‘Invisible layers’ are the face-framing hair trend that’ll give you instant cheekbones
Layers are a divisive topic. Those of us who overdid flicky layers in the Noughties and spent the next two years trying to blow dry them into submission may (justifiably) be thinking they’re not worth the hassle. On the other hand, those who have seen Jennifer Lopez's sultry, choppy, extra long layers may well be wondering if it’s time for a do-over.
Thing is, even the most styling-averse among us probably already have layers. “Layers are pretty much a part of any haircut unless you’ve got a sharp bob,” explains leading hair stylist, Luke Hersheson. “A grown-out fringe is an example of layers, as are some framing pieces around your face that finish around your jaw or chin,” he says.
The difference is, layers have had an overhaul. In fact, they’ve become so subtle and seamless, they’re almost imperceptible. “The idea of invisible layers feels more relevant at the moment,” says Luke. “You may have layers in your hair, but you don’t want them to feel like clumps or ledges.” Even Suki’s layered lob is a softer nod to the style. “You’re not seeing many 70s shags like a grown-out mullet when it’s an obvious layer,” Luke admits.
Unless you’re going for something deliberately bold and choppy – a light touch is likely to be more easy to style and therefore more flattering for everyday. Though invisible layers may not sound like much, in practice, they can be surprisingly effective. Created using thinning scissors or a razor to avoid stark lines, “they’re not cut in a way where the ends are as blunt and ruler-like,” says Luke. “To the naked eye, it might look like it’s more one length, but actually it would give you more shape when you tong it or style it. It will give you a little bit more texture,” he explains. Get those layers right in the back and voila – you’ve got lightly mussed up movement where you need it. Nail them around the face (we’re talking a relaxed jaw-length fringe skimming either side of your cheek) and they can be the answer to instant cheekbones.
Still unsure? Here’s everything you need to know about layering.
At its most basic, a layer is “hair that doesn’t reach the bottom of your hair,” says Luke. More specifically, “it is the lightest form of hair cutting,” explains Ryan Forsythe, senior director at Trevor Sorbie’s Covent Garden salon. “Sections of hair are held out and cut vertically from the head to reduce weight.
“Layering hair not only removes weight but can also help to create shape, give volume, movement and texture,” explains Ryan.
“Not necessarily thicker but they can add volume giving a fuller effect,” says Ryan.
“Absolutely, if you have a heavy one length bob for example a few layers can help you achieve more texture/movement,” explains Ryan. “Or if your long hair feels a bit flat on top, some layering around the crown will give it some bounce.”
“Depending on the shape you want to create, or where you want to lighten, it is generally done in the ‘internal’ area (top, back, sides ),” says Ryan. “The ‘external’ being the outline or perimeter length.”
“Most hair types can suit varying levels of layering, particularly thick heavy hair. Hair that is very fine should avoid over layering as it can make it even finer and cause ‘wispiness’.” “If you have fine hair and then you put lots of layers through that hair, it’s going to make the ends of the hair feel thinner,” agrees Luke. “Also very frizzy or coarse hair will generally benefit from having more weight,” says Ryan. In which case, you may not want to add too many layers in.
“Short pixie cuts and the 70s Shag are both styles that really benefit from lots of layers,” says Ryan.
Remember The Rachel – the bob worn by Jennifer Aniston in Friends? It was a style so choppy, Jen couldn’t tame it herself. That’s what invisible layers seeks to avoid. “In terms of styling, if a layer is done well and belongs to the hairstyle, it shouldn’t take too much styling,” says Luke. “Even with a shag, you should be able to wash it, leave it to dry and it will fall into place.”
Provided you’ve chosen a low maintenance style (that’s been cut in by a pro) “it can be pretty easy,” agrees Ryan. “With the use of the right products and just finger drying you can achieve a natural, soft result or you can dry smooth for a sleeker finish. Layers help to give versatility to hairstyles.”……
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