Friday, May 7, 2010

M: clipper, medium, texture

This is a typical man's haircut which is done in a rapid way by a stylist who knows what she is doing. It goes quickly. The clippers give speed in cutting and they are used to give extra texture in places.

In previous notes, there has been a system of cutting. The sides and back were first cut. Then these were connected through the area above the parietal ridge to the top. Finally the top was cut to the length determined by the connection from the sides to top. Here the perimeter is tapered first. Then the top is cut to length and this is continued into the area above the parietal ridge by cutting the sections at 90 degrees to the head shape. This length is then blended to the tapered perimeter.

Taper sides and back below the widest parts of the head

This haircut is done by first tapering the perimeter of the hair all around the head. A clipper over comb technique is used. Emphasis is placed on holding the comb on an angle so that it is not held horizontal to the floor. (Other techniques emphasize holding the comb horizontal to the floor).

The comb enters the hair against the grain and is tipped away from the scalp so that the comb is on the line of the desired slope of the haircut. This demonstration does not mention finding the guide at one end of the comb before cutting along the comb. Watching the demonstration, it is clear that the stylist does find the guide in the end of the comb. The comb is then held steady and the clipper cuts along the length of the comb.

The tapering is taken up to the occipital bone in the back. This means that the taper is cut with the spine at the level of the occipital bone to cut the taper. On the sides, the commentator says to take the taper just above the ears. This does not seem to be accurate. The spine of the comb goes up to the widest part of the parietal ridge. This gives a taper that is about 1.5 inches above the ear. It seems the taper is taken to the height of the widest part of the head all around the head.
The low taper is to insure that the transition to the top can be cut without making the top too short.

Cut the top to desired length

The next part of the cut is the top of the head. There is no mention in the demonstration of how the proper length for the top is selected. It appears that the length is 2.5 inches. It may be that this stylist knows from experience how long to make the top compared to the taper she cut on the perimeter. It would be useful to have a guide for the length on top. Another technique for this part of the haircut would be to first connect the sides and top. This would give a length to help in selecting the top length. The length in the connection area would be the starting guide for the length across the top.

In this haircut the top length is picked and cut in side to side sections across the top.

The clippers are held with the blade toward the little finger and the comb is held in the same hand between the first and second finger. The cord of the clipper leaves the hand between the thumb and first finger. This is a modification of the back hand clipper technique described in the previous post: W/M: clipper, mid length, texture . See the description under the section called " Cut the internal layering" In this description the comb is held between the second and third fingers of the hand holding the clippers. This stylist is using a modified version where the comb is held between the index and middle fingers. Here the comb is less straight out from the side of the clipper and more pointed to the cord end of the clipper.
Another modification is that the stylist stands behind the client and takes side to side sections across the top of the head. She starts at the front hairline. Her fingers holding the hair are side to side across the top. They hold the hair with the palm near the scalp so the hair is cut over the fingers. The clippers are turned to cut from the tips of the fingers toward the palm. This is different from the previous description where the clippers were cutting across the length of the section instead of one end to the other.

Add the blending to the sides
The areas above the parietal ridge are blended as the sides are cut. This is different than doing this in two steps. In a two step approach the sides would first be cut and then the top would be connected to the sides in a separate step. In the two step method, it can be useful to have a part line separating the top from the side. This is frequently a horse shoe shaped parting in many of these posts.
In this demonstration, the stylist cuts across the top going side to side. She then continues the cutting through the area above the parietal ridge to connect to the tapering at the perimeter.
Wherever the cutting is taking place, the hair in the section is pulled to 90 degrees from the head shape. On the top the hair is pulled straight up toward the ceiling. Above the area between the parietal ridge and the top. The hair goes straight out from the curvature of the head.

Cutting continues around the back of the head in the same manner of pulling the hair to 90 degrees from the head shape.

Cross check the top
Take front to back sections across the top and through the sides to see that the length is the same throughout .

The bangs are combed forward and held over the forehead. They are cut from side to side to meet the guides on either side. This needs more study.

Texture across the top and sides
Start at the front hairline and take side to side sections again. Stand behind the client and use the back hand technique of holding the clipper and comb in the same hand. Pull the section of hair straight up and leave about 1/2 inch of hair above the finger. Cut points into the section by poking the clipper blade into the hair at a very steep angle. Continue the sections into the sides and cut more points. In this demonstration, there are about six point/notches cut along the fingers holding the hair. The point cutting is supposed to remove weight and let the hair stand up.
(Across the top and in the area above the parietal ridge the points are all cut in the same direction. It might add more uniform lift if the points were cut with the short sides of the points on the sides of the head. This might let the short pieces of the point push the hair up on both sides. To do this the blade of the clippers would have to change direction at the middle of the head. The goal would be to have the blade pointing to the side of the head on each side. )

Blend the tapered perimeter into the length above it
Return to the clipper over comb technique and repeat it along the perimeter and into the the longer hair above it. Continue to hold the comb angled across the head and not horizontal to the floor. Find the guide in one end of the comb before blending.
In this demonstration, notching or point cutting is also used along the comb using the clippers to help the blending. This seems similar to using thinning shears in this area.

Refine the outline
Use a trimmer to refine the outline shape. In the back, they cut the neck line before they clean out below this line. It seemed to give good definition to the line which might be lost if tapering were done first. Trimmer over comb technique was used to taper the perimeter behind and over the ear.

Use product and blow dry or comb up with fingers. Can be combed into more conservative style if desired.

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