The Language of Layers

While your  REDS stylist has specialist knowledge about what will or won’t work with your particular hair type and face shape, knowledge is power, so here is a breakdown of some common terms stylists use to describe specific layering techniques so you too can ‘speak stylist’.

Blunt and Layerless – To appear thicker



  • a blunt cut.
  • no layers.
  • ask your stylist to help you decide on the most flattering length for your face, somewhere between your chin and your shoulders.
  • if your hair is super fine but you have a lot of hair, you may want to ask your stylist to do a subtle undercut in the back so it doesn’t appear too bulky and unflattering behind your head.


  • making fine hair appear thicker.
  • anyone who likes to wear their hair straight.

Short Layers – To soften the ‘bell’ shape of a blunt cut

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.40.20 AM


  • the haircut you want, and then some subtle layers added to it. Short layers don’t mean that your top layer is short in length. Short (when describing layers) simply defines the distance between one layer and the next. Think of it like this– it’s just a “short distance” to the next layer.
  • ask your hairstylist to help you decide where the layers should go. Around your face? All the way around? Should there be some in the back? Each person will need weight taken out in a different spot or maybe all over.
  • If you like a more subtle looking layer, just ask for exactly that! Make it clear that you don’t want choppy.


  • removing that “bell” shape or “triangle” shape that can be left behind by a blunt cut.
  • those who like to part their hair in different places on different days. Flipping or parting your hair on one side and then switching to the other can cause one side to look very heavy. Subtle soft layers will remove some of that.
  • anyone who gets bored with a blunt cut.
  • someone wanting a short cut but also wanting to add volume.

Blunt on the bottom – To create movement and look fuller

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.42.05 AM


  • a blunt cut on the bottom with some piece-y layers for movement and texture.
  • something low maintenance that can be blow dried or air dried, curled with an iron or look good straight.


  • those who love a bit of wave.
  • anyone growing out their fine to normal hair.

Classic Layers – For added movement



  • a classic women’s layer cut.
  • nothing too “textured”.
  • subtle layers in back, medium face framing layers in front.


  • normal to thick hair.
  • anyone who lives for their curling iron and/or a perfect ponytail.
  • all Lauren Conrad, Rosie HW and Kate Middleton lovers! These ladies all carry a very classic and timeless look that can also be amped up to the next level with some messy waves and good product from time to time.

Long Layers – To enhance natural waves



  • long layers. Again, as we mentioned above in the short layers section, it’s not about the length of the layer you ask for! It’s about the distance between the longest layer and the shortest layer. As you see in this photo, there are some really long pieces and some much shorter pieces. The distance between the bottom layer and the top layer is significant. This would be considered long layers.
  • tell your stylist you love a boho vibe. Most hairdressers know exactly what that means by now – long layers with natural-looking messy waves.


  • naturally wavy hair.
  • long hair that is fine (but lots of it), normal, thick or wavy hair.
  • those who love using a wand to curl.
  • anyone who loves to air dry.

Graduated Layers – To build weight and add volume



  • graduated layers. The sole purpose of graduation is to build weight. With fine curls, you usually want to layer while adding volume.
  • the fringe to be incorporated into the hairstyle if you want additional wave to come out. The shorter you cut wavy hair, the lighter it gets, so you’re going to see more volume from adding bangs. Just be sure that’s what you want! Talk to your stylist.
  • something that you can put a little product in, diffuse and go.


  • fine, wavy hair that gets flat when it gets long.

One thought on “The Language of Layers

  1. This is a really helpful post – thanks, everyone, for sharing your knowledge and demystifying layers. I think this will really help your customers get what they want.

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