Cutting Layers in Curly Hair

Layered haircuts look beautiful on nearly everyone when worn correctly. Curlies with round or oval facial structures look particularly striking with this cut; however, those with square or diamond face shapes should avoid it.

Getting Started

Layering your curly locks can add texture and depth, yet getting an even DIY cut can be challenging when working with curly hair. This instructable will show you how to simplify this task so you can achieve a fabulous layered cut that works for your personal style.

Before cutting, ensure all knots or tangles in your hair have been thoroughly brushed out for an even result. Once complete, smooth the remaining locks into a ponytail near your forehead and secure it with a hair elastic – the closer the ponytail is tied to your face, the sharper its layers will appear.

Shannel Mariano (@shannelmariano) suggests using the face frame technique when cutting long layers of curly hair to achieve a narrower face shape. She advises utilizing elevation and over-direction techniques to add weight on one side of your face while allowing movement through layers.

Preparing Your Hair

Selecting a stylist who understands curly hair is the key to creating a beautiful layered cut. Before booking an appointment with them, interview them beforehand to ensure they possess experience in layering curls to meet your expectations.

If your curls have thick and voluminous coils, layered cuts tend to add structure and bounce to them, while thin waves that don’t move much may not benefit as they could make your locks appear flat and undefined.

Layers work well for most face shapes but may prove challenging to maintain if yours has a square or diamond-shaped outline. Your facial profile should be taken into account when choosing where and how long to layer your locks; having them layered reduces daily maintenance requirements, but it’s still essential that regular trimming appointments take place to keep curls healthy and hydrated.


Curly hair tends to be complete and heavy; layers help reduce its bulk and give shape. To avoid harsh lines in your cut, cut a mix of vertical layers and individual curls for the best results.

As with cutting straight hair, curly locks should also be cut dry (unless your client prefers wet cutting) to preserve its curl pattern and decrease frizz. Liz Haven O’Neill (@lizhaven) utilizes a dry-cutting method, fluffing and brushing the natural design before cutting with 6″ PHANTOM II pair from ARC(TM) Scissors, which she finds easy to slice through without snagging or pulling.

Finding a stylist specializing in curls and textured hair can be invaluable, enabling them to assess the pattern of your circles and recommend an appropriate technique for cutting them. Many stylists offer curly hair-cutting methods based on your particular type of curly locks and needs.


Layered haircuts can transform curly locks into eye-catching styles that complement your facial structure, and with regular maintenance, you’ll keep your layers looking their best!

Use a cutting lotion like Pureology Smooth Perfection Intense Smoothing Cream or Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking hair Beautifier to give your curls an attractive soft, and smooth appearance and help them move freely through your locks.

Start layering from the top by creating a ponytail and securing it with a clip. The closer it is to your hairline, the more face-framing layers you will gain, and an inverted V-shape will emerge.

Start on the side you are heavier on and cut a rounded shape using point-cutting techniques in diagonal forward sections, over-directing them over your part. Repeat on both sides. If necessary, add more steep layers in the back.