Beauty trends change at lightning speed. While it’s easy to test the latest makeup and nail trends, trying out a new haircut requires a bit more thought. First, you need to be ready to lose some inches. But what if you’re not completely ready to chop of your locks? Or maybe it’s the awkward grow-out period that’s holding you back. Both of these are common concerns that can cause full-on decision fatigue. Luckily, there’s a simple solution that can give you a fresh look with little regret: layers. From bobs to wolf and butterfly styles, layered haircuts have been at the forefront of last year’s top trends and show no signs of slowing down in 2024.
Of course, it’s easy to see why. With varying lengths, shapes, and textures, layers offer a unique cut for anyone. But beyond the buzzy, viral styles, they have a lot of long-term benefits. As celebrity hairstylist Adam Maclay explains, layering your hair allows you to add movement and definition to your look. They can even increase volume and give the illusion of a thicker texture. Put simply, layers make haircuts more interesting. So, even if you’re not ready for a big chop, you can still have a drastic change (and keep most of your hair).
Ahead, TZR chatted with three celebrity hairstylists to break down the most sought-after layered haircuts. Keep scrolling through to find the one that best fits your style.
The shag is still going strong. However, softer layers are giving the traditional choppy cut a new feel. “Layers provide texture by nature, but they don’t have to be severe,” says Jennifer Korab, hairstylist and owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa in New Jersey. Instead of harshly shaped mullets, she explains that modern shag leans into refined edges. As she explains, the technique can be used to add volume to fine hair or thin out thicker textures.
Almost instantly, the curve cut became one of the internet's most beloved styles. It even gained the celebrity stamp of approval and has been worn by A-listers like Priyanka Chopra and Beyoncé. But its origins are with Jennifer Aniston, who popularized it during the late ‘90s. As the sequel to her infamous “Rachel” cut, it’s characterized by its long C-shaped layers.
Maclay tells TZR that today’s trending look is a variation of the one the Friends star sported in 1999. “In this cut, the layers hug the cheeks, jawline, and collarbone to frame the full face and neck area,” he says. For those with longer lengths, curve layers are a nice option that don’t require you to chop off too much hair. They also have little upkeep and even maintain their style as they grow out.
Soft Butterfly Cut
Looking to enhance your natural curls? Why not try a soft butterfly cut? Like the original version, this haircut is all about volume. But if you already have natural waves, adding small layers throughout your hair can help add definition and shape. To maintain the length and keep your strands looking healthy, celebrity stylist, Laura Polko, notes that moisturizing products are essential. “Styling your layers may take a bit more time, but with the right routine, your cut will continue to look fresh,” she says.
Bobs will forever be timeless. There are many versions for different eras, but Korab notes the ‘90s bob is particularly buzzy right now. This look borrows elements from the curve cut and uniquely frames the face. Korab explains that the key to pulling off a layered short style is understanding your face shape. “You want a cut that complements your hair texture and features,” she says. By determining if you have a round, square, or heart shape, you’ll be able to find a layer length that best suits you.
Extra-Long Curve Cut
The curve cut is the gift that keeps on giving. Unlike some haircuts that threaten an awkward grow-out period, this one just gets better with time. It requires minimal upkeep at home and is easy to style. But there is one catch: trims. While you should be snipping your ends regularly to avoid breakage, Korab notes that maintaining longer layers may require you to do so more often. “Routine trims are essential to preserve the overall shape of the haircut,” she says. In that vein, she recommends consulting with your stylist to set up a regular schedule.
Bobs often rely on straight ends to deliver a sleek look, but sharp angular cuts make it even more commanding. “In this shoulder-grazing style, long layers add texture and enhance movement,” says Korab. If you plan to straighten your hair regularly, she recommends always using a quality heat protectant. “The last thing you want is to see split or damaged ends,” she says.
Layered Curtain Bangs
The benefits of layers can even be seen with bangs. Curtain styles artfully frame the face and are a popular addition to a plethora of haircuts. Though they’re usually paired with lengthy looks, they can be used to add volume to medium-length cuts. This soft wolf cut shows just how versatile they can be.
Soft Curve Layers
Unlike the traditional curve cut, this style uses soft C-shaped layers to create a fuller look. “The round silhouette allows the hair to fall in a natural curve and adds volume,” says Korab. Though it’s currently one of the most trendy styles, she tells TZR it’s also practical. “It’s versatile, effortless, and low maintenance — making it ideal for most textures and lifestyles,” she says.