Need a haircut, but feeling completely and totally uninspired? We get it, and we’ve been there—that is, until we rediscovered the magical powers of layering. Let it be known that layers aren’t one slice or snip fits all. They come in all lengths, shapes, and silhouettes, and may be adjusted based on the texture of your strands, your face shape, and hair health. Another surprising benefit of layers? Most of the ones included here grow out well—and don’t require fussy touch-ups every few weeks.
Sure, you’ve probably had some layers since you were a preteen, but we’re not talking about the long, blunt, blah layers of middle school. We’re here for the cool, choppy, face-framing layers that turn bobs and ponytails into works of art. And these grown-up kinds of layers grow out imperceptibly, so you won’t have to worry about rushing to the salon to maintain. And while we’re here, we’d like to address the annoying myth that layers are an out-there look that anyone might spot from a mile away.
Not so! When done well, layers can make subtle changes to blunt styles that reveal major results. Add some razored ends to what would be a simple bob, and the blunt, living room-drapes effect fades away. Or take long Rapunzel strands and break them up with flattering graduations to turn the look into a modern fairytale. Layers are for everyone, and they’re pivotal to good style. I said what I said! So, to get you inspired, we’ve pulled the best of the best layered celebrity looks to screenshot and take to your hairstylist, pronto.
Long, eyelash-grazing bangs pair up with a feathered shelf of layers at collarbone-length, finished with long, wispy ends.
Blunt ends and swishy layers starting below the chin.
Snipped up ends on ultra-long strands.
A different kind of layers: A-line, moving from short to long but ultra crisp.
Voluminous allover layers with a jaunty side-swept bang.
Long, choppy layers starting below the chin.
Katherine Schwarzenegger’s Wavy Bob
Short, choppy layers give a wavy above-the-shoulder bob a jaunty bounce. The deep side part also creates a smart asymmetry.
Molly Sims’ Graduated Layers
Here, we’re not talking layers wherever you want ’em. We’re talking a single mezzanine level of layers just along the collarbone, then snippy layers at the ends to break things up.
Jena Frumes’ Layered Ringlets
By piling shorter pieces on top and around the face, tight coils have a more defined shape and need little styling to look fresh and streamlined.
Jennifer Lopez’s Razored Bob
Long in the front, short in the back, and razored up and in throughout. Such a precise cut would look drab if not for the sliced-up ends.
Mindy Kaling’s Long Layers
Layers needn’t hit you in the face—in fact, they should do just the opposite, drifting gently away from the face to shape your look.
Priyanka Chopra’s Face-Framing Layers
To recreate Chopra’s soft, loose, face-framing layers, use a round brush toward the crown to add volume that’ll accentuate your chin area.
Jeanie Mai’s Wavy Bob
Mai went for a choppy layered bob with a subtle hint of color on her ends. Her hair looks even fuller thanks to a bit of texture and volume.
Brie Larson’s Angled Bob
Play around with the length of your lob by cutting a few angled layers.
Megan Fox’s Long Brunette Layers
Fox’s wavy brunette situation can easily be achieved with a medium barrel curling iron. Patiently curl your hair piece-by-piece and maintain the length by cutting layers past the shoulders.
Giuliana Rancic’s Choppy Lob
Jazz up a classic blunt bob with a bright hair color, like Rancic’s sunny blonde shade, and lots and lots of layers all over for added texture.
Kerry Washington’s Shoulder Length Waves
You can never go wrong with shoulder length curls and a middle part. Washington has the ability to pull off just about any style, and this shoulder length staple is no different.
Regina Hall’s Wispy Curls
To achieve a classic ’70s inspired look, subtly layer the front of your hair and curl the strands outward away from the face for a feathered curl effect.
Tessa Thompson’s Asymmetrical Curly Bob
Thompson adds some personality to her blunt cut curly bob by cutting a few layers within the crown. Layering naturally curly hair is the perfect way to achieve additional volume.
Alanna Arrington’s Curly Mane
Curly bangs are a hit when done right! Arrington’s bangs are slightly layered to keep the look full and voluminous but not too heavy.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Fabulously Frizzy Curls
A little frizz and humidity (thank you summer) won’t do any harm to layers, as Lawrence’s natural curls showcase. With layers, the more volume the better.
Zendaya’s Face-Framing Curls
Cutting your curls may seem scary, but I promise you curly bangs will not be a mistake. Layers will give your natural curls so much definition.
Bella Hadid’s Brushed-Out Curls
Don’t fret if you have naturally fine hair like Hadid. Brushed-out curls and layers will add fullness.
Dua Lipa’s Blunt Bob
Who says your bob has to be one length? No one. If you’re looking for a fun way to jazz up a simple bob, take Lipa’s asymmetrical layers as inspo to experiment with length.
Ciara’s Feathered Lob
Modernize Farrah Fawcett-styled feathered hair with a center part like Ciara’s, and blonde highlights will help, too. Parting your layers straight down the middle is a classic trick to accentuate your facial features.
Kate Mara’s Asymmetrical Pixie
Short hair serves layers well with lots and lots of volume. Mara’s wispy side-bangs add a dimension of eccentricity to to this choppy style.
Shay Mitchell’s Sun-Kissed Waves
You may not be on vacation but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the beach to your hair by livening up highlighted layers with a tousled texture like Mitchell’s.
Taraji P. Henson’s Texturized Bob
Henson opted for choppy layers and thick, side-swept bangs to create an anled bob that looks full, not frumpy.
Sarah Hyland’s Subtle Texture
Keep a lob from falling flat by cutting a bunch of long layers that start at the jawline and gradually thin out towards the ends. Lightly curl random sections around your head, raking through the curls while they’re still warm, to add even more body and definition.
Dakota Johnson’s Layered Bangs
Wispy bangs that melt into long, face-framing layers automatically add definition to Johnson’s face.
Gabrielle Union’s Glossy Curls
Long, thick hair can weigh down a lithe face, so make like Gabrielle Union and thin out the bulk with feathered layers that fall softly around your cheeks and shoulders.
Chrissy Teigen’s Waterfall Layers
Thicker hair plus longer layers = the perfect opportunity to curl them out in cascading mermaid waves.
Poppy Delevingne’s Beachy Waves
Likewise, beachy waves work especially well on long layers that start from the chin down. Just think of all the hair-flipping potential.
Kate Middleton’s Spirals
On gorgeous layers like Middleton’s, use a medium barrel iron on your ends to achieve spirals of varying lengths.
Sienna Miller’s Wispy Waves
When you’ve got piece-y layers like Miller’s, achieving this adorable wispy style is as simple as wrapping hair lightly around a straightening iron for subtle waves.
Zoe Saldana’s Windswept Hair
On finer hair with super subtle layering, add some body by spritzing some texturing spray throughout your hair and scrunching at the roots.
Kate Hudson Dark Roots
Hudson keeps this straight, layered look interesting with dark roots that draw the eye.
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