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 feathered haircuts 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.