Long Layers vs Short Layers: Which Suits You Best?

I’m introducing you to one of the most highly argued topics on layered hairstyle techniques – long layers or short layers? You know how troublesome this confusion can be, and trust me, I’m on the same page as you are.

This argument is tricky in many regards. For starters, both short and long layers have their unique and undeniable appeal. Although for one, you’d have to trim off a large chunk of your hair but the styling outcomes are equally rewarding.

On the other hand, long layers have the potential to generate the most extravagant hairdos one could ever dream of. So it’s better we dig deep into the positives and negatives of both concepts so that you have a sound knowledge before committing to either one!

Long & Short Layers: What Are These?

Basically, a hair layer suggests a haircut technique that’s usually utilized by women to add fluidity in their styles. Layered haircuts are usually hair with varied lengths and composed together in the hands of experts for the best outcome.

Long and short layers mostly have to do with hair lengths and are discussed below:

Long Layers

Long layers

Long layers imply a hair body that at least reaches past your shoulders in length and has a layered cut applied on it. Such layers on a long hair body can begin from the facial fringes to the top hair’s upper side – all of it depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. Mostly the top layer is trimmed shorter than the one underneath for a refined outcome.

Short Layers

Short Layers

Short layers follow much of the same principles as long layers – the key difference is that this works with shorter lengths of hair. By shorter, it means hair lengths that remain above the neck height. Cuts like Bob or Pixie can be further stylized by adding short layers. Such addition is done in the same manner: top hair being shorter than the bottom hair all throughout.

Long or Short Layers: Which One To Pick?

Apart from the aesthetics, there are yet some important factors you must settle down on before picking out a layer length. This section might help you through the course of finding conviction.

Face Shape

Framing the hair around the face is unique for each layer length. For instance, long layers hold a much wider frame as there’s sufficient length for wrapping in an oval shape around the face. It’s well-suited for oval, diamond or round faces.

On the other hand, short layers have a very limited portion of hair to work with, thus it won’t compliment every face shape in a positive way. Experts suggest that the faces with sharper properties, like long or square shaped faces will gain more benefit with these cuts as these will enhance their natural attributes.


Forget what I said about face shapes for a moment. As a consumer of modern styles and trends, your opinion holds the highest value over anything else. If either of these two layers arouse your interest, you should go for it without thinking if the length will suit you. Because there are other adjustments that can make the cut fit perfectly to your looks!

Hair Density

If you have less dense hair, then the choice becomes much more critical between the two layer lengths. As layers tend to decrease the density, you should take it into consideration before committing to one. But the rule of thumb is to pick short layers for less hair density and long layers for a higher volume.

However, you shouldn’t restrict your judgment based on this fact alone. There are many ways to adjust your hair volume afterward, so it’s not a golden rule you must follow by the book. Just ask your stylist to make alterations if you should choose to do otherwise.

Color Preference

Color Preference

It might not seem like an important aspect for consideration, but your color preference does matter when you’re torn between the two layer lengths. As a complete change in hair coloring includes bleaching, it does compromise your hair’s quality by a significant margin.

Furthermore, adding heat treatments to add the curly ends compromises the hair strand integrity in longer layers. So if the color is added to short layers, it tends to do less damage to the overall hair body while longer hair allows a wider field to lose strand integrity.

Type of Hair

Adding layers to both fine and curly hair are actually matters of preferences. Fine hair can implement both lengths equally well, so the discussion isn’t relevant for this matter. But curly hair does require some calculation before opting for a layer length.

If you get long layers, then your hair’s weight will be evenly distributed, allowing the pores some breathing room. It can increase your hair strand’s health over time. For short layers, it’ll do much the same, with the addition of a bubbly hair body that doesn’t look excessively thick – all thanks to the layers!

Hair Movement

The final consideration that you should make before settling for a layer length would be the amount of hair movement you want out of your style. Basically, the longer layers you have, the more movements you’ll be able to generate with your hair. They’ll swirl around over your facial fringes and the entirety of the spread.

That said, I know many people who don’t want their hair to move without their consent. The fluidity isn’t meant for all, and if that’s the case for you too – just settle for a short layer which will hold its ground more firmly than the long ones.

Styling Differences between Long vs Short Layers

In terms of technicality, you’ll find a discrepancy between styling long and short layers. I’ll briefly go through the major aspects which should clarify the more advanced styling perplexities.

Picking a Style

The first difference in the styling patterns for long and short layers is the purpose. It’s not part of the technical process but equally important nonetheless. This lets you pick out a blueprint or a concept based on which your hair will be trimmed, styled and finalized. So better generate a clear idea of your hairstyle’s purpose, it’ll make a lot of things easier moving forward.

Cutting Technique

Cutting Technique

Second comes the part where you’ll need proper instruments if you’re pulling a DIY on either of these two layers. First off, sectioning clips are needed to part and hold your hair. Basic pair of scissors will land you the short length of hair. For both cases, you’ll be requiring texturizing shears to generate the layers. Some short cuts even demand electric trimmers, so make sure you have one at your arm’s reach!

Weight & Texture

A major difference between short and long layers is your preferred hair weight and texture. If you want to create a voluminous hair body, regardless of the lengths, you’ll want to use the shears less. But remember it’ll make shorter hair seem bulkier. As per textures, these are more visible on long layers since there’s higher length to make them look more apparent.

Blow Drying

Blow drying techniques are unique for each layered cut. Long layers tend to consume more time in blow drying with additions of curler application. Short layers will spare the blow drying time and prevent prolonged exposure to heat. Keep in mind that long layers will give you more flexibility for styling with a blow dryer straight out of the shower.

Hair Product Application

As you can understand, the longer your layers the more quantity of hair products you might have to use. It’s not mandatory though, unless your desired hairstyle includes a composition that requires product application. But generally short layers consume less product and save you that extra run to the supermarket.

Maintenance Variances of Short Layers vs Long Layers

Maintenance Variances of Short Layers vs Long Layers

Maintenance for short layers as well as long layers are pretty much similar, but there still exists some variance among the two that you should know beforehand for comfort.

Trimming Frequency

To be honest, short layers require trimming more frequently than long despite being a technique that’s more comfortable to style. With long layers, it won’t be as stark to the eyes even with a hair growth of a few weeks. But short layers will start alarming you to go for a trim within a couple of weeks due to its ever compact nature.

Pre-sleep Routines

The routines are much different for hair types, but one thing is common for all is that – long layers require a more engaging routine before heading to bed. Short layers can be left as they are while long layers would require careful brushing or combing. Added to that, be careful as you tie your long hairs to prevent follicular damage which isn’t really a concern for short layers.


Much like the pre-sleep routines, the post-shower to-dos are more demanding for long layers. Apart from lengthy drying times, friction with a towel to a higher degree leaves your layers prone to increased damage. Also, you’ll be requiring more heat protectant spray to keep your strands healthy through blow-dryer induced heat. Short layers in this case are safe and swift.

Which Hairstyle Appeals You: Long Layers or Short Layers?

My last attempt at highlighting the differences for the two layers is by showcasing a few, top-tier layered hairstyles from both lengths to show how they could actually look on you.

Short Layered Hairstyles

Let’s start with the trendy short layered hairstyles for the aspiring consumers who prefer to keep things neat and tight with a touch of fabulous!

Layered Bob

Layered Bob

Layering up a bob cut is probably the most serene treatment you could ever give to your entire hair body. Although the short, ear length cut looks neat and straight, the layers all around add that extra swerve on the hair fringes. The frontal layers are slightly more aggressive, allowing you to open up a curtain shape on bangs that fits almost any face shape!

Layered Pixie

Layered Pixie

Pixie cuts are more compressed than a bob cut, and when you add layers to it, your looks climb up that extra level without much effort. Most of the hair keeps your skull hugged and the variation in length opens up your forehead for a convenient day to day affair. It’s both a formal and informal look, so feel free to utilize it in any space!

Layered Crop

Layered Crop

Crop cuts with layers can add a radical boost to your existing looks. To enhance the quality of the style, you can infuse the top layer with any color of your choice or just a basic bleach. Although the top layers are slightly shorter than the bottom, adding colors would make it seem the exact opposite.

Long Layered Hairstyles

Opposing short layers, long layered hairstyle aesthetics are significantly different and if these prominent styles cater to your taste – what’s stopping you from getting one for yourself?

Ponytail Layers

Ponytail Layers

Adding layers with ponytails is the most unorthodox way to style long layers. Firstly, you’ll have to create a blueprint of what you expect the style to look like. Based on that, layer up the fringes with some aggressive trimming up the front. Grab a hair band and tie around the hair roots to allow the ponytail to rise like an updo over to the back.

Beach Waves

Beach Waves

Did you know that most of the beach waves are actually based on long layers? If you want to do it at home, you’ll be needing precise curlers that specialize on creating the niftiest beach waves you could ever think of. Shear around the facial fringes to draw out the layers and dazzle everyone with your clear-cut facial features!

Layered Braids

Layered Braids

Who said braids cannot be layered? Let your creativity flourish through new ideas that can convert your braids into some alluring long layers at the same time! First off, apply a basic long layer hairdo on your curly or wavy hair. Then, draw up braids with one-third portion of the hair strands and let the rest layer out and curl up in small bunches!


The consumer queries never end and in order to limit the knowledge gap, I’ve addressed some of the FAQs on the matter. It should give you more clarity on the concepts and help you make up your mind before heading out to your hairdresser.

Q: Are long layers or short layers better for thick hair?

Ans: I’d say this answer is highly preferential. But if I consider two factors of styling point and convenience, then it’d be a tie. Because thick short layers are definitely more convenient to style and carry around all day. But on the other hand, long layers for thick hair types look more sublime than anything else!

Q: What kind of layers make hair look thicker?

Ans: Layers usually reduce hair density instead of making it look thicker. Considering this is still your requirement out of layers, then my suggestion would be to use volumizing creams and blow drying to puff up the hair body and it works better with long layers rather than short.

Q: Why are layered haircuts trendy?

Ans: Layered haircuts – be that short or long – are highly modular and flexible. These styles belong to the more modern trends of hairdo and contemporary fashion trends have embraced layering with open arms. Thus, you’ll find yourself trendy with any of these layered haircuts.


So time to draw the blinds on long layers vs short layers debate and finalize which one is the best for your particular situation!

I feel obligated to remind you that both of these layers are fashionable, trendy and contemporary, so there’s no fear of feeling left out in the world of modern fashion.

If you pick long layers, you’ll have more flexibility in styling, get to play with your curls as well as waves and end up with a more fluid, bubble hairdo.

As per short layers, it’s easy to style along with a straightforward styling procedure, and you can totally forget about it for the entire day.

So the winner is highly subjective and it depends on what you require of your layered style – only then can you find solace with the hairstyle at all times.

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