Layers may conjure images of feathery mullets and your mum’s ’80s curly perm but in 2020 they’ve undergone something of a transformation.
No longer the type of haircut your hairdresser might push for to “take away some bulk”, layers are a trend in their own right, becoming one of the most googled styles right now. Far from a one-size-fits-all haircut, hairdressers are incorporating layers into bobs, pixies and shag cuts so that they complement all hair types and face shapes – and we’ve never been more inspired to book in for a chop.
“Shattering an existing haircut by layering it is a way of changing up your look without being dramatically different, as it adds natural movement and curl,” says Craig Taylor, creative director at HARI’s salon. And maintenance isn’t that scary. “If the hair is cut well, the layers should make hair styling very simple,” says Craig, who recommends a trim roughly every 10 to 12 weeks. Simply air-dry or quickly blast with a hairdryer after applying your favourite styling products to show off your natural texture.
Ahead, we asked some of London’s top hairstylists to reveal the biggest layered haircut trends right now and exactly how to wear them, depending on your hair type, personal style and the kind of maintenance you’re willing to keep up.
The Layered Shag Cut
This is the ultimate shag cut for those with curly hair, according to award-winning hairstylist, Charlotte Mensah, who says the very choppy, textured look is so fresh for AW20 – and a lot of fun. There are two ways of achieving the look: with softer layers, which won’t compromise on volume and will lend hair more of a feminine touch, or with chunkier, more disconnected layers to amplify curls. Either way, hair oil and a little pomade is a must for styling. Charlotte recommends a couple of drops of the Manketti Hair Oil, £48, and Manketti Oil Hair Pomade, £52, after washing hair, then letting curls air-dry.
If your curls are on the longer side and you’re inspired, also check out this curly shag haircut recently created by Charlotte.
The Curtain Fringe
Curtains have come a long way since the feathery fringes of the ’70s or the boy band-esque style of the ’90s. “Layers work well to enhance a curtain fringe, as they create movement,” says Craig. “Drying should be natural with very little need, if at all, for using a brush. All you require is the right styling products to provide the right amount of control of volume, and to show off the texture.”
Craig mentions that layers give an individual look as everyone’s hair texture reacts differently. If you aren’t too keen on your hair’s natural movement, this might not be the look for you.
The Graduated Layered ‘Fro
“On a curly ‘fro, adding subtle, graduated layers can gently shape a naturally curly mane and lend a beautiful, halo hair effect,” says hairstylist, hair expert and mentor, Dionne Smith. Take inspiration from model Tosin Bodija. “Ask your stylist to add layers through the back and sides to balance out the body and volume,” Dionne says. “For added style, highlights and lowlights can lift layered, Afro hair. Your stylist can paint these in to give this style contrast.”
“Disconnected layers will completely change the overall aesthetic of your hair,” says Larry King, hairstylist and Redken UKI Ambassador. Unlike invisible layers, there’s nothing subtle about them. Disconnected layers are visible, more obvious layers which refuse to blend in. Think artist and author, Florence Given.
“My advice is simple: work with the texture of the hair,” says Larry. “If you have fine hair only add a few layers. If you have thicker hair and lots of it, then you can add additional layers.” Larry says it’s all about having an open dialogue with your stylist in regard to what you can maintain (Larry advises booking in for a trim every eight weeks to maintain disconnected layers) and, of course, what will suit you.
Regardless of hair type, Larry always uses Redken Windblown 05, £14.25, when blow-drying a client’s hair post-cut. “It adds volume and texture and is especially great if you have fine hair, because it will give you a lift at the roots.” Also try Pureology Style + Protect Instant Levitation Mist, £26, to give curls breezy oomph and to shield against excess heat.
The Pixie Crop
Charlotte pinpointed the curly pixie cut as one of the biggest curly hair trends to watch for 2020 but short layers will give it an edge that’s super low maintenance. Think close crops inspired by Zoë Kravitz, or hair that becomes longer as it graduates. Head to Hair Lounge to book an appointment if you’re in London. If you’re elsewhere in the UK, check out our roundup of the best Afro hair salons.
The colour and cut go hand in hand and the nuances of this smoky, brunette balayage (created by Francesca Dixon at HARI’s) accentuate these long layers beautifully. “Layers are perfect to enhance and encourage movement as it reduces the hair’s weight,” says Craig. He mentions that each and every layer will inspire movement in the hair naturally. Using a blow-dry brush, such as ghd Rise Volumising Hot Brush, £169, will result in a cool kick at the ends.
The Layered Bob
“The 2019 longer hair trend has been adjusted to feature blunt edges,” says Craig. “This look is invigorated with layers to give it a fresh, textured look which adds attitude and sexiness.” The key is maintaining weight and severity, adds Craig. “This is what gives the cut its modernity. It’s definitely not a ’70s feather cut!” Take inspiration from models Kaia Gerber and Freja Beha Erichsen. “The outline cut should be sharp, and therefore shouldn’t become wispy,” says Craig.
The Mid-Length Layered Bob
Bobs are going nowhere in 2020, as Dionne confirms: “A layered bob is bang on trend and can suit most Afro hair types. Layered locks enhance natural, curly texture and gives bounce to curls. Try a layered mid-length bob with a deep-parted side fringe for a trendy but timeless hairstyle, and keep it looking great with a little shine spray.” Try Flora & Curl Hydrating Hair Mist, £16, or Cantu Coconut Oil Shine & Hold Mist, £6.99.
The Boyish Cut
“Layers work well to enhance the shorter, gamine hair trend,” says Craig. Hair is typically shorter at the sides and at the back but as it graduates, the layers become longer and fuller on top and towards the front of the face. This layered hair trend works well with two-tone colour, whether you prefer to keep it natural with a range of blonde, brunette and red tones, or if you want to experiment with something a little brighter.Credit: Original article published here.