How to Fix a Bad Layered Haircut Yourself: DIY Step-by-Step Tutorial

Black girl with brown eyes with bad layers and unwanted bangs wearing red and white strips

Whether you went a little scissor-crazy and hacked up your mane or had a disastrous salon experience, you need to fix it fast.

How to Fix a Bad Layered Haircut: Complete Guide

If you’ve been freaking out over your bad layered haircut, it’s time to exhale because we’re going to tell you exactly what to do about it in this article. 

Types of Bad Layered Haircuts and How to Fix Them 

African American model wearing a cotton blend jacket and an orange hat

When you are going for seamless, natural layers and end up with a choppy result, your first instinct may be to panic. But if you know what to do, there’s no need to worry.

There are several ways that layered haircuts go wrong, and we’ll look at each of them along with solutions you can implement right now. 

Uneven Layers

Sun-tanned young woman bob hairstyle and noticeable large hoop earrings

New hairstylists and DIYers often end up with uneven layers. You are dealing with this problem if you’ve got random long layers over short layers. Uneven layers can make a haircut look like it was done by a 3-year-old. 

How to Fix Uneven Layers

Fixing uneven layers is difficult because it requires you to do the whole haircut again the right way.

If you didn’t do your haircut and have no experience cutting your hair, your best bet is to reach out to the person who did your hair and ask them to do it the right way. If you did your own uneven layers, here’s what you need to do: 

How to Fix an UNEVEN Haircut at Home - TheSalonGuy

  1. Start at the crown of your head and comb a small vertical section of your hair upward. As you begin combing from the base of the section, use your fingers to grasp the hair tightly. As you comb the section upward, your fingers should follow the comb. If your hair is in its curly state, stretch a small section upward and clasp it with your pointer and middle fingers.
  2. When you get near the ends of the hair, stop moving your fingers upward and grab your scissors. 
  3. Look for the shortest layer and cut straight across at that level. If your layers are extremely uneven, you may need to cut off quite a bit of hair to fix it. Before cutting, you should ask yourself if you’re okay with cutting your hair that short. 
  4. Take a section of hair right in front of the first one and repeat the previous steps. But this time, use the section of hair you just cut as your guide.
  5. Repeat the process all around the crown of your head.
  6. When you get to the sides and back of the head, you won’t pull the hair straight upward. You’ll pull it outward according to the shape of your head. Try to grab the hair in layers so that you won’t lose track of them. 
  7. You are all done! 

Watch this video by licensed hairstylist Stephen Marinaro to see how to fix uneven layers on straight hair.

You’ll follow this same process if you have curly hair, except you’ll cut your curls dry and skip the comb. 

Choppy Layers

Female with a type 3c hair type and a bad cut wearing a colorful orange jacket

When your layers come out choppy, it’s never a good situation. Choppy layers are characterized by layers that are too spaced out or thick. 

How to Fix Choppy Layers

Two Ways to Fix Choppy Layers

If you’re up for the task, you can fix choppy layers by adding a new layer. To create another layer, take part of a longer layer and cut it so that it falls halfway between the top layer and the bottom layer.

When you’re done, you should have a new layer between the two existing ones. 

Layers that are Too Long

It can be a bummer when your layers are too long, but this problem is one of the easiest to fix. 

How to Fix Layers that are Too Long

All you need to do is section off the unlayered part of your hair from the rest and create some higher layers. To create the layers, take vertical sections of hair, overdirect them upward, and then cut straight across. 

African American beauty with straight type 3c hair texture

Layers that are Too Short

It can be particularly distressing when your layers are too short. Unfortunately, if your layers are too short, there’s nothing you can do about it except wait for your hair to grow.

To encourage hair growth, be sure to keep your hair moisturized and nourished. That way, your hair won’t break off while you’re trying to grow it out. And while you’re waiting for your hair to grow, try to have fun styling it.

You can draw attention away from your too-short hair by breaking out the hair accessories (e.g., curling iron) or even wearing hair extensions (e.g., clip-in extensions) and wigs. 

Dos and Don’ts for Fixing a Bad Haircut

Attractive young female dancing in the street with a new haircut with more layers than traditional bobs

When fixing layered cuts, you could end up with a worse result if you’re not careful.

To reduce your risk of creating a whole new problem, we’d like to share some important dos and don’ts that you should consider: 


  • Do use hair cutting shears. Haircutting shears are much sharper than regular scissors, and this really makes a difference. They enable you to get a cleaner, sharper result. Dull scissors, on the other hand, can damage your hair shaft and cause split ends. You won’t have to worry about that if you use haircutting shears. 
  • Do cut off less hair than you think you should. Once you cut a section of hair, it’ll be a long while before it grows back. So, it’s important to cut off a little bit at a time. 
  • Do make sure that you can see the front and back of your hair. A three-way mirror or multiple single mirrors should suffice. 
  • Do work in sections. Taking a few minutes to section off your hair can make the trimming process much easier. 


  • Don’t rush through the cut. This is one of the quickest ways to ruin your hair. 
  • Don’t cut your hair in horizontal sections. This creates unnecessary bulk and can make your hair look super choppy. 
  • Don’t cut bangs straight across. A good technique to use for bangs is to twist them around and then cut away a tiny bit at a time. 

Know When to Reach Out to a Stylist

Lady with a black hair color and flawless skin wearing bobby pins on a layered cut

The information that we’ve shared with you so far will help you fix just about any bad haircut, but you may have a haircut that needs something that’s not covered in this article.

Also, if you’re having trouble fixing your hair, don’t be afraid to call a stylist and ask for advice.

They may recommend that you come in for a consultation, but you may get lucky – some stylists won’t mind helping you out via phone. Others may charge a small fee for phone assistance. 

A helpful stylist can assist you by letting you know step-by-step how to fix your specific haircut. 

Dark-haired lady with a bad haircut with existing layers wearing orange plastic earrings

As a last resort, you may want to make an appointment with a local stylist to fix your haircut. You don’t want to end up with two failed haircuts. 

If your layered haircut has gone bad, you may be feeling down. But if you have experience trimming your hair in the past, you can try to fix it yourself using the techniques featured in this article.

Newbies, however, would probably be better off going to the salon and having a professional fix the cut.

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Whichever course of action you decide to take, we hope that this article has shined some light on the topic of fixing layered cuts and encouraged you to take a stab at fixing it yourself. We wish you the best with your hair!

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