How to Cut Short Layered Afro-American Hair

Kelis sports short curls at x Yo Gabba Gabba.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Short and layered, sassy and dignified, the classic short layer has been around for ages, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is this versatile cut stylish, it is one of the few cuts that you can do at home without help and end up with great results. So, say goodbye to the pricey salon and say hello to your new style. Get out the comb and scissors — you're about ready to take control of your hair.


Leave your hair dry and comb through it with the wide-toothed comb to loosen the curls. Get close to the scalp in order to loosen the tight curls closest to the scalp. Keep combing until it's easy to rake the comb through your hair.


Start on top. Comb up a thin section in the middle of your head, running from your bangs to your crown. Cut the section by holding the strip between your first two fingers of your non-cutting hand. Take off enough so that you're left with only a few inches of hair.


Part off the top into thin, horizontal strips. Hold each strip up like you did for the first strip, and remove the hair so that it's even with the shorter strip in the middle.


Cut the sides by elongating each horizontal section and following the curve of the head with your cut. If the hair is 3 inches long on top, it should be 3 inches from the scalp over your ears, too. Do the same for the other side.


Do the back just like you did the sides. Follow the curve of the head and elongate each thin section.


Check for evenness by holding the hair up in small sections that run lengthwise across multiple sections that you cut. Even up any rough spots that you find.

Things You'll Need


1.Wide-toothed comb




Tips & Tricks


A basic black styling comb has measurements right on the spine of the comb. If you have any doubts as to whether you're cutting your hair evenly or not, you can measure different parts of your hair with the comb.

Watch your fingers! It's very easy to nip your skin when cutting curly hair. Pay attention to what you're snipping to avoid bloodshed.


Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Skin Tone
or Register
Beauty School iPad App


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account