Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Will chronicle the steps and questions I have as I try to develop skills in haircutting.

In the last 8 months I have accumulated a number of haircutting DVDs and have attended haircutting classes at the hair shows in Atlanta and Orlando. The most useful of those were the Ivan Zoot courses which centered on the use of Andis clippers (

Taking Ivan Zoot courses led me to his many YouTube clips which greatly expanded what I knew about how to use clippers, care for clippers and how to apply clippers to cuts typically done with shears. If you would like to view these go to YouTube and search on Andis, Ivan Zoot, or Clipper Guy which is how Ivan is also known.

Trying to apply these lessons in cosmetology school was one of the most fun things I did in school. Like all other things, these had to be reviewed a few times for me to get the hang of them.

The DVDs were bought at hair shows or on EBay. I hope to talk about these in coming posts.

My current tools are: 6" shears and 6"tapering shears by Bonika. The Bonika shears had been recommended by two school teachers who work for Bonika. The most convincing endorsement came from a young stylist picking up her sharpened shears at the hair show in Atlanta.

Most of the clipper work I do is with BGRc which is an Andis clipper with replaceable blades. I found a very good deal on Ebay for the clipper and a set of 10 ceramic blades. The blades are: a) 00000 which cuts to a length of .2 mm, b) 000 which cuts to .5 mm, c) 0A which cuts to 1.2 mm, d) 1 which cuts to 2.4 mm, e)1 1/2 which cuts to 4 mm, f) 2 which cuts to 6.3 mm, g) 3 1/2 which cuts to 9.5 mm, h) 3 3/4 FC which cuts to 13 mm, i) 5/8" HT which cuts to 16 mm, and last j) 3/4" HT which cuts to 19 mm.

I use the BGRc because I like the fineness of the cut it gives.

Before this I used the Andis Speed Master with replaceable guards. I made the switch after noticing that many of the teachers at the hair shows used clippers with replaceable blades and some of the student teachers at the cosmetology school used them also. Those who used them reported a more refined cut with the replaceable blades. Ivan Zoot had told me that the change is made when you feel your haircutting is ready for the improvement. These may not have been his exact words but it is what I got out of it. Finding the good buy on EBay let me make the change even though I knew little.

The results with blades with no guards is similar to cutting with a clipper with a guard and then refining with a scissor over comb technique to smooth it out.

Many other teachers at school and at hair shows used the clippers with guards and found them more than adequate. Try them. Your mileage may vary. I did not see any students cutting with replaceable blades.

You may notice that the size of the replaceable blades does not exactly equal the size of the guards. Guards are typically numbered from 1 to 8 and each one represents a length of resulting hair from 1/8" for number 1 to 8/8" for number 8. There is more range with the replaceable blades. If you are used to cutting with guards, it may take a little time to decide which replaceable blades gives the length you want. Knowing how many millimeters are in an inch is helpful. There are 25.4 mm in an inch. It is a pretty quick adjustment. I will talk about the blades I use and their purpose in other posts.

My trimmer is the Andis Outliner II.

I have a number of different types of clipper combs, general cutting combs and barber combs. I will make an effort to sort out the ones I use later.

No comments:

Post a Comment