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Last updated: November 25, 2020

Long Layers: A New Approach

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A New Approach To Cutting Long Layers

Long layers are likely one of your most-requested cuts—so we know you’ll appreciate these very clear, easy-to-understand videos and tips from Shannel Mariano (@shannelmariano), a hairstylist in Phoenix, Ariz., and an educator who specializes in visual haircutting theory. Keep reading for her tips on cutting and blending long layers!



How to Start a Long-Layered Cut



Start in the center of the front of the head. Pull the section forward to make the hair shorter in the front and longer in the back.

  • Shannel angles her finger to make it even shorter in the front and longer in the back.
  • Elevate each section straight up to layer it. The hair on the very top of the head to travel as much as the hair on the bottom—causing the hair on top to be shorter and the hair on bottom to be longer.
  • Since short hair pushes long hair, this hair cut will push hair away from the face and remove volume.




How to Finish a Long-Layered Cut



Move to the back of head. Take a vertical section from the center and use the hair from the front as a guide.

  • Shannel again angles her finger from short to long, dropping the hair below the occipital bone.
  • Why drop below the occipital? It keeps the bottom of the hair heavy.
  • “If I layered all the way down, the ends of her hair would look too skinny and textured,” Shannel said.
  • Because the hair from the bottom had to travel farther up than the hair on the top, the bottom ended up longer—this helped remove some weight.
  • Then, start working toward the sides, overdirecting each section to the previous. This will make each section longer than the previous one.



Finished look.



How to Blend Existing Layers and Maintain Length



Blending layers and leaving length can be tricky. Shannel starts by trimming some of the length to the desired end length.

  • In the back of the head, she layered only the hair above the occipital to keep the ends thick. Start in the center and work towards the sides, overdirecting each side to the previous section.
  • In the front of the head, she used the guide from the back and layered short to long, again beginning in the center and working out toward the sides.



Finished look.


Watch all three videos below!


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