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The Difference Between Layering And Face Framing

January 16, 2023

When it comes to hairdressing terms, everyone has an idea about what layering would mean to them or if fewer layers really only mean face framing to others. But is there really a difference to layers and face framing layers? Well we guess that's who you talk to.

Even though face framing layers is a type of layering, layering can seem in many forms and many haircutting techniques throughout the haircut. Face framing layers is a type of layering only seen and explained around the face.

Trying to visualize the difference? That's okay, let's go through three different hairstyles today that will help you visualize the big difference between layers and face framing. 

But first let's discuss a little more into detail what the difference is..

What is the difference?

Here we believe there is a difference but we cannot deny there are similarities to face framing layers and traditional layers. The difference is the area that needs layers. Layers to us means mainly the layers around the back and sides. Where face framing layers means only the layers around the face that connect to the layers at the back, giving the face shape.

Layering is such a board term for giving shape to different areas of your clients haircut. This is why it's so important to have a thorough and in depth conversation with your client about what layers mean to them. The best way to get on the same page about layers is to ask your client to show you any reference photos on how they would like their haircut to look and then go from there.

Once a client has explained to you the type of haircut they are after then you can explain in your own words what layers are, what are not layers and if they need face framing layers added in or a fringe. Also identifying their face shape and what styles will look best with their face shape.

By now if you don't know the difference between layers and face framing layers then that's okay, let's dive in deeper through some example hairstyles that include the differences for you.

Layered haircut and curtain bangs

Layered haircuts can be for long or short hair. When we think about a layered hairstyle we think about Jennifer Anniston's layered hair on Friends. That tousled layered look has lots of body and shape. This look can be transformed into long layers or short layers.

Face framing curtain bangs with a layered haircut is another way to bring those beautiful back layered shapes to your face. Face framing layers and connecting face framing bangs would be the last step to take on this haircut to give you that beautiful and on trend 90's or 70's hairstyle style.

This is a perfect example of how layers are different to face framing but when partnered together the two layers can look identical. 

Blunt haircut with face framing

When a client asks for a blunt haircut, that would mean to us that they want all their hair one length, with no layers around the back of the hair cut at all. If the client has a fringe and has asked for face framing around the front or you have even suggested face framing, this would mean the face framing would be a different type of layering and not connect to any layers around the back.

This is a perfect example of how layering is a completely different request than face framing and how blunt cutting can work so well with minimal face framing or a fringe to give your clients face shape.

Concave bob and front fringe

Concave layering is a type of layering that is traditionally cut reverse and almost undercut compared to normal layers. The Concave technique is different to traditionally layering as you can concave a haircut without layering the back. Although concave has the appearance and is a type of layering. If you would merry layering and concave together in the haircut then the crown area would have more volume and not sit flat.

A front fringe sometimes needs face framing through the side to connect the fringe. Some would say a front fringe does frame the face and that is face framing, but face framing is the layering connecting a fringe around the face.

Star Scissors for Layers and Face Frame Layers

To get the best face framing layers then you have to try Slide Cutting Scissors. Slide cutting scissors will simplify face framing layers for you and the blades glide through the hair smoothly while slide cutting.

Ever wonder how hairstylists get those light wispy layers around the back too? The answer would be slide cutting those layers dry or wet after normal layers to get the most flattering layers.

What face shape would layers and face framing layers suit?

Well firstly any face shape suits any type of layers, but some face framing will highlight your clients facial features more than others.

Ever met that client with outstanding and defined cheekbones, but those beautiful features are hidden under long layers around the lace. This would be a perfect time for you to suggest to your client to consider letting you cut in a framing layer around their face and even a curtain bang fringe to emphasize more defined cheekbones (yes that's possible).

Thick vs Thin hair layers

Thick hair will always benefit from varying lengths or layers being cut into the hair. If your clients are concerned about no shape of life to their haircut, then they do want layers but may not know how to express that.

You have a client with long hair but fine hair, maybe the main concern for this client is to feel like they have thick hair. Blunt cutting the back and not layering the back will make this client's hair appear thicker. If this client still wants shape then maybe suggesting fewer layers around the back and a cute face frame around the front.

Hair Color

Your client wants a drastic change and a complete re-style, then by adding layers will show any hidden hair color underneath that was not visible before. This needs to be accessed and discussed during your consultation. Your client may have hidden greys or dark colors that could be hiding underneath the long layers.

Or maybe your client has fun colors underneath that short layers can expose for them.

Remember its personal opinion and to always get on the same page as your client to understand each other's ideas of Layers and Face Framing. When you incorrectly cut layers into a client's hair, this can really take a long time for a client to grow out.

If your client needs convincing that layers are what they are after because they mention they have no shape and the hair sits heavy, always start small by cutting longer layers first. You can always cut more hair off but you can never add more hair on, unless you use extensions.

Happy cutting and creating!

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