LANGUAGE OF LAYERS (part 1)

Two things that have been consistently problematic for most people I meet (or hear from via email) is that they are confused about layers and equally confused about how to ask for what they want from their hairstylist. I wanted to start a new series to help us get through that together! My hope is that with a little extra information, nobody will have to suffer through a haircut they didn’t want ever again!

For this first post, we’re going to deal with straight and slightly wavy hair. And for the next post we’ll do stronger waves to curly. There’s so much information and I don’t want to confuse anyone further, so if you’re rocking strong waves or curls be patient and wait til my next post. I promise it will be worth it!

Below I’ve created some visuals for some of my favorite types of haircuts. I didn’t do the haircuts below, only the one up at the top, but these are great examples for what you need to know. Take these with you when you go to the hairstylist if you need to! I promise, we appreciate a good visual becuase it helps us to identify what you see.

ASK FOR:

  • a blunt cut that clears the shoulders.
  • no layers
  • ask your hairstylist to help you decide on the most flattering length for your face, somewhere between your chin and your shoulders.
  • if your hair is superfine but you have a ton of hair, you may want to ask your hairstylist to do a subtle undercut in the back so it doesn’t appear too bulky and unflattering behind your head.

GOOD FOR:

  • making fine hair appear thicker.
  • anyone who likes to wear their hair straight.

ASK FOR:

  • the haircut you want, and then some subtle layers added to it. Short layers don’t mean that your top layer is short in length. Short (when describing layers) simply defines the distance between one layer and the next. Think of it like this– it’s just a “short distance” to the next layer.
  • ask your hairstylist to help you decide where the layers should go. Around your face? All the way around? Should there be some in the back? Each person will need weight taken out in a different spot or maybe all over.
  • I like to point cut when I do subtle/short layers but each stylist will do it differently. If you like a more subtle looking layer, just ask for exactly that! Make it clear that you don’t want choppy and you don’t want tons of piece-y-ness. (Is that actually a word??)

GOOD FOR:

  • removing that “bell” shape or “triangle” shape that can be left behind by a blunt cut.
  • those who like to part their hair in different places on different days. Flipping or parting your hair on one side and then switching to the other can cause one side to look very heavy. Subtle soft layers will remove some of that.
  • anyone who gets bored with a blunt cut.
  • someone wanting a short cut but also wanting to add volume.

ASK FOR:

  • a blunt cut on the bottom with some piece-y layers for movement and texture.
  • something low maintenance that can be blow dried or air dried, curled with an iron or look good straight.

GOOD FOR:

  • bloggers. HA! I’m kidding. But isn’t this such a blogger haircut.
  • those who love the EVERY DAY WAVE.
  • anyone growing out their fine to normal hair.

ASK FOR:

  • a classic women’s layer cut.
  • nothing too “textured”.
  • subtle layers in back, medium face framing layers in front.

GOOD FOR:

  • normal to thick hair.
  • anyone who lives for their 1 1/4″ curling iron and/or a perfect ponytail.
  • all Lauren Conrad, Rosie HW and Kate Middleton lovers! These ladies all carry a very classic and timeless look that can also be amped up to the next level with some messy waves and good product from time to time.

ASK FOR:

  • texture, texture, texture!
  • weight to be removed or thinned out.
  • soft, subtle undercutting to enhance texture on the ends and keep dense ends from appearing too thick.

GOOD FOR:

  • volume seekers.
  • those with tons of hair.
  • anyone who loves a more lived-in look or “undone” hair style.
  • someone who has natural wave and loves to air dry.

ASK FOR:

  • long layers. Again, just as I mentioned above in the short layers section, it’s not about the length of the layer you ask for! It’s about the distance between the longest layer and the shortest layer. As you see in this photo, Lily has some really long pieces and some much shorter pieces. The distance between the bottom layer and the top layer is significant. This would be considered long layers.
  • tell your stylist you love a boho vibe. Most hairdressers know exactly what that means by now– long layers with natural-looking messy waves. When my clients like things like this I typically reference “Free People hair” and “Olson hair”. Both of those scream natural texture and we always end up on the same page.

GOOD FOR:

  • natural wavy hair.
  • long hair that is fine (but lots of it), normal, thick or wavy hair.
  • those who love using a wand to curl.
  • anyone who loves to air dry.

ASK FOR:

  • major texture! Maybe even to be cut with a razor if your hairdresser thinks you need it. Razors generally give lots of texture but can also be bad for certain hair types– let your pro decide. I typically only use razors on fine hair when it needs a little bulking up.
  • something that will bring out some waves in your hair.
  • to remove any unwanted weight or bulk by adding lots and lots of layers.

GOOD FOR:

  • anyone who wants to rough dry and rush out the door.
  • those who love to wear their hair down.
  • face framing and those with bangs.

Stay tuned for the next “Language or Layers” hair post this week where we’ll tap into which layered haircuts are best for WAVES & CURLS!

(and yes, I’ll be doing a tutorial on how to get the waves in the top photo soon as well!)

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