"Shattered" Layers Are Your Shortcut to Fuller Hair

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Whether you're due for a dusting or want a do a big chop, choosing your next haircut can be a daunting task. Between classic transformations like bangs and trendy new options like the "jellyfish" cut, there's no shortage of ideas. Still, if you're looking for something a little more non-committal, allow us to introduce you to "shattered" layers.

What are they? Essentially, your answer to fuller-looking hair. "'Shattered' layers are a cut that you can see only when there is movement to the hair," hairstylist Juli Akaneya, tells POPSUGAR. "When the hair is still, there is no line or separation of visible layers." Similar to a dusting, "shattered" layers are almost imperceptible as a cut, but they add loads of volume and definition without weighing the hair down.

Should you be on the market for a new look, Akaneya breaks down everything you should know about the latest technique sweeping the hair space, from why it's suddenly so popular to what to ask for at the salon.

What Are "Shattered" Layers?

Like normal layers, this cut involves playing with levels in your hair. However, unlike more dramatic styles like the "jellyfish" or the "mixie," shattered layers are meant to look like your hair, but better. "They have always been a popular option for people who want lots of movement and texture in their hair," Akaneya says. "It became especially popular in the early 2000s and is making a comeback now with the current resurgence of Y2K trends."

Yes, you heard that right. If "shattered" layered looks familiar to you, it's because they were practically a staple in the early aughts. They became popular when chunky layers, also known as a butterfly haircut, from the 90s went out of style and people wanted a less dramatic alternative. "This cut is especially good for people with thick hair," Akaneya says. "It creates a lighter, softer appearance and is also a great way to enhance natural hair texture as it air-dries."

Can Textured Hair Get "Shattered" Layers?

If you're wondering whether natural or textured hair can get onto the "shattered" layers train, the answer is yes. "This haircut will enhance natural texture while also removing weight without creating any harsh lines," Akaneya says. Depending on how you're wearing you hair, use a lightweight styling cream to really show off your natural texture. Since your hair will already have that super-airy look from the cut, it won't take much product to highlight your new layers when strutting down the street. In conclusion: no crunchy, greasy hair.

How to Get "Shattered Layers"

To get the look, ask your stylist to focus most of the cutting toward the ends of your hair, rather than the top or middle. They will cut in what looks like a slightly-jagged pattern but, as they work their way up your head, you will notice that not only is the difference in how your actual hair looks a minute one, but also that your hair moves much more freely.

Then comes styling. "Once the layers are cut, your hair can be blown out for a smooth, voluminous look or it can be air-dried for a more natural, textured finish," Akaneya says. Should you rather that more intentionally shaggy appearance, take Verb's Ghost Air Dry Whip ($20) and work a small amount into towel-dried hair. "This not only emphasizes your new texture, but it also doubles as frizz control."

Shatter Layers Inspiration

Yeah, we know: you're on your way to make your next hair appointment. While you're on the phone, take a look at some "shattered" layers hairstyles that you can take with you to your stylist and ensure you get the look you're going for.

Shattered Layers on Long Hair

Shattered Layers on Medium-Length Hair

Shattered Layers on Short Hair

Shattered Layers on Textured Hair

Shattered Layers on Short Curly Hair

Shattered Layers on Medium-Length Curls

Shattered Layers on Lob Haircut