September 11, 2021

How To Cut Hair Extensions Into Layers

How To Cut Hair Extensions Into Layers

Table of Contents

Ok. You’ve got your hair extensions installed. But they don’t look right and the ends are all choppy! Now what? Never fear, dear reader, I can help you blend, blend, blend!

My name is Bianca, and I’ve been wearing all sorts of extensions for about 15 years now. As I’m an avid traveler and can’t always get back to my hairdresser in time, I have learnt to install and layer my own extensions wherever I am in the world!

Allow me to share my top tips when it comes to getting a good blend and how to maintain it install after install.

This article will give you my methods for layering your extensions at home from someone who does it once a month, every month.

Excited to get that perfect blend? Keep reading to learn more!

Step-by-step Guide to Cutting Hair Extensions into Layers

Get these tools prepared before you start your DIY layered haircut:

Tools Needed

  • A fine comb
  • Sectioning clips
  • Blowdryer / straighteners
  • Hairdresser Shears (or sharp scissors)

Detailed Steps

Follow the steps below, and you will quickly have a layered cut:

Step 1: The first thing you will need to do is make sure your extensions are installed to your liking. Tapes are taped in, clips are clipped in or get your weave sewn-in.

Step 2:  Next, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. This gets rid of all the build-up and residues and leaves your hair very clean. Condition, rinse and towel dry your hair.

Top Tip: If you have clip-ins or a weave, don’t wash your hair, use a spray bottle and dampen your hair. You can even add a little leave-in conditioner to make it a conditioning spray to get super soft hair while you work!

Step 3: Next, section off your hair into two front pieces in front of the ears, one high piece, one occipital bones piece (the big bump on the back of your head), and leave about an inch at the nape here. For some perfect sectioning magic, watch this video here.

Step 4:  Take your bottom layer, split into two, and pull one section over each shoulder. Take the comb and pull through the hair to get the hair perfectly straight and taut. With the shears, trim the hair at the desired length. Just a blunt cut at this stage.

Step 5: Take a little piece of the trimmed hair from the back of the head and move it to the other side as a guide to make sure both sides are even.

Step 6:  Work your way up the head and make sure that the whole head is the same, even blunt length.

 Step 7:  Take the front two sections and slide cut the sections by your face, blending down to the main hair evenly and gradually.

Step 8:  Once you are happy with the front, find a point about halfway between your shortest hair and the ends and pulling your hair forward, slide cut the mids to ends at the back of your head.

Step 9:  Take all the hair and split it into two, pulling it forward over your shoulders. Take small sections and point cut the ends.

Step 10:  Blowdry your hair straight and run the straighteners over it to make sure it is perfectly straight and smooth.

Step 11:  Check your hair for evenness and blending. Repeat appropriate cuts to the hair where you feel it isn’t graduated enough or uneven.

Step 12:  Once you are happy, finish with the blunt cut on the ends to make sure they look thick and healthy.

*Top Tip:  You don’t get extensions to cut them short. You should be trimming and shaving off very little hair, so even though this feels like it is a lot of cutting, don’t think that the goal is to have piles of hair around your ankles. Just a softening and blending of the edges.

Step 13:  Once you are happy with the blend, you can either go out with your straight hair as it is, or curl your hair. Make sure if you are curling your hair to grab extension hair and natural hair to curl together to make sure it looks seamless. We have a handy How-To guide here.


Check out the below sections for quick answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to layering your extensions by yourself.

Can I Blend Extensions into Short Hair?

Yes you can! If your hair is very short, I would recommend wearing tape in extensions and layering your hair to blend. You will also have to be very careful with the color match, as you will have to put the wefts up quite high to get a seamless blend.

Another thing that helps make your hair look faultless when blending your hair is tying those little pieces at the nape of your neck up into a little ponytail under your hair. This is true no matter what extension method you use.

What About When I Reinstall My Extensions?

So this is the part where you have to be a little organized.

If you have clip-ins, it is easy enough to just dot a little nail polish on the edge of the clip that should be closest to your face. This helps you easily identify which clips go on the left and right (the big long clips go at the back in the middle, don’t worry about marking those).

If you have mermaid-worthy hair which you tape in, sew-in, or microlink in, you can just reinstall your extensions any way you like and repeat the above to get the same effect.

If your extensions are shorter, you don’t want to lose an inch every time you reinstall! So what I do is measure out my hair by length and sort it into where it should all go before I start reinstalling.

So the shortest pieces should go at the nape of the neck, and the longest pieces should go at the top of the head.

Your front pieces will be apparent as they will be the shortest with the biggest graduation to blend your front pieces.

This makes it easy to pop your hair back into the right place, and usually you can get away with just a little blunt cut to get your ends looking full again. I have Russian tape-in extensions and I usually lose about 2 inches over the full lifetime of about 18-24 months with this method.

Wrapping Up

Getting a seamless blend hinges on a multitude of factors, from the right texture, to the right color. But a good trim and layers cut can make large inroads into getting that perfect blend, and as I do myself, one little trimming session can serve you for years of good hair days!

Did you try it? Can I see the results? Let me know in the comments below, I love hearing from you!


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