How To Cut Face-Framing Layers

During the cooler months, a lot of salon guests want to maintain their length for a warmer look, but that doesn’t mean they're willing to compromise on style. That’s where face-framing layers come in.

Face-framing layers are wonderful because they give the client endless options for styling. When worn straight, they blend with long lengths while adding a touch of movement around the face. When curled, they create fun texture that can add a flirty vibe to the style. The best part about face-framing layers is that anyone can wear them!

There are countless ways to create face-framing layers on a guest, but the principle behind the look is to create shortness around the face that gradually increases in the length to the bottom. You can cut face framing with a shear, razor, even a clipper. I personally find that working with a razor is the easiest, however, I’m always looking for a new way to approach creating commercial looks for my guests to keep myself and them excited about their hair appointments. This season, I've been working with a blunt shear, utilizing overdirection to preserve the desired length and weight of the hair cut, and slide cutting to create the short-to-long cutting line. Body position and elevation are important factors that allow you to customize each face frame to suit every individuals haircut and texture. Here's a quick how-to for my face-framing haircut:

  • Divide the hair into left and right sections. Take a vertical parting to separate each side section into two sections, using the front of the ear as a guide.
  • Standing in front of the guest’s left eye, comb the hair horizontally in a low elevation and decide where the face-framing layers will start. The lip is a good guideline to use that looks great on most face shapes.
  • Move your body position to the guest’s opposite eye, bringing the hair with you to over-direct it to the opposite side. This will help preserve weight and length in your guest's hair and prevent your face frame from turning into a mullet.
  • Slide cut from your selected shortest layer to the longest length. Slightly half close the shear and half open as you slide cut to avoid tugging on the hair and fraying the cuticle.
  • Comb the hair back in to natural fall and check that the desired shortness was achieved. Repeat on the other side!
  • It’s as easy as that! For our more visual learners, I’ve attached a video tutorial to make this technique even easier to understand. Enjoy the technique and use these principles on other areas of the head to build your haircutting skills and create the best looks for your guests.