend the Matrix Over Achiever 3-in-1 Cream Paste, which is suitable for all hair types.
  • Use a curling iron or flat iron to lightly curl face-framing layers away from your face. The slight curl will help draw attention to your features and put your layers on full display (it’s also a great technique for styling curtain bangs).
  • Use a leave-in conditioner to keep the ends of your layers moisturized, which can help minimize frizz and smooth the look of split ends. Try Biolage Professional Smooth Proof Shine Milk, which helps control frizz and flyaways while giving the hair a smooth, glossy finish.

Good hair day by @beachwoodhair.

Tips for styling blunt cut hair

  • Consider using a smoothing shampoo and conditioner to help give your mane a sleek, smooth finish. We love the Redken Frizz Dismiss Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner, which gently cleanse and nourish the hair while enhancing smoothness, softness, and shine.
  • Use a round boar bristle brush to brush your hair while blow drying for a smooth, glassy finish. Or, curl the ends of your hair inward (toward your face) for a retro-inspired look.
  • Avoid heavy styling products that can weigh down the hair. Instead, opt for a light-hold hairspray for subtle hold and shine, like the Matrix Fixer Hairspray. The humidity-resistant formula offers flexible hold and leaves the hair shiny without a tacky feeling.
  • For an extra sleek look, mist your hair with a heat protectant then use a flat iron to straighten your strands from the roots to the ends. Then, work a high-shine hair serum or lightweight oil like Kérastase L’Huile Original Hair Oil from the mid-shafts to ends to ensure a glossy, polished finish.

Layers vs. No Layers: The Bottom Line

Ultimately, both layered and non-layered haircuts are versatile and can flatter a wide range of hair types, lengths, and textures. Neither is better than the other—it’s just a matter of what type of look and maintenance you prefer. Remember that no matter which cut you choose, you’ll want to visit an experienced stylist for the best possible results.

Next Up: Try the Trend: Why The Italian Bob Is This Season’s Chicest Chop

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