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Is There A Difference Between Layering And Face Framing?

September 05, 2022

A question that's asked so often by novice hairdressers, and even some senior stylists is there a difference between face framing layers and layers? Of course there is! Yes, they both have the word 'layer' in them, but as many would know layers can easily be misinterpreted by clients thinking 'they know best'! So hopefully you can walk away from this being able to educate those clients into knowing the difference between layers and face framing layers.

So to answer in short - yes, yes there is a difference between face framing layers and layers. In true scissor tech style, we're not leaving it at that, we're going to tell you the difference between the two by breaking it down further for you!

What are face framing layers?

Face framing layers are pretty much self explanatory. They are essentially layers that frame the face! To cut these face framing layers, many stylists will simply use the slide cutting technique, then pick a starting point and slide their way down. While others may comb and stretch/over angle a section of hair from around the face and trim small parts of the hair at a time.

Now of course not everyone is suited to have face framing layers which is where you, the stylists, need to determine if your clients face shape will suit it or not. Face framing layers are designed to compliment your clients face shape and hairstyle - not the opposite!

If you're unsure if it will suit your client or not start off low like around the collar bone area before starting the face framing layering too high up, like the jaw line or cheek bone area. This should hopefully help you determine if it will suit your client or not if you're unsure of face shapes (which all stylists should be aware of!)

What are layers?

Layers are quite often misunderstood - Many clients or uneducated stylists hear the word layers and think you can choose how many layers can be cut into the hair... WRONG! It's not a matter of one, two or three + layers, it's actually layers as in plural. You don't get to choose how many layers are put in when they're being cut in.

Layers in hair are designed to give the illusion of either extra length added volume. Of course it wont make short hair look like but if adding layers to long hair it will give the illusion of added length and movement. Whereas short hair will give the illusion and feel of added volume, and sometimes a more easier way to style the clients short hair.

Whether the hair is long or short, layers can be added in to actually remove weight from the hair rather than thinning the hair out with thinning scissors. It will also create a beautiful style to the hair, rather than just being thinned out and left feeling wispy and ratty.

Which should you choose?

Which should you choose, you ask? Well that comes down to what the client wants! If it's just a subtle layered look they're after to compliment their haircut then we would suggest face framing layers. Or if it's a more textured cut that has movement and bounce to the hair then we would suggest layers to be cut in. OR if your client really wants to spice things up you can totally do both! There's no way that either layers of face framing layers would compromise each other so really there's no reason why you can't have both.

Whichever you end up choosing, always be sure to consult with your client thoroughly to understand what they want. Unless of course they have no idea what they want and are asking for your best suggestion! Look, you might not even do either and you might end up down the bob haircut lane - you'll never know until you have the chat with your client!  

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