Advanced Barbering Techniques

There are certain haircuts that require additional texturizing and/or length removing that goes beyond the basics. You will learn how to combine one of the basic techniques with a razor or thinning scissor to accomplish this. These are the techniques that will take your finished work from very good to exceptional and put you in the top of barbering profession.

[highlight]LEARNING OBJECTIVES[/highlight]

  • Identify when a haircut needs to be thinned out or have texture added to it in order to be completed.
  • Identify the tools that will be used for these advanced techniques.
  • Describe the three different uses for a thinning scissor.
  • Demonstrate the two techniques the thinning scissor is used for.
  • Describe the four techniques a straight razor can be used for.

[highlight]STEP BY STEP GUIDE[/highlight]

  1. Scissor over fingers with thinning/blending scissors. This technique is used for texturizing hair, texturizing and cutting length at the same time, or cutting length only.
  2. To texturize section and pick up the hair the same way you would with the scissor over fingers technique and close the scissor once using as much of the blade as it takes to cover the area to but not past the second knuckle. You will cut at about the top 1/3 of the section of hair and then move on to the next section. The thickness of hair will determine the size of the thinning/blending scissor used and the size of the sections.
  3. Texturizing and cutting length at the same time. Using the same steps as above you will start about half way down the section of hair. You will slowly raise your fingers that are holding the hair until you run out of hair. While you are doing this keep closing the scissor and you will go from texturizing to cutting length with the last close or two. The speed in which you raise your fingers will determine how much thickness will be removed vs. how much length will be taken. The slower you raise your fingers the more thickness and length you will take and the opposite for faster.
  4. Cutting length. This technique is exactly the same as using a straight scissor except you will have to keep closing the scissor until all of the length is removed. Make sure to use as much of the blade as it takes to get to but not past your second knuckle. This will leave a softer finish on the hair and the ends will (mesh) together. Ideal for fine straight hair that is too thin to texturize and has a tendency to show scissor marks.
  5. Scissor over comb with a thinning/blending scissor. This is used for the same purposes as the over fingers technique except on shorter hair.
  6. To texturize pick up the hair in the same sections as you would with the over fingers technique. The one difference is you have to adjust the speed of the comb for the density of the hair. Slower for thicker hair and faster for thinner hair. The slower you move the comb the more hair you will take.
  7. Texturizing and cutting length at the same time. This is also the same as the over fingers technique. Start about halfway down the section and slowly raise the comb while the scissor keeps opening and closing. Adjust the speed of the comb for the density of hair and how much thinning vs. removing of length you are trying to accomplish. When moving from one section to the next make sure to over direct the comb just enough so the previous section falls out. Being too close to the previous section will result in too much length or thickness removed.
  8. Cutting length. This is done exactly the same as scissor over comb with a straight scissor except the comb will be moved as slow as necessary so length is taken.
  9. Razor over fingers. This is an advanced technique which can be used for texturizing or removing length. Either a feather razor which is a straight razor with a guard or straight razor without a guard will be used. This can be done with vertical or horizontal sections. Pick up a section with the hair between the fingers and the palm facing the body. Gently place blade on the hair about halfway down the shaft at a 45 degree angle. Make a few short light strokes keeping your wrist still and just moving at the elbow. Move your fingers toward your body until you run out of hair. As with the thinning/blending scissor the speed at which you move your fingers will determine how much thickness will be removed. Also be very conscious of the angle and pressure on the blade. Too steep of an angle and/or too much pressure will result in taking more hair than necessary or leaving a hole in the haircut. To remove length the hair will be sectioned and held in the same manner as above. The fingers holding the hair will remain stationary. Use short strokes with the wrist still only moving from the elbow keeping the razor in the same area where the length will be removed. This will be repeated until the hair held in the fingers is removed and the grip on the hair is gone. Vertical or horizontal sections can be used.
  10. Razor over comb. This is a great technique for spiked hair and bed head looks. Hold the comb the same way you would for any of the other over comb techniques and run the straight razor across the comb. The large scissor comb is best for this because this technique will used on medium length thick hair. The speed at which the comb and the razor are moved will result in more or less thickness being removed. To remove length simply keep the comb in the same position and keep running the razor across the comb until the desired amount of hair is removed.
  11. Thumb over razor. For this technique you will use a razor with a guard and place your thumb over the cutting surface with the hair to be cut in between. Press the hair into the guard and pull upward in a quick motion with your wrist. Repeat this until the desired length is removed.
  12. The razor sculpting technique. This is complicated because it requires feel and imagination. A lot of practice and a steady hand are necessary. The student will be working with a particular head shape in mind but the guide will not be as noticeable and in some cases there will not be a guide. There are two ways a straight razor is used for this technique:
  13. Sculpting on and with the contour of the head to remove weight and/or length. The cutting stroke will be the same as the razor over fingers technique except the razor will be cutting on the head without the fingers picking up the hair. Comb the hair in the direction it will be cut. Slide the comb slowly through the hair and follow with the razor stroke behind it. As always the speed and pressure will determine how much hair is removed. This is an excellent technique for smoothing out thick wavy hair, giving more body to straight hair, and working around problem crown areas in a way that won’t result in the hair standing up.
  14. Sculpting on the contour of the head and neck for leaving a natural hairline. Comb the hair in the direction it naturally falls and use a gentle cutting stroke above the hairline. Increase the pressure as the razor approaches the hairline. This will lighten up the weight near the hairline and cut length at the hairline. You will be left with a soft blended finish instead of a hard straight line.

[highlight]REVIEW QUESTIONS[/highlight]

  1. What are the two tools used for these advanced techniques?
  2. What two techniques are a thinning scissor used for?
  3. What are the two reasons to use a thinning scissor?
  4. What are the four techniques a straight razor can be used for?
  5. What should be the angle of the blade when using the razor over fingers technique?
  6. What type of haircuts is the razor over comb technique good for?
  7. What type of razor is used for the thumb over razor technique?
  8. What effect does cutting slowly/faster with the scissor over comb or razor over comb technique have?
  9. Which razor technique is ideal for leaving a natural finish on the hairline?


These advanced techniques are difficult and take time to master. Pay close attention to how they are used in the lesson videos and keep watching and practicing. In order to master these, the basic techniques must be second nature. If they are not, you will have an incredibly difficult time with them. Remember, these techniques are tools to make your haircuts better. If the basic haircut is not precise these techniques will not improve or finish off the haircut the way they are supposed to. Be patient with the razor techniques in particular. They take a lot of practice to develop the hand dexterity and “the feel” for it. It will be more than worth it when you get these techniques down to a science.