Cutting a layered hairstyle involves first cutting the perimeter and then creating an internal guide for the layers. Hairstylists then layer the hair by matching the perimeter and cutting along the internal guidelines.
The first step in cutting a layered hairstyle is cutting the hair to the desired length by trimming along the perimeter. This includes the back, sides and front. Next, hairstylists determine the length of the layers by cutting a strip of hair from the middle of the forehead to the middle of the nape. This is the traveling guide.
After that, hairstylists typically section out the hair for manageability. They create a standard seven-section parting that includes each side, the top, two crown sections and two lower back sections. The perimeter is left hanging free. Starting in the back, hairstylists drop half-inch segments of hair. They pull the sections of hair out to the desired angle and use the traveling guide to determine where to cut. The angle is determined by the desired result. For instance, a 90-degree angle results in uniform layers, while over-directing the hair allows stylists to cut layers without removing length.
Hairstylists continue the process of releasing half-inch segments of hair and using the traveling guide to direct the cutting until they have finished the hairstyle. Typically stylists then check the evenness of the cut by going in the direction opposite the original cut to look for long pieces.