Different Types of Layering for Hair

Cutting layers in hair
Photo: April Cat/Shutterstock
Q: Are there different types of layering (for long hair) or are certain hair types not suited for layering?
One of my friends looks great with layered hair, but when I get my own hair layered it never looks really good. Actually, my hair is frizzing since I got it layered. Is it the type of layering, my type of hair or the hairdresser's skills?

A: There are definitely different types of layering for the various hair lengths: from box layering (in which the hairstyle has strong perimeter cutting lines and the layers are distributed in the interior of the style); to long layering techniques (which are responsible for creating the shag styles and many of the more classic layered looks); as well as shallow layering techniques (such as beveling the cutting lines and softening the ends of the style to diffuse the hard edges.)
However, not all layering styles are going to work for every hair type. Those individuals with hair that is fine in texture and/or thin in density often need the stronger perimeter lines provided by box layered styles so that they can prevent a stringy or overly fly-away look.
Individuals whose hair is thick and wavy or curly often need long layering techniques to help balance the bulk in the hairstyle so that they can avoid the flaring at the bottom edges of the cut.)
And those whose hair is very straight, coarse and thick in density often like a beveling technique at the bottom edge of their styles so that they can create a smooth, neat finish to their styling.)
Generally speaking, the group that usually has the most trouble with layers is the one whose hair is fine and/or thin since the hair has less structure and there is less of it on the head, it can easily become disheveled and look uncontrolled and frizzy.
And an improper cut can make it harder to maintain proper care for the hair since each strand has fewer neighbors to help provide it shelter from the elements, absorb oils or retain moisture.)
If your hair is finer in texture or less dense than normal, having the layering may be what's contributing to your hair's flagging condition. However, proper use of a gentle shampoo and a good leave-in conditioner can often help to restore and maintain the control while the hair regrows.
See also:
How to layer long hair
How to grow out layers
Are layers something people with curly hair shouldn't get?