Real Simple December 16, 2019


6 Ultra-Flattering Layered Haircuts for Every Length

There are so many good things about layered hair it’s hard to know where to begin. Incorporating layers is an easy way to change up the shape and style of your hair, without having to make a major cut or lose lots of length (a big win for those constantly growing out their locks). Not to mention that layers work on a variety of hair types and textures, and flatter pretty much any and every face shape. How is this possible? Not all layered haircuts are created equal. Ahead, six different cuts that prove the universal appeal of layered hair.


Shag Layers

Everything 70s is having a major moment, and this retro-inspired cut is no different. Unlike the shag cut of the 90s (think that iconic Meg Ryan look), this modern take (as seen on Halle Berry) is longer and looser, featuring plenty of layers throughout. For those with fine strands, this cut is choice; the plentiful layering around the crown and throughout the hair creates endless volume, explains Ryan Wenick, a stylist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon. It’s also choice for those looking to elongate a round face, he adds. Curtain bangs are another defining feature of this style, which means it’s also a good option for anyone looking to downplay a larger forehead, points out Liana Zingarino, a stylist at Serge Normant for John Frieda Salon in New York City.


Long Layers

“This is definitely the most popular layered cut for a multitude of reasons,” says Wenick. There are so many different variations that you can really achieve the best look for your face shape and lifestyle, he explains. One important thing to think about: If you like to wear your hair up or pulled back often (hello, messy topknot), be sure to ask your stylist for long layers that don’t come above your chin in the front, and are cut only into the back to create movement at the bottom, suggests Zingarino. This will ensure that you can put your hair up without any pesky pieces falling out.


Long Layers With a Curtain Bang

Think of this as long layers, with a twist, incorporating the same type of curtain bangs that define the modern shag. “This cut is awesome for women who love to wear their hair long but want to have some sort of style other than basic long layers. Curtain bangs make your hair look down no matter whether it’s down, in a ponytail, or half up and half down,” points out Zingarino. Ask your stylist to cut long layers throughout your hair; when it comes to the fringe, the shortest pieces should hit about mid-eye.


Concave Layers

For those with straight hair or sporting shorter cuts like A-line bobs or lobs, this is the way to go. “These layers go from short to long, with the shorter pieces in the back, explains Wenick, who adds that they’re also a great way to remove unwanted weight from thicker textures. And while wearing your hair straight will show off the layers, you can easily round brush your hair to give them some more movement, he adds.


Face-Framing Layers

Adding a few of these shorter pieces around your face is an easy way to add a little extra something to any existing cut. Face-framing layers are also a major win for fine hair, helping to give it some shape, notes Wenick. “They’ll also add awesome volume when styling, no matter whether you’re wearing your hair straight or curly,” adds Zingarino. The layers are very versatile, too. While in general you’ll want to ask for layers starting at the chin down, your stylist can tweak the specific length of these front pieces based on what’s most flattering for your face shape.



Those with more square-shaped faces should opt for these types of layers to create balance and help accentuate a strong jaw line, says Wenick. Round layers are also especially flattering for thicker or wavy textures, since they’ll help remove weight and bulk, and are best for cuts that hit around shoulder-length.