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Having long, layered hair doesn't necessarily mean having waist-length, voluminous locks like a Disney princess (although there's nothing wrong with that style). It can be simpler than that—whether you like your layers choppy and textured or subtle and hidden, they might be all you need to breathe some new life into your lengths. One thing's for certain: Long, blunt hair needs layers for movement and dimension, so if you're on the fence about cutting shorter sections into your hair, just know that it makes a world of difference.
But don't just take it from us. Celebs love long, layered haircuts, too. From Demi Lovato's wet-looking strands to supermodel Georgia May Jagger's rock 'n' roll bedhead, we've rounded up our favorite layered styles for a lengthy mane—not to mention, industry insight from hairstylists Marcus Francis and Anastasia Stylianou. These looks will inspire you to put away the scissors and grow out your tresses (or skip that part and get extensions instead).
Meet the Expert
- Marcus Francis is a sought-after stylist. His A-list clients include Julianne Moore, Emma Roberts, and Olivia Colman.
- Anastasia Stylianou is an internationally acclaimed hairstylist and creative and artistic director of Umberto Giannini. She is the founder of Rehab Styling and is a specialist in curly hair.
Keep scrolling for our gallery of 22 celeb-inspired long, layered hair looks complete with styling tips from the pros.
Heidi Klum's gorgeous mane is bouncy and full of texture, thanks to subtle, strategic layers, says Francis. "This cut is great for fine hair that is also dense, as well as thicker hair." Try styling with a cocktail of R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray ($26) and shine glaze to allow for the tousled look to also feel polished, he adds.
Even though Rihanna's layers are cut as high up as her chin, they meld perfectly into the rest of her hair, making for a seamless transition. If you have curly, long hair, this cut is for you. Bonus points if you pair it with a pink lip, which looks a lot like Fenty Beauty Starlit Hyper-Glitz Lipstick in Gravity—just sayin'.
If you've got curly hair, let Belgian model Rose Bertram be your muse. Her long, loose coils are everything that curls strive to be: bouncy, moisturized, and well-defined. Just know that it comes with a regimented hair maintenance routine, especially if you're coloring your hair.
Try incorporating natural organic oils—coconut, argan, and jojoba—into your haircare routine. They can work to strengthen bleached curly hair, which dries out easily.
Chrissy Teigen's super-sleek waves are cut into barely-there layers that give the ends a nice waterfall effect. We love the center part and rich caramel highlights blended throughout, adding dimension and shine. To replicate Teigen's lustrous locks, apply Sachajuan Shine Serum, $36) when you finish styling.
Priyanka Chopra's look is all about volume. Since she has thick hair, the layers appear to bring even more bounce and movement into this style. For big hair that mirrors Chopra's, we like Verb Volume Spray ($22). It has quinoa protein to fortify your strands while sunflower extract offers UV protection.
Awkwafina's sleek tresses are pure perfection, which Francis attributes to internal sliced layers that create soft movement and the illusion of blunt ends. To replicate her 'do—which works best on thick wavy or straight strands—prep hair with Better Natured Hydrating Milk ($22). Then, "use a large curling iron, barely wrapping the ends so they feel sealed and polished but not curled, giving a soft, loose wave to this style," instructs Francis.
Calling American-British model Aiden Curtiss's 'do "long" might be debatable, but we've included it in our roundup because it still serves as prime inspo. Stylianou says that while her natural hair looks amazing, it takes work to keep the style in tip-top condition. Her recommendation: "Regular cuts at DevaCurl, lots of treatments, and a good curly hair routine. One of my holy grails of all styling products is Kinky-Curly. I leave this styling product to dry naturally in the hair; it’s great on textures like Aiden’s."
Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge demonstrates the art of subtle layering with her long, brushed-out "s" waves. It's retro-meets-modern. Her half-up, half-down style is perfect for lazy days, second-day hair, or both.
Sandra Bullock's hair might not be considered "long" by textbook definition, but as Francis points out: "Layers are sliced on the longer side of the cut giving movement and texture to the hair." This works to add a boost of volume to thinner tresses.
With this cut, there's flexibility when it comes to styling, but Francis suggests prepping hair with a heat styling lotion—we like Oribe Balm D'Or Heat Styling Shield ($45) which also offers protection against harmful UV rays—and then wrapping sections with a medium-size curling iron at mid-length to create “bends” for an undone finish.
Talk about waterfall hair. Demi Lovato's wet-look style shows off the long layers cut throughout. This is mermaid hair at its finest and works best on medium to thick hair densities. The violet haze lids are also worth giving a try.
Sarah Jessica Parker
SJP's blonde tresses are visually effortless thanks to layers that maintain length while adding body, notes Francis. "The layering like this would allow for finer hair to still look full and not seem so heavy on thicker hair allowing for movement," he adds.
When it comes to his product picks, Francis suggests, "Better Natured Beachy Texture Spray ($22) will allow for the natural texture in your hair to come out while also giving the hair some grit that makes it piecey and cool, with lasting effect on the styling."
Gabrielle Union's hair is showstopping in this long braided look. This protective style is at once polished and defined, while also being casual and cool thanks to its varying lengths and undone ends. To prevent split ends, nourish with Moroccanoil Pure Argan Oil ($52).
Redheaded beauty Lily Cole wears her lustrous hair long and layered. We're loving it, especially how her curled ends create added texture and bounce. A cool-girl side flip amps up the volume.
Shakira's shaggy mane is utter curly perfection with its scattered shorter layers and skinny ends. Stylianou points out that this style is ideal for 3b and 3c curl types and if you want to create volume or disguise damaged strands. "The less you care about perfect neat curls, the better. A little frizz and bed head actually works better to achieve this style, believe it or not," she says.
To style, Stylianou recommends spraying Balmain Salt Texturizing Salt Spray ($50) throughout wet hair to add a little roughness and "I've just stepped out the sea feel." Once hair is dry, finish with Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray ($26).
Actress Jamie Chung parts her hair in the middle to let it drape down naturally on either side of her face, framing it perfectly. We like how her long layers amplify the flowy look of her wavy hair. Try using the Ghd Curve 1.25" Soft Curl Iron ($199) for a similar effect.
Before we say anything, let's get it out in the open: Zendaya's hair always looks amazing on the red carpet, no matter if she's wearing fauxlocs, sleek-straight strands, or a pixie cut. These super-subtle, texturized layers will look amazing on curly-haired girls.
Naomi Campbell has got it going on with this head-turning hairstyle. Francis agrees: "This look feels like hair goals: texture, shine, and length. There’s enough layering to keep the hair from feeling heavy or triangular and allowing movement and fullness for a longer length cut."
To nourish hair and give it plenty of shine, Francis nominates Better Natured Damage Repair Strengthening Leave-In Cream ($22) to get optimal results. Also, "Using a flat iron to create 's' waves will help to recreate this done yet undone style," he says.
Although Sasha Keable’s hair isn’t naturally curly, she proves that it's still possible to join the curl club sans curls or if you just want to enhance your own slightly, says Stylianou.
She curled Keable's hair using Chopstick styler. Then she sprayed through loads of Texture Spray by Sam McKnight, and slightly teased the ends with an afro comb to achieve long cascading curls.
Georgia May Jagger
Supermodel Georgia May Jagger is known for her super-layered hair. Here she dons a long shag with her trademark rock 'n' roll texture (possibly inspired by her dad?). To get the same piecey separation, try using Bumble and bumble Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme ($31).
Here, Amanda Seyfried's hair is prim and proper. For added flair, she incorporates a subtle side bang and flips ends. Thick-haired girls take note: Ends are also tapered off with layers, which can be an effective way to remove some weight from hair.
All hail the queen of long, layered locks. J.Lo has been known to wear her hair in long layers from time to time. Here, they start at her chin and continue all the way through to the longest length, giving her one of the biggest and bounciest hairstyles we've ever seen. Her grown-out curtain bangs also frame her diamond-faced shape perfectly.
Ciara's hair makes us feel things. And this head-turning look of hers—with its mega-volume, crimped texture, and animal print barrette—has us begging for '80s hair to make a comeback (did we just say that?). By pulling hair up into a half-up, half-down 'do, Ciara modernizes this vintage style. She also highlights her long layers that lend shape to her mane. If you've got natural hair and are feeling bold and confident, then this look is for you.
Which type of layered cut is best for long hair?
To determine which type of layers are right for you, you should consider your hair type and texture. In general, those with thicker hair will have more options to choose from because they have more hair to work with. Anything from invisible layers to choppy layers can remove weight and add movement to long, thick hair. With thin hair, less is more. Go with layers that can build volume like long, light layers. If you have a curl or wave to your hair, strategically-placed layers can help define texture. Meanwhile, long layers can keep straight hair from falling flat, as well as add dimension.
How do I ask my hairstylist for a layered haircut?
Ask your stylist whether there is a certain feature you want to highlight—or avoid—and they can cut layers customized to best suit you. Also, consult them on where they think your layers should; they are experts, after all.
Do layers make hair look thinner or thicker?
Layers remove weight from hair and can make it appear less dense. While this is great for thick hair, those with thin strands should proceed with caution. If you opt for layers, avoid any choppy styles which can exacerbate thin hair, and instead, ask your stylist for light layering or longer layers to build body.