Long Hair Is Back In – And The Step Haircut Proves It

By Charlie Colville

1 month ago

Layers on layers on layers

Bobs have been monopolising salons for too long – the time has come to once again reclaim the long hair look. Word from the professionals is that long layers are back in, and the style leading the trend is none other than the humble step haircut. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is A Step Haircut?

‘A step haircut is a distinctive, layered hairstyle where the hair is cut at different lengths, creating noticeable “steps” or layers,’ explains Jason Crozier, Art Director at Neville Hair & Beauty. ‘This results in a structured, voluminous look with clear, defined transitions between each layer.’

After several months of short hairstyles – bobs, especially – taking the trend spotlight, salons are noticing a shift back towards longer locks with lots of playful texture. Think the wolf cut era, but in longer, choppier sections, with less emphasis on the mullet factor. And really, this is where the step haircut shines. ‘It offers a more stylised version of long hair, with sharp, well-defined layers that add significant depth and dimension,’ says Jason. ‘These layers are typically cut with a mix of blunt and graduated ends, enhancing the stepped appearance and making the style stand out. It’s essentially a modern twist on the traditional layered cut; it adds natural volume and movement to the hair, which aligns with the current trend of embracing fuller, more dynamic hairstyles.’

@beautyby.bri Just wait for the results…. & book with us to get your dream haircut #phoenixhair #phoenixhairstylist #arizonahair #arizonahairstylist #haircutinspo #layeredhaircut #longlayers #faceframehair #phxaz #phoenixsalon ♬ original sound – Beautybybri

Celebrities have been pushing the trend along bit by bit, leaning into longer hairstyles with plenty of layers. ‘Miley Cyrus wears her layers bold, and Cindy Crawford would be your classic example of prominent distinct textured layering,’ adds Jason. The stylist also notes that TikTok has picked up on the trend too – and a quick look on the platform shows almost 80 million posts tagged under #steplayershaircut and a further 198 million under #longlayeredhaircut.

Who Suits This Hairstyle?

Due to its emphasis on distinct layering, Jason explains that some hair types might work better for this hairstyle. ‘The step haircut is versatile but works best on straight and wavy hair, where the layers can be distinctly seen and maintained,’ he says. ‘It suits a variety of face shapes, particularly oval, round, and heart-shaped faces, as the layers add structure and balance, enhancing facial features.’

How To Ask For A Step Haircut In The Salon (& What To Expect)

As always, bring plenty of images to your appointment so that your stylist can understand the vision you have for your hair. ‘When requesting a step haircut, it’s crucial to bring reference photos to clearly communicate the desired look,’ Jason adds. ‘Discuss the specific lengths and the number of layers with your stylist. Understanding your daily hair routine will also help your stylist tailor the cut to fit your lifestyle.

‘Some salons might have different names or variations of this look – for example, at Neville we have the Chelsea Cut – so it’s really important to communicate what you’re after with the layers, rather than just asking for a step haircut,’ he continues.

Now, for the cut itself. As Jason explains, ‘The step haircut is crafted with traditional layering techniques that are exaggerated to ensure the layers are more defined and not blended to create the step effect. Sectioning the hair and cutting it at varying lengths to form distinct layers. Stylists can use a combination of scissors and razors to achieve sharp transitions between steps. Precision is key to ensuring the layers are evenly spaced and the overall look is cohesive and polished.’

@isabellaschack Laaaaayers#frisør #bergen #layers #hairdresser ♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus

How To Style A Step Haircut

There are plenty of options for styling this look. ‘To style a step haircut, use volumizing products to enhance the layers and create lift at the roots,’ recommends Jason. ‘Blow-drying with a round brush can help define each layer, and a texturising spray adds separation and movement. For a sleeker look, flat ironing each layer individually can highlight the structured steps. It’s all about playing with volume and texture to suit your personal style.’

What Next?

So, what’s next for long hair – and the step haircut? ‘I see the step haircut evolving with variations in layer lengths and sharpness, adapting to new trends and personal preferences,’ muses Jason. ‘As hair trends continue to celebrate individuality and bold styles, we might see more experimental elements like asymmetrical layers and mixed textures incorporated into the step haircut. It’s a versatile cut that can be tailored to suit evolving fashion.’

Hair Inspiration


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Featured image: SS24 Copenhagen Fashion Week Streetstyle (c) Noor-u-nisa