Q: Will layers make my hair look longer or shorter? Or does it depend on the type or amount of layers?
A: Generally speaking, cutting layers into the hair involves making some of the hairs shorter than others, but you are correct in assuming that it depends largely on the amount or type of layers as to how much of the
actual overall “bulk” of hair is removed.
We view layering from the exterior of the head of hair as a whole, and even when we refer to a blunt hair cut (which typically is thought of as having no layers) the hairs that are
placed lower along the scalp toward the bottom perimeter hairline are shorter than those that emerge from the top of the head. The hairs are simply all cut so that as they hang freely they end at the same level when the
head is held in a specific position.
With straight hair types, the addition of layering won’t make the hair appear shorter unless a significant amount of layering occurs and causes the lower perimeter of the hair to
appear sparser. However, with curly hair, even minor layering can sufficiently remove enough weight to allow the hair to curl more tightly and appear shorter on the whole.
This makes dealing with – and especially cutting – curly hair very tricky, since when shampooed and wet, the hair might hang down below the shoulders and fall in long loose spirals.
However, if you cut the hair into layers, the removal of the weight of the hair can allow the hair to tighten into coils that may appear significantly shorter.