Friday, April 30, 2010

W/M: clipper, mid length, texture

The main things in this post are the two ways of holding the clippers and comb for efficient ways of cutting and combing. They are described in cutting a woman's hair but the same techniques are used in men especially the back hand technique used in cutting the internal layering. I have seen Ivan Zoot do these at hair shows, classes, Youtube, and on a DVD put out by Andis in case you are looking for more information.

This demonstration is part of the information supporting the idea that most haircuts can be done with any cutting tool. Proponents of clippers will sing their praises as will those of razors and shears.

This is a woman's haircut done with a clipper. The clipper is a detachable blade clipper. The first blade is a 000 blade which Andis recommends for clipper over finger use. The cuts made with this blade can also be made with any other clipper. Using a clipper without using a guard would be close to the result with the 000 detachable blade.

This haircut follows the pattern of working down from the top once the perimeter has been cut. The other standard way to cut haircuts is to cut the perimeter and then the sides and then the top.


Make four sections. Make a part from center front hair line to center of nape hairline. Now make a part from ear to ear through the apex.

Cut the back to one length

Make horizontal sections at the bottom of the nape on both sides of the center part. Comb the hair down to natural fall and hold the section with your palm facing you. The fingers are resting on the client's back with one finger elevation about 2 inches down from the top of the shoulders.
The one finger elevation means that the section is held in the first two fingers of the non cutting hand and the second finger rests on the shoulder thus elevating the section one finger.

The clipper is held with the teeth of the blade going up and down vertically. The teeth of the blade enter the hair being held in the fingers at the tip of the fingers and move from the tip of the fingers toward the hand. The middle of the clipper blade is the only part doing the cutting.

The line cut with the clipper is a square line that is parallel to the floor.

While combing the clipper is held with the teeth facing the stylist in the gap between the first finger and the thumb. The end of the clipper with the cord is at the wrist. The comb is held between the first finger( index finger) and the second finger. It is behind the clipper and separated from it by the first finger. The teeth of the comb are pointing down and are ready to comb the hair while the clipper is being held in the hand.

When the section has been combed, the section of hair is held between the first finger and the second finger of the non cutting hand. The comb is then placed at the base of the thumb and first finger of the non cutting hand where it is held during the cutting. The clipper is rotated in the cutting hand so it addresses the section to be cut.

After cutting the clipper blade is turned so it faces the stylist again and the comb is replaced between the first and second finger parallel to the clipper.

This is a version of palm to palm cutting as done when using shears. With a few repetitions it becomes as natural as placing the comb in the non cutting hand and cutting with shears.

Continue taking sections up the back of the head until reaching the part line from the apex to the ears. Comb to natural fall and cut in a flat or square line across the clients back.

Cut the sides to one length

Go to the side of the client and make a horizontal part one inch above the ear that goes to the front hairline. This section should include some hair from behind the ear to act as a guide to the length on the side. Use the same clipper technique to safely comb the hair and to cut the hair to the guide.

Continue taking sections up to the central part at the top of the head. Cut all to the one length guide.

Do the same on the other side of the head.

Cut the internal layering

A different clipper technique is used for this part. The clipper is held back hand which means the clipper rests on the fingers with the blade toward the pinkie finger and the cord end of the clipper leaving the hand between the thumb and first finger. If the palm is up to the ceiling, the teeth of the clipper also face the ceiling. The comb is placed between the second and third fingers of the hand holding the clipper. The comb is sticking out from the hand nearly perpendicular to the cllipper. The teeth of the comb face toward the end of the clipper with the blade.

Holding the clipper and comb in the same hand allows for the non cutting hand to be free to hold the hair. The comb is not transferred out of the cutting hand during this type of cutting. Combing the section toward you, leaves the blade of the clipper in a safe position facing you. Once the section is being held, the clipper is then brought to the section and cut toward you.

It is quick and easy.

The demonstration I am watching uses a wide tooth blade to cut in this section to give the ends more texture. It you use a clipper without a wide tooth blade you will have smoother ends.

Decide length of hair in the layering on top. The demonstration I am watching does not talk about how to decide the lenght of the top layering. It is left long and looks like it is about 10 inches. The cut hair falls to the level of the client's mouth.

Take a center section going from the front hairline at the middle back to the apex. This section is about 1/2 inch wide and it will be used to cut the guide for the top of the head. Stand to the side of the client. Comb this section straight up and hold in the fingers. The clipper enters this section with the teeth all along the section. This means the entire blade enters the section and cuts it. This is different than the method described above where only the teeth of the blade entered the end of the section.

The section for the guide is cut flat with the ceiling and does not follow the head shape. This will be the guide for the rest of the top of the head.

To cut the rest of the top layers, make a horse shoe shaped part around the top of the head. Start the part at the middle of the recession area and continue behind the apex around to the front hairline on the other side.

(This demonstration does not use a horse shoe shaped parting. The stylist is able to pick up the side to side sections with good accuracy from the right place on the head. Anyone with less experience might like the horse shoe shaped sectioning to help in getting the sections just right.)

Make a part down the middle of the horse shoe shaped section. Start at the back of the horse shoe shaped section and take sections from center to the side of the horse shoe shaped section. Comb up and cut flat to the ceiling using the guide cut at the center top.

Make the next sections parallel to the first and move to the front hair line. Do the same on the other side of the center part of the horse shoe shaped section.

Connect the side to the top
This demonstration connects the perimeter to the top layering by pullng vertical sections on the side straight out from the round of the head where the side meets the top. This will give a guide from the top layering which is used to connect the top to the side. The perimeter is not cut.

They started at the front hairline on one side and worked to the front hairline on the other side.

They continue to use the back hand technique with the clipper to connect or blend these two lengths. They started from the front hairline and worked to the middle of the back and then started over again at the front hairline on the other side.

They point out that with shorter lengths on the top will give more layers on the side. This will result from cutting more hair in connecting a shorter top to meet the perimeter length.

The sections behind the ear and through the back let the hair at the perimeter fall out of the section. This means that in the back the hair below the occipital bone is not included in the layering/connection.

The bangs

The sides are connected across the front by combing the hair from the top and sides forward. In this video they decide on a bangs length reaching the mouth. They cut the center part of this straight across and inch on each side and then they curve each side down to meet the length on the sides.

A note on sectioning for this could be useful. It looks like all the hair going back to the apex is combed forward

Texturizing the perimeter

This demonstration now changes blades to an Andis T 24 blade for texturizing. This has 5 cutting blades across the blade and is reported to take out 24 % of the hair. This is fed into the hair a couple of inches from the end and it removes weight and length. They also use this technique to remove weight from the layering in the back and sides.

(It seems the same result might be achieved with point cutting with the clipper. This is done by holding the ends of the perimeter and aiming the clipper blade into the end of the sections as you would use a shears to cut points. The hair of the ends is held so about 1 to 2 inches is beyond the fingers and the clippers dip into the end almost parallel to the hair strands. )

Product placement, blow dry.

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