Adding layers to curly hair can make your hairdo more fuller and vibrant. It’s less expensive to cut your hair yourself, however, the process can get difficult and tiring. Anyways, it’s not that difficult if you use the right tools. Most importantly, always cut curly hair only when it’s dry so you can see the shape of your haircut as you go. Work through slowly in sections to cut layers that’ll completely define your look.
How To Cut Layers in Curly Hair
Whether you’ll be doing the cutting yourself or you’ll be visiting a salon, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cut curly hair in layers.
- Get a Wide-tooth Comb and Shears
First, get sharp shears and a wide-tooth comb. Make sure not to use just any scissors, rather find some shears specially made for cutting hair, as these will be sharp enough to avoid tearing the ends of your hair when you cut it. A wide-toothed comb is also essential when working with curly hair. The wider it is, the better!
The comb will help detangle your hair and it won’t stretch out the hair so much. Plus, it will so help prevent frizz. Make sure you use your shears specifically for cutting your hair. Using them on other objects will make them become blunt more quickly. Avoid using razors if you have curly hair as it can damage your hair and promote frizz.
- Follow the Process
You’ll need to wash, condition, and detangle your hair. Add conditioner and detangle your hair completely. Depending on the type of conditioner you use, you can comb it through or just rub it and wash it. Detangling your hair will allow you to work with it more easily.
Also, ensuring that your hair is properly moisturized will help you easily identify what hair is damaged and needs to be cut off. You must be very observant because the ends of your hair could sometimes appear damaged when they’re only just dry.
- Dry Your Hair
Dry your hair with a microfiber towel or air-dry. Air-drying or using gentle microfiber towel drying will allow your curls to get back to their original shape and length. Cutting your hair while it’s dry allows you to see immediately what the final cut is going to look like. Besides, curls spring up and get shorter as they dry, so you’ll be at risk of cutting your layers too short if you cut them while they’re still wet.
However, it’s fine if your hair is a bit damp. Just ensure it is not wet. Cutting dry hair gives you less control over it. So, if you’re finding it too difficult to section and cut completely dry hair, you can dampen it a little using a spray bottle.
- Divide Into Sections
Divide your hair into two equal sections. Make a part down to the center of your head, beginning from the middle by your forehead and continuing all the way back to the nape of your neck. Pull the sections forward over your shoulders. Tie hair ties or hair bands on each of the sections where you want to make a cut.
Go ahead to slide the ties down until they’re slightly above where you want your final length to be. If you have short hair, use hair pins or clips to section your hair into two or more parts, and place the clips just above where you want to cut. When trimming, aim at an inch or two less than you plan to entirely cut. You’ll probably have to cut more as you arrange the length, and you wouldn’t want to end up with very short hair.
- Cut Off Each Section
Cut the sections off under your hair clip or band. Make sure to cut off the hair in a straight line. Use multiple cuts to get all the way through the sections. This method will leave you with blunt-cut ends. If you’d prefer to thin out the ends of your hair and make it look more blended, try cutting upwards at a slight angle into each section.
- Undo the Sections
Take off the hair ties or pins and visually assess your hair. If you see any extra-long strands, cut them off. You can even use two mirrors to look at the back of your hair and straighten out any uneven edges. Look carefully and ensure your hair is the same length on both sides of your head. Pull out strands of your hair from each side forward and confirm whether they’re the same length.
If they aren’t, you’ll have to put your hair back in sections and cut a little more off of one side. If you’re having difficulty getting all of your hair to be at an even length, try gathering up all of the hair into a ponytail on top of your head and cutting the ends evenly. If your hair is too short for a ponytail, you can use clips to hold it firm.
- Section the Layers
Moving on, divide your hair into four sections. Part your hair down the middle from the front to the back until your hair is divided into half. Then, divide each half by parting it from your ear moving back towards the middle part. By parting, draw the tip of your comb across your scalp.
In a reciprocal succession, place your fingertips on where you want the part to be, and drag your fingers towards each other until they meet. To make the finished hairstyle (cut) look more natural and beautiful, use a zig-zag shape when parting your hair so the different sections will blend together more easily. After separating the sections, secure your hair with a clip to hold it in place.
Then, pull the front section up over your head. Remove the clip, hold the hair and stretch it up vertically, perpendicular to the floor and away from your head. For shorter layers, just hold your hair over your head in a straight manner. If you want longer layers that’ll be closer in length to the bottom layers, hold your hair straight, away from your head, parallel to the ground.
- Cut the Hair
Hold the ends of your hair between your middle and index fingers firmly. Then, use the first 2 fingers of your other hand to grab the section of the hair at its base, close to your scalp. Slide your fingers up the length of the hair until you reach the point where you want to make a cut. Check out for damage at the ends of your hair and if you notice any breakage or frizz, ensure you remove it when you cut your layers.
Most importantly, angle your fingers so you’ll be able to cut the hair to be longer at the back and shorter in the front. This type of cut will help keep your hair away from your face. Make sure to trim just a small amount of hair at first. You can always go back again to cut off more. It’ll be tougher if you cut too much off. However, keep in mind that you will need to trim about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the ends to see the layers forming.
For the actual cutting, cut the hair off above your fingers by using multiple cuts until you’ve trimmed all of the hair. Then, angle your scissors so they’re closely parallel to your hair, and trim a few times into your hair to make the ends thinner. Go ahead and repeat the process in other sections.
- Keep Cutting
Keep lifting and cutting each section the same way. Lift each section up and forward to the same imaginary point above your head before making the cut. Since the hair on the bottom of your head has to travel a distance when it’s lifted up above your head, it will end up being longer than the hair on top of your head.
So, don’t use this process for the bottom sections at the nape of your neck. Also, if you leave them unlayered, the bottom layer will be strong and heavy; and if you layer them, the ends of your hair might look too thin.
- Finish Up by Trimming
After you finish cutting the basic layers, allow your hair to fall naturally around your head. Look through and if you notice any strands that look too long or that stick out too far away from the rest of your hair, trim them off quickly.
The overall shape of your curly hair after cutting it in layers should be symmetrical and fairly even. Ensure that if the curls on one side of your head are longer than they are on the other side, you section the longer hair again and trim it till it becomes as short as the other strands.