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What is a Graduated Haircut?

A graduated haircut is a technique where hair is cut at progressively shorter lengths, creating a layered effect that adds volume and shape. This style can be tailored to flatter any face shape, enhancing your natural features. It's a versatile choice, whether you're after a bold statement or subtle texture. Ready to transform your look? Discover how a graduated cut can elevate your style.
Harriette Halepis
Harriette Halepis

A graduated haircut is a type of haircut that includes many different layers. This type of cut can also be referred to as a wedge cut or an angled cut. This haircut is usually given to people who want to keep hair layers long, while still providing hair with a fair amount of body. A graduated haircut can also denote shorter hair that is cut at an angle.

When a hair stylist performs a graduated haircut, the hair is first separated into four different sections. Next, hair is cut at an angle, section by section, until all sections have been properly trimmed. By cutting upward, a stylist can effectively cut hair at an angle creating a graduated haircut.

An experienced stylist is necessary to perform a wedge cut.
An experienced stylist is necessary to perform a wedge cut.

Graduated haircuts are popular around the world, since these cuts are both conservative and unique. Unlike a straight or square haircut, a graduated haircut allows hair to move freely. People who have graduated haircuts also find that these cuts are versatile, since hair can be swept up into a bun or allowed to hang loose.

Choosing a stylist to perform a wedge cut can be difficult, since this cut requires a certain degree of skill. Stylists should have experience cutting hair in this fashion. While a wedge cut may seem relatively straightforward, this is not the case. Thus, it is wise to ask a stylist for references prior to asking for a graduated cut.

Graduated haircuts can be easily swept up into a bun.
Graduated haircuts can be easily swept up into a bun.

Even though anyone can opt for a graduated cut, some face shapes will benefit from this type of cut more than others. People who have triangular-shaped faces tend to carry a graduated cut well, while people who have rounder faces may want to avoid this type of cut. The best way to determine the right kind of haircut is to speak with a professional hair stylist, since these professionals can recommend the best type of hair cut for every face shape.

Graduated haircuts were incredibly popular during the early 2000s, and this type of cut still remains popular today. A graduated cut is a good choice at any point during the year, though a shorter version is a great summertime hair style. To find a stylist capable of creating a stunning graduated cut, speak with stylists located nearby. In most instances, professional stylists will be able to create a graduated cut, though this is not always the case. As with any other haircut, it's best to ask whether or not a graduated cut can be performed before an appointment is booked.

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Discussion Comments


@Cupcake15 - I know what you mean. Not everyone knows how to cut curly hair because you always have to cut it a little longer than normal because curly hair tends to bounce up so you can’t cut it too short.

I think that a long graduated haircut might be easier because the layers are longer which is best suited for people with curly hair. It tends to make the hair more wavy because it loosens the curls.

I know that sometimes people bring in graduated bob haircut pictures and want to look just like the model in the picture but it does not always work out that way because the model may have fine hair and it might be easier to achieve that look with her hair.

I think that you have to be realistic when you show a stylist graduated haircut photo because that look may not be possible, but they should be able to show you something else that might work.

Some hairstyles are beautiful, but they don’t work with everyone because it depends on the shape of your face and how your hair lays that will determine which looks are better for you.


I just wanted to say that it does take a lot of skill to do a graduated bob haircut. I have curly hair that has a lot of volume so my hair has to be cut in long layers.

A lot of times the stylist will cut my hair perfect on the top layer and blow it out the way I like but then when I wash my hair, and let it dry it dries in a triangular fashion because the stylist did not do layers in the interior portion of my hair. He only did layers on the top layer which is really disappointing.

I find that when the stylist has curly hair like me then usually know how to do a short graduated bob haircut without making it look like a triangle.

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    • An experienced stylist is necessary to perform a wedge cut.
      By: Rido
      An experienced stylist is necessary to perform a wedge cut.
    • Graduated haircuts can be easily swept up into a bun.
      By: Dash
      Graduated haircuts can be easily swept up into a bun.