If you’re getting bored with the look of your long hair, layers are the answer. In this guide, we share 20 examples of long layered hair styles that shape your mane and give it flirty movement and swing.
The right layers can update your look to make you love your long locks again!
If removing heavy weight, unflattering bulk, and shaping your long mane sounds good, you’ll love a long layered hair style. It’s time to shake things up a bit and hit refresh on your hair with some flattering layers to break up that gorgeous length!
What Is Long Layered Hair?
Long layered hair refers to hair past the shoulders where the top (outermost) layers are cut shorter than the overall length and gradually get longer toward the ends.
Layers in long hair are used to remove weight and bulk, add volume and texture, and give longer hairstyles more movement and swing. Long layered hair is the opposite of long blunt-cut hair, where the length of the hair is cut uniformly without shorter pieces throughout.
If you’re bored with the way your long hair looks, you can get layers to completely refresh and transform your look without going for a major chop.
Long layered hair dries faster than blunt-cut hair. It’s also much lighter with less bulk and weight. The right layers can make it easy to air-dry your hair into a pretty style with plenty of texture and movement.
If you have any type of wave or curl in your hair, properly-cut layers will accentuate it and make your waves or curls bouncier and more pronounced.
Long layered hair is also great for highlighting and accentuating your best features. The point where your layers begin will attract the eye, so use this to your advantage by drawing attention to your favorite features.
If you love showing off your eyes, short layers that begin around the brows will put them front and center. For cheekbones that pop, layers that start right at the top of your cheekbones are the answer.
And if you want to highlight your lips or jawline, getting layers that begin a bit lower around the face will be the ticket. Long layered hair styles are super versatile and work for everyone.
You can rock long layered hair whether your hair is thin, thick, or somewhere in between. Any hair type and texture can be a good fit for this kind of style, from straight to coily.
If you want to add interesting texture, keep your mane lightweight and full of movement, inject extra volume, and revamp your long locks in a big way, layers are the answer. You just need to get the right type to flatter your face and suit your hair!
Types of Layers for Long Hair
Rocking long layered hair is the destination, but there are many ways to get there. There are so many types of layers and layering techniques that can transform your mane!
From short, choppy layers that create volume at the roots and add texture to sleek, graduated layers that give your ends a little swoop, there are lots of ways to layer long hair.
Take a look at some of the most flattering and trendy types of layered haircuts for long hair. Next, we’ll check out some gorgeous examples of these long layered looks to help you find your perfect style.
- Face-Framing Layers: These are soft, staggered layers cut around the face to accentuate facial features and add swing to the front sections. Start face-framing layers at the point you want to highlight, like your eyebrows (makes your eyes pop), cheekbones (gives your face a sculpted look), or jawline (lengthens the face).
- V-Shaped Layers: This technique forms layers in a soft V-shape when you view the hair from the back. The shortest layers are around the front and sides and the longest are in the central back section. They give the hair more bounce and movement by keeping the top layers lightweight.
- Waterfall Layers: Waterfall layers are well-blended graduated layers that create space between sections for added movement and inject lots of volume and texture into wavy or curly hair. Each layered section seamlessly blends into another like water cascading down rocky falls. Waterfall layers typically start around the middle of the hair and continue down to the ends.
- Choppy Layers: Messy, choppy layers in long hair are all about creating texture and volume, not sleek, sweeping lines. They can appear random, but a good stylist will cut choppy layers in with special techniques using a razor or specific cutting angle. Choppy layers often begin high up the hair shaft (closer to the roots) and go well with high-volume, textured looks like the shag haircut, shaglet, and wolf cut.
- Short Layers: While the name kind of implies the layers themselves must be short (i.e., cut closer to the roots), that’s not always the case. Short layers can refer to layers cut close together with a short distance between them to create volume or the illusion of thicker hair by “stacking” the hair. They can also be blended layers of a shorter length that begin near the roots for a less bulky, lightweight style.
- Graduated Layers: Graduated layers remove internal bulk from the undersides of the hair and create a seamless, blended style. The layers graduate in length from short to long in an even, stair step fashion. This is the technique waterfall layers use to add movement while keeping the ends thick without coming to a thin point.
- Invisible Layers: Invisible layers are sometimes called blended layers. They’re “invisible” because the layering is evenly cut without space in between sections. With invisible layers, the ends of the hair are cut into delicate points that blend perfectly with the sections underneath for a seamless look.
- Internal Layers: Internal layering involves slide cutting long layers into the bulkiest sections of the hair. This technique removes excess weight from the underside and adds movement without sacrificing length. Internal layers leave your length and ends full and intact for a more subtle layered look.
With so many types of layers and layering techniques to choose from, long hair never has to be boring, heavy, or limp. You can add layers to pump up the volume, give your mane movement and swing, remove bulk and weight, and add texture to keep your style lively.
Now that you know about the different types of layers you can get to refresh and update long hair, let’s see the best long layered hair styles!
20 Best Long Layered Hair Looks
Layers help shape and remove bulky weight from long hair. Different types of layers create completely different looks depending on where the layers begin, how they’re cut, and the overall texture and hair type.
Check out our favorite looks for long layered hair of all types and textures! Which ones will you be showing to your stylist?
1. Long, Swooping Waterfall Layers
Waterfall layers are one of our favorite looks for long layered hair! This is a high-maintenance cut that does require some styling each morning to look its best.
You’re creating a lot of shape and movement with graduated layers cut from around the jawline to the ends in a seamless, gradual fashion.
2. Cascading V-Shaped Curled Layers
A little texture goes a long way with long layered hair. Instead of curling your long hair all-over, getting v-shaped layers like this means you can curl the ends only and get a lot of style impact.
The v-shape of the layers creates shorter layers around the front and sides that gradually lengthen in the back for a lightweight look and lots of body.
3. Spaced-Out Feathered Short Layers
If you don’t like the look of seamless, blended layers, you’ll love how short feathered layers look on long hair.
The shorter length of the topmost layers creates a distinct contrast with the overall length and removes some of the weight. The top layers are delicate and point-cut for extra swing and movement without fully-layered hair.
4. Gradual Long Waterfall Layers for Thick Hair
If you have a lot of hair, you know how heavy it can feel and how bulky it can look when it’s long. Waterfall layers are the perfect solution to help you keep your length while removing some of the weight and bulk from the middle and ends of the style.
These layers begin below the jawline to keep the top thick and full, adding some nice balance and shape to the ends of the style.
5. Long, Choppy Layers
Choppy layers aren’t meant to blend in or take on a seamless effect. Instead, they’re cut somewhat bluntly (sometimes with a razor, or with scissors on an angle) to create the disconnected, choppy look.
Short choppy layers create a shag-like look, while these long choppy layers add a casual, carefree air to long locks.
6. Subtle Face-Framing Layers for Straight Hair
Straight hair can be challenging to properly layer because it won’t hide any imperfections. That’s why seamless face-framing layers are the perfect option for pin-straight locks!
Collarbone-grazing blended layers are slide-cut with scissors for a perfectly seamless length transition that subtly elevates a one-length long hairstyle without creating tons of layers in the process.
7. Curled Waterfall V-Shaped Layers
Waterfall layers are all about creating a seamless, cascading effect – it pairs so perfectly with the bends and curves of curls.
Curling the ends only will accentuate this effect, and the v-shaped layers concentrate the longest layers around the center back section of the hair. This gives you a graduated layer that forms a gentle point in the back and lends itself perfectly to curls and wavy styles.
8. Subtle, Weightless Internal Layers
Internal layers remove bulk and weight from the hair without giving the hair an obviously layered look.
We love how this look pairs nearly-invisible internal layers with wispy, subtle layers on the top section for a little texture and swing. This look is perfect for very thick, long hair that feels heavy and bulky around the sides.
9. Swooping, Blended Long Layers
If you love the swooping look of a blowout on long layered hair, this example might be just what you want. Blended layers are point-cut to be wispy at the ends.
This serves to keep the style sleek and avoid the choppy look. Style with a blow dryer and round brush for the cute swooping effect without the weight or bulk long hair typically has.
10. Curly Long V-Shaped Layers
Curls add a whole new dimension to long layered hair styles, and we really love how layers can help tame and shape curls to perfection.
V-shaped layers remove unwanted bulk and weight from the front and sides of the style, while the back is tapered in length to give the cut a little more shape. Expertly-cut layers keep your curls intact while removing weight that can flatten curls.
11. Choppy Waterfall Layers on Long Hair
Choppy layers can be a nice way to shake up the look of long hair, especially when they’re cut in the pretty waterfall shape for a cascading curls effect.
What makes these layers “choppy” is how they don’t seamlessly blend into the longer bottom layers – they’re meant to stand apart. With an almost-random pattern, the shorter layers gradually lengthen toward the ends for a highly textured, voluminous effect.
12. Long and Wispy Diagonal Graduated Layers
If your hair is on the thin side and you want layers without sacrificing any density, opt for thin and wispy layers on the outermost layer of your hair.
This gives you the bounce and movement of a layered style without cutting away the density and bulk you want to thicken up the look. The layers here are graduated in length, getting longer on a unique diagonal line for a natural, cascading look.
13. Tapered Double V Layers for Long Coily Hair
Coily hair gets heavy and bulky at longer lengths, which can make it frustrating to style and uncomfortable to wear down. Tapering the hair with sleek layers in a v-shape helps a lot and gives the look more shape.
In this example, the hair is actually cut in a double v with the top section layered separately from the bottom. It’s a great way to make long, coily hair feel lightweight and bouncy.
14. Short Point-Cut Layers on Long Hair
These are true short layers – cut closely together with a short distance between the layered sections. They sort of stack the ends to create the illusion of fuller, thicker hair and help avoid the thin, wispy ends that heavily layered cuts can create.
This low-maintenance style is the perfect option for long layered hair when you don’t want to heat-style daily.
15. Long Graduated Face-Framing Layers
Graduated layers around the face are a great way to give your hair noticeable swing and movement. These layers are cut evenly to create a curved, fanned-out effect under the chin down to the ends of the hair in front.
It’s really flattering for a heart, square, or oval face shape, but round faces should stick to shorter face-framing layers to help sculpt and shape the face.
16. Long Hair With Short Layered Ends
Short layers in the ends help create a fuller look without the wispy, thin ends of heavily layered styles. If you’re not one to heat-style your hair daily or don’t like the obviously layered look, this subtle look is perfect.
You’ll keep your length and remove a bit of the weight and bulk while creating a healthy, thick appearance and extra volume at the ends.
17. Long V-Cut With Invisible Layers
Invisible layers with a long v-shaped cut (shorter on the sides, longer in the back) is the perfect way to remove excess weight and bulk without sacrificing your length.
The v-cut keeps the bulk of the hair intact in the back, while invisible layers are cut in to blend together in the style. These layers are point-cut for wispy ends that lie on top of the layers underneath for a truly seamless look.
18. Face-Framing Layers With Short Layers at the Ends
Long hair needs layering to take on a flattering shape. You can accomplish this easily without a ton of obvious layers by going for face-framing layers in the front and short, stacked layers near the ends.
The layers in front can be as short or long as you want to accentuate your favorite features. The short layers at the ends give the hair a thicker, fuller look without wispiness.
19. Long V-Cut With Invisible Blended Layers
We love a good v-cut on long hair, and with invisible layers in the mix, the look is *chef’s kiss*. Invisible, well-blended layers are the perfect way to remove weight and bulk from ultra-long hair without sacrificing the overall length and shape of the style.
The hair is cut into a gentle V shape (longest in the back) with seamlessly-blended, point-cut layers from the shoulder level downward. Point-cutting the layers leaves the ends wispy enough to lie nicely on top of the layers underneath, giving the layers an “invisible” blended effect.
20. Wispy, Long Waterfall Layers for Thin Hair
Thin hair is hard to layer properly because you don’t have a ton of excess weight and bulk to remove from your long hair. Wispy layers are the answer as they don’t remove too much bulk and still give you that sexy, tousled long layered hair look.
Slide cutting with scissors is the best way to achieve wispy waterfall layers like these for thin, long hair. A round brush and blow dryer will help you create the curved effect!
Long Layered Hair Pros and Cons
Before you call your stylist or start snipping, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons of a layered style for long hair.
Once you get layers, you won’t be able to go back to a blunt-cut style without cutting off lots of length in the process! That’s why it’s essential to know the positives and negatives of getting layers before you take the leap.
- Remove excess weight and bulk: Layers cut the top sections of hair shorter than the bottom (or remove bulk from the underside with internal layers) to remove excess bulk and make long hair more lightweight. If you have sections of hair that are forming a bulky “shelf” or a triangle effect with too much weight at the ends, layers can thin those parts out for a more flattering look. For wavy and curly hair, layering helps waves and curls spring back to life without being tugged down by the heavy weight of long hair.
- Refresh a boring hairstyle: If you’ve been growing your hair out for a while, the one-length long look gets boooooring. You’ll be more likely to get frustrated and opt for a last-minute big chop if you don’t mix things up by layering your long hair. It’s the quickest way to refresh and shake up your style without losing much, or any, length in the process. Start with face-framing layers, and if you’re still itching for change, go for full waterfall, blended, or v-shaped layers.
- Flatter your best features: Layers give you the opportunity to put the spotlight on your best features without making a major change. We love how customizable layers are – you can cut them to any length to flatter and accentuate your favorite features. Spotlight your eyes, cheekbones, lips, jawline, collarbones, shoulders, and even your décolletage with layers that hit where you want them.
- Shape your mane without losing length: It’s amazing how cutting the top-most layers of your hair can shape and style your mane overall. Layers attract the eye and enable you to bulk up some areas while making others lie sleekly or curve gently. They shape your hair without the need to trim any length off the ends, and that makes a total hair transformation easy for long hair!
- Add volume, texture, and movement: Layers can help you work a little extra volume, texture, and movement into your long hairstyle to make it more flattering. Shorter layers near the roots and top of the head help create height and volume that can be very flattering for round, square, and oval face shapes. Choppy layers and blended layers with waves or curls help inject texture into your style. Point-cut layers that gently curve at the ends and remove extra weight and bulk from a long hairstyle result in added movement and swing.
- Grow-out process can be challenging: Growing out your layers isn’t always a straight-forward process and things can get a little thin and “ratty” at the ends without the right maintenance. If you decide layers aren’t for you, you may end up needing to cut your hair shorter to get rid of the bulk of the layers.
- Tough to pull off on thin hair: Thin hair isn’t always a perfect match for layers, but it can be done with a skilled stylist and the right type of layers. Since layers remove some bulk and create shorter lengths on the top-most sections of hair, the results can look a little too sparse on hair that is thin to begin with. Wispy, point-cut layers, face-framing layers, and short layers at the ends are all great options for layering thin hair.
- Extra maintenance is necessary: Keeping your new layers looking cute and *not* stringy or grown-out means going in for regular trims. As your hair grows out, your layers will hang lower and may not hit at the most flattering spots. Razored or point-cut ends are thinner and may split or show signs of damage from heat-styling or rough treatment sooner than the rest of your hair as well. Get regular trims to keep your layers fresh and flattering.
- Some types of layers require daily styling: While short layers at the ends, internal layers, and subtle face-framing layers are pretty much wash-and-go, some types of layers will require more from you to look their best. Cascading waterfall layers, v-shaped layers, choppy layers, and graduated layers typically need to be styled daily to lay properly. Keep this in mind if you’re not one to wake up an hour early to style your hair!
- Say goodbye to certain hairstyles: If you like to style your hair in different ways throughout the week, you may run into a few issues once you get layers. Extensive layering throughout the hair can make some styles difficult or impossible, depending on the length of your layers. Braids and ponytails may have short pieces poking out, half-up styles may show the drastic difference in length underneath, and updos can be difficult with so many different lengths throughout your hair.
Is Long Layered Hair the Right Look for You?
With these pros and cons in mind, how are you feeling about a long layered hair style? On one hand, layers can introduce some new challenges in styling, maintenance, and keeping your hair looking healthy and thick.
On the other hand, layers are the best way to refresh and update a long haircut without losing length. They also help you accentuate your best features, remove unwanted bulk and weight from your long hair, and introduce some flirty volume, swing, and movement into your style.
Getting layers in long hair is a personal choice, so we can’t tell you whether it’s a good or bad idea for your mane.
But if you’ve been getting sick of wearing your long hair in the same styles over and over and have been toying with the idea of getting a major chop to solve your hair woes, layers are worth considering.
You’ll be able to transform your look without losing your hard-earned length and make long, heavy hair so much more comfortable to wear.
With lighter strands and a perfectly-shaped style that flatters your face shape, you might rediscover your love for your locks and actually get excited about styling it again!
See more layered looks to inspire your next trip to the salon here: 30 Gorgeous Layered Haircuts We Love in 2022.
Not sure you’re sold on keeping your length? A new haircut may be in order! See the cuts that will best suit you here: What Haircut Should I Get (Women)? | All Face Types.