Feathered haircuts have made a comeback in recent years, offering a lightweight and voluminous look that adds movement to medium hair. To shed light on this popular cutting technique, we interviewed Ness MacKinlay, an expert hairstylist with years of experience in the field. Ness shares valuable insights into feathery cuts for various hair textures, densities, face shapes, styling tips, and recommended products.
Meet The Expert
Ness is a hairstylist with over 12 years of experience.
You can find her at Hair Nessessities in Ontario, Canada.
Understanding Hair Types and Textures
Feathered haircuts, known for their thin, layered appearance, can work well for different hair types and textures. According to Ness, it’s essential to determine your hair type, density, and curl pattern to decide if a feathered cut is right for you. Ness explains, “Each type of hair has a different way to go about this technique, but when done correctly, it can make you look amazing.”
For medium or normal hair texture, which is the most common hair type worldwide, feathered haircuts are ideal. Ness highlights that medium hair strands are not as fragile as fine hair and can handle multiple layers without appearing sparse or stringy. Medium hair also holds a style well, ensuring the feathered look stays intact throughout the day.
Thick hair or high hair density, characterized by a larger number of strands per square inch, can tolerate numerous feathered layers without looking sparse. However, it’s crucial to approach fine hair types with care to avoid over-thinning.
On the other hand, thin or low-density hair, with fewer strands per square inch, is not suitable for feathered cuts. Feathering can accentuate the thinness of the hair and potentially cause damage.
For naturally curly or coily hair, Ness advises caution when considering a feathered cut unless the hair is regularly straightened or blown out. Curly hair can become prone to breakage and frizz when thinned and feathered, making it less suitable for this style.
Wavy hair, when combined with a feathered cut, can enhance the natural waves. However, individuals with thin and wavy hair should explore other options, as feathering may not provide the desired results.
Straight hair, according to Ness, has the best outcomes with a feathered cut. This technique helps reduce weight while improving hair’s overall appearance and volume.
Choosing the Right Feathered Cut for Your Face Shape
When it comes to face shapes, feathered haircuts can be flattering for all. Ness emphasizes that this style can enhance your features and even subtly alter your face shape. Here are specific recommendations for different face shapes:
Round faces, which are equally wide and long, benefit from feathered cuts that add volume on top. This creates the illusion of an oval face shape and flatters round faces. Styling the hair back can produce a soft and blended look.
Square faces, featuring equal width in the forehead, cheekbones, and jawline, benefit from layers that start just below the cheekbones. By styling the layers away from the face above the cheekbones and hugging the jawline, a feathered cut can soften the overall appearance.
Diamond faces, characterized by narrow foreheads and chins and wider cheekbones, can benefit from feathered layers starting below the cheekbones. This creates the illusion of width at the jawline and chin for a balanced look.
Oval or oblong faces, longer than they are wide, are universally flattering with any haircut. To subtly create width and avoid elongating the face, Ness suggests minimal volume on top and ample volume at the sides. Starting layers around the top of the cheekbones and feathering them can achieve the desired effect.
Heart-shaped faces, with wider foreheads and pointed chins, can resemble round faces with a more pronounced chin. To balance this face shape, Ness recommends creating a width around the cheekbones and jawline. A feathered, eyebrow-length fringe can help diminish the appearance of a wide forehead.
Styling Tips and Product Recommendations
Styling a feathered haircut can be easy or more involved, depending on personal preference and lifestyle. Ness shares some practical tips and recommended products for different lifestyles:
Round brush blowouts create a beautiful finish for feathered cuts, but they can be challenging to achieve alone. For busy individuals, Ness suggests using a hot air brush, which combines drying and styling in one tool. This option saves time and effort, making it ideal for busy moms or professionals with tight schedules.
Individuals with active lifestyles often prefer wearing their hair up and away from the face. In such cases, styling only the fringe or a small section of hair left out can add a definition. Using a flat iron or curling iron, one can quickly style these sections, taking only about a minute.
For those who prefer a low-maintenance approach without heat styling, Ness recommends the Color WOW One Minute Transformation styling cream. This lightweight, non-greasy product can be applied to the hair for a quick and smooth finish. It tames frizz and adds a touch of elegance without weighing the hair down. Suitable for all hair types, this product ensures a lasting, smooth, and happy look throughout the day.
Pictures of Most Glamorous Feathered Haircuts for Medium Hair
#1: Redheaded Feathers
The color resembles the beautiful natural hair of a redhead, but with some extra shine. This client seems to have dense hair. For such hair, adding feathered back layers is crucial. This makes the scalp healthier and the hair easier to style.
#2: Brunette Hair with Face-Framing Layers
Brunette hair with face-framing layers is a mix that adds depth and dimension. The rich brown tones of the hair provide a natural and classic look. Face-framing layers enhance features and create a soft, flattering frame around the face. This versatile style is perfect for adding movement and texture to the hair. It’s a popular choice for those looking to refresh their look with minimal effort.
#3: Red Feathered Hair with Choppy Layers
Stay on trend with a copper red shag haircut with choppy layers. Modern shags are a universally flattering haircut with a stylish ’70s-inspired flair. The feathered layers in a shag haircut are perfect for creating shape around your face. They also reduce the weight of the hair. For an extra ’70s vibe, ask your stylist to round brush your hair back and away from your face. It helps to enhance the feathered effect and to create volume. Try Joico’s Rise Up Powder Spray at the roots for an extra volume boost and massage until the desired volume is achieved.
#4: Feathery Layered Straight Lob
The feathery layered straight lob is a modern and stylish haircut. It features soft, wispy layers throughout the length of the hair. This versatile hairstyle adds volume and texture while maintaining a sleek appearance. I recommend the feathery layers to create a sense of movement and dimension. It’s a flattering choice for women seeking an effortless look.
#5: Medium Multi-Layered Hair with Curled Ends
Multi-layered hair is a nice choice for those looking to add dimension to their locks. The multiple layers create movement and body throughout the hair. The curled ends add a touch of glamour. This versatile style can be dressed up or down for various occasions. The medium length allows for easy styling and maintenance. This makes it a practical choice for those with busy lifestyles. With regular trims to maintain the layers and curls, this hairstyle will continue to turn heads.
#6: White Blonde Hair with Subtle Feathered Layers
White blonde hair with subtle feathered layers is a striking style choice. The icy, pale blonde color creates a bold and edgy look. Subtle feathered layers add movement and dimension to the hair. This hairstyle is perfect for those who want to make a statement and stand out. The delicate layers blend seamlessly. They create a soft and feminine touch to the overall style.
#7: Golden Brown Feathered Hair
Brown feathered hair is a timeless choice for those seeking a natural, sun-kissed look. The warm, golden brown hue adds depth and richness to the hair, complementing a variety of skin tones. The feathered layers create movement and texture. They enhance the overall softness and flow of the hairstyle. This versatile style can be easily dressed up or down for any occasion. It’s a perfect choice for those seeking a low-maintenance yet chic look. Regular trims will help maintain the feathered layers and ensure the hair remains healthy.
#8: Mid-Length Layers and Long Fringe
Mid-length layers with a long fringe are a trendy choice for those seeking a modern and chic look. The layers add movement and texture to the hair, creating a sense of volume and body. The long fringe frames the face beautifully. It adds a touch of softness and enhances facial features. This style can be easily customized to suit different face shapes.
#9: Voluminous Medium Feathered Cut
Bring some 70s volume into the future with a voluminous medium feathered cut. Feathered face-framing layers are a chic way to create a soft, feminine shape to the face. Softness is important if you have a very square or rectangular face shape. It will help to soften the sharp corners. Talk to your stylist about the facial features you want to bring attention to. This will help to determine where your layers will start. For maximum volume, use a volume mousse or spray before blowing it dry, set it into large rollers, and let it cool.
#10: Medium Hair with Chunky Layers
Medium hair with chunky layers is a bold and edgy choice that adds a contemporary flair to your look. The layers create a textured and voluminous effect, adding depth and movement to the hair. This style works well for those seeking a dramatic transformation. The medium length allows for versatility in styling. With regular trims, you can rock a trendy hairstyle that exudes confidence.
#11: Copper Feathered Layers on Fine Hair
Copper-feathered layers on fine hair are great for adding depth to fine locks. The warm copper tones bring a vibrant and eye-catching element to the hair. The layers create movement and texture, giving the illusion of thicker hair. This mix of color and texture enhances the look. It creates a stunning and stylish hairstyle for those with fine hair.
#12: Medium Feathery Layers with Long Side Fringe
Try these feathery layers with a long side fringe for your medium-length hair. The side fringe adds texture and helps to accentuate your face shape. Feathery layers add soft volume to your ends.
#13: Medium-Length Stacked Layers and Bangs
Try these stacked layers with bangs for your medium-length hair. This cut will give you lots of texture, making it very easy to style daily.
#14: Medium Thick Hair with Subtle Feathery Layers
If you have medium-thick hair, subtle feathery layers are a great way to change things. Medium-thick hair can get quite heavy, but when too many layers are added, it can add too much volume or puffiness. Ask your stylist to create framing around the face, starting at the cheekbone. But keep the overall hair one length. This will create a softer, more feathered, glamorous look around the face. And it will keep weight in the back to hold the hair down. To alleviate heaviness without making the hair overly voluminous, ask for the hair to be thinned or texturized.
#15: Mid-Length Feathered Cut with Layered Bangs
Mid-length hair doesn’t just have to be for growing longer. Embrace your length with a mid-length feathered cut with layered bangs. A feathered cut creates a lot of texture and layers in the hair. They will reduce heaviness while creating a lot of movement in the hair. Ask for layers to start around your cheekbone length and blend to the longer ends. Ask your stylist for balayage pieces in the hair to create dimension within the haircut.
#16: Black Feathered Hair with Blonde Highlights
Black feathered hair with blonde highlights is a gorgeous hairstyle. It combines contrasting colors for a bold and dramatic look. The feathered texture adds movement and dimension to the black base. Blonde highlights provide a vibrant pop of color that complements the dark hue. This dynamic combination creates a popular, eye-catching style.
#17: Collarbone-Length Feathered Shag with Fringe
The collarbone-length feathered shag with fringe is a trendy hairstyle. It effortlessly blends texture and versatility. The feathered shag layers add volume and movement to the hair. The fringe frames the face. This stylish mix of elements creates a chic, low-maintenance look. It’s perfect for girls seeking a modern, cool hairstyle.
#18: Shoulder-Length Airy Layered Hair
Here’s a layered airy shoulder-length haircut. The flattering cut you’ve been looking for if you have a finer hair texture and are looking for body and movement. A concave cut will give you the perfect layering through the mid-section of your hair. This will flatter narrow jawlines the best.
#19: Feathery Textured Haircut with Blowout
The feathery textured haircut with a blowout is a nice choice for those looking to add volume to their hair. This style incorporates soft, feathered layers that create a light and airy effect. The hair gets a smooth and polished finish when paired with a blowout. It enhances the overall texture and creates a glamorous look.
#20: Feathery Butterfly Cut for Fine Hair
Create lightweight volume in fine hair with a feathery butterfly haircut. Butterfly haircuts put a lot of emphasis on framing the face and creating lots of lightweight volume in the hair. Face-framing will soften your face and is trendy and flattering on most face shapes. Fine hair can layer quite flat at times. The layers of this cut will counteract that by adding movement and volume within the hair.
#21: Front Feathered Layers with Soft Purple Shade
Enhance your tresses and add intrigue by opting for indigo-violet hair. Indigo, violet, and purple are all cool hair colors that look best on medium skin tones. Feathered or face-framing layers will create a lot of movement in the hair. They will relieve some weight around your face. Ask your stylist to texturize your face frame to create a softer feathered look. It will help to keep the hair from hanging heavily on your face.
#22: Feathered Wispy Wolf Cut with Bangs
Ask for a feathered wispy wolf cut with bangs. A wolf cut will frame the face and nape area with a mullet-shaggy effect. Having shorter layers with bangs will make your hair look thicker for finer hair textures. Use Hairstory Undressed to create weightless and effortless hair.
#23: Shag Lob with Subtle Layers and Feathered Bangs
The shag lob with subtle layers and feathered bangs is a versatile and trendy hairstyle. It offers a fresh take on the classic lob. The shaggy layers add texture and movement, while the feathered bangs frame the face. This mix creates a chic, effortless look for casual and formal occasions.
#24: Platinum Blonde Lob with Feathered Ends
Ask for a platinum blonde lob with feathered ends. A soft texture added to fine but thicker hair is a must to blend layers and create movement and shape. Try playful concave layers. They help with flips in the hair, and face-framing swept petals around the face.
#25: Medium Haircut with Flipped-Up Layers
On a medium-length hair cut, styling your layers with a more flipped-out look is great for volume. It can also give you a very classy vintage look! I recommend using a 1 1/2-inch barrel curling iron to get this look!
#26: Mid-Length Feathery Soft Layers
Try adding feathery soft layers to your mid-length hair. These weightless layers will give you soft movement and texture.