how to cut womens hair layers

How to Cut Women’s Hair Layers?

Layered hairstyles lend movement, volume, and dimension to women’s locks. But getting the layers precision cut at the salon can get pricey. With some preparation and the right techniques, you can cut gorgeous layers into your hair right at home.

Benefits of Layered Hair

Layers remove weight and bulk from thicker hair types. This allows hair to move freely and have more bounce. Layers also create fuller-looking styles. Shorter pieces on top fall over and blend with the longer layers beneath to add depth and shape. Face-framing layers around the front soften features beautifully.

Determine Your Face Shape

Your face shape should guide how short your layers are cut and where they fall. Oval faces suit almost any layer style. Round faces look best with chin-length or longer face-framing layers to add length. Layering on square face shapes should be feathered below the jawline to soften angles. Layering too short can accentuate a square jaw.

Heart-shaped faces also benefit from lighter layers angled below the jawline and around the cheeks to balance the chin. Be cautious not to make layers too short if you have a heart or square shape.

Gather Your Supplies

Quality styling tools prevent damage while cutting layers. You’ll need:

  • Haircutting shears – not regular scissors
  • Thinning shears for texturizing
  • Wide-tooth comb for sectioning
  • Clips for sectioning hair
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Towels

Ensure your hair is freshly washed, conditioned, and towel-dried before cutting. Air-dried hair can be tricky to control and see length properly when cutting. Detangle well with a wide-tooth comb first.

Section Hair Methodically

Start by parting clean, damp hair straight down the middle from forehead to nape. Then, make a horizontal part a few inches above the ear going from one side of the head to the other. Clip the top section up and out of the way.

Use the comb to create a half-inch vertical part at the front hairline of the unclipped lower section. Cut just the very ends, following the head’s natural contour. Take off no more than a quarter inch at first. Part and trim the next half-inch segment.

Keep steadily working back in this manner through the sides and back of the lower section. Check symmetry and evenness as you go. Remove any split or damaged ends. For longer layers, take off just a tiny bit of length. For shorter layers, remove more.

Repeat this process in the top/midsection after unclipping it. Position your wrist at a 45-degree angle pointing to the floor when cutting the top and crown layers. This prevents taking off too much length. Remove only about a half inch here for soft layering.

Texturize Ends

Go back through each layer and use thinning shears to texturize and taper the ends. This creates softness and movement without exposing the underlayers. Avoid blunt cuts that appear heavy. Use your fingers to gently separate and define layers as you cut.

Blend and Check

Once both sections are layered, release all hair and observe how the layers blend together. Look for any pieces that need refinement for even length and weight distribution. Add lighter texturizing where needed.

Styling Your New Layers

Blow dry using a round brush to lift layers at the roots and direct them outwards or under. Apply volumizing mousse and texturizing cream or wax to accentuate layers. Backcomb at the crown if desired for extra volume and height.

Use a large barrel curling iron to define layers by curling mid-lengths under and ends out. Finger-raking layers enhance natural texture.

Maintenance Tips

Schedule trims every 6-8 weeks to keep layer lengths precise as hair grows. Ask your stylist to check that the weight is distributed properly. Use a layered haircut-friendly shampoo and conditioner system to prevent over-moisturizing the ends. Limit the use of heavy oils or masks on mid-lengths and ends.


Layering your own hair is satisfying and can save money between salon cuts. Section methodically, cut conservatively, and blend with care. With the proper tools and techniques, you can achieve soft, flattering layers that lend movement and dimension to your hairstyle.


How short can I cut layers on myself?

It’s safest to keep at-home layers on the longer side – around chin length or a bit shorter for your first DIY layered cut.

Where should the shortest layers start on medium-length hair?

For shoulder-length hair, shortest layers should start no higher than about jaw or ear level to avoid taking off too much length.

Should I add layers if I have super thick hair?

Yes, strategic layering helps remove excess bulk and heaviness from very thick hair types. Add face-framing and crown layers.

How often will I need trims for layered hair?

Get your layered hair trimmed about every 6-8 weeks to maintain the length and proportions of layers as hair grows out.

What’s the best way to style naturally curly layered hair?

Define curls in each layer with a curling wand. Scrunch in anti-frizz products. Diffuse upside down for volume at the roots.

Cutting your own layers provides movement and dimension for a beautiful hairstyle. Assess your face shape, section methodically, cut conservatively, and blend for perfect results every time.


The Salon Team
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