How to Cut a Wig into Layers

Wigs are something that have existed for a lot longer than what you may first expect. A version of a wig can be traced back to ancient Egypt, but really became popular during 17th century France.

As the popularity of wigs expanded across Europe and then across the rest of the world, they were a symbol of high class and privilege. But now, wigs are a lot more readily available. 

The commercialization of wigs for the masses has driven the price of these hairpieces right down and now you can buy a good-quality wig at a relatively low cost. But the only problem with wigs is that you cannot simply take them to a hairdresser for them to style them for you.

If you want to style your wig, you will have to do it yourself and that can be a daunting task for some people. With that in mind, we’ve put together this handy guide that tells you exactly how to cut your wig into layers.

So if you want to change the style of your wig but don’t know-how, then you are in the right place. 

Synthetic Vs Human Hair

Before we move onto how to cut layers into your wig, let’s first talk about the different types of wigs available.

The main types of wigs that you will have heard of are synthetic and human hair wigs. Both of these wigs require treatment in different ways so you must consider the type of wig you own before you begin to cut it. 

Synthetic wigs are made out of synthetic material which is produced in a way to make it look real. Whereas human hair wigs are constructed with real human hair to give a completely natural appearance.

The main advantage of synthetic wigs is that they generally hold their shape and style even after they have been washed. Whereas human hair wigs require restyling after every wash, just like human hair does.

When it comes to cutting both synthetic and human hair wigs the process is very similar. However, you must take care when cutting both types. Human hair is generally weaker than synthetic hair and it is also more prone to damage.

So, you should be very careful when cutting human hair to ensure that you do not damage the hair that you want to keep in the process.

Why Would You Want to Add Layers?

There is a fair chance that you might be sitting there, reading this, and asking yourself ‘Why would I want to add layers?’ 

It’s a fair question to ask, and you might be confused about why you would want to cut a wig that you have already spent so much money on. After all, wigs are relatively expensive and, unlike human hair, they do not grow back once they have been cut. 

A lot of people who choose to add layers to their wig do so after they have owned said wig for a while. Just like natural hair, people who wear wigs may grow bored of the style that it is cut into and choose to do some alterations themselves.

Layers are one of the most popular alterations that people have done on their natural hair so it makes sense that people may want to add layers to their wigs too. But that’s enough about why you may want to add layers, it’s time for us to look at how to add layers to your hair. 

How to Cut a Wig into Layers

Now you are ready to cut your wig into layers. Before you get started, we would recommend gathering your clipping scissors, T-pins, and hair clips to make the process easier.

Once you have collected the equipment that you need you should place your wig on a wig stand and pin it into place using your T-pins. You should clip across the lace line and also in front of the ears to secure it ready for cutting. 

Once you have attached your wig, the first thing that you should do is check that the wig is straight, otherwise any cuts that you make could be wonky.

You should then take the front sections of the hair and clip them in front of the ears ready to trim the bottom layers. After that is done, you can then decide where you want to cut your layers.

The first layer that you cut is the most important as this will dictate how long or short the wig will be once you finish cutting. Generally, people tend to make each layer between 1-2 inches shorter to create lots of volume in the wig. 

Once you have decided where the layers are going to be cut, you can then begin on the middle layer. Using a hair clip you should gather the top layer of the hair and pin it out of the way so that you can get to work.

To separate layers, we would recommend using a comb to get the best results. You can then begin to cut. You should do this by taking small sections (2-3 inches) of the hair in between your middle and index finger and trim at a 45-degree angle to make it easier.

Work your way through the hair until there is none of the middle layer left, before moving onto the top layer. 

You can then move onto the front of the wig. You should release the pinned sections and give them a quick brush before you do anything else. Next, you should form a frame around the face by using your dominant hand to trim the sides of the front of the hair at a downward angle.

Most people choose to start trimming downwards from the ear so that the hair is still long enough to be styled. After you have done the front, simply repeat the process of the back of the hair on the remaining hair at the front and you will have a wig that appears good as new. 


In short, cutting layers into your wig is very easy.

If you follow this guide, the process will be simple and you’ll find yourself with a wig that appears new ready for when you want to wear it next. 

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