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Advice

The Lowdown On Layers

To layer or not to layer? That is the question! Ever since "The Rachel" came to fruition, layers have ranked supreme in the hair world.

jennifer aniston hair "The Rachel" was the look that started the layer craze.

You see almost every woman in Hollywood sporting them, and the style isn't going anywhere for a long time, if ever! Here's why:

1. Layers give the illusion of natural volume. I REPEAT: NATURAL VOLUME! Volume is something that all women covet when it comes to their hair. Some more than others (ahem, Snooki), but forget the mass amounts of volumizing sprays and hair teasing. Just a few layers cut around the crown (for short hair) and face can add the perfect amount of organic lift to your locks.

2. Layers generally require little fuss. Depending on the cut, the layers alone can be all the style you need. So, if you're running late in the morning and only have time for a quick blow dry, you can usually count on the layers to add just enough pizzazz to eliminate major hair boredom. This can save you valuable styling time! Because they have the power to make your mane look great, styled or not, layers can be versatile, flexible, and practical. When referring to a hairstyle, those three words alone can be an instant selling point, no questions asked!

3. Layers can accentuate color effects. Two-toned hairstyles are most flattering with layers to work with. The technique used is usually coloring the hair darker underneath, and using a lighter color on the layers. This gives the color dimension and creates a natural movement in hair of all lengths.

4. Layers can make you appear younger. You heard us right, layers have anti-aging effects! Long layers around the face can give it a subtle lift and add a dash of youthfulness, causing the fine lines to be less noticeable. This has the potential to take up to 5 years off!

ellen barkin hair Ellen Barkin is proof that a youthful layered bob can take years off!

Need the scoop and styling tips on long layers vs short layers? We're happy to help!

Long Layers

Jennifer Aniston hairThe great thing about long layers is that they can add a lot of liveliness and bounce to your 'do without having to make any drastic changes in the overall cut or length. We are taking cues from Jennifer Aniston on this one! Jen's long layered is style is sleek, sexy, and surprisingly easy to pull off! Here's how:

1. Since this look is so sleek and straight, you want to start with a styling cream that will guarantee smooth and pin-straight locks. We love CHI Silk Infusion. Squeeze a small amount of the cream into your hands, rub it together, and smooth evenly throughout damp hair.

2. Next you will need a paddle brush. This brush works wonders for detangling and smoothing out straight hair. You will then begin blow-drying hair with the brush, sections at a time. Start from the crown and slowly work the dryer down to your tips until dry and continue sectioning until entire head is dry.

paddle brush3. Part hair and apply a smoothing serum. We are loving It's A 10 Silk Express Smoothing Balm. It works wonders at taming flyaways and coats your hair with a silky sheen. Rub the serum in hands and run it through the ends and midlengths of hair until you achieve a smooth, sleek look.

4. Top off the look by misting your hair with a finishing spray, like the stray-taming Sebastian Liquid Gloss, and you should look nothing short of Aniston-chic!

 Short Layers

Keira Knightley hairAn awesome advantage with a short layered style, like Keira Knightley's, is that it is easy, manageable, and convenient. If you're running late in the morning, you can hop out of bed, run your fingers through your hair and go without looking sloppy. For this particular style, seen on Keira, the styling is super easy and minimal! Here's how to get it:

1. Apply a styling gel to damp hair. We recommend the Sebastian Texturizer Gel. This will give short layers flexibility and definition for an edgier look, like Keira's.

2. Next, take a round brush underneath sections of hair from the crown and blow-dry downward. Round brushes are perfect for added volume and shine - great for short hairstyles.

round brush3. Once dry, work a smoothing/straightening cream or balm through the hair to ensure the frizzies are kept at bay. We love Sebastian Taming Elixir. It eliminates flyaways by smoothing the hair and giving it manageability and added shine. This pairs very well with a flat-iron, which is what you'll need next!

4. Flat-iron the strands with a 1" ceramic plate iron. We recommend the CHI 1" Ceramic Hairstyling Iron. Try to lift the strands of hair upward when ironing so that the hair falls with a bit of volume.

5. Finally, mist a holding spray over the hair to keep the style in place. A good holding spray for short hairstyles is Sebastian Shaper Fierce, as it will give your 'do a long-lasting style and shape.

Want to be sure you can keep up with adding some layers to your coif before taking the plunge? There are a few things to consider.

hair beauty thinking1. While managing and styling layers are relatively easy to maintain, the upkeep isn't as simple. It is recommended that you meet with your stylist every 4-6 weeks to freshen up your layered look. This has the potential to burn a hole in your bank account, but it certainly isn't detrimental to the cut if you can't make that work. Meeting with your stylist every other month should suffice!

2. Layers can be somewhat limiting when it comes to what you can do with your hair. This is especially true if you are an athlete or frequent the gym. Updos and ponies can be hard to pull off as pieces of hair tend to fall in the face. If you have all-over layers or shorter layers that frame the face, you may find that wearing your hair down will cut you more slack. However, you can still make an updo work! You just may find that bobby pins will become your new best friend.

Eva Longoria hair Eva Longoria makes it work by bunching her face-framing layers back into a low, curly updo.

Clearly, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to this chic style. In our opinion, the minor drawbacks are well worth having a vivacious, stylish 'do in the name of good hair. Now, all in favor of layers, say "Booking my appointment!"

For the love of hair and layers,

Staci

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