Long Layers vs Short Layers: Which Looks Better?

close-up of a professional hairdresser cutting layers in woman's hair

Long layers vs short layers: which looks better? This question may come up if you’re interested in adding layers to your hair. Let’s take a look at the difference between long and short layers. The terms “long” and “short” refer to the distance between where one layer ends and another starts.

For example, long layers will have a greater distance from the end of one layer to the end of the next. Similarly, short layers will have less of a distance from the end of one layer to the end of another. Whether short or long layers look better is based on the style that you are going for.

Long layers are typically more noticeable while short layers look less noticeable and just give the hair shape. The style of layer that works best for you can also depend on your hair type as well. Let’s dive deeper into which looks better and which style of layers you should get.

Should You Have Layers In Long Hair? 

Layers in long hair are a personal preference. Whatever you like is what’s best for you. However, layers do give the hair dimension, style, and volume. Long hair tends to look weighed down or sometimes plain if it’s all one length.

Adding layers to your long hair can give it a bit more style and let you do different hairstyles. You could even just add a few layers around the face to frame your face and give more style to your hair. Getting layers in long hair will also give it more volume at the root.

Long hair tends to be weighed down just because there is a lot of it, but this can make the root of your hair appear less voluminous. Adding layers will shorten some of the strands, allowing them to weigh less and add volume at the root. 

Are Layers Good For Short Hair? 

Yes, layers can indeed be good for short hair. Layers and whether you want them or not depend on the style that you’re going for. Short hair that has no layers will look very put together, and a blunt cut can be a great style for some.

Meanwhile, layers that are added to the short hair will allow your hair to have some texture and give it a bit more “messy,” laid-back type of style. Layering in itself gives more style and flow to your hair.

This remains true when it comes to short hair. If you’ve been rocking the short, blunt look for a while, then you may want to consider getting layers to keep your length and add some dimension. 

Can You Have Short Layers With Long Hair?

Yes, you can have short layers with long hair. The length of the layers has nothing to do with the length of the hair. You can have long hair with long or short layers and short hair with long or short layers, as well. Short layers on long hair can give your hair dimension and flow. As well as frame your face and remove weight from your long hair. 

On that note, getting short layers will help to give you more volume and add movement to your hairstyles. Short layers are a bit more subtle, but they can still stand out in long hair. The layers will be close together and won’t change the style of your hair too much but will give you something different to work with.  

Do Layers Make Hair Look Thinner? 

Yes, layers can make your hair look thinner if you already have super thin, fine hair. Layers will thin out the bottom section of your hair, so if you already have thin hair, you should probably skip out on layering or only get a small number of shorter layers.

On the other hand, layered hair can look thicker around the crown of the head due to most of the hair laying up top compared to at the bottom. Those with thin hair can rock layers but it’s best if the hair is cut short since that will allow it to look fuller and more voluminous. 

Do Layers In Hair Add Volume? 

Absolutely, layers in hair can indeed add volume. Layering cuts off the bottom part of your hair but keeps all your hair full at the top. This gives your hair more body and more volume at the crown of the head.

Overall, getting layers gives your hair more volume at the top while thinning out the bottom of your hair. This gives your hair a lot more dimension. If volume at the top is your goal, then layering might be the option for you. 

What Face Shape Looks Good With Layers? 

Layers look great with all face shapes, but some face shapes compliment layers better than others. Typically, those with an oval or round face shape look good with layers. Layers help to frame the face and give it a bit of dimension, which those with round and oval face shapes don’t have a lot of.

For the best look with an oval or round face shape, you should have the shortest layer cut off at the chin. This style will help to frame the face perfectly and it will draw attention to the chin area, which is the most flattering area of an oval or round face shape. 

Overall, you can have layers with any face shape. Play around with long or short layers and add as many layers as you want. Any face shape can get any hairstyle and it will look great; you just have to play around with your options.

Are Long Layers Or Short Layers Better For Curly Hair? 

Curly hair can have both long and short layers, but curly hair does tend to look better with long layers. This will give the hair the right balance with the curls to make it not look too boxy or heavy. Also, layers in curly hair should be tailored to the individual since everyone’s curls are different.

Long layers will help to thin out the bottom, all while keeping volume at the top. Moreover, long layers are the perfect way to balance out curly hair and frame your face. You can get short layers in curly hair; however, the results might not be as prominent.

Short layers have less distance between them, which may not do enough for curly hair. This means that short layers may not be as visible as long layers will be on curly hair. If you have wavy or curly hair and are looking into getting layers, we recommend getting long layers. 

Are Layers Good For Wavy Hair? 

Yes, layering is beneficial to those that have wavy hair. Putting layers into wavy hair can help to eliminate a bit of the bulk. Wavy hair will thrive from layering because the technique adds dimension to the hair and allows for the top layers of the hair to be fluffy and voluminous while maintaining length.

Layering also means less styling time which includes drying, straightening, and other styling methods. Therefore, layers can be great for those with wavy hair to help cut out some of the maintenance that comes with their hair type. 

Should Frizzy Hair Be Layered? 

There is no definitive answer to this question as it all depends on your personal preference. For people who want to give their hair movement and volume, layers are a great solution. I especially recommend them for frizzy hair.

If you have frizzy hair, you can tame it by getting a few layers put into your hair. This will keep the poof to a minimum, even when your hair is in full frizz mode. Usually, wavy and curly hair tends to be more prone to frizz, so getting your wavy or curly hair layered will help give you more control over your hair. 

Should Fine Hair Be Layered? 

Fine hair can be layered, but it might be best to skip out on layered hair if you are concerned about thinning. If you’re set on layering your hair, we suggest opting for a small number of short layers so that you aren’t robbed of volume. In general, layering includes cutting off some of the hair on the topmost section.

This can be a problem for fine hair as you only have so much to work with and thinning out the bottoms might make your hair look thinner than it is. If you’re looking to layer fine hair just get a few short layers to make a difference in your hair without losing needed volume. 

Should Straight Hair Be Layered? 

Straight hair doesn’t necessarily need to be layered. Straight hair can be worn in many different styles. Some people opt to leave their straight hair all one length while others explore their options. Layers can absolutely add body and dimension to your hair which can be good for straight hair so it doesn’t all look the same.

Furthermore, you have more style and bounce with layered hair. So, while straight hair doesn’t need to be layered, it’s a good idea if you are looking to get more movement and volume. Most importantly, layering can help you to get rid of unwanted weight and heaviness.

What Length Of Layers Should I Get? 

The length of layers you should get depends on your hair goals and the type of hair that you have. Those with curly and wavy hair should get longer layers as this will help keep your curl, volume, and shape, all while giving you better control over your hair and giving it more of a bounce. Most of the time, both short and long layers look great on all people.

When making a decision, keep in mind that longer layers are further apart, which gives them more of a wispy look. Short layers tend to be less noticeable as the distance between the layers is shorter. If you’re looking for a more dramatic layered look then go for long layers.

Likewise, if you have long hair and are looking for some more volume and movement, definitely get long layers. Either way, layers will frame your face, thin out the bottom of your hair to make it easier to manage, and give you volume at the crown of your head. 

What Do I Tell My Hairstylist For Long Layers?

If you want to break the news to your hairstylist that you want long layers, we’ve got you covered. Asking for long layers is easy—most hairstylists are educated in layering and know how to do it easily. When you go to your hairstylist, simply tell them that you want long layers.

You can specify if you want a lot of layers or just a few. After that, you can specify where you want your shortest layer to end, which is typically the layer that frames your face. Some prefer to have very short, choppy layers so the more information you can give your stylist, the better the results will be. 

Final Thoughts: Long Layers vs Short Layers

The bottom line is that short and long layers both look great on everyone. Hairstyles are a personal choice, but of course, there are positives and negatives to getting different lengths of layers in different hair types.

Being aware of what compliments your face shape and hair texture is a vital part of pulling off layered hair. In particular, wavy and curly hair looks great with layers since they can help manage the hair and improve its shape, all while showing off the look of the waves and curls.

Similarly, straight hair looks great with both long and short layers. Really, it all depends on your hair goals. Layers are used to give your hair more volume at the top while thinning out the bottom. Adding layers to your hair can help give it the movement and dimension that it may lack.

For example, stick-straight hair will give off a completely different vibe when layered than if it had a blunt bob. Long layers will give the hair a feathered, laid-back type of look. Whereas, short layers can look fun and full of energy. Layers are also fantastic at framing the face, especially for those who have round or oval faces. 

Honestly, the imperfection of layers is what makes the hairstyle so much fun. If you’re looking to switch up your hair without doing a big change, then you should look into getting layers. You can tell your hairstylist whether you want long or short layers.

Remember that long layers have a greater distance between layers compared to short layers. You can also explain how many layers you want, whether that is only a few to shape the face or a lot to add tons of movement and dimension to the hair. Either way, layers will freshen up the hairstyle, no matter the hair type or face shape. 

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By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.