Guest post by Colleen “Vaseline Dion” Moore, TUBC student from our CNE campus.
Cutting hair is an art form, so there’s really no right or wrong way to get awesome results with a haircut. Every stylist is different, but there are some basic principals that all stylists can use to improve speed and quality when cutting men’s hair. Good technical skills will also increase your male client retention.
Here are my thoughts on cutting men’s hair.
When using clippers, its almost always better to use them on dry hair. Blending should be done dry, too. If the hair is wet, it’s hard to see the lines or how the hair is going to lay when its cut. Unless you’re using a razor or shears, keep the hair dry.
I do this so much throughout my cuts. It’s important to make sure the cut is even and proportional. When I’m doing a short haircut, I’m checking for blending and tapering in the mirror and standing back a few feet. I do this because usually I can see things from a distance I can’t see up close. Proper lighting is essential.
Avoid lines of demarcation. When you’re using clippers, go through three steps with each stroke. Start with the clipper anchored with the entire flat surface of the blade touching the head. Moving upward, pivot the clipper so only the back of the blade is touching. Next, suspend the clipper freehand as it moves up and out of the hair. This will create the smoothest transition possible. One method of blending that I use is shear-over-comb or clipper-over-comb. To do this, use a detachable blade clipper with a large blade. The large blade will give the client a smoother blend because the hair will be cut in a uniform length with a feathered end. NEVER use a short blade or the trimmer to blend because the blades will give the hair a very blunt cut and leave lots of demarcation.
Razors with guards or point-cutting techniques can be used to give your client’s hair texture by cutting the ends of the hair in varying lengths. You want texture in the haircuts that are worn spiky or messy. MAKE SURE HAIR IS WET BEFORE USING A RAZOR OR YOU WILL MAKE YOUR CLIENT SCREAM! When pulling the hair between the razor and thumb, hold the razor at an angle and use a C-shaped scooping motion. The point-cutting technique is used to cut the ends of the hair at an angle, or even snipping out alternating pieces, to add texture.
A lot of stylists spend a lot of time finishing, but I think a great haircut can be completely destroyed by bad finishing, just as a bad haircut can look respectable with good finishing. It’s important to make sure all lines are clean and neat. Most haircuts need slight tapering or beveling around the edges. To do sideburns, stand in front of the client and look them directly in the face to check balance. Make sure bangs are even, too.
So, those are some of my musings on men’s hair and cutting. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to approach a haircut as long as the end result is technically solid and the client is happy.