Tuesday, May 11, 2010

M: clipper, long, ethnic Afro lining

This is a haircut of few steps. It involves a lot of free hand clipper cutting. The stylist needs to see in advance what the final design should look like. The excess length is then cut from the ends of the hair so that the design emerges.

Unlike cutting less curly hair, the sections of this haircut don't need to be pulled out once the hair is all combed out from the scalp. The sections are in effect 90 degrees from the scalp before cutting, during cutting and after cutting. These sections don't collapse on the scalp once they have been cut. The sections don't need to be picked up one at a time and cut and released.
This last may be an alternative way to cut this haircut. That is, it could be cut by treating it like an ordinary 90 degree haircut in floppy hair with all the hair pulled up in sections and held between two fingers until the clipper cuts it. Because the hair stands up on its own the sectioning and holding can be simplified to just making sure the hair is cut to the right length.

The hair needs to be untangled by combing with a pick comb. The hair is combed straight out from the head form at 90 degrees. The effect is to have the hair standing on end.

Start at the distribution point and cut pivoting sections
The clipper with blade for carving the ends of the hair is used. In this demonstration the 0A F/D blade is used. It seems that any blade which gives a close cut could be used. This would include a clipper with no guard and the blade closed. I don't have an 0A F/D so I would use a plain 0/A or a 000 blade.

The clipper is suspended off the scalp near the ends of the hair in the distribution center. The first section is down the top middle to the forehead. The sections are then pivoted around the distribution center in the crown. The sections are overlapped. Only the ends of the hair are cut in forming this shape. The entire surface of the hair is cut with each section starting at the center crown. In the demonstration, they break the sections into three pieces. The first is the top of the section, the second is the bottom of the section. The third is the connection of these two sections.

The clipper follows the overall head shape as it comes from the distribution point. This gives an overall round shape to the head. The demonstration defines the movement of the clipper as light and cruising. The need is to avoid denting the work.

Connecting the top of the haircut to the bottom is done in exactly the same way. It is to be sure the two parts are blended smoothly. The clipper glides over the shape at the ends of the hair.

The demonstration encourages going around the head systematically in doing the three cuts. The first was cutting the top, the second was cutting the bottom and the third was connecting the two. From the demonstration the cuts start at the top middle are rotate around the head to the top middle again.
It is not clear that the three sections need to be separated. It looks like they could all be cut at the same time by starting at the distribution point and cutting to the hair line in each section. The final blending at the hair ends could be applied to the entire sections cut by the clipper in each pass.

Taper the perimeter
This takes another complete turn around the sides and back of the head.
In the demonstration, the tapering looks like it starts about 2 inches from the perimeter. The angle is less than 45 degrees and looks closer to vertical - it is not a steep slope to the perimeter.
The tapering does not end up being close at the perimeter. It appears there is nearly 1/2 inch of hair length at the perimeter.
This tapering was not done in the area over the forehead. However it was partially done in the initial pivotal sections done on the top. This took place as the cut followed the natural slope of the front top of the head to the forehead.

Line the perimeter
This is done in the usual way. The clipper or trimmer is turned over so the heel of the blade is toward the ceiling. The blade is then gently touched to the hairline along the desired line. The client usually has strong feelings about how deep this line should be cut into the hairline. Less is generally preferred to more.
The line is continued around the perimeter. If hair is found over hanging the ears, etc, they are also trimmed away now.

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