When it comes to hair trends, glossy, blunt cuts have most definitely reigned supreme as of late. For the last few years, we have found ourselves swooning over glossy, glass-like lengths and adding all of the blunt-bob inspiration to our saved folders on Instagram. There’s no doubt that blunt cuts have had their fair share of love. But now, there’s a new hair trend on the horizon.
With the time between our hair appointments becoming longer, high-maintenance blunt chops are on the out, and no-fuss, layered hair is back (see the recent success of the shag and the long shag). Not only do layers give hair an undone, effortless vibe, but they also help to disguise breakage and split ends (things that have become inevitable). While we don’t have long to wait until salon doors reopen, we think it’s still important to consider the longevity of our future cuts and ensure we’re getting the most out of the appointments we can get our hands on.
Gone are the days of virtually snatching the scissors off of the hairdresser whenever they utter the phrase, “Let’s get some nice layers in there.” It’s officially time to embrace choppier, textured styles once more. But what does opting for a layered style actually entail? This is everything experts want you to know about layered hair.
The Term “Layers” Is Wide-Ranging
Unlike so many other styles and colouring techniques, layers can look totally different on everyone, depending on how they have been cut and a person’s hair type. “Without getting too technical, layered hair involves cutting shorter lengths throughout a cut. Usually, the hair is cut into shorter lengths on top and around the crown and then varying lengths through the rest of the hair to add texture,” says Andrew Barton, Headmasters creative and communications director.
Whether your hair is in a pixie cut, waist-length, curly or straight, cutting in layers can be one of the most defining aspects of your cut. Paul Edmonds, award-winning hairstylist and founder of Paul Edmonds London, explains, “Layering is a bit like sculpting. It helps to change the shape of the hair and should be distributed where you want to put emphasis. It’s all based on face shape, bone structure and hair type.”
Anyone and Everyone Suits Layers
The great news is that layers work for every single hair type. Having said that, they are commonly used as a way of taking weight out of thick styles. Because of this, many people with thinner hair who want to create the illusion of thickness often worry that layers will worsen the situation. However, Barton says there’s no need to be concerned. “Layers do take weight out of the hair and can make hair look more fine. However, bespoke, tailored layers in key areas can actually enhance fine styles,” he says.
Because layers don’t come in one shape and size, it’s worth noting that they can always be tailored to the individual. “Anyone can have layers. It’s just about how you do it. Layers are there to produce movement. I think many are worried that they’ll be left with layers that are too short, but nowadays, we tend to keep them longer and cut through for a more natural finish,” says Edmonds.
Soft Layers Are All the Rage
When we think of layered hair, it’s all too easy to imagine a super-choppy ’80s-style mullet, but 2022-style layers couldn’t be more different. “The shag haircut is very popular at the moment, but it’s much more of a high-fashion trend. The layers are much softer in 2022 compared to those that we saw in the ’70s and ’80s,” reveals Edmonds. With longer layers, the hair looks more natural, giving that air-dried but tousled effect we all crave.
Layers Boost Curls
If you’ve got curly hair, layers could make all of the difference. “Curls can benefit massively from layers as they stop the hair looking triangular and lengthen the face,” explains Barton.
Having said that, those with curls (much like those with fine or thin hair) should discuss the process with their hairdresser thoroughly. “Your hairstylist should be able to help you determine what will work. If you have curly or wavy hair, always remember that putting layers in will actually increase the curl,” says Edmonds.
Tempted? Keep scrolling for all of the layered-hair inspiration you could possibly need.
1. Layered Mixie
Layers put through a long pixie cut (or mixie) create a softer, fluffy look that can be styled in countless different ways. Plus, the style looks just as great with no styling at all.
2. Choppy Layers
Nnenna Echem’s choppy, sun-kissed layers make for the ultimate effortless-looking style.
3. Voluminous Waves
Mermaid waves aren’t going anywhere this spring, and layers will only give the waves more texture and lift.
4. Layered Pixie
A layered, tightly cropped pixie cut is the perfect way to create movement in textured styles.
5. Thick Bob
If you have thick hair but want to embrace the bob life, incorporating layers into your style will take weight out of the ends to give it volume and vitality.
6. ’70s Shag
Sabina Socol’s ’70s-inspired shag cut is absolute goals. We’re loving the strong parted fringe, too.
7. Feathered Ends
Long layers that are curled under at the end make for the ultimate bouncy, blow-dried finish.
8. Coiled Pixie
Pixie cuts can be layered, too. Different layers are cut throughout and are longer on the top than on the sides.
9. ’90s Middle Part
She possessed one of the most iconic layered hairstyles of all time. More recently though, Jennifer Aniston’s layers have had a chic, choppy update.
10. Cropped Curls
Kerry Washington’s tight curls are layered to create more shape, and we’re living for this look.
11. Beachy Waves
Layered, beachy waves like these make for the ultimate no-fuss style.
12. French Bob
If you have thick hair but still want to go for a blunt chop, long, fine layers like this add movement to an otherwise bulky cut. If you ask us, this fringed bob is absolute perfection.
13. Curtain Fringe
The basic recipe for cool French-girl hair is long, choppy layers with a parted fringe.
14. Long Curls
Zendaya’s layered curls are totally iconic.
15. Face-Framing Feathering
For a more polished look, take inspiration from Priyanka Chopra Jonas and go for a feathered finish around the face.
16. Bouncy Blow-Out
Jennifer Lopez’s subtle layers are what make her trademark bouncy lengths possible.
17. Tapered Curls
We love the way that Logan Browning’s layers have been carefully cut to create volume on top.
18. Grown-Out Layers
Salma Hayek proves that straight styles look just as great with layers as wavy ones do.
19. Super-Long Balayage
Chrissy Teigen’s balayage combined with soft, super-long layers is everything long-hair dreams are made of.
20. Undone Shag
Emily Ratajkowski perfectly demonstrates how the iconic shag style has been updated for 2021. Keeping things soft and subtle is the way to go.
Shop Nourishing Treatments for Layered Hair
Layered hair requires extra nourishment, as it can be prone to breakage. This leave-in treatment can be worked through damp hair after washing to provide heat protection and deliver serious gloss-boosting moisture.
If your hair is prone to split ends and dryness, this super-nourishing hair mask will strengthen and hydrate strands with ease. Plus, it smells like paradise.
If it’s strong, fortified lengths you’re after, nothing beats this cult treatment.
Keep curls looking smooth and feeling strong with this hydrating, nourishing mousse.
If your layered ends are looking particularly fluffy when you’re after more of a sleek finish, run some of this shine-boosting oil through your lengths.
Slather strands in this mask before you go to bed and shampoo it out in the morning to reveal strong, shiny and silky-smooth hair.
This rich blend of conditioning oils is the perfect way to add shine, nourishment and strength to curly and coily styles.
This lightweight conditioning treatment packs a seriously nourishing punch, adding definition, bounce and gloss to coily styles.
Next up, it’s official—these are the biggest hair trends of 2022.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.