View Full Version : Thinking Layers

September 27th, 2008, 11:39 AM

I'm thinking something like this. I've been growing out to one length for five years and I'm just bored at the moment. Yes I'm invoking the two week rule which will probably turn into the one month rule!
I started a new job in corporate America as a legal assistant, so of course the office has a lot of short cuts and colors. There is one person there with very long hair and I would love to know her secret for keeping curls in her hair. She told me she leaves her curlers in for her commute. I think I could leave rollers in for two days and still have the curls fall out. In my siggy my hair is blown straight which is my usual style - but left natural I have what I like to affectionately call "ratty waves" especially the under layers.
Am I setting myself up for hair failure trying to make my hair look like the pic every morning? Plus I'm just starting to get the hang of putting up my hair - buns twists braids if I get layers will all that go away? I used to have bangs / fringe which I think makes updos less mean bun lady look which I don't like but it more practical for work. The dh (who has abdicated from hair decisions - smart guy) does not like me with just bangs.
any suggestions or comments?

September 27th, 2008, 12:05 PM
I will say just follow your heart. Layers are one of those wonderful things which looks good on all types of hair but yes it does involve time for its maintenance especially if your layers slips off. But still if you want to try out something new then go for it.

September 27th, 2008, 12:12 PM
Layers can be stubborn! And if you cut them too short, there's nothing you can do.

Maybe you could start by having a few layers here and there, not too much, just have it slightly layered in places by a hair dresser you trust not to cut too much. Then see if you like it, if not, it will easily grow longer and even up again. If you go flatout layered all at once, it might not be a smart move...

September 27th, 2008, 12:49 PM
In my experience, layers will greatly hinder any kind of an updo unless the layers are only in the last few inches of your hair. Why do you feel the need to immediately fall for the "long hair is not corporate" bs? If your hair is still around the length in your siggy pic, I can see you being able to do nice half ups and peacock twists. A low pony with a classic barrette is another option. Why not see what you can come up with and make any SMALL changes somewhere down the line if you feel you must. To me there is nothing more "corporate" than a tightly bunned mean lady look.

September 27th, 2008, 01:21 PM
I have layers right now that I am trying to grow out and I can tell you that it really interfers with the type of updos that I can do. My cinnabun is uneven with bits sticking out, my wrap buns don't like to stay very well, braids always have bits sticking out halfway down the length, and it is just generally NOT ideal for me as my hair has to be up most of the time for work.

That said, if you do not plan on wearing updos frequently, than consider very long layers so that you can more easily change your mind at a later date. There have been some great posts about cutting your own layers which would give you a lot more control over the end result. There is a few youtube videos that are great. I have been looking for my favorite one, but i can't find it! It basically has you create a U-part on top of your head and the hair inside the part is the only hair that is cut so that you can keep your hemline and length.

September 27th, 2008, 01:34 PM
I love that picture, AtlantaZ3! I love layers (problem is, I also love braids! haha) I'm thinking of getting something like that done. I'm concerned about the ends, turning them out....wouldn't look quite like that w/ a hairdryer (I'm used to just brushing it all down/"inward") or flat iron....I've never tried to turn out long hair! Short hair was pretty easy.

I love Bailey Hanks' hair, it's so gorgeous and her layers=love! http://remotecontrol.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/ellewoodstryout.jpg
She really worked her hair when she was dancing, amazing curled layers.

September 27th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Layers make "ratty" waves worse. I don't know how to explain it, but they just do. They also complicate updos. If you want to keep your hair at 24 inches, maybe, but if you grow longer you'll have to be dealing with your layers all along the way. If you still want them at goal length, get them cut in. It's irritating if and when you decided to grow them, to find that the bottoms of shorter layers are split and in need of cutting. It makes them hard to get rid of.

September 27th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I am not falling for the corporate look - I certainly don't want to cut my hair short and bleach again. (Although a few highlights may come back - but probably going to do a deep honey condition to accomplish that.) My hair is too long for a peacock twist or I'm just not getting that one right. I'm in the legal dept - so a french twist is not out of place. I've even had a few people compliment some of my hair accessories. My female boss even comments on how my hair went up in the middle of day, I was working on a project and needed it out of my way. So no pressure to fit in - my suits do that well enough. I have enough different updo in my repatoire to keep me from a drastic chop. I like a high up pony with a gibson pull through that I think looks nice with a suit for work - I just need a little hair jewelry for the center/
My goal was two more years of growing out and see where I end up - July 2010. Hoping for six more inches in two years. I was thinking even with the layers just growing longer layers.
I do thank the other person who commented on ratty layers and that was a concern for me - my hair gets wavier as it getting longer - if I cut short it goes straight :(. I used to have Farrah layers and bleached highlights which I liked at the time. I could hot roller twice a week and be done - second day actually looked better than first. But my hair was only a little longer than shoulder length then also.
So I'll sit on myself for the required two weeks - in the deep south, my last fill up was 4.50 gal and I had to wait in line for about 40 minutes. So a hair cut is an expendable expense!

September 27th, 2008, 06:43 PM
I think layers greatly affect updos so I grew mine out. Also to me they make frizzies worse if you have any of them causing more addiction to irons and heat. I agree with the very long layers or face framing layers that are very light at least at first. Go SLOW and stop when you are happy with it. They are such a pain to grow out!

Bronwyn Grace
September 27th, 2008, 07:41 PM
I have layers and I am currently trying to grow them out. I hate how when I braid, they fall out. I'm also growing out my bangs. -sigh- So much growing to do, so little time.

I agree with trying a few layers, and then seeing how you like it before doing anything more drastic. :) You have very pretty hair, by the way!

September 27th, 2008, 09:10 PM
I'm right there with you growing out bangs - that probably took at least two years and several chops to get to one length. But I'm liking the idea of just a few face framing layers. I'm toying with the idea of leaving a few pieces out of the updos - but I know that I hate my hair hanging in my face - so the pieces might drive me crazy.

September 27th, 2008, 10:40 PM
Whoa, whoa, whoa! What's with the layer hate, people?

I've had my hair one length before which = triangle head.

I love my layers, they are long and have only ever hindered my updos when my hair was shorter, though I never tried anything as intense as what we have here.....

I don't do braids. Just, no. I'll sleep in one, I'll clean house in one, but it's not something you'll see me sporting at the office, so braid messiness is no biggie for me.

In my opinion, layers are easy, and if you have thick hair with "ratty waves" (like I do), the layers can greatly help the ends from matting up together and turning into a triangle poof.

Here are some old photos of my hair. These are several years old, I've since cut short and grown again, so I'm hovering right above BSL right now, but my layers are exactly the same. The photos also represent what my hair looked like blown out constantly.





This is a silly old shot of me, but you can nicely see the layers "flipping" out like the photo you posted........and that isn't really fringe, just my shortest layers, I always specified short in front, but long enough to tuck behind my ears.

ETA: I always joked that when I got my haircut, it would be longer than when I went in......that's because the ends no longer matted up together. The layers allowed them to flow and wave they way they wanted to without making a big tangled mess at the bottom. My hair shrinks when my layers catch up to the length.

You can even see one of my layers in my avatar......it's peeking out over my right shoulder. My hair is longer now, but layers have a bad rap, and I think that comes from short hair. Yeah, when my hair was short, short layers were scary!!!!

September 27th, 2008, 10:52 PM
I agree with the comments that you should consider what layers will do to your updo options. Personally, I love layers. But I love them with a huge caveat: they have to be cut by my buddy Steven. He gets my hair and cuts layers that fall perfectly without my fussing over them. The man is a genius. I've had plenty of bad layers that you have to blow dry or primp all day long for them to look decent. Not my thing.

If you decide to cut layers, I'd say you should get a recommendation to a really good salon (like an over $100/cut salon) and get it done there. I know it sounds like a lot of money, but one good cut usually means fewer products and less time styling. The most dangerous salons, in my experience, are the in-between salons: the big ones that are chains across the country and charge about $60 for a cut. They tend to hire people fresh out of beauty school who know how to do one or two hip styles. The problem is, these styles usually require a lot of maintenance or they only work for one hair texture. If you're going to get a layered cut that needs to look really good for your job, spend the money to get a really good cut. If they do it well and you don't need to blow dry everyday, your cut will last longer (even if it gets a bit out of shape) and your money will be well spent.

Or, look for someone whose layers you admire and find out if they've had to spend a lot of time styling. See if they have hair similar to yours. You might find a good layers stylist that way.

September 27th, 2008, 11:18 PM
I agree with the suggestion to maybe try layers that are long first to see how you like this. I am quite close to your hair type I think and had big layers cut four weeks ago. I absolutely love how they bring out my curls and make a hemline that drops off instead of a big boofy cutoff. BUT- I wish that the shortest layer was longer as I tends to puff up around my face. Bear in mind though that I don't own a blow dryer nor curling iron so I have no idea how it would act if I did that. It would have been nice to see a picture of your hair when it is air dried to see what it looks like then. I also agree with finding a really good hairdresser for this, as it is not the easiest cut to do. Good luck with your decision.

(I would have added a picture- but I am unable to get a good one, something must be wrong either with my camera or with my picture taking )

September 28th, 2008, 07:30 AM
I have layers and make sure they're always long-enough to go still into a Frenchtwist or bun or high-ponytail. Since I cut my hair myself, this is never a problem. My stylist always listens to me! (this involves talking to myself, but oh well... :silly: )

The one and only question I have for you is: will your hair curl at the ends like the model's, or will it just be straight? You mentioned that shorter=straighter for you, and part of what's so cute about the layers on the model is the curl at the ends. If your hair takes a curl like it used to (the Farrah-do) then you're in business and twice-a-week hotrollering will do it. But if not, then your hairdo will look nothing like the girl in the photo. That's the only concern *I* have about layers. I love mine and they helped me a LOT with my hair.

I don't think layers are evil (Manderly, you're a hoot) and they CAN make certain updos harder, and braids (for some) are worse with layers. Personally, I had so many hairs that terminal'd out eary, my braids always looked like a pipecleaner anyhow, so having layers hasn't affected that one iota. They still are pipecleanerish, and I just don't DO braids. There's no law that says one MUST have all-one-length. Do what works for your own hair, make sure that your layers are long-enough to go into updos if you still want to DO updos, and have no guilt. If your layers are not what you wanted (start small) then you can always grow them out. If they're confined to the last several inches, they can be grown out in a year or less for most of us with "average" hair-growth rates (average being a half-inch growth per month) If they're more drastic, then it can take longer, but it won't take ALL that time to get them to "long enough to be caught in a high-pony or Frenchtwist", and those're updos you can live with for the rest of the time you're waiting to grow them out.

September 28th, 2008, 07:59 AM
I appreciate all opinions but I have to disagree with the "one-lengthers" here :) (but I still like you guys).

Many people seem to be going under the assumption that:

1) Everyone likes perfectly shelacked in place, smooth updoes/braids (I personally love messy, funky braids and updos and layers really help make them interesting)

2) Everyone wears updos the majority of the time (I wear my hair in mostly half-ups, down, and in ponytails so it's more important for me what my hair looks like down, than up, so I shape it according to how I wear it most.)

3) Everyone has smooth, non-frizzy hair. No matter how "one-length" my frizzy/curly hair is, it will never look perfect in a braid or bun anyway unless I straighten it first, or style it soaking wet with tons of product.

4) Bobby pins don't exist. The few times I do decide to wear my hair up I can get that non-messy chic look with carefully placed bobby-pins. It takes a little more time and creativity (not much though) but it's not impossible with layers.

Like Manderly, when my hair is one -length it's a triangle. I find one-length hair pretty, on other people, but even if I had their hair I probably wouldn't go there for the simple fact it doesn't fit my style and if I was being honest it's not my preferred aesthetic so I can understand the OP's "boredom." It seems as if she is more concerned about how her hair will continue to look down than how it will look in an updo (as most people who want layers want them for how they make their hair look when worn down as opposed to up).

So, being completely biased, but still practical, I would get a few layers in the front/sides, but leave the back alone which I've found helps the ease of updos more than all-over layers for when you decide to wear them.

September 28th, 2008, 10:14 PM
I've been growing my hair for several years with no cutting at all. I still have very long layers. I'm looking forward to them being gone, at least in the short term.:shrug:

What I've recently done that has had a HUGE impact is cut a fringe/bangs. My former fringe was chest length and went back very well into updo's of any type. Worn down, however, it just looked only okay. So I clipped my phone onto a nearby shelf, activated the speakerphone, and had my stylist friend talk me through cutting in a fringe. I like it!:) I ended up taking the shears to my hair a week later and making the fringe even shorter, as I'd left it cheek to chin length on account of if I hated it, I could at least pin it back and it wouldn't be too noticeable. I had previously tried leaving out bits of longer hair, but that just made me completely nutso!

My updo's look nicer, but down looks nicer too. My eyes, which are probably my best feature, now play a much larger role with the framing fringe.

Whatever you choose to do, remember, it's hair. It grows. If you hate it, you can always grow it back out!

ps I'd read about the shortages of gas where you are. Totally weird. I live maybe 6 hours south of you and no shortages here. Must be regional. We're still paying maybe $3.75 a gallon, and usually ya'll are 10 cents cheaper. Hope you find respite soon.

September 28th, 2008, 10:27 PM
I've got a few face-framing layers. I really like it. I leave the back all one length because there's a lot of natural taper; I don't want even more thinning.

September 29th, 2008, 06:56 AM
I recently had a couple of long layers cut in the sides of mine, too.....I almost never wear an up-do, and only an occassional ponytail or braid. Since it is down most of the time, and my hair is straight, fine, and thin, it would just hang there. Since I also like to roll it, the layers were a good option. I left the back all one length, though.

And, last week, I added some fringe bangs myself.....

September 29th, 2008, 08:13 AM
I have long layers & I don't think they interfere with my up-do's at all. It actually looks nice with a couple of pieces hanging down along the sides of my face. I have been trying to wear more bangs as well cause I saw a pic of me the other day & it was like

oh god it was awful.

I dont care much for braids cause my hair is so thin it just looks ridiculous in a braid so its not an issue for me

I like the hair in the link you posted, but make sure your hair is thick enough to handle it....I think it looks really nice...