The most flattering haircuts are the ones you don’t even notice; you just think, wow—that’s great hair. This is exactly why we’re obsessed with ghost layers, a technique that’s basically a study in blending. Ghost layers eliminate the risk of an in-your-face cut. If one of your top fears is looking like you’re trying too hard then consider ghost layers your bestie. To find out all the deets on this haunting look, we checked in with the creator himself, celebrity stylist Ramon Garcia, and trust us, you have nothing to fear!
“It’s a technique that adds movement and texture while giving the illusion of a one length haircut,” explains Ramon on ghosting, which allows him to remove bulk from the hair without compromising on length. “It works for all types of hair, so it really is the best of both worlds,” he continues. Think of a ghost layer as a layer within a layer. Varying lengths are key—shorter pieces work to add motion to locks, while longer layers serve to camouflage these pieces.
Ramon turned to ghost layers to give clients a style update. This feels like a natural progression, especially since evident or exaggerated layers have become the norm in cutting over the last generation (hi, The Rachel). “I wanted to give people a more modern look,” he says, which he does by adding layers that are essentially invisible. “You can’t see it until you’re walking down the street and the wind hits you,” describes Ramon.
Cut + Color
Like Jordan had Pippen and Kobe had Shaq, Ramon’s work complements Mane Master Johnny’s Ramirez’s “lived-in” color technique. Perhaps more than anything, ghost layers were born out of not wanting to hurt Ramirez’s seamless coloring. “There’s not one point in the color where it doesn’t blend beautifully,” says Ramon of the lived-in locks he’s used to working with. “If I go in and layer everywhere, it will remove the color. So by giving the hair various length, we maintain perfect color while giving the client all the movement they want.”
This cut is super key for a powerful stylist-colorist duo, or for anyone who has had really intricate color work done. “It specifically aims, from a cutter standpoint, to benefit the colorist,” he explains. Since you’re not chopping off too much hair, you’re able to still maintain the integrity of the color.
We’re here for ghost layers, which are like the ultimate answer to all of our cut and color dilemmas. It’s the worst to watch freshly painted highlights fall to the floor. Consider this your next request if you’re trying to do the most without doing too much.