How to Cut Your Hair to Get a Feathered Look

Feathered and wispy, Taraji P. Henson at the 2009 BET Awards.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Lightweight and wispy, feathered styles lend medium-length hair interest, movement and volume. Heavy, long layers weigh hair down, making it difficult to style and curl. The shorter layers of the feathered style give you something to wrap your curling iron around and--better yet--voluminous shorter lengths to play with. Feather them back, curl 'em up or wisp them around your face; you can do a lot with feathers.


Hair cuts best wet, so wet that stuff down. Carve out a narrow strip of hair on top of your head, from your front hairline to your crown. Hold the section straight up from your head like a Mohawk. Cute, isn't it?


Decide what length you want your layers to be. Feathered styles range in length on top from just a few inches to 10 inches or more. The shorter the top, the thinner the hair will be on the sides and the more dramatic the feathers will be. Longer lengths keep the layers and feathers down toward the ends of the hair.


Cut the section to the length you decided upon. Carve out another narrow strip just to the left of the section you just cut. Comb it up together with the first strip and hold it in the same place you did for the first cut. Cut the hair even with the previously cut hair. Keep pulling up hair on the left side until all the hair on the side is cut. Comb it down. Look at those feathery layers.


Do the same for the right side and the back, pulling all the hair up to the point of the first cut and cutting everything even.


Check the cut. Pull it up, comb it this way and that. Check for long hairs and snip them when you find them.

Things You'll Need





Tips & Tricks


Layers lay the foundation, but the way you style your hair determines whether your hair feathers or flops. Blow dry layers in the direction that you want them to go and finish it all of with a little bit of styling wax on the ends.

Never abruptly start or stop layers. If you layer one section of your hair, you must layer it all or risk looking like Barbie after you gave her that oh-so-stylish haircut when you were 5.


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"Milady's Standard Textbook of Cosmetology"; Milady, et al.; 2008

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