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Layered Cuts: Yes or No?

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, December 6, 2010

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Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Layering hair can be a beautiful thing. Not only are layers stylish and versatile, but they also add body and volume to blah hairstyles… But not everyone is cut out for wearing layered locks. It takes a very specific hair type and personality to pull it off and some people might be better suited to wearing a blunt cut. Not sure whether to layer on certain clients?

Take into stock individual hair texture, thickness and density first. Most manes can be classified as straight, wavy and curly with some variation. Thickness obviously refers to the width of each individual strand of hair, while density covers how much hair is actually on your head. The two don’t always correlate… A person can have thin hair but a lot of it, for example.

As a general rule, follow these guidelines. Curly hair should never be cut blunt. This will create the dreaded pyramid cut, with lots of fluff and volume at the bottom. Instead, cut well-blended, gradual layers so the effect is not so harsh. It’s also better to keep curly locks shoulder length and shorter, particularly with thin or sparse hair (so it doesn’t appear stringy) and because it’s more up to date. This will also give more options if the client wants looser curls or to style hair straight.

Wavy hair looks nice with layers as well, but does not need an as intense of a layering technique. A few long, face-framing layers in front should do the trick for fine or medium-thick hair or a not-so-dense mane. Have thicker, wavy hair? Try a similar effect but have your stylist cut longer, face framing layers all around the head.

Lastly, straight hair is the hair type that looks best in blunt, or all one length hairstyles. In fact, fine, straight is ideal for a sharp and mod bob with clean lines. This will beef up the texture instead of cutting into it. For straight and thick hair, a one-length style will work but make sure to keep the mane on the longer side so it gets weighed down and some of the volume gets flattened out. For hair with a slight wave, play up that texture; layers might be a good option as long as hair is not too thin.

Also, take stock of how much time the client is willing to put into their style. If they’re going for an edgy, rocker look with layers, make sure they have the time and desire to keep it looking good and that it matches their overall style.

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Begin having frequent staff meetings and collaborate on business building techniques used by others that you work with. Every salon has success right inside. Get the top booker to explain how they do it. Pair the weakest with the strongest and let them work next to each other. They can learn from what they hear and see. Do the same with retail sales. Share the ways that the top stay on top.

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