Layer Cut Vs Feather Cut: What Is The Difference?

Discover the similarities and differences between these two timeless and iconic haircuts.

Written by , MA (Mass Communication & Journalism) Joyce Joyson MA (Mass Communication & Journalism) linkedin_icon
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BA (English Hons) Pahul Nanra BA (English Hons) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years

If you are confused about which side to take in the layer cut vs. feather cut, you are not alone. While both haircuts have their roots in the yesteryears, they continue to maintain their popularity among celebrities and hair enthusiasts alike even today. So, whether you want to sport playful layers or the slightly more edgy feather cut, understanding the differences between them can help you find a look that brings out your beauty and personality. Check out this article to learn more about each haircut in detail, the similarities and differences between the two, and how to style them. Read on.

What Is A Layered Cut?

A woman with face-framing bronde layers
Image: Shutterstock

This versatile hairstyle continues to remain a popular choice among hair stylists and customers alike for good reason. The haircut involves cutting the hair in different lengths, with the upper layers cut shorter than the lower layers to create the illusion of volume and length. What adds to this hairstyle’s classic allure is it is pretty low in maintenance. So, whether you are looking for choppy layers or soft, side-swept layers, this hairstyle has proven time and again that some things never go out of style.

Apart from making you look fantastic, the layer cut offers a plethora of benefits. Find out what they are in the following section.

Benefits Of Layered Cuts

Layered haircuts have truly stood the test of time due to the benefits they offer to hair enthusiasts. Some of them include:

  • Adds Volume: The layered style helps create the illusion of thickness and add dimension to your beautiful hair. Plus, the face-framing layers help soften facial angles, making them ideal for those with rectangular or square faces.
  • Versatile Hairstyle: This hairstyle can be sported in different styles such as updos and braids and is suitable for all hair types and hair lengths.
  • Easy To Style: The shape and natural texture of this hairstyle make it easier to style it without much effort and time.
  • Weight Reduction: Cutting your hair into different layers helps reduce its weight while creating a soft shape at the same time, making it ideal for those with thick hair.

Its versatile nature continues to add to its popularity even today. But just like any other hairstyle, it comes with its set of disadvantages. Find out about the same in the following section.

Drawbacks Of Layered Cuts

Layers help to add body to the mane. However, you must consider the following drawbacks before opting for this stunning hairdo:

  • The Hair Becomes Fragile: Adding too many layers can make your hair look thinner and fragile, especially towards the ends as opposed to creating a fuller effect.
  • It Requires Frequent Trimming: New hair growth can make the layers look dull and less defined. Therefore, going for regular trims every 6 to 8 weeks will ensure your layers maintain their shape and style.
  • The Regrowth Takes A Long Time: Layered haircuts consist of both shorter and longer layers. This can result in hair growing at different rates, with the shorter layers taking more time to grow. This will create a distorted or uneven look.

Therefore, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of this hairstyle before going for it.  Once you have finalized your decision and want to save those expensive trips to the hair salon, check out the next section for a simple tutorial on how to do a layered cut at home.

How To Do Layered Cut?

A woman trying to cut her hair in layers at home
Image: Shutterstock

Whether you want to sport Rachel’s popular look from Friends or Old Hollywood glam waves, you can get your favorite layer cut at home by following the steps listed below:

  • Use a wide-toothed comb to remove any tangles to get a smooth appearance.
  • Gather your hair into a ponytail, flip it, and position it horizontally across your brow.
  • Use a comb to get about one inch from the end of the ponytail and slant the scissors a bit to cut the hair in soft and upward strokes.
  • Once you have the desired haircut, untie the ponytail to take a look at the final result.
  • Gently comb the layers and check for any uneven sections. If you see them, use your scissors to make minor adjustments and ensure they are evenly distributed.

Dal, a blogger, shared her experience of doing a layered haircut at home and was pleasantly surprised with the results. She writes, ” It’s so easy to do as well and the positioning of the ponytail relative to the gradient of the layers (the closer to the front the more dramatic the gradient) is good to know! The length is hardly changed and it has some oomph to it now. It’ll look super cool when I leave it curly and it’s all shapely now instead of blocky (i).”

protip_icon Pro Tip
You can opt for the U-shaped trim method to give your layered hairstyle a soft, round, and graduated look.

The layered cut is a classy hairstyle that adds extra volume and movement to your hair. But if you are looking for something edgier than this timeless look, check out the next section to learn more about the feather cut.

What Is The Feather Cut?

What Is The Feather Cut
Image: Instragram/joseluissalonboutique

The feathered haircut is perfect for adding texture and a sense of softness to an otherwise boring hairstyle. It involves cutting the hair at an angle, creating a gradual disheveled, airy layering effect. The wispy, tapered ends give a chicer appearance and a feathery texture similar to the layering of bird feathers, earning it the famous moniker.

This layered cut gives a light and soft appearance among other benefits. Scroll down to the next section to find out what they are.

Benefits Of Feather Cuts

The feather haircut is a modern, cool take on the classic layered hairdo. It delivers a statement shape and offers the wearer with the following advantages:

  • It Adds Volume And Movement: The feathered layers add natural texture to the mane, creating a fuller and more dimensional look. Plus, the sense of movement and flow may help add a natural-looking bounce to your hair.
  • It Highlights Facial Features: The feathery locks help accentuate facial features such as the jaw, eyes, and cheekbones. It is also ideal for those with oval faces as it helps add softness to the face and does not make the jawline look very elongated.
  • It Is Low Maintenance: The sharp angles, shapes, and curves of the haircut provide a natural body to your hair, which requires minimal styling effort and time.

The feathered haircut will make your tresses feel lighter without weighing them down. However, they come with their set of disadvantages. Learn about them in the following section.

Drawbacks Of Feather Cuts

While the feather cut is a step above the classic layered cut, you should be aware of the following drawbacks:

  • It Is Not Suitable For All Face Shapes: The feather cut is not suitable for those with round or square faces as they accentuate cheekbones, making the face look rounder and fuller.
  • It Is Not Suitable For All Hair Types: This airy feathered hairstyle may not be suitable for those with curly or coarse hair as it can make hair voluminous, making it difficult to manage in the long run. On the other hand, it may not be suitable for very fine or thin hair as it creates distinct layers that can make your hair appear thinner and flatter.

It is important to keep the pros and cons of this hairstyle in mind when making your decision. If you choose to go forward with this hairstyle but without burning a hole in your pocket, check out the next section for an easy tutorial on how to do this hairstyle at home.

How To Do Feather Cut?

A woman trying to do the feathered cut
Image: Shutterstock

You can achieve this chic hairstyle at home by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Get rid of knots and tangles with a wide-toothed comb.
  • Part your hair from the center with a rat-tail comb and divide your hair into smaller sections.
  • Hold a section of the hair, pull it away from your hair, and twist it.
  • Use scissors in a downward direction to get a diagonal cut.
  • Now using the point-cutting technique, cut the hair at different angles to give it a feathery appearance.
  • Repeat the process for the remaining sections.
  • Once you are done, comb your hair to ensure there is no abrupt transition among different layers.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Spritz some sea salt spray to create a messy texture for your feathered cut.

Both the feather haircut and the layer cut may seem similar. However, there are key differences between the two. Find out what they are in the next section.

Layer Cut Vs. Feather Cut

Both the layer and feathered cut look flattering and can make your hair look absolutely stunning. Here are some key differences to keep in mind before you finalize your choice:

CriteriaLayer CutFeather Cut
TechniqueIt involves cutting the hair in horizontal sections to create layers of varying lengths.It involves cutting the hair at a 90-degree angle to create soft, fine, tapered ends.
TextureIt has a more defined texture.It adds a soft, flowy texture to the manes.
Face ShapeIt is suitable for all face shapes as it helps accentuate or soften facial features.It is suitable for oval or heart faces as it highlights facial features.
MaintenanceIt requires regular maintenance to keep the layers looking fresh and defined.It is low maintenance compared to layers as the ends grow out gracefully.
Hair TypesIt is suitable for curly and straight hair types as the layers can easily be adjusted to suit the natural texture of the mane.It is suitable for long to medium-length hair. It may not be suitable for very thick or extremely thin hair.
VolumeIt gives a nice lift to the mane, making the hair look voluminous.It adds subtle volume to the mane.

While there are some differences that make each hairstyle unique, they also share a lot of similarities between them. Learn more about them in the next section.

Similarities Between Feather Cut And Layer Cut

Both these trendy haircuts involve adding texture to the mane to add a sense of movement, volume, definition, and depth to the mane. Apart from this, these gorgeous hairstyles help flatter the face shape and make for an effortlessly cool look.

Both these hairstyles can make you feel good and help you stand out in the crowd. But if you are having a hard time choosing between the two, then scroll down to find out if they can be combined to create a new edgy look for you!

Is It Possible To Combine Both Haircuts?

The answer is yes! While both these styles serve different purposes, they complement each other well and can be combined to create a multi-layered haircut with feathered ends. However, one must note that this haircut will look great only on long or thick hair. So, if you have short hair, it is recommended to let your hair grow out to help you achieve the desired look.

Both the layer cut and the feather cut can make your hair look healthy and voluminous. However, it ultimately boils down to your personal preference. If you are looking for something that is edgy yet low-maintenance, the feather cut might be the best pick. But if you want something timeless and versatile, the layer cut might be your best bet. Remember to keep your hair texture, type of hair, and face shape in mind before going for the hairstyle of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you feather hair without layers?

Yes, one can go for feathered hair without layers by opting for finely shaped feathered ends. This will help add some fluidity and texture to an otherwise blunt-looking haircut.

Can feathered cuts be done on bangs?

Yes, you can add bangs to make your feather cut seem more edgy and stylish. Remember to consider your face shape, hair type and texture, maintenance preferences, styling options, and personal style in mind before making a decision. If you are unsure, consult a skilled hairstylist to know what works best for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Layers are versatile, easy to style, and help reduce your hair weight, whereas the feather cut is easy to maintain and helps highlight your facial features.
  • Layered cuts require frequent trims and more time to regrow, whereas the feather cut is not suitable for fine hair.
  • You can get a multi-layered look with feathered ends to enjoy the best of these popular hairstyles.

Getting a layered haircut may seem difficult and complicated. However, in reality, it is pretty simple and requires a little bit of practice. Check out this video to learn about the right hair cutting technique to achieve this timeless hairstyle.

Personal Experience: Source

Was this article helpful?
Joyce Joyson

Joyce JoysonBeauty & Lifestyle Writer

Joyce Joyson is a beauty and lifestyle writer with over a year of experience crafting short-form content for the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle niches. She has a triple majors bachelor’s degree in History, Political Science, and Geography from IIS University and a master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Kristu Jayanti College. Her academic foundation has equipped her full bio

Latest Articles