How to Cut Layers into Your Hair at Home

Layers add volume, movement and style to long hairstyles. Sometimes we don’t have the money or the time to go to the hair salon for a professional haircut, but many don’t know that you can actually cut layers yourself at home. Cutting your hair by yourself always entails some risk, so it’s important you take your time and completely understand the layers you want.

When you giving yourself layers you should choose lengths based on your face shape and hair texture. Longer layers look great on round or square faces because they add length to your face shape, while shorter layers give balance to heart-shaped and oval faces.

How to Cut Layers at Home

When you are cutting layers at home it is important you have a great pair of scissors. If you plan on giving yourself layers and keeping them trimmed at home it’s a good idea to use some of the money you will save by skipping the salon and invest in some great hair cutting scissors.

The first thing you should do is really look at your hair in the mirror and determine where you want your layers. You can choose long natural layers or short layers that are choppy and bold. It could help to print out a picture of yourself and mark where you want each layer to be, this will help you remember exactly what length you want your layers to be.

Next you should set up your at home hair salon. You will want to find an area that has great light. You should wrap and clip a towel around your shoulders to keep the cut hair off your back and shoulders. You will want to have your scissors, a comb, and a second mirror to view the back of your hair. Once you have all the tools ready, it’s time to start cutting.

There are two well-known methods of creating layers at home. You should start both with clean hair that is dry or damp. If you are cutting your hair when it is damp then it is important you consider that it will be shorter when it dries. You don’t want any surprises by cutting layers shorter than you had expected.

Cut Layers in Your Hair at Home

The first thing you need to cut your hair at home is good scissors and a comb.

Cut the Hair Layer by Layer

1. Part your hair down the middle and divide your hair into sections where you want each layer to be, make sure they are even on the left and right side.

2. Unclip the first top section, also known as the “top box.” This is the very top/front of your hair so it can be cut together. Life your hair 90 degrees and hold it completely straight between your middle finger and forefinger. Slide the fingers forward until they have reached the only hair left is what you want to cut off. (you’ve probably seen your hairdresser do this) and trim.

3. Unclip the top right section and repeat.

4. Unclip the top left section and repeat.

5. Repeat until all layers have been trimmed.

Tip: Trim hair with scissors on an angle for a softer look.


Cut your layers section by section to make sure they are even.

The Ponytail Method for a Layered Haircut

This easy technique is a great way to get a quick-layered haircut at home and it is perfect for long hair.

1. Brush your hair until is very smooth.

2. Turn your hair upside down and brush your hair forward so that is it completely smooth and you can gather it into a ponytail at the very top of the head. (Make sure it is centered or you could end up with uneven layer lengths)

3. Slide the elastic band toward the end of the ponytail. For shorter layers then stop sliding the elastic band several inches from the end of the ponytail, for longer layers then slide it down until it is about one inch from the tip of the ponytail. (It’s recommended to trim a little at a time.)

4. Cut your hair just behind the ponytail. Cut straight across, not on an angle or else it can look jagged.


The ponytail method is perfect for at-home layers.