How to Manage Layered Hair

Layered hair is great for creating the illusion of length and/or volume. It is a look that is versatile and can be pulled off by just about anyone. Although layered hair is a great choice as a style, it usually requires more upkeep than a basic haircut. Managing layered hair, however, can be simple with a care routine that works best for you.

EditSteps

EditStyling Layered Hair

  1. Blow-dry your hair when you plan on styling it. Blow-drying your hair will make the layers more noticeable. Use a blow dryer on your hair after your shampoo and conditioning routine in the shower. Start drying your hair by flipping it over and going over the underside portion of your hair for a few minutes. Then, flip it back over and continue until your hair is dry or mostly dry.[1]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 1.jpg
  2. Use a boar-bristle brush on curly hair. Using the wrong type of brush can leave your hair looking frizzy or messy. If you have naturally wavy or frizz-prone hair, use a boar-bristle brush. This type of brush will smooth out your hair. Use this brush like you would any other brush when it comes to styling. Avoid brushing out your hair if it is very curly, as this will only add frizz.[2]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 2.jpg
  3. Use a rounded brush if you have straight hair. To use this brush, hold the brush underneath a section of hair. Then, brush it all the way down, pulling the brush towards you when you reach the ends of your hair. This will add volume to your hair.[3]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 3.jpg
  4. Apply a volumizing product. Layers are often added to make hair appear fuller, so a volumizing product will add to this illusion. A volumizing product works best on those with thinner, straighter hair, though anyone who has problems with flat hair can use it. Volumizing products often come in a spray, cream, or powder form. Apply the product to your root area with your fingertips and then style your hair as usual.[4]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 4.jpg
    • Look for a volumizing product that is made to hold for long periods of time if you have trouble keeping volume in your hair after a few hours of being styled.
    • Go for a volumizing product that also moisturizes if your hair is dry.
  5. Add curls or straighten your hair. Changing up your style every so often will freshen up your look. If you have naturally curly hair, straighten it every so often. If your hair is straight, add curls or waves to it with a curling iron or texturizing spray.[5]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 5.jpg
    • Be careful with heat styling products if your hair is already damaged. Heat styling products further damages hair and shouldn’t be done very often.
  6. Finish with a smoothing serum. Complete your style with a smoothing serum. A smoothing serum will moisturize your hair and reduce frizz, which will keep your layers looking healthier. Apply smoothing serum from mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. Use only a few drops of serum if your hair is thin and short, but you can use a dime-sized amount if your hair is thick and long.[6]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 6.jpg

EditKeeping Layered Hair Healthy

  1. Apply a protectant before using heat on your hair. Never apply heat to your hair without applying a heat protectant first. A heat protectant will usually come in the form of a serum or cream. Apply the serum from mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. Then, blow-dry or use a heat styling tool on your hair as usual.[7]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 7.jpg
  2. Use a moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner. Damaged ends are more apparent in layered hair. Use a moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner on your hair every other day or a few times a week, depending on how often you wash your hair. Look for a moisture-rich shampoo that is made for the texture of your hair.[8]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 8.jpg
    • For example, if your hair is curly, look for a shampoo and conditioner made for curly hair.
  3. Apply a deep conditioner once a week. A deep conditioner will condition your hair more thoroughly than a conditioner that is meant for regular use. Apply a deep conditioner from mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. Leave it on between five and thirty minutes, depending on the instructions given on the label. Repeat the process once a week.[9]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 9.jpg
  4. Avoid using heat products daily. Daily use of heat styling products will inevitably end up seriously damaging your hair, which will leave your layers looking fried. Blow-drying and the occasional use of a heat styling tool, like a straightener or curling iron, is okay with the use of a heat protectant, but try to avoid the daily use of heat. If you do need to use style your hair with heat, limit your use of daily heat to blow-drying with a heat protectant.[10]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 10.jpg

EditFreshening up the Look

  1. Trim your hair every six weeks. Layers can quickly lose depth and definition. Split ends are also more apparent with layers, so frequent trims are important. Schedule a trim with your stylist at least every six weeks, but you can trim your hair more or less frequently, depending on your type of hair.[11]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 11.jpg
    • If your hair grows very fast, you may want to get a trim every four weeks.
  2. Enhance the look with color or highlights. Adding color or highlights can freshen up your look and make your layers more obvious. Go for subtle highlights if you don’t want a dramatic change. Ombré is a good option if you want a more dramatic look, but don’t dye your hair too often, since it supports the grown-out look .[12]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 12.jpg
  3. Accentuate your style with bangs. You can make your layered hair appear bolder with blunt bangs. Or, you can go for a softer look with longer, wispier side bangs. Keep in mind that bangs have to be trimmed often.[13]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 13.jpg
  4. Change up the type of layers you have. There are many different ways you can add layers to your hair. You can soft, long layers, or short choppy layers. If you’re looking for a change but want to keep layers, alter the type of layers you have. Go for dramatic, choppy layers or layers that frame the face.[14]
    Manage Layered Hair Step 14.jpg
    • Ask your stylist for advice if you aren’t sure what type of layers would look best on you.

EditTips

  • Ask your stylist what type of layers they recommend for your hair. Light layers look best on fine hair, and dramatic layers work well thick hair.[15]
  • A haircut with layers will usually require more styling than a haircut without layers. Keep this is mind before asking for a cut with dramatic layers if you prefer a laidback styling routine.

EditWarnings

  • Avoid the use of heat styling products as much as possible if your hair is severely damaged.

EditThings You’ll Need

  • Hair dryer
  • Hairbrush
  • Volumizing product
  • Smoothing serum
  • Moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner
  • Deep conditioner
  • Styling tool (straightener and/or curling iron)

EditSources and Citations

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