View Full Version : Fine hair: layers vs. all one length

January 9th, 2011, 06:36 PM
So... while I took my leave of absence from LHC, I made the decision to have long layers cut into my hair. It's one that I regret now. I have a lot of issues going on and am looking for some guidance and experience. So, all you lovely fine haired people, do you have layers, all one length, or something in between? What works well for you? Why?

I am looking into getting my hair back to all one length. I will lose some length with that, but I think it will thicken up my hair and help if it's all one length.... but... what experiences do you have? Thanks in advance!

January 9th, 2011, 07:33 PM
I prefer my hair all at one length. For me, layers were just a pain in the butt. Granted, I've only cut them in once at somewhere between chin and shoulder but I disliked them almost immediately. I've pretty much grown my hair out to the point that any "layers" have blended in with the rest of my hair or been chopped off. Oh, and the layers caused lots of split ends. All up my length. I vote no layers.

January 9th, 2011, 07:38 PM
Generally speaking, the straighter the hair, the less I like layers. For my hair, I tend to really like long layers, but if it was straighter, I think I would want a more blunt hemline :)

January 9th, 2011, 07:42 PM
I love layers. Without them, my hair is a shapeless curtain, and that is not kind to my face. Especially having angles, and shorter pieces in front, makes more of a difference than longer layers in the back.

January 9th, 2011, 07:45 PM
My hair is fine and layers are not good for me. I am still growing out layers that I got 2 years ago. They were ok when I was apl and washing, blowdrying and curling every day but once I got past bsl they just make my hair look thin and scraggly.

January 9th, 2011, 07:49 PM
Hi Joyful,

I am new here, but I've had long hair for a long, long time! I had layers in my hair and it was about 3-4 inches longer than it is now. My husband cut it straight across the back. It feels much fuller to me now, though I miss the length sorely! However, my layers tended to just flop flat. So for really long hair, I think straight, blunt is the way to go.

January 9th, 2011, 08:18 PM
There are pros and cons either way. The ends (in my opinion) look best with a blunt cut or very slight layered just at the ends. However, sometimes the top looks absolutely flat to the scalp. Layers can give a little lift to the top.

January 10th, 2011, 12:11 AM
I have fine hair too and with the same hair length, they look lifeless.

I will go for layers but not OVERLY-LAYERED. Therefore, the skill of the hairdresser is very important.

You can have layered hair and with blunt hemline. :)

January 10th, 2011, 12:19 AM
I have lots of long layers, my hair would just be wrong without them. My hair is very thick so I can have tons of layers and still have a thick hemline. My layers start at APL and my hair is to my tailbone. If I had thin hair I think that would be a problem for me and I would only have face framing layers.

January 10th, 2011, 01:36 AM
My own experience is that my fine hair just looks damaged when i have layers cut in.

January 10th, 2011, 03:46 AM
On other people I have seen layers that look very good, both on straight and wavy/curly hair types, but I suspect their hair was on the thicker side of the spectrum... The way the layers are cut also makes a big difference, I like the ones that blend in and aren't that obviously eye-catching, but not the ones you can see where the layer was cut in a straight line all across (guess that depends on the skill of the hairdresser)

On myself layers would probably be the worst thing I could do, as I have taper from previous damage, and the layers would make that effect much more noticable and leave me with extremely thin ends...

January 10th, 2011, 04:17 AM
Welcome back Joyful! About 6 years ago, I had all one length hair. It was the thickest feeling hair I ever recall having. But I got the urge for a change and cut in bangs and face framing layers. The first two days, I loved it and it was very flattering. But soon the layers just weren't behaving properly and I was frustrated with what I'd done to my hair. Long story short, I now have a pixie that I'm trying to grow out to all one length. Not that everyone who gets layers will go overboard and start chopping off all their hair, but I sure did. **Sigh*** That's my story. Good luck to you and so glad you are back!

January 10th, 2011, 04:18 AM
For me I think all one length is better. My hair is very fine, on the low end of ii, and perfectly straight. I think layers would just look like chunks of broken off hair, and I've got enough of those I'm trying to grow out without adding more on purpose. It would probably look like my bottom/longest layer only had like 5 hairs in it.

January 10th, 2011, 04:40 AM
My hair is fine and very thin with a kink not a wave (kinks and a couple of cowlicks).
I had long layers when my hair was BSL and they looked really good. But I had to blowdry my hair straight for them to 'do their thing'.

January 10th, 2011, 04:52 AM
Well, i have sort of medium hair with the usual fine hair qualitys, like the tangles and the damageprone thing. And i definately prefer a blunt cut to layers. But thats just because its much more easy to manage the damage that i know i Will get. Plus that i think My hair looks thicker.
I have some fairytale ends coming in now since i havent had a proper haircut in about two years, and as soon as i get to waist i will maintain to even up. In other words treat my hair like its layered.
Maybe you could try something similar? Like cut half of you growth each month, and s&d your layers on the top? It wont be drastic, but with time you will get it blunt again.

January 10th, 2011, 06:12 PM
Wow! Thank you so much for all the suggestions. I had to laugh because I could totally relate with each of your posts! It really helped to hear what you thought, because it helps me to put my feelings in words about my hair situation right now.
I have decided that I want to go back to all one length. I have noticed that I have a lot more damage than I did before, and I am reeeeeallly gentle with my hair... So that makes total sense to me. I also liked the reminder about just maintaining the length and then S&D regularly. Man it is good to be back. I have been looking at all my hair pics and comparisons since I first joined and have been so bummed out. Now I have a goal and feel a lot more inspired. It's almost like being a new member again. This calls for dancing cheese! :cheese:

January 10th, 2011, 06:35 PM
I have very fine hair, and prefer no layers (especially when growing it out!).

January 10th, 2011, 06:41 PM
My hair is very thin and fine, when it was very long I had it all one length and that worked best for me. When it was shorter, around shoulder length, I had layers and it worked but the longer it got the thinner it made my hair seem.

January 10th, 2011, 06:50 PM
I have always had layers but decided that since my hair was fine and relatively thin I should grow it all one length so it would be thicker. It took me two years of growing out my front layers but I finally achieved an all one length blunt cut. It is much easier to work with especially when it comes to updos and such. Layers made my hair feel thinner and were harder to work with.

January 10th, 2011, 06:53 PM
I had layers for years and everyone says it looked better with layers. Like Amaiaisabella said, layers gave me body and all one length makes it fall flat around my face and not that flattering. Also, because my hair is on the thin side, the "curtain" of hair is thin and has gaps in it. Its not like when people with thick hair have a solid looking curtain of hair.

With that said I'm still all one length and don't have the courage to cut layers for some reason. I think that one length is "better" than layers and I'm not sure why I think that? I think because people say your hair is "strongest" when it is one length. So I believed it and I don't know if its true or not.:)

I'm just as confused as anyone.:p

January 10th, 2011, 10:40 PM
All one length for sure. My hair looks so thin with layers, I feel like I lost half the volume. I will hopefully have this engraved on my brain, so I never ask for layers ever again. Layering slightly in the front can be ok, but never the back.

January 10th, 2011, 10:45 PM
For me I think all one length is better. My hair is very fine, on the low end of ii, and perfectly straight. I think layers would just look like chunks of broken off hair, and I've got enough of those I'm trying to grow out without adding more on purpose. It would probably look like my bottom/longest layer only had like 5 hairs in it.

HoneyJubilee, the last line of your post made me laugh. So cute, that's what I'm dealing with right now, and I used to have such nice hair!

January 10th, 2011, 10:54 PM
I vote for all one length. I generally only like layers in very wavy to curly hair, personally. My hair is straight with a slight slight wave to it and doesn't look that great with layers.

September 24th, 2012, 08:43 AM
I am just wanting to revive this discussion. I have an oblong face and long straight hair lines against that face shape really do drag down my features. I have tried growing down my fine collar bone length hair to one length to thicken it up. It may even be bsl at the moment. I ended up feeling depressed at how unflattering it was... all the time.

Now, I am so blessed to have found a hairdresser local to me in South London. He really listens and shares my taste.

He has told me that we can add an extra two inches to my length by growing all the layers down but having just one invisible layer at cheekbone length.

He also feathered a few pieces onto the face to break up the straight down effect. Result, I maintain my length and benefit from the softening effect of the one layer and a side-swept fringe accompanied by very light shaping onto the face. I am delighted. Whenever I go in for my side swept fringe to be trimmed, he will also trim up the pieces that come onto my face (this is all for free) and I will be able to go for a full trim once every 3 months. Very economical. I am delighted. Find a hairdresser who listens and will work with you.

Incidentally, this guy is also great because he encourages me to let some grey sprinkles to grow through to create natural highlights in my hair rather than a severe monotone colour. I do my own colour at home.

I am so pleased.

September 24th, 2012, 09:40 AM
I categorized my hair as F/M, but it is mostly fine. I have layers (as seen in my signature photo) but I am not a fan of them. They were great when my hair was APL and I would blow dry it all the time, but now that I am passing BSL, they just make my hair look thinner at the bottom. I could cut four inches off of my hair and be done with most of my layers, but i've been slowly taking off 1/2 inch every three months so I get some length as well. Hopefully I will be rid of those four inches by mid-late spring. :)

I may keep some face-framing layers in the future, but nothing like what the stylist did to my hair when I began to actively grow it out.

September 24th, 2012, 10:14 AM
I have very straight fine hair. I love the look of a blunt edge, some subtle layering can really work wonders in creating movement and shape - but obvious large layers (i mean long in between each level) look choppy and bad on me.

I currently have all one length hair - if you were to go for layers I would choose face framing ones and steer clear of the back and lengths.

Kapri - your hairdresser sounds wonderful! could you say where in SL is he working?

September 24th, 2012, 10:15 AM
I have fine hair with face framing layers, in the back I only have 2 long layers, the shortest one is less than 2 inches shorter than the longest. I used to have a blunt hemline, but I prefer having some layers because it adds body, waves and volume to my hair.

September 24th, 2012, 10:34 AM
I had long layers and a steep U-shaped hemline. I loved it. If you can find a great stylist, then it can be awesome. It was harder to keep up with splits because layers require more dedicated S&D, and can be annoying for updos, but I loved my layers when I had them. Now, I have a blunt cut, and I love that too! I don't think one looks better than the other for me, but I'm keeping it blunt because I'm trimming it myself, and it's much easier for me to do this way. I think it's easier to grow out a blunt cut than to gain length with layers. When you get a trim with layers, stylists have a tendency to cut back the length too.

September 24th, 2012, 10:47 AM
I have fine hair with average thickness,had layers to mid back but my hem looked too thin so I grew them out,am now hip with no layers.No layers helps my hair and braids look a bit thicker and makes french braids and buns easier for me to do.

September 24th, 2012, 01:10 PM

He's in Streatham. I really rate him. I have been to many hair cutters over the years. Let me know if you want me to pm you his details,


September 24th, 2012, 01:16 PM

He is on Streatham on the High Road. Let me know if you want his details and I'll pm you.

He is very good at listening to what you are trying to achieve. I think he is good too at working with face shape. There was a girl in reception with super long hair and he said 'I would never cut her hair it's too beautiful long.' He also encouraged me about the grey roots I had missed because they made my whole look more natural by creating natural sparkles.

So he will respect your aims and work with them if you are clear. I have only been to him twice that said. He also does a great blow dry... I know that isn't the ethos of LHC but people have always commented on how nice I looked after leaving the salon. I used to go to an expensive West End place and no-one commented at all after my appointments!

September 24th, 2012, 01:19 PM

Your hair looks fab. I am now getting nervous about recommending him ...only because your hair needs may be different. If you do decide to go to this guy it might be worth getting a consult beforehand.

September 24th, 2012, 01:22 PM

I am in total agreement about layers working better on slightly shorter fine hair. The more layers and the greater the length of the hair the thinner it can look. My fine hair looked fab with layers when it was an inch above shoulder length but I know that I can only handle the one layer if I am to make it to 2 inches below bsl. That is as long as my hair can ever imagine growing!! But I do like having a few shorter pieces onto the face ...it rescues me from a straight, oblong shape that is NOT good at all.

September 24th, 2012, 01:26 PM
Shany ...I'm a layer girl because of the movement. I am a minimal layer girl to get the hair length where I want it.

Vrindi.I adore the elegance of a blunt cut. Nothing better ...I think if it suits you, a curtain of blunt cut hair is the way to go.

Dulce, it sounds like you need the all one length for your styles. This hairdresser was so kind, he showed me three ways to put my much shorter hair up for special occasions and work. What fun!

September 24th, 2012, 01:32 PM
I have a wave curl, my hair is thickening up so I'm waiting to see if layers would work. But I am already fairy tailing at the ends around BSL so maybe the whole whether or not to layer is moot. It's doing it anyway.

September 24th, 2012, 01:39 PM
I asked a hairdresser for "light long layers." He hacked my hair up. I vowed never to go to a hairdresser again. My ends are scraggly, and I've had to regularly trim my hemline so the layers catch up. My hair would've been so much longer now if not for the hack job. It's heartbreaking. I won't do layers again; however, I may do as spidermom suggested, and do a sort of layer-taper thing at the hemline, not sure yet. Just want my nice thick hemline back.

September 24th, 2012, 02:21 PM
I have BSL with layers that start at SL. They give my hair movement and lift at the roots. While my hair may be F/M, I have more fine hairs than anything else. Being slightly wavy, it also helps my hair curl up just a little bit more.

September 24th, 2012, 03:35 PM
I prefer a blunt non-layered cut on myself, I like my hair to look as thick as possible at any length.

September 24th, 2012, 04:46 PM
Layers don't work for me. I'm growing out layers and for a while it looked like a mullet. My husband asked that I wait to cut it all off to one layer until its longer so now I have all these weird layers that stuck out from earlobe to APL. And since I don't use a flat iron they don't stay down.
I hope to get it to WL in the next year and then maintain until all the layers are the same length.

ETA I did do a u hemline to even up the look last saturday so it's not as scraggly looking like a previous poster mentioned she did too.

September 24th, 2012, 04:55 PM
I've layers I don't care for them but I like my v hem line.

September 26th, 2012, 02:42 AM
Thanks for the recommendation Kapri! I am moving house (this evening!) to Peckham so I will be near by there. It is great to find a stylist who listens and is a good cutter.
I have just had an awful hair 'trim' at a cheapo salon that was dreadful - a full 2 inches off and so now back to collar bone length. So I really don't think my hair is lovely at the moment.

I still think good stylists will always use subtle layers in an actual 'hair cut', when one has long hair it is more of a natural style.

September 26th, 2012, 04:08 AM
Hi Bbridgie,

I'm suddenly not sure about the regs on this site about recommending businesses in the forum itself. I don't seem to be able to PM you. That's probably because you are new. I'll get the details to you somehow off site. I hope that the Peckam move goes splendidly for you!!


September 26th, 2012, 05:47 AM
I absolutely LOVED my layers when my hair was mid-back-waist, which I maintained for 6 years (I'd let it grow to waist... then get it trimmed back to mid-back). I kind of miss that. It was beautiful. I had the most awesome hair dresser in the entire world, though. She moved to Ohio, and I've had one person cut my hair since. She did a horrible job cutting in long layers and I'm currently growing them off. Now that my hair is this long (38"), layers just don't work. I'd say they stopped working at about 30".

My hair when I had (fresh-ish) layers and it was shorter (probably about 30"... I never measured until I joined here, lol):


September 26th, 2012, 06:08 AM
I am a fan of very light layering. I like having a shorter length in front to frame my face, and for some reason a blunt hemline looks bad on my hair, I prefer a bit of a soft taper. Too much of a taper will grow out all stringy, resulting in more frequent cuts.

September 26th, 2012, 06:11 AM
I am a fan of very light layering. I like having a shorter length in front to frame my face, and for some reason a blunt hemline looks bad on my hair, I prefer a bit of a soft taper. Too much of a taper will grow out all stringy, resulting in more frequent cuts.

I do like having a shorter length of face-framing in front. Right now I have hair that's above BSL at the front for face framing (it's mostly my bangs, but it does extend to hair beyond the bangs), and I really like that. Those short hairs will be sticking around.

September 26th, 2012, 06:20 AM
I grew out my bangs for a while, and tried to go all one length, but I just looked too harsh, with my straight, fine and flat hair pulled back in a updo. I am back to having bangs now, as well as face-framing layers. Bangs/fringes are not for everyone, but face-framing layers can be nice.

I do have a few long layers cut close to my centre part and crown, and they do give me more volume and less flatness when I wear my hair down.

Having said that, bangs, face-framing layers or long layers do really reduce the volume of one's hair and cause a more severe taper than we already have. It's really a personal decision.

The other factor is that layers can make some hairstyles very difficult, with little ends poking out.

I'm going to keep the bangs a few face-framing layers and grow out the rest, I think.

September 26th, 2012, 06:28 AM
I prefer layers in my hair, probably because it's fine, but not that thin, and very wavy, so it gets a little bit blocky at all one length.

September 26th, 2012, 07:08 AM
Not for me. Bad. Found out the hard way.

Layers were the absolute worst thing I have ever done to my hair. They made it look much thinner and very stringy. And the curls didn't spring up like I thought they would. So I lost a HUGE amount of volume, plus I could barely put it up anymore! I ended up cutting to APL from waist. I was truly devastated.

But there is a happy ending! That was the very incident that helped me find LHC! :) Now my hair is well past where it was before the cut, and it is MUCH healthier! I still have one layer left that I am slowly microtrimming away, but it will be gone before I know it!