How to Layer Long Hair
Q: Do you have a diagram of how to layer long hair?
There is a problem inherent in the question you ask. The problem is this: how you layer long hair is largely dependent on the style you desire in the finished process. There is a long circle cut, in which the hair is cut to uniform lengths so that if all the hairs were to stand straight out from the head it would form a circular halo of hair.
There is the beveled cut where the hair is layered, but long, so that the layers of the hair only appear along the lower 25% of the hair's finished style. There is also what is commonly referred to as a long-layered haircut.
In the long-layered haircut, the hair is raised to a 180-degree elevation - in other words, completely vertical - and cut to a designated length. This designated length is chosen when beginning the cutting process.
Because all of the hair is raised to the vertical elevation, the layers on the top of the head will be shorter than the layers at the sides and neck area. A good example of the long-layered cut is the classic hairstyle of the 1970s worn by Farrah Fawcett.
Designate the length of the cut by starting with a small segment of hair at the top of the head. In the case of individuals with long fringe/bangs this length is usually determined by the length of the fringe, although those with shorter fringe areas may want to have the layers at the top of the hair longer than their fringe for various reasons. This designated length is going to be your stationary guide.
Once you've determined the length of your stationary guide, continue by bringing small segments of the surrounding hair up to the stationary guide and cut the hairs to the same length. It's much better and more accurate to start with the stationary guide and work from front to back in the center of the head and then from side to side, alternating between left and right and working front to back until all the hair has been cut.
There is a shortcut step that many women have used in performing this haircut. The trick has made it possible to give a good-looking cut with minimal experience. Simply have the person whose hair is to be cut lie on a table or high countertop with his or her head hanging over the end upside down. Make sure the head is completely vertical - albeit inverted - comb the hair down and cut it off on a straight plane. It's not practical for many people, but in cases where it can be done it will greatly speed the cutting process.
Model photo: Wally Stemberger/Shutterstock
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