If asked, to cut the definitive haircut on long hair that has been most successful as a contemporary fashion look over the last twenty years or so, I would have to say long layers.
With minor changes to the way this style is cut, many iconic looks have come and gone, and it’s still one of the most popular and fashionable haircuts around right now.
How to layer cut long hair successfully represents quite a challenge for any hair cutter. In the next few paragraphs I will explain how to cut hair into a long layered look..
For best results the hair should be freshly shampooed and conditioned, and cut wet
A detangling comb or tangle teezer for detangling the hair after shampooing
A sharp pair of scissors with smooth blades for slide cutting
A cutting comb
Six sectioning clips or clamps.
Long Sectioning clips are best for keeping a wide section, and clamps are best for securing long hair.
Instructions for creating a long layered cut.
- Starting at the top of the head, Create a centre parting across the top or the head from the forehead to the crown, and comb the hair down vertically all around, and create your perimeter line. Make sure you keep this line horizontal at the sides.
- Go back to your centre parting, and using it as your guideline, take a section approx half an inch or 2 cm thick, back from the hairline.
Hold the hair at 90º to the scalp, and having decided how long to leave your shortest layers, and remembering your arc shape, make your first cut.
- Using your centre parting as a guide, take a second section the same thickness as before, and including some strands from the previously cut section, as a guideline, Lift up the hair at 90º to the scalp, and cut the hair, remembering the arc. (the hair should be getting longer towards the crown)
- Take your next section from the centre parting and again pick up some strands from the previously cut section, as a guide and holding the hair at 90º to the scalp, and remembering that each section is getting longer towards the crown angle your fingers slightly and cut in the section. You will now have reached the crown.
- Go back to the forehead and create a section about one inch down from, and running parallel to the centre parting, and this time include all of your first cut section, and over direct the hair to the original 90º angle at the centre parting, and using the first cut as your guide, cut in the section to this length. Continue in the same way, back to the crown area remembering to over direct the hair before cutting.
- From just above the temple take your next section and once more over direct the section and cut it using your very first cut as a guide. Work your way back over directing each section, until you are just behind the ear.
- Comb up the section over and in front of the ear, and over direct the hair as much as possible here to avoid cutting the sides too short, and still using the first cut section as a guide cut in to the hair to blend it in with the layers you have created.
- Repeat the cutting process on the other side. The top and sides of the haircut have been completed. From the centre parting at the crown create a parting from the crown to the centre of the nape comb the hair towards the ears and secure with a clamp.
- Pick up a section as previously described, starting at the crown, and with some strands already cut, as a guide, and this time angle your finger out of the arc shape to ensure each section that you pick up to be cut, is longer than the last.
- If you pick up the longest hair at the nape and direct it up and back you will have an idea just how much to angle back your fingers so that your layering will blend into the perimeter, which must not be cut any shorter. Remember you are cutting from short to long, keep your fingers angled out.
Here is a tip,
I imagine one continuous section, short at the top, long at the bottom I hold my fingers at an angle I think will meet up with the bottom layers to give a smooth layer from short to long and cut a little off, comb in a little more, lift it up to meet the section all along that vertical parting.
- Create a second vertical section, and repeat this process moving from the centre to the ear, and eventually blending in the side sections.
- Repeat this process from the centre using the cut hair as a guide, so that the layering is now complete.
The finished look must now be cross checked and personalised, using chipping in and slide cutting techniques, to give a contemporary finished look to the style. I will be discussing these subjects in another how to cut hair article soon.
For more information on Haircutting techniques including layering why not have a look at my Unique KUTS Method DVD Collection on How To Cut Hair