ARC LAYERING GUIDE: How to Cut & Style Long Layers

ARC LAYERING GUIDE: How to Cut & Style Long Layers

How To Cut & Style Long Layers

Layered haircuts are trending. Even our typical one-length clients will be opting for a  long layers and face-framing this year, so keep reading to get your favorite hair artists’ tips for nailing the consultation, properly texturizing, when to dry-cut and SO much more.

"Just Don't Take Off Any Length!"

Picture this: Your one-length client requests layers for the first time. So, you get to work and as you cut, her face turns pale as she watches chunks of hair falling to the floor. Even when keeping the length, it’s key to communicate that even long layers still require a significant amount of hair removal.

Here’s how ARC Scissors Ambassador Sara Botsford (@sarabotsfordhair) handles the conversation:

1. “I typically start by showing them my guide. I take a small section of hair at the crown and show them the length I think is appropriate for their layers. This gives them a visual for where the layers will begin,” Sara explains.

2. “I also show them the angle at which I will be cutting so they can see their length fall away. I find this makes them more comfortable in understanding they will not lose length,” she says.

3. “And if they are still nervous, just turn them around and tell them it’ll be a surprise!” Sara adds.


         Photo Credit: Instagram via @sarabotsfordhair

         Scissor used: PHANTOM II

 Seamless Layers

ARC™ Scissors Ambassador Stephanie Carrillo (@modestspotcarrillo) suggests explaining to clients that you can create seamless layers by carving through the interior of the hair to remove weight. “The result is a modern layer that allows the hair to move,” Stephanie explains, adding that: “I like to use words like ‘effortless,’ ‘easy,’ and ‘manageable.’ Styling one-length hair can be difficult, so offering an option to open up the hair and create movement is helpful.”


2023 trending hair haircuts layered cut layers butterfly supermodel 90s

              Photo Credit: Instagram via @modestspotcarrillo 

Internal Layering for Shags

If your client wants more of a shag silhouette, a-la Brigitte Bardot, you’re going to want to create more of diffused, soft layers for an effortless end result. Plus, this also offers a super-seamless growout that clients LOVE!

The key to this look? Internal layering“Many times, when cutting shaggy layers, there may not be a lot of length falling,” Stephanie explains. “It’s more about interior hair and weight, so communicate that with your client beforehand and let her know it is about weight, rather than length,” she advises. 


2023 trending hair haircuts layered cut layers butterfly supermodel 90s

              Photo Credit: Instagram via @modestspotcarrillo

              Scissor used: THE CURVE 

6 Tips For Cutting Long Layers

1. Keep The Hair Saturated: Increase control, add moisture and detangle throughout your entire haircut by using a leave-in conditioner as a cutting aid. “I can’t stress how important it is to keep the hair hydrated, especially when doing a haircut that’s semi-precision,” ARC™ Scissors Artistic Team Member Justin Toves-Vincilione (@ahappyjustin) says.

 2. Overdirect To The Center: When cutting the face frame, overdirect the hair across the center point of the face like 3-time @oneshothairawards winner,  Matt Swinney (@matt.swinney)—here’s why: “This will allow you to open up the hair that sits around the jawline while keeping the length as you work toward the perimeter,” Matt explains. Plus, this will make matching the sides easier.


2023 trending hair haircuts layered cut layers butterfly supermodel 90s 

         Photo Credit: Instagram via @matt.swinney

 3. Slide Cut, Don't Blunt Cut: If you blunt cut across a section, you can remove too much length! That’s why Justin slide cuts the surface of each section for an effortless end result: “Slightly open and close your shears as you slide to create a clean, soft finish,” Justin explains. This will also help connect the layers, keeping everything consistent and even.


2023 trending hair haircuts layered cut layers butterfly supermodel 90s

        Photo Credit: Instagram via @ahappyjustin

        Justin’s go-to scissor: ARC™ Scissors PARAGON II!

Try Dry-Cutting Layers. Here’s Why:

Most cutters wet-cut layers, but there are unique benefits to dry cutting as well. Emily Chen (@emchenhair) says,  “Dry-cutting delivers the most seamless and soft results. You can clearly see how each section is going to fall as you cut it. It gives me the opportunity to put more detail into my haircuts.” This is especially important for clients with stick-straight hair, as imperfections can be clearly seen.

Our dry-cutting master scissor, The Paragon II by ARC Scissors is the absolute favorite for expert dry cutters. The razor sharp blades glide through all textures and is  not only optimized for precision line work, but for slide, slice and point cutting techniques on dry hair. Each Paragon II takes 6 months to craft by hand in Japan and is made with "Super Gold" steel, the most expensive steel on the market.


                        Photo Credit: Instagram via @emchenhair


5. Try This Trick For Texturizing Heavy Ends

After carving the face-framing layers, if you’re struggling to refine the ends, Sara uses ARC™ Scissors 10/10 Reversible Texturizer to remove weight as needed. “I wanted the layers to float effortlessly with the rest of the cut, so I removed weight with my ARC™ Scissors to take out about 60 percent of the hair,” Sara says.

 Pro Tip To Avoid Holes: “An easy mistake you can make when cutting layers is cutting holes between the sides and back of the hair, directly behind the ear. To avoid this mistake, I make sure I’m dropping out the length before cutting my layers,” Sara explains. 



Photo Credit: Instagram via @sarabotsfordhair

 6. Customizing For High-Density Clients

It’s a common complaint of clients with thick hair that they feel heavy or weighed down. To remove weight and add movement, ARC™ Scissors Artistic Team Member Rachel Williams (@rachelwstylist) will strategically cut LOTS of layers throughout the cut to free the hair and add volume—plus, face-framing layers starting at the cheek bone to help lift her client’s oval face shape.

“When you customize haircuts based on your client's hair density and face shape, it brings out the best of the hair and showcases their best features,” Rachel explains. 

2023 trending hair haircuts layered cut layers butterfly supermodel 90s

Photo Credit: Instagram via @rachelwstylist

 Pro Tip: Rachel starts this haircut wet and details it dry—that’s why she uses our #1 best-selling scissors the  ARC™ Scissors  PHANTOM II. “I need a scissor that can not only take me from wet to dry, but also allows me to ‘cut in motion’ using the axis of my blade,” Rachel explains.