Sometimes a new hairstyle is all a person needs to uplift their self esteem or makeover their style. Adding style with a layered or feathered hairstyle is an alternate to losing length. Cutting layers into hair, even African American hair, requires a well-thought plan.

Things You'll Need

Wash and condition hair as usual. Cutting African American hair when it is wet or at least damp gives you better control by allowing you to work with the hair’s true length. Comb through your hair with a wide tooth comb to get out the tangles.

Choose a layered hairstyle that compliments your face’s shape. For example, a round face needs a layer style that adds height at the top of the head and reduces volume on the sides. Some websites such as Greatest Look (see Resources below) allow you to upload a picture of yourself and experiment with various hairstyles.

Hold a section of your hair straight out from the scalp at a 90-degree angle in order to cut it. Hold the hair between your index and middle fingers at the ends of the hair where you plan to cut the hair.

Cut the hair just beyond your fingers with sharp straightedge styling scissors to achieve the layer look. Continue cutting sections around the head. Cut at an inward angle around the head for shorter hair. Cut long hair in a rooftop pattern that leaves more hair on the sides and bottom covering the ears.


  • A layered style reduces bulkiness in the hair.