150 Layered Hairstyles for Women in 2018

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Woman with blonde hair in a layered cut.


Looking for layered hairstyles for inspiration? Get hundreds of ideas for layers here… all hair colors and hair types shown.

Pay attention to the haircuts you see today. What looks stick out to you?

What looks to you see a lot? One of the most popular women’s hairstyles available in many variations and limitless looks is layers. From long to short styles, layers give the illusion of length and volume for hair.

Shorter strands on top of the head and longer locks underneath give the illusion of seamless blending.

Introducing our 2018 photo gallery of layered hairstyles for women.

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Rear view.

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It's a Cool Summer

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Textured Bob #salsalhair #texturedbob

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Done Undone #salsalhair #doneundone #effortlesshair

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Types of Layers for Women’s Hair

Volume-Building

People who have very thin hair or who have long hair that tends to lay flat and look weighed down know that it can be difficult to add volume to their hair even with an arsenal of beauty products. If you have very long hair and have found that the weight of your strands is pulling down your hair and making it lie flat against your head, which can be very unattractive, then you need to consider layers that are cut specifically to help you build volume in your hair. Shorter layers that are cut strategically into longer hair are a great way to ensure that your hair has more movement and doesn’t look flat and dirty. While it may seem counterintuitive that cutting layers into your hair and removing some of your longer locks will help your hair look fuller and thicker, that’s actually what happens when you trust a professional to cut your new layers.

Volume-Reducing

There are some people who have hair that is so thick that it not only takes a long time to dry and to style but also tends to be larger than desired. If you have very thick hair, then it doesn’t matter how long it is; sometimes you have to have it thinned out in order to be able to style it the way that you want and to avoid spending all morning trying to get your hair to cooperate. While it may be tempting to have a number of shorter layers cut into your hair to try to reduce as much volume and weight as possible from your hair, this can often backfire if you have very thick or coarse hair. Cutting layers that are too short can actually cause your hair to stick out more than it did before and give it even more volume. Rather than cutting short layers, you will need to have longer layers added to your style. This will help to create movement in your hair and ensure that your hair flows instead of sticking out from your head.

Smooth

Smooth, or wispy, layers are very soft and will create very gradual changes in the length of your hair. They also are referred to as “face-framing” layers due to the way they rest around the face. They can be used on both short and long hairstyles and are very commonly cut to provide wispy bangs that can be swept to the side of the face. It can be very difficult to cut your own smooth layers, which is why it is such a good idea to go to a professional when you want to have these layers cut into your hair. They will be able to use a process called “shearing”, which involves cutting vertically down the side of the head rather than horizontally. Trying to cut these layers horizontally will end up with choppy layers and won’t give you the smooth, gradual change that you are looking for. These layers will add definition to the sides of your face, specifically your cheekbones, and will make your face look much more symmetrical.

Choppy

If you want a very bold look from your layers, then you will want to consider having choppy layers cut into your hair. These layers are ideal for creating movement, definition, and volume, which means that they are great if you have fine or thin hair and want to make it look as if you have more hair than you do and that it is very healthy. As opposed to smooth layers, choppy layers are very chic and modern and do require the use of certain products to look their best. While you can leave smooth layers alone and don’t need to worry about how to style them, choppy layers need to be styled with a pomade or a wax. They are a great option if you want to add volume to your thinning hair and can make your face look wider, which is ideal if you have a very angular or thin face.

Longer

Longer layers are the best option if you want to reduce some of the weight of your hair, cut down on the volume of your hair, or simply make sure that your hair has as much motion and movement as possible. While many people think that you can only have long layers if you have very long hair, this isn’t true. People who have medium or shorter hair can also have long layers. This just means that most of the hair is going to be longer even though there are going to be layers cut into the hair. For the most movement and freedom with your style, you will want to opt for long layers when getting your haircut.

Medium

These layers are generally cut around the shoulder and are a great way to break up monotony if you have incredibly thick and longer hair. They can be cut closer to the chin to really help frame your face if you are interested in that style. You don’t want to have medium layers by themselves as your haircut will look incomplete so make sure that you combine a mixture of medium and longer layers if you want a very natural style for your hair.

Shorter

Shorter layers are ideal for people who have very short hair, such as a pixie cut, or who want to add a lot of volume and texture to their hair. If you have a lot of shorter layers, then it is important that you are prepared to use products to style your hair and keep it looking the best it can. Shorter layers can be both smooth or choppy, depending on the style that you want and how long your hair really is. If you do opt for shorter layers, you will be able to add a lot more volume to your style, thanks to powerful styling products, but you won’t experience nearly as much movement as people who have longer layers in their hair will enjoy. For this reason, you really need to think about your goals for having layers and what you expect from them before you go and get your hair cut with shorter layers as they will take a longer time to grow out and reach the length of the rest of your hair.

Vertical

Vertical layers are a great way to help keep the length of your longer hair but still enjoy more height and volume. They are cut using a vertical line, which means that the hair will still be the same length as it was before the haircut but there will be many layers added to the hair all at once. The upper layers of a person’s hair will be much shorter than the longer layers of hair, which allows the hair to naturally curl and makes it possible to achieve more lift and style at the root of the hair.

Square

These layers create clear lengths along the hair. Each layer helps to distribute the bulk of hair so that the hair will lay evenly. This is a great option for people who have very wavy or thick hair and are tired of trying to make it appear less voluminous. It can be tricky to divide hair into segments for this type of layering, which is why finding a hairstylist who specializes in square layers is a good idea and will result in the best haircut possible.

Best Hair Types of Layers

Straight

If you have very straight hair, then you have probably already noticed that having your hair cut all one length will result in your hair looking much fuller. For this reason, people who have very straight hair will want to avoid having too many layers cut into their hair as they can actually make straight hair look dirty and stringy. Long sweeping bangs are a great option for adding movement and layers to straight hair. If you have your heart set on layers, then ask for longer ones that will add movement to your style.

Tight Curls

People who have very tight curls need to have just a few shorter layers around the face if they have long hair. If you have shorter or medium hair, then you have the option of enjoying a few more layers. These additional layers in shorter hair will help to give the hair a lot of body and make it a more impressive style. Do be prepared for additional body if you cut layers into your tight curls and make sure that you are ready with the products that you will need to style your hair.

Wavy

The problem that you may run into if you cut layers into your wavy hair is that they can make your hair much more difficult to style. If you do want to have layers and have wavy hair, then make sure that they are longer layers and that your hairstylist doesn’t cut too many layers. Make sure that you have longer layers around your face that will frame your face and help you look your best.

Coarse

Thick, coarse hair can benefit from layers as they will reduce the real and perceived weight of your hair and make it much more comfortable. Long thick or coarse hair will look best with long layers as they will help to provide more movement and ensure that the hair looks healthy. Shorter hair that is thick can handle shorter layers, although you do need to be careful. It can be tricky to cut short layers into short hair without accidentally adding too much volume. If you have coarse, thick hair and are worried about your hair becoming more voluminous with shorter layers, then make sure that you opt for longer ones instead.

Loose Curls

Loose curls can look great when left long and when they have longer layers cut into the hair. If you have short, loose, curly hair, then you need to make sure that you get layers that frame your face but are angular. This will prevent them from looking very blunt on the ends, which can be unattractive. No matter the length of your loose curls, layers will help to make them appear more voluminous and ensure that your hair looks healthy and has plenty of movement.

Layered Hair Styles

Texturized Bob with Choppy Layers

Bobs don’t have to be frumpy, especially when you combine this shorter cut with a lot of choppy layers to add movement and make the hair appear fuller. If you want a texturized bob, then you need to make sure that you have plenty of layers in your hair and that you use a high-quality styling product. This will allow you to pull the layers apart, twist them into shape, and ensure that you get the volume and movement that you want from this shorter style.

Long and Straight

Long hair can look very chic when you have plenty of longer layers. Make sure that the bulk of the layers are close to the ends of your strands but do include some layers around the face to soften the look. When the hair is layered correctly and has some taper to it, then you will enjoy a style that looks great down and can easily be pulled back and away from your face.

Layered Bangs

There’s no reason why you can’t have both bangs and layers; when they are cut by a professional, then you will enjoy a seamless transition from your bangs throughout the rest of your hair. Make sure that your wispy bangs are layered seamlessly with longer layers that have been cut to frame the face. If this is not achieved correctly, then your hair will look choppy and unprofessional. These bangs not only add definition to a style but also draw attention to your face.

Subtle Texture

There’s no reason why growing out a bob has to be awkward when you can include a number of long layers. Make sure that your layers start below your jawline so that you don’t have to deal with the hair having too much volume and sticking out from your head. By thinning out the amount of hair that you have towards the end of your style, you will be able to easily twist and control these ends for a unique and textured look that is attractive without being over the top.

Wispy Waves

Thick, wavy hair can be tricky to style and ensure that you look and feel your best. If you have this type of hair, then you will want to consider cutting shorter layers around the face. They won’t fall flat, thanks to the body in your hair, and will end up framing your face in a very attractive way. Side-swept bangs that are lightly layered go great with this style and will remove a lot of the visual weight that you have when your hair is so thick and textured.

Short Bangs

You can wear short bangs without looking incredibly young as long as you have the right layers to go with them. Make sure that you have layers cut into your hair so that your bangs don’t look harsh on your face; you also need to make sure that they are long enough. If you cut your layers too short around your face, then you will look boxed in by your straight bangs and layers. Instead, make sure that your layers start at or below your chin as this will help to soften the entire hairstyle and ensure that you get the focus on your face that you want without feeling scrutinized.

Waterfall Curls

If you have longer curls and want to showcase the beauty of your locks, then it is time to consider waterfall curls with layers. Longer layers will allow the ends of your curls to remain free from each other instead of looking as if you have a mass of curls only at the end of your hair. Freeing up some of the weight of your curls will provide them with plenty of movement and make it look as though your hair is cascading down your shoulders and your back.

Bedhead Layers

A mussed-up hairstyle can be very attractive and is one that many people strive for; however, without the right layers, you will find that it is impossible. Hair that is cut all at the same length will never muss up the way that hair that is cut into layers will be able to. If you want a cut that can be styled to look as if you just rolled out of bed, then make sure that you get plenty of longer layers and that the ends are choppy. This will allow you the texture that you crave from your style when you use the right product on the tips.

Highlighted Tips

Long hair with long layers doesn’t have to look flat and one-dimensional. If you have very long hair and want to make sure that your layers stand out, then consider having the tips of them highlighted. This is a great way to brighten up your look for the summer months and to ensure that the texture and variety in your hair is easily seen by others. This will also reduce the pressure that you feel to style your hair as the highlights will instantly update your hair and make it look healthier even if you haven’t done anything but wash and dry it.

Keep it Sleek

Face-framing layers look great when they are a combination of shorter and longer layers and, when curled gently inward, create a soft and attractive look. This is one time that you can actually part your hair in the middle of your head and get away with it as long as your layers are well defined and you don’t have any flyaways.

Glossy Curls

Glossy hair already has a lot going on in terms of style, which is why you want to make sure that you keep your layers subtle so that they don’t try to steal the show. Thinning out excess hair will ensure that your style is neat and easy to control. Feathered layers that fall around the face and softly onto the shoulders are incredibly attractive and will draw attention to the face while at the same time lightening up the visual weight of the curls.

Staggered Length

While it’s normal to be a little worried about cutting your layers too far from the bottom of your hair, if you layer your hair beginning a few inches up from the bottom and then cut layers a bit higher, closer to your chin, you can enjoy a funky look that can be softened for date night or in the office. The type of styling product that you use on these layers will play a huge role in the overall appearance of your style.

Channel the ‘70s

Women in the ‘70s loved their layers. While you don’t have to have as many cut into your hair or style them in the same way to enjoy some body, if you want to channel the ‘70s, then you can do so while still looking modern and updated. Opt for chin-length layers that will add volume to your style as well as layered bangs that can be flipped out from your face. A great hairstylist will be able to cut this style to suit the shape of your face so you can enjoy a blast from the past without looking too dated.

Bedhead Waves

Mid-length layers that start below the chin and stop shortly above the bottom of your hair will help you create a tousled look. If you already have hair that is slightly wavy, then you will love how easily you can achieve longer bedhead waves without a lot of effort. Skip the shorter layers around your face and on the back of your head and opt instead for medium and longer layers that will add a lot of movement to your style and prevent it from looking too static and flat.

Frame Your Face

Layers don’t have to be very short in order to frame your face and ensure that your face is the focal point when people look at you. No matter the shape of your face, if you want to frame it with layers, then make sure that you don’t have any layers that are shorter than your chin. Depending on how long your hair is, it is actually a good idea to consider having layers that are closer to shoulder length as this will help to break up your hairstyle. While shorter layers can be attractive, for a true face-framing look, choose longer layers that are strategically cut and placed around your face.

Tapered Cut

Mid-length layers look great on most anyone and if you want to look really friendly and approachable, then consider using a round brush on them to help them curl up a little and towards your chin. The benefit is that you will look as if you are a lot of fun and as if your hair is very low-maintenance even though you did have to spend a little time with a brush and blow dryer.

How is The Look Achieved?

Put simply, the effect occurs by taking sections vertically across the head, pulling them away from the head, and cutting straight across. Hair is lifted away from the head at angles that are different from the natural growth pattern. Layered looks can be an all-over look throughout the crown of the head, along with the top of the head, or just over and around the forehead with bangs or fringe.

What Style Matches My Face?

Since there are so many different hair types, lengths, colors, and styles that make use of layers, consider going into your hairdresser for advice. You can even bring a few photos of the look you prefer. A professional will match your preferred look with your hair’s texture and length. As a general rule:

  • Oval: Choose longer and face-framing strands. A longer hair length tends to show off the shape of the face and build a more chiseled look.
  • Square: Opt for easy layers that aren’t too defined or else you end up with a square face which looks even more square.
  • Round: If your face doesn’t have much natural contouring, create it with every layering effect. Round faces look good with short, chopping locks or even long, single length layers.
  • Heart-Shaped: Instead of having hair hug the face, have it naturally fall away from the face to enhance the appearance of the face’s natural shape. Any hair length looks good with a heart-shaped face.

Benefits of Layers

Thinking about adding this look to your current style? For many women, this cut and style provide the following advantages:

  • Providing additional volume to the hair
  • Giving the illusion of length
  • Accentuating the shape and appearance of your face
  • For rounder faces, layering gives the face a longer look
  • Getting a new look without adding chemicals or colors
  • Requiring less maintenance and time between cuts than other hair styles
  • Allowing you to get a dramatic shape for a unique style
  • Adding dimension to hair with natural waves

Hair Texture for Layers

The hair types best suited for layering are coarse hair and then medium hair, such as bob cuts. While thin hair is still possible to layer, be sure you select a stylist you trust to complete the cut.

As for textures, wavy and straight hair respond best to layering when cut to enhance the overall shape of the hair. Curly hair needs to be cut properly or else the hair may look too top heavy. All hair colors look good with this style! From sharp, blunt styles to feathery, light strands, you are sure to love your layered look.


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