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Layers used to terrify me. I was constantly under the impression that layers would ruin my long hair, and would be impossible to style. My mind was all over the place — what if it looked bad? Wouldn’t it take forever to grow back out? Could I even put it up in a ponytail? All that, however, was until I took the leap and got them for myself, and oh, how I was wrong! Layered hair not only helped my hair gain movement, volume, and look fuller, but it was also so much fun to style. 

So, let’s start with the basics. What is layered hair? In simple terms, layered hair is a specific style of cutting hair where the top layers are shorter than the bottom layers. This style became widely popular again recently with the resurgence of the ‘90s haircut, made famous by Jennifer Aniston as Rachel in Friends, and known for its full body and luscious movement. 

While a new haircut can seem daunting and intimidating, remember, it could be the change you have been looking for, and if not, it will grow back! The nice thing about layers, too, is that your stylist can add as many or as few as you would like, so you can always start small and build as you get more comfortable.

Nonetheless, after having layers for a few years, I can confidently say I will never return to life without them. So if you love your layers like me, but don’t know how to style them, then here’s exactly how to style layered hair for summer.

Curl the ends with a flat iron
@joannadaviddd

badly need a @dyson airwrap 😬😬😬 #fyp #hairstyle

♬ Dancing Queen – ABBA

Probably the most simple way to style your layers is by using your flat iron! Take a small piece of your hair and straighten it about ¾ of the way. Then, twist the iron and curl the piece towards your face. Repeat until all the hair has been styled. 

Pin it up
@candicedlcx

Replying to @Preppy acc!⚡🦩🌴 here!! 🥰🥰 #hairstyle #layeredcut

♬ GIVE IT TO ME X LONDON BRIDGE – ALTÉGO

I love this half-up-half-down claw clip look, as it really shows off the texture and movement of the hair. However, if you need your hair all the way up, try securing it with a ponytail for a casual look, or flipping it to a side part and securing it with a claw clip for a more elevated ‘do. 

Give yourself a blowout

If you are lucky enough to have a Dyson Airwrap, use that! If not, any round blow dry tool works just as well. Section your hair into pieces and wrap the hair towards your head to create a beautiful frame for your face. Make sure to wrap your front pieces the opposite way, though, to create some movement.

Curl the ends with a curling iron

Similar to the flat iron method, using a curling iron is great if your hair needs a little extra help to hold the style. When going for the blowout look, the bigger the barrel, the better. 

Add a headband

If you need your hair out of your face, then try adding a headband! Not only is it functional, but it is so adorable. Very ‘90s, if you ask me.

Set your hair in rollers

If you have a little bit more time to get ready, try setting your hair in rollers while you do your makeup, eat breakfast, do your laundry — anything! When using rollers, you can go one of two ways. Either add them when your hair is a little bit damp and let it dry in the roller, or, if your hair needs a little bit more help holding the curl, use your curling iron to create the curls first and let them cool in the rollers. 

Mia McManus

South Carolina '23

Mia McManus is a National Writer for Her Campus Media under the style section of the site. She started with HCM in July 2022 as a Contributing Writer for College Fashionista before entering the writer’s program at Her Campus in May 2023. Beyond her work here, Mia is a Merchandise Planner for a Southern-based department store. She, also, recently launched her freelance career where she writes for different fashion publications and aids with different projects at various trend forecasting agencies. In May 2023, she graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and Digital Innovation. If you are looking for her, she can be found out shopping, at an airport, drinking way too much coffee, or @miamcmanus on Instagram. Follow along with her as she navigates post-grad life and the world of being a fashion writer.