One of the biggest mistakes or misunderstanding we all make is by assuming that step cutting and layer cutting are the same. Though they have various similarities, both of them are different.
Step Cut vs Layer Cut
The difference between step cut and layer cut is that step cut looks more obvious with its precise “step” being seen in the hair whereas layer cut does not seem too obvious as the layers are blended more easily with each other.
Step cutting on one hand is done in a way that the hair looks like they have been cut at different sections of varying lengths i.e. every section has a gap between them.
On the other hand, layer cutting is done in a way where subtle cuts are made along the hair in varying length, such that it does not look too obvious.
Comparison Table Between Step Cut and Layer Cut (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Step cut||Layer cut|
|Cut||Usually have 2 to 3 level cuts in order to bring texture and variation.||Have no gaps between the layers so as to blend more easily|
|Appearance||Hair looks very bouncy and lively||Provides a lot of volume and texture to the hair. Also gives the illusion of long hair|
|Best suited||Looks good on people with wavy or thick hair type||Looks good on people with straight or thin hair type|
|Spacing||Has a good amount of spacing or gaps. As a result, it does not blend. Steps are easily seen in the hair.||Has no to minimal levels of spacing or gaps. As a result, Layers blend and it cannot be seen clearly. It has a flow.|
|Looks best in||Light curls or straightening looks best in this kind of haircut||Curls or waves through a curling iron looks best in this kind of haircut. Also looks good in straight hair.|
What is Step Cut?
One of the most popular haircuts of all time is step cut. As explained before, step cutting is done in a way that the hair looks like “steps.” It looks very pretty and glamorous on individuals who have wavy or thick hair.
Here, the hairdresser makes sure that the hair is cut in a way that every section of the hair is clearly visible and that gaps or spacing is made between each step. This usually results in having cascading steps in the styled hair.
The hair cut usually has 2 or 3 steps depending on your preference. It usually starts with the first step just below the ear, followed by 1 or 2 steps below it. People usually prefer 2 cuts rather than 3, one at the ear and other at the shoulder. But in order to add more texture, one can go for 3 steps too.
The hair once cut usually looks very bouncy. It feels like a spring attached to the hair, which makes it very lively! It also frames your face very clearly and sharply. It accentuates your face and brings a lot of direct attention to it. It looks very fashionable with light curls or straightened hair as it brings out your jaw, neck and overall beauty of the face.
What is Layer Cut?
Another amazing haircut that looks very aesthetic is layer cutting. It is usually done in a way that no spacing or gaps are present between each layer so that it blends very easily and steps are not clearly visible, like that in step cutting.
Here, the hairdresser usually cuts the hair subtly in different variations and lengths in a way it blends seamlessly with each other. It is very easy to maintain.
Usually, the top layers are cut shorter than the lower ones, so as to create an illusion of volume and length in the hair. As a result, it is best suited for people with thin or long hair to bring volume and make it look wavier and thicker.
There are mainly two techniques to cut the hair in layers. These are:
- Sliding haircut– first the hair is sectioned in 4 parts followed by cutting the back section radially at a 20-degree angle. Using this as a guideline, the front sections are cut making a soft layered end.
- Blended evaluation– the top section of the hair is cut in a 90-degree angle whereas the side sections are cut at 180 degrees in comparison with the length of the top section.
Main Differences Between Step Cut and Layer Cut
- Step cutting usually has 2 to 3 level cuts in order to bring texture and variation while layer cutting is done in a way that no gaps are left between the layers so as to blend more easily.
- In terms of appearance, step cut makes the hair look very bouncy and lively while a layer cutting provides a lot of volume and texture to the hair. Also it gives the illusion of long hair.
- Step cut is best suited for people with wavy or thick hair type whereas layer cut is best suited for people with straight or thin hair type.
- Step cut Has a lot of spacing or gaps, as a result steps are easily seen. Layer cut on the hand Has no spacing or gaps. As a result, Layers blend and it cannot be seen clearly.
- In terms of looks and styling, step cut looks best when light curls or straightening is done whereas curls or waves through a curling iron looks best in layers.
It is never easy to tell the difference and similarities between two different kinds of hairstyle or haircuts, especially between step cut and layer cut as they look quite similar on some people.
People do use both the names of the cuts interchangeably as the difference between both of them is quite minute.
Both step cut and layer cut are different in their techniques, origins and styling. Making the choice between them depends on your preference and face and hair structure.