View Full Version : Layers Good or Bad?

March 10th, 2008, 10:16 PM
I'm asking this question, because a friend of mine mentioned that layers could make my hair appear thicker. I have fine/thin hair (straight) and though its 34 inches long, it appears to be a rather dead mop on my head.

I love my hair long and in no way want to cut it short. But if having a few short(er) layers within its long tresses adds life to it, by all means lets liven it up!

So I ask, in your own opinion and from what I have said above. Are layers a good or bad thing?

...oh and I wanted to know what you all thought about bangs as well. I haven't had any since I was a small child (4-6 years old), but was debating it. Would that be a total shock?

March 10th, 2008, 10:25 PM
I like layers. They dogive the hair shape and makes it appear thicker, but that's when the ends are curled or if you have wavy/curly hair. If your hair is straight I think it will just make it look thinner. Also if you decide you don't want them anymore they are going to be annoying to grow out. I'm all for bangs too, personally I don't like my hair just hanging around my face and not bringing something to it, lol. I like that I can have my hair up with some of it out to mask my big forhead :lol: and it won't really get caught in anything. I prefer long side bangs though, you can do more with them and pull them back if they get annoying than short straight ones.

March 10th, 2008, 10:29 PM
I have medium thick layers, with soft natural curls, so the layering is perfect for my hair type-one lenght is fun but it's also so THICK I can't do anything but tie it, stick it or fork it.
If you have fine thin hair, you're a perfect candidate for the newer "Emo" look, depending on your age. The wispy random layers are so fun and never boring. And the longer, the better.

Any cut is traumatic IMHO, so be sure you know what you want before you cut it. There's nothing worse in this world than waiting for a bad cut to grow out!

Good Luck and let us know what you decide-and post a pic too! :D

March 10th, 2008, 10:59 PM
This is what I've been looking at doing, just a lot longer version.

This is what I have now:

March 10th, 2008, 11:03 PM
Personally, I'd say a few layers around your face or bangs would be good. I find that straight hair tends to look limp and thin with layers. But, I've never been a fan of the layers craze that's going around.

March 10th, 2008, 11:18 PM
Don't you notice how crazes-trends seem to come back again and again. Look at the latest layer trend, the "Emo"......it looks for all the world to me just like the Shag, short or long. Jane Fonda made it popular in the late 60's and when I tell my 17 yr old daughter that is nothing new, she looks at me and asks, "WHO's Jane Fonda????" :rolleyes: ROFL!!

March 11th, 2008, 02:51 AM
Bangs or face framing layers might be a good thing to try, but IMO all over layers will make your hair thinner. My sister has very fine/thin hair and lots of layers, and uses lots of product and heat styling to get it to look thicker. It works, kind of, but it requires lots of things that aren't that conducive to growing long, healthy hair.

-- Natalie

March 11th, 2008, 03:14 AM
I have fine/thin hair and i had layers cut in about a year and a half ago, they were good for about a month or so, but then I got sick of them :P

I just cut all my layers off the other day, I love my full blunt hemline now :)

That's just my personal experience, I had layers and now I don't, and I'm glad

I like layers around the face though, I also like fringes. It depends on your hair type and facial structure though.

March 11th, 2008, 03:33 AM
My only advice to you is...DO NOT get this:


Haha sorry, I just couldn't resist!

March 11th, 2008, 03:56 AM
I have layers as well as natural taper and my hair (on a REALLY good day) looks like the style you posted...but the ends are much more tapered, and my bangs don't cover my eyes. There's a lot of product going on in that 'do...

What I like about layers is that they do accentuate my waves and may indeed make my hair look thicker - WHEN it's clean, blowdryed, and styled, as is that gal's in that pic. I'm still growing out this cut (summer 2004)

http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/8149/annehair2004fv9.th.jpg (http://img294.imageshack.us/my.php?image=annehair2004fv9.jpg)

and all the bleach. Hair in the pic was blowdried straight and styled with product. You can see how wispy the ends are - they are now at BSL length.

When my hair is normal, or slept on, or doesn't have product, or is a couple of days dirty (like today, it's Tuesday and I last washed Friday...) then the layers make my hair look ratty and frizzy, and the ends more see-through. My longest hairs (see through wispy ends) touch BSL, the rest layer up from there, with the shortest some of my growing-out side bangs and the weird super super fine top layer that seems to grow more slowly than the rest of my hair. Add to that color damage...and, overall, I don't like my layers.

Layers mean that every single updo gets wispy and messy, braids are tapered from the thickness of my thumb at the neck to less than the thin end of a chopstick at the end. Overall, my layers make my hair look thinner at the length it's at now. I'm constantly trimming to try to thicken them up.

However there is a difference between long layers and short "shag" ones, and I think I am suffering from the "shag" grow out still...A few long layers on your hair might just look good.

March 11th, 2008, 04:24 AM
I'm thinking about layers too, just a few long ones at the front but before I do it I'm going to a wig shop to see what it's like. When I was at school I did this a couple of times with friends who were thinking of cutting and it was great for seeing what it different styles actually looked like before taking the chop.

March 11th, 2008, 04:30 AM
i agree with Nat242
Face frameing layers and a fringe/bangs are ok, but i have thin hair and i got layers, i ended up chopping all the layers off coz it looked so sad. i might post a picture in my photojournal, but i can honestly say, layers make hair look thinner, people say it adds movement (coz it is lighter) which MAY give the illusion it is fuller- but no....Especially if your hair is thin- it won't work. ( i think so anyways, it might be i an biased against them)

So if i were you, i would start firstly with some thin bangs sort of side swept frindge thing and then if that doesn't do it try face frameing or shorter bangs or whatever...

With long thinner hair you don't have much to play with, and if you aim on growing it it will look very tapered....unless u love the fairytale look on you...then go for it.

Just MHO

March 11th, 2008, 05:03 AM
I actually really like that style in the picture. Sometimes layers have the tendency to make the hair look spiky, when at their best they actually make it lay better, not puff around at all directions.

If you want to layer your hair, start with long layers. You can always cut in more, and less is usually more in this business. I'd ask the hairdresser to cut the layers in a way that they "melt" into the rest of the hair - avoid many, many thin layers all around your head, because they easily result in a spiky overall image. A few face-framing layers to bring the hair form on the front, and a few in the back to lift the hair from just hanging. The form and softness of the layers are especially imortant if you have straight hair and no body-wave - mistakes show up easily. Layers that are cut straight might end up looking like that's exactly what's been done, just been cut off a bit too early. I prefer cutting a bit of a V-shape also on my layers. I find that they lay more naturally when done this way.

Layers can be a lot of fun. I wouldn't live without them anymore, I've had strong layers for a good five years or more. They help my thin hair lay better and having more than one surface makes it look like I'd have more hair.

I agree with Katze on the downsides of layers. Also, getting trims is trickier with layered hair, and at least I have to cut my hair more often than I'd probably do if it was all one-length, because even a small amount of dry ends in the layers makes my hair look limp and unmanageable. It would be a lot easier to just cut regularly from the very ends and not have to do it numerous times again for every layer.

March 11th, 2008, 05:29 AM
I think layers can look good - if they are done well. However as with a lot of other processes hair dressers apply to their customers hair, there is a risk that maintaining such a look will in the long run come at the cost of length. I had slight layers all round done twice. The first time it looked great , the hair dresser basically just gave the ends of my hair a more refined looking finish. And the cut held shape, like forever! The second time (same salon, different hair dresser) I asked for the same, the result was slightly less satisfactory. I thought it looked a bit straggly from the start, and of course, with time it looked more and more so. By the time I went back for my next cut, I was quite unhappy with the look of my ends (fairytaile ends just aren't the thing for me), and even less happy when the hairdresser (same salon, different hairdresser again) started to lecture me about how I had to expect to have thin looking ends if I insist on growing my hair so (insert: freakishly) long (I was at hip length at the time). :hatchet: I had to sacrifice quite a bit of length that time to get rid of most of the thinned out parts.

So, just make sure that your hairdresser really knows what they are doing - and give them specific instruction as to how short your shortest layers should be (especially at the back). Also, you could consider alternating between a layered and a blunt cut, so as to prevent the layering from moving upwards with each cut.



March 11th, 2008, 06:52 AM
I doubt layers would make your hair look thicker if it's straight: they make mine thinner, which is why I like them, as it avoids the pyramid-head.

I didn't have bangs since I was about 4-5 and then got them again when I was seventeen, and liked them for a while but am now growing them out. It wasn't a big shock or anything, though.

March 11th, 2008, 07:07 AM
Layers are good. They do help give some shape to your hair. Personally, I like them. I used to have some nice layers, but the last time I went to the hair dresser (December 06) they totally messed it up! Working up the courage to go and try again soon, get rid of split ends etc.
But yeah, layers are good. You won't really be loosing any length either, just adding volume :) I'm sure your hair looks lovely either way!

March 11th, 2008, 07:34 AM
I don't like layers in my fine hair. But when someone has thick hair and max. waistlenght, are they ok, I think.

March 11th, 2008, 09:21 AM
Hi, just wanted to add my twopence worth, if you do decide to get layers, make sure the hairdresser does not cut them in with a razor. Been there, done that, frizz city. Trust me, they love to brandish the razor, its supposedly to achieve 'wispy ends'!?!!

March 11th, 2008, 09:29 AM
I think layers are flattering on most people. They can add body and movement to most hair textures. If you're not used to them, you may want to ask for long layers. I got shorter layers recently and they're driving me crazy. They stick out all over the place if I sleep funny. If you plan on growing super long hair though, layers growing out may start to thin and make your hemline look straggly. Of course, you could always cut them off at that point.

Edit: Also, I just remembered that layers that are cut too deep into the hair can be a disaster because it really thins out the bottom. Next time I'm going to ask for just layers on the canopy. Hair dressers love to really thin out the bottom and even "texturize" the whole length to take weight out. Don't let em do it! Good luck. :)

March 11th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Personally, I'd say a few layers around your face or bangs would be good. I find that straight hair tends to look limp and thin with layers.

I agree with Shorty89. Looking at the style you posted, the ends look full of wax or similar and fluffed up - I bet they look very thin and ratty without product.

Personally, I prefer layers and V-shaped hemlines to blunt cuts, but you have to be sure that you will like the effect on *your* hair.

March 11th, 2008, 10:01 AM
I have straight, fine hair (3" circumference) and I have layers caused by dye damage.. from my cheek and down.. They're not cut into the hair as a stylist would've done it but they're there and my hair looks thinner and thinner all the way down..
Generally layers are good if you want volume around your face for example, but as you're cutting some of your hair off your length will become thinner.. which would not be good if you're growing it longer..

I have a few bangs though.. down to my cheek.. I like having them because my updos look a bit more playful and messy with a bit of hair hanging loose around my face..

Shermie Girl
March 11th, 2008, 10:12 AM
If you want your length to have more movement and look fuller, you might want to try having your stylist graduate your ends. What they do is to separate the upper layer from the lower, then the upper layer is cut about 3/4" to 1" shorter and blended into the lower layer. Done right, the layer doesn't look "chopped" or show a clear cut line but it gives wonderful body and swing to the ends. And you don't have a lot of layers to grow out, over the years, should you change your mind. One good trim and it's bye-bye to the graduated layer. :)

March 11th, 2008, 12:05 PM
I have a nearly 3in ponytail and have a deep U-shaped hemline, and long face-framing layers. In the front I have one layer just above my lips, one at my collarbones, another at BSL and then at waist is the start of the scoop of my hemline.

Pros: I love how my hair looks down. I think the layers n the front make it move more, and I like having the little lip-length bits to pull out and frame my face when my hair is up at work. Also, I think I have a very LotR hemline ;)

Cons: My layers are long enough that my updos aren't frizzy, and neither are my braids, but it's the TAPER on my braids that I hate. Part of that is because the ends are still damaged, but I know the layers contribute to it as well.

March 11th, 2008, 01:51 PM
My only advice to you is...DO NOT get this:


Haha sorry, I just couldn't resist!

omg thats the most horrible hair style ive ever seen, looks like the rats have been nibbling on her hair eeeekkk!

Chamomile betty
March 11th, 2008, 02:59 PM
If you want the layers I would just get a few in the front to see if you like them.

I have thick hair and do need some in the back to make my wave/curls more fuller. The are long layers.


March 11th, 2008, 04:04 PM
When I cut my hair it was back to all one length at about waist length. I had to put layers back in because it is so thick and wavy it was starting to do a wedge looking thing. I am very happy with it right now. :)

March 11th, 2008, 04:16 PM
Funny you should ask! I just got back from standing in a very long line at the CVS checkout, where I decided that layers are definately are a bad thing. As I looked at the backs of all those heads I thought layers only look good on super shiny, thick, straight or nearly straight hair. Just my opinion...........

March 11th, 2008, 05:38 PM
Funny you should ask! I just got back from standing in a very long line at the CVS checkout, where I decided that layers are definately are a bad thing. As I looked at the backs of all those heads I thought layers only look good on super shiny, thick, straight or nearly straight hair. Just my opinion...........

I dunno, layers can be good for curly hair if you have a TON of it like me. I get a total wedge (like carrot top) where the bottom pouffs out if I don't get some layers.

March 11th, 2008, 06:03 PM
I don't know how people live with layers honestly. Thinking about all those hair ends curving in to tickle my face and neck drive me nuts. :) And falling into my eyes, too. I've been growing out some bangs for ages and they still bother me.

There's nothing wrong with thin hair. From what I see here it must be trendy to have thinner hair. I rarely see anybody with thick looking hair. Big hair is just not in any more.

March 11th, 2008, 06:17 PM

Madam Librarian
March 12th, 2008, 06:54 AM
I dunno, layers can be good for curly hair if you have a TON of it like me. I get a total wedge (like carrot top) where the bottom pouffs out if I don't get some layers.

I have to agree with this. My wave pattern and thickness (2b/F/iii) does what I call Roseanne Rosannadanna when it's left all one length. I tried one length hair recently, when I was trimming a lot of damage out. Despite the damage being cut away, my hair snarled and tangled badly at one length. I practically ran to a salon to get layers cut back in. The layers help me so much just to be able to manage my hair from day to day.

Keep in mind that there are heavily layered cuts like I have, and there are cuts where you can get just a few layers cut in while leaving most of the rest of your hair alone. I like Shermie Girl's suggestion of the graduated cut, especially if you are new to layers. It really does add quite a lot for very little hair lost, and if you hate it, it won't take but a small trim to get rid of it.

March 12th, 2008, 07:29 AM
When my hair was longer I used to do layers myself. I'd trim it all blunt at the bottom (I don't mean cutting out the old layers, just the very bottom hair) then separate off about 2 inches either side of my centre part. This I would randomly slice in to for the bottom 3/4 - 1" off in a bit of a v towards the back, then section off to 1" either side and slice a further 1/2". I would then unclip it all and down the front 2 - 2 1/2" I would make little cuts with the scissors angled up at around 45 degrees. This made a difference in how the ends sat and also didn't affect plaits as the layers were by where the tie off would be. If you don't trust a stylist you could try this at home. Or even trim a deepish u shape at the bottom, instead of blunt. I find this makes plaits unhappy though.
I also keep my fringe at lip - chin length so I can play about with it.

I don't know if anyone else finds this, but people are always more accepting of very long hair when it's layered, as if it is because it has been styled and therefore is time consuming like theirs. Never quite figured it out.

March 12th, 2008, 07:35 AM
IMO don't do it to the back. I have 1a/1b, M, iii hair. Last May I had it cut in layers and don't like it at all. The layers become thinner as they go down the length. At present I micro trim the longest layer while the shorter layers play catch up. I do like the layering around the face and will do that again.

March 12th, 2008, 07:42 AM
I will say right off the top that I haven't read through this entire thread.

I have 1a/f/i/ii hair, and I absolutely would not want long layers in the back. My hemline is thin enough already, without making it thinner. In the days that I did have layers, my hair just didn't look very good unless it was styled with a bit of wave.

I'm growing out my bangs, and I eventually want all one length hair, but I know that many people look really good with face framing layers.

Just my two cents.

March 12th, 2008, 07:57 AM
I have 1a/C/ii-iii hair, and I love my layers. I think I probably would have succumbed to the urge to chop a long time ago if it weren't for my bangs, layers, and face-framing pieces.

March 12th, 2008, 08:05 AM
I love my side swept bangs, but layers in the length is a bog no no. It'll just get thinner as I don't have thick hair, it's medium and super straight. Layers for curly hair can be fantastic, but not for straight hair or maybe with straight thick hair. When my bangs were cut the first time my hair was at waist and the hairdresser made a bit of layers at the front. You can't see it and it made my hair even thinner in the length, and those locks look broken :(

March 12th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Layers might be just what you need especially if your hair is relatively straight. They can liven up hair that just hangs, and they do frame the face nicely; however, I can't wear layers because my hair tends to stick out in little cowlicks if I do. You might want to ask someone you know (or just see on the street) with nicely layered hair she got her hair cut.

March 12th, 2008, 09:19 AM
I didn't get through all the replies because I'm short on time. Please excuse if I'm repeating what has already been said many times.

Try a few face-framing layers in the front only, leave the back blunt. Layers on long, straight, fine hair make the bottom look very wispy and see-through.

Try very little layering the first time, sectioning off only about half an inch of hair above the forehead, going straight down from there to the area in front of the ears. The first time I had face-framing fringe cut in, I sectioned it off myself and securely braided the rest back. I wanted to be sure the hair stylist didn't cut anything that I didn't want cut.

March 24th, 2008, 03:31 PM
Thank you all for your replies. It's been very helpful! I know a few more questions I can ask the guy that I would have cut the layers! But thank you all so much! With all your helpful suggestions, I'm not so scared to "hack" into my long hair. For I really don't want to loose any of it, just don't want it to be so drab and boring! Or up all the time either - love updos, just not for every moment of the day - I want to enjoy my length!

Thanks so much again!