Choosing the Right Hair Length for Long Hairstyles

There are numerous elements to consider when deciding on the length of your long hair system. Take into account the inherent layering in your system, what you would like the finished length of your hair to be, and your base size.

When you request a hairstyle, we order the appropriate length according to that style and where you want the ends of the hair to fall in regards to your shoulders. Your base size actually affects the final length measurement as well. However, if your system will be cut-in by a local stylist rather than at our factory, you’ll need to consider the following factors so you order the appropriate length.
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The following considerations can be very complicated and confusing, which is why we are happy to design and cut-in the hair system to the style you choose. However, we supply this information for your reference, especially if you are having your system cut-in at a location near you, so you are sure to order the appropriate length and can avoid any unwanted surprises when you receive your hair system.

Cover your growing hair

We recommend you cover the entire length of your hair with the system. Choosing a length for the system’s hair that is shorter than your own hair could make the difference in hair types more noticeable, so it is best to make sure that your hair system is at least as long as the longest length of your growing hair.

To find the length of the longest part of your growing hair, start at your crown and measure down to the lowest hanging point of hair, usually around your ears or at the back of your neck. If you’re having difficulty and need more help with this, please contact your hair tech.

There are additional advantages to keeping your growing hair covered. Normally, if the color, texture, and density of your system don’t match your growing hair, it makes your hair system detectable. However, if your growing hair is completely covered by the system, small imperfections are not as noticeable. Similarly, as your hair system oxidizes and changes color over time, the color difference between it and your growing hair won’t be as obvious.

As a tip, consider ordering a system that is 2 inches longer than the longest length of your growing hair so that you can trim the ends to match. It may also be helpful to account for the expected growth of your hair, so that it doesn’t surpass the hair length of the system.

Inherent layering

Layering occurs naturally as your hair grows. Even though all of your hair is growing at the same rate, if left uncut, it appears layered. Where the ends of the hairs fall is determined by the point on your head at which it’s growing out of your scalp. To illustrate: the hair at your crown and at your nape are growing at the same rate, but because the crown is higher up on your head, the hair growing from here will end at a higher point than the hair growing from the nape, creating natural layers.

This effect occurs much in the same way on your hair system, because the base is contoured to the shape of your head. Hair of even length is ventilated throughout your base. If you order 12 inch hair, hair from any area in the system should measure 12 inches from base to tip — this doesn’t include shorter return hairs. The longer the hair and the larger the base, the more noticeable inherent layering is.

Because all the hairs in a system are hand-tied, there can be minor variation in length throughout the hair system. For example, if you order 12 inch hair, some may measure to 11 or 13 inches. This variation creates additional layering.

If you don’t want layers

If you’d like a hairstyle without any layering, such as a blunt-cut or bob hairstyle, be sure to complete the following measurements.

1. Using a flexible measuring tape (as for sewing projects), measure from the top and center of your head down to where you’d like the end of the hair to be. Be sure to measure down over the sides and back of your head to ensure you have the *maximum* length needed.
2. Add 3 to 4 inches to your measured length to account for the inherent layers that will need to be trimmed for your desired look. For example, if you’d like your hairstyle to be 12 inches long, you may need to order 16 inches of length. This can vary depending on your base size.

Wispy ends

The inherent layering in your system can create thin, wispy ends; this is especially true if you don’t have very much growing hair to add density. If you don’t plan to have your long hair system cut-in at our factory, and don't want wispy ends, we recommend you order an additional 2 inches in length to account for trimming.


Depending on your hairstyle, you may prefer that the ends of your hair system blend into your growing hair, as opposed to completely cover it. This will be more important if your system’s hair is shorter than your growing hair, or if your style calls for blending. It’s a good idea to speak with your hair tech before placing an order to determine how much extra length you’ll need to account for blending.

Base size

The amount of layering and the appearance of your system’s finished length is greatly determined by the size of your base. The larger the base, the more layering you can expect to have.

Base width

The wider your base is, the more layering you’ll have on the sides of your system. If your hair is 12 inches long, and your base is 5 inches wide, you’ll have about 2 1/2 inches of layering at the ends when you part your hair down the center. Overall, the hair will appear to be 12 to 14 1/2 inches long.

If the base is 8 inches wide, you will have closer to 4 inches of layering towards the ends. The hair will appear to be 12 to 16 inches long.

Base length

The longer your base is from front to back, the longer your hair will appear in the back. 12 inches of hair on a partial system with a base 6 inches long from front to back will appear shorter in the back than it will on a base size that is 10 inches from front to back.

Density of growing hair

As mentioned earlier, if you plan on a longer hairstyle and have very thin growing hair, order a few extra inches of length so the wispy ends can be trimmed to create a fuller look. If trimming the ends doesn’t create the density you’d like, you may have to increase the size of your base for more coverage.

Curl and wave

Curl or wave added to a hair system affect the appearance of length. Size makes a difference: the tighter the curl, the shorter your hair will appear. With long hairstyles, tighter curls also carry more risk for tangling and breakage. If you would like your hair to appear a certain length, you may need to add inches to account for shrinkage from the curls. Be sure to talk to your hair tech about this.