How to Cut Layers in a Wig

by S.F. Coleman ; Updated September 28, 2017

Customize your wig by adding layers.

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Deciding to wear a wig is a simple way to add versatility and fun to your style or cover up hair thinning and alopecia. Sometimes finding a wig with the layered style that meets your needs out of the package can be tough. The layers may be too long or too short, or may come with unwanted bangs. Because most wigs can be cut and styled like your own hair, you can buy a straight wig and customize the layers.

Place a wig on your head and spray it with water until it is as damp as freshly washed hair. Comb all of the hair back, leaving a 1/2-inch section in the front of the wig. Make sure the wig is 100 percent human hair. Some synthetic wigs are damaged by wetting or everyday styling.

Comb the section forward toward your nose, as if your are going to cut a bang. Cut the hair level with the tip of your nose in a straight line across your face.

Looking in the mirror, pull the hair straight up toward the ceiling. Make sure the strands are even when standing up. Extend the section from ear to ear on both sides. Pull the sides straight up and cut the hair even with the section in the center.

Remove the wig and place it on the wig stand so you can see your cuts better. If you do not have a wig stand, keep the wig on your head and continue to use the mirror to see your cuts.

Section off another 1/2 inch of hair from ear to ear, just behind the front section. Pull the middle of this section straight up alongside the first section you cut. Cut this section so that it is even with the section before it when held straight up. Pull each side of the section up and alongside the middle and cut them even as well.

Continue cutting layers in 1/2-inch sections until you reach the back of the wig. Each section should be cut so that it is even with the section before it when it is held straight up. Use hair pins to pin nearby hair out of your way as you cut.

Comb all of the hair down after you have cut the last section. The hair should fall into gradual layers with the back layer being the longest. Use a blow dryer or a bonnet dryer to dry the wig, or let it air dry.


  • Avoid cutting your layers too thick. This will make them look chunky. Spray the hair with water occasionally to keep it damp. Dry hair will be hard to control and make it more difficult to see your cuts. Adjust the length of your layer by making your first cut higher or lower than your nose.

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About the Author

S.F. Coleman received her B.A. in English from the University of Central Florida and her M.A. in English literature from the University of North Carolina. She taught college writing courses for two years and has been writing poetry, short stories and essays for more than 10 years.