The Meaning of Layered Hair

Long layered hairstyle
Q: What does "layered" mean to a hair stylist?
A: For hairstylists, the term "layered" means the hair is cut in such a way that the ends of the individual hairs fall to different points relative to one another. This at least gives the impression (if not actually being true) that the hairs are cut to different lengths.
For example, if every hair on the head were cut to precisely 8 inches in length, the hair would be layered, and the hairs would appear to be of varying lengths because they originate at different points on the head.
Conversely, when the hair is cut into a blunt hairstyle, people think of the hair as all being one length, because the hairs all have the same stopping point. However, the hairs that originate at the top of the head have to be considerably longer than those from lower points on the head to give this effect.
Layering is used to add volume in cases where the hair is so weighed down by its own length that it becomes flat at the top of the head. It's also used to remove bulkiness or redistribute fullness in hair that is very curly. A given hairstyle may use both layered sections and blunt cut sections to create specific looks or deal with specific issues.
Photo: Kenneth Man/Shutterstock
See also:
The pros and cons of layered hair
How to layer long hair
How to cut square layers or box layers
How to cut a uniform layered style
How to cut jagged layers