Layering Fine Hair? It Can Be Done!

Fine hair can be very challenging to cut, especially for those guests that want layers and texture while maintaining density on the perimeter.  Andrew Carruthers, Director of Education for Sam Villa, shares tips for cutting layers into fine hair that respects the hair type and yields maximum texture without sacrificing density.  The key is to use different elevations from the sides to back.




“The most challenging section is on the side behind the ear, because it transitions from a heavier density to lighter as the hairline round ups and changes direction above ear,” explains Carruthers. “The hair at the back of the head usually has enough density for layers and texture.”


  • Start cutting in the back where there is more hair to work with and use lower elevation to cut through the density of the perimeter. Carruthers uses a Sam Villa 6.25 Artist Series Shear – "It’s really sharp and cuts through large sections of hair easily."
  • Use a 90° horizontal elevation with a slightly diagonal finger angle to create an amplified layering effect.
  • Using a traveling guide and over directing back will give more length while moving around the head.


  • Increase elevation significantly to preserve more density in the perimeter – elevate 90° vertical.
  • Purposely allow the perimeter to detach from the back so it can transition to the front and maintain density.
  • Use a strong diagonal finger angel so the hair on the perimeter is cut less to maintain density and match the back section.

“Switching up the elevation from back to side yields a much more balanced shape than uniformly using either all high or low elevation,” adds Carruthers. 

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