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These Layered Haircuts Look Fabulous on Women Over 40

Layer your locks for a fresh look.


Don’t believe the hype: layered haircuts aren’t a hassle, and they don’t require a lot of maintenance. (Honestly, though… even if they did, the sultry, voluminous tresses they yield would be worth it.) In reality, layered cuts flatter almost every face shape and they work wonders on thin hair. If you’ve been thinking about changing your look, but aren’t sure which layered hairstyles will work for you, read on. 

What defines a layered cut?

Layered haircuts are made up of two or more hair lengths and tresses that frame the face. There are layered styles to suit all faces, from shaggy layers to blunt, angular layers. The type you choose will depend on your desired style and volume. That said, layers should always be even, properly proportioned, and neatly cut.   

Does layered hair have benefits?

You betcha. In addition to slimming the face, layering locks have the below benefits.

They lighten a thick mane. 

The easiest way to shed some weight is by cutting your hair. Adding layers creates a lighter, more manageable mane. They also add dimension and depth. What’s not to love?

They add volume and movement.

If you have thin hair, straight hair, or fine hair, a layered haircut will do wonders, adding effortless volume to your mane and flattering your face shape. Tresses move and bounce more with a layered haircut, adding a fresh, youthful element to your overall look.

They bring curls to life. 

Layers work on both curly and wavy hair by defining and shaping soft curls. They also reduce frizz.

Any downsides to a layered ‘do?

Although the pros certainly outweigh the cons, there are a few things to consider when exploring layered haircuts.

They’re high maintenance (ish).

While the myth of constant maintenance is a bit unfair, it also isn’t entirely untrue. Maintaining your layers will require more frequent visits to your hairstylist, and more effort each morning. Though layered looks are typically less low-maintenance than their blunt cut counterparts, there are exceptions: Those with wavy or thick hair can typically roll right out of bed and flaunt their layered hair look with next to no effort. For the rest of us, there’s usually a round brush, curling iron, and blow dryer involved. 

There’s a prolonged grow-out time. 

A common complaint among women with layered hair is how long it takes for layers to grow out when they’re done with the style. On average, hair grows half an inch per month. A layered haircut with tresses at different lengths can feel like it takes longer to grow out because short layers need time to catch up to longer ones. 

It’s tough to tie back. 

It’s an unfortunate truth that layered tresses can be hard to tie hair back in a bun, braid, or ponytail. Nothing ruins a cute ‘do more than choppy ends poking out in odd places. If you favor wearing your hair tied back, long hair layers and shoulder-length face-framing layers are the layered look for you.

Which layered haircuts work best on most women?

There are a lot of gorgeous layered haircuts. These are the most popular.

Longer Layers

New York, NY - April 19, 2018: Sarah Jessica Parker attends premiere of Blue Night at Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater
Sarah Jessica Parkerlev radin

Long layers are achieved by leaving your tresses long and cutting into the hair just a few inches above the ends. The goal is to avoid choppy, severe lines. A mid-length to long layered haircut does just that. Ask your stylist for long, soft layers that volumize and add texture to hair. 

Short Layers

LOS ANGELES - FEB 28: Gabrielle Union arrives to "An Unforgettable Evening" on February 28, 2019 in Hollywood, CA
Gabrielle UnionDFree/Shutterstock

In the short hair category, pixie and shag haircuts with side-swept layers increase volume and add dimension. For a bold look, cut subtle layers throughout the length of your mane, starting from the fringe line. The short layers will flatter your face and add movement to your hair. 

Layered Bobs and Layered Lobs

Kerry Washington at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards, Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, CA 01-26-13
Kerry Washingtons_bukley/Shutterstock

Like keeping your mane short and manageable but want a little swing? Level up your lob (long bob) or standard bob haircut with layers. This modern spin on the classic short hairstyle adds volume and body to hair. For a dramatic short layered haircut, create a deep side part.  

Blended Layers

Julia Roberts at The Film Society of Lincoln Center's 36th Gala, Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY April 27, 2009
Julia RobertsEverett Collection/Shutterstock

If you loathe piece-y layers, ask your hairdresser to blend your cut for a softer shape. While blended layers look gorgeous on just about everyone, they’re especially flattering on women with curly hair or balayage coloring, as they tend to make locks appear more buoyant and flowy. To achieve this look, advise your hairstylist that you want your layers to blend seamlessly into each other. 

Face-Framing Layers

Jennifer Aniston at the 2018 WE Day California held at the Forum in Inglewood, USA on April 19, 2018.
Jennifer AnistonTinseltown/Shutterstock

Choose face-framing layers to accentuate your jawline and highlight your facial structure. Bonus: This gives the appearance of longer hair without the hassle of long hair maintenance.  

Choppy Layers

LAS VEGAS - MAY 17: Jennifer Lopez at the Billboard Music Awards 2015 at the MGM Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV
Jennifer LopezKathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

If you’ve always wanted “beachy waves,” choppy layers are the way to go. Flawless beach waves don’t require actual salt from the ocean. You can get them by cutting asymmetrical layers that add texture and bounce. Whether you have red, brunette, black, or blonde hair, beach waves have an “I woke up like this” vibe that’s sultry and feminine. (This trendy choppy layer style works great with ombre hair color, too.)

Wispy Layers

LOS ANGELES - FEB 27: Halle Berry at the 6th Annual ICON MANN Pre-Oscar Dinner at Beverly Wilshire Hotel on February 27, 2018 in Beverly Hills, CA
Halle BerryKathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Not a fan of the blunt cut? Ask your hairdresser for wispy layers. By running the sharp side of scissors down the length of the hair and cutting upward in discrete pieces (a technique known as shearing), your stylist will create tapered, delicate layers that frame the face and flow gently across the neck. 

Feathered Layers

BEVERLY HILLS - JUL 12: Lucy Liu at the Disney ABC Television Group Summer All Star party on July 12, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.
Lucy LiuJoe Seer/Shutterstock

Designed to look almost like a bird’s feathers (hence, the name), feathered layers provide lift, volume, and texture without thinning the hair too much. This style is typically cut in a V-shape using a razor, as these airy feathered ‘dos are a highly textured version of a layered haircut. 

Side-parted Layers

Taraji P. Henson at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Think Like a Man' held at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, USA on February 9, 2012.
Taraji P. HensonTinseltown/Shutterstock

One of the greatest things about layers is that they look amazing with either a middle part or a deep side part. Let your stylist know where you’d like to part your hair before getting cut so they frame your face accordingly. 

The Final Word

And there you have it: The nine best layered haircuts for women. Whether you’re considering blunt edges or a shaggy ‘do, layered hair has a ton of awesome benefits. Just be sure to do your research before sidling up to the salon chair, as this popular style requires a bit of maintenance to keep it looking chic and fresh. 

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