How To Layer Fine Hair (Without Losing Density) - Sam Villa

How To Layer Fine Hair (Without Losing Density)

How To Layer Fine Hair Without Loosing Density

The power of a good haircut can change flat fine hair to a bodyful, trendy style. One of the biggest challenges for stylists when cutting fine hair is keeping the ends from losing density, especially at the perimeter near the ears due to the change of direction.

Andrew Carruthers, Cultural Ambassador for Sam Villa explains how to properly layer hair to achieve textured, fuller styles with the illusion of density and bounce for your clients with super fine hair.


Prepping the hair before cutting seals the ends and assists with moisture retention, also helping the blades of your scissor to glide smoothly for precision. We suggest a conditioning cutting spray like Redken One United, a lightweight spray with moisturizing properties and pH balancing that can be used from roots to ends. Prepping is a step that should be done on all hair types prior to cutting.


We recommended starting your haircut in the back of the head to focus on where the heaviest part of the haircut will be. This is also where the most hair lives. This will best achieve the goal of this haircut, which is to create the illusion of more density as you move around the head towards the face.

  1. Your first section will start from the high part of the crown down to the center back of the head ending at the nape.
  2. This section will be a 1-inch, pie-shaped section to create a guide to follow for the left and right sides of the back of the head, following around to each ear.
  3. Hold each section at a lower elevation (approximately 90 degrees horizontal). This will ensure cutting even layers throughout the entire section eliminating a “shelf-like” result at the ends.
  4. Follow a traveling guide* bringing every section to the previously cut section.
  5. Continue with 1-inch partings, 90 degree elevation and a diagonal finger angle.
  6. Complete until you reach behind the ears where the change of direction starts.
  7. Technique continued below at #1.

HOT TIP: The use of Sam Villa Artist Series Shears with a 6.25” sharp blade will result in a seamless, less-heavy cut. The precision of these blades is important for cutting while using a diagonal finger angle. This emphasizes shorter hair at the top of the section while maintaining length at the ends. The size of the blade will glide smoothly across the section to ensure an even layering technique.

Tip: Using high elevation will result in a heavy perimeter which we don’t want.



Traveling guides* create over-direction and keep more length at the perimeter as you move around the head. Starting this haircut at the back, the hair will get slightly longer as you get closer to the face. This is especially important to be aware of once you reach behind the ear where the hair tends to be the most sparse at the perimeter.

Without over-directing we risk a common cutting mistake known as a “hole” around the ear-when the length is cut too short.

The traveling guide will remain as you move around the ear yet the elevation will change.


Increasing elevation preserves more density in the perimeter which will eliminate the hair from looking too sparse on the ends.

To continue the cutting technique:

    1. Starting from the back of the ear, the elevation of your sections will change to vertical straight up towards the ceiling.

a. You will continue using a traveling guide, and diagonal finger angle mirroring the previously cut sections in the back.

Note: This will create a detached area. The difference between a disconnected haircut and detached haircut is within our mindset. There are reasons and purposes for both perfectly blended haircuts and detached haircuts. It’s important to have the foundations and principles so that you are able to customize haircuts per your clients’ needs.

We purposely designed this as a detached haircut to maintain density and create the illusion of fullness at the ends. By using a traveling guide throughout the cut we ensure length and density.

  1. As you move towards the face, continue with vertical elevation and a slightly more diagonal finger angle so that the ends are just lightly dusted.
  2. As you reach your final section, you have a choice:

a. Don’t want layers around the face? Carve out the perimeter around the face and leave out. Dust the ends to meet the desired length in the front.

b. If you do want the layers around the face, continue with the same technique to complete the entire head!

Hot tip: To ensure the layers around the face are cut precisely, stand behind the section and place the teeth of the comb facing you at the root of your section. Slide the comb against the scalp towards you and stop at the end of the section. From there, comb the hair up to vertical, and follow your diagonal finger angle as the previously cut section.


Refining your layering technique and changing your elevation will create the illusion of the hair your clients always dreamt of. Continue watching our videos for tips and tricks to step up your game behind the chair!

Recommended Shears For This Technique

6.25" Artist Series Shear

Pay as low as $25/mo.


6.25" Signature Series Shear

Pay as low as $25/mo.


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