Haircut Shapes and Sections

In order to give a blended, technically correct haircut there needs to be a plan ahead of time. A system is needed for the best results. Where are you going to start/finish the haircut? What sections blend into each other? What section do you start/finish with?

Before starting any haircut you need to know what shape the haircut will take. Next, you need to have a plan on where to begin and where to end. We recommend starting on the top to remove the bulk of the hair and work your way down through the remaining sections. Each lower section will blend into the previously cut section. This works well for all haircuts, especially fades and tapers as you will see throughout the lesson videos. By only focusing on one section at a time it will make cutting the next section much easier. You will notice that with repetition there will be very few times you will have to re-cut a previous section.
Masters of Barbering has come up with its own terminology for haircut shapes and sections. These terms may seem extremely simple but cutting with this system can drastically increase your barbering skills and efficiency.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Identify the two basic men’s haircut shapes.
  • Describe the different type of haircuts that fall into each category.
  • Explain the five different sections of a man’s haircut.

Haircut Shapes
-Contour shape haircut:
A contoured shape haircut is one that follows the shape of the head. The hair will be cut with the curvature of the head. Some of these haircuts will include a ceaser cuts, brush cuts, faux hawks, princetons, and a lot of the other messy looks.
-Square shape haircut:
This shape is for the haircuts that require weight in the corners or on the round of the head. Some of these haircuts include flattops, executive tapers, Ivy League haircuts, “regular haircuts”, and teen idol haircuts.

Sections
-Top:
Exactly how it sounds. The top area of the head extending from the bangs to the crown above the parietal area(round of the head). The haircut will start on the top section most of the time making the next section down much easier to cut.
-Round of the Head:
This is a much easier way to remember the parietal area from the temple to the crown. This will be the next section cut. For a square shape haircut the hair will be held parallel to the round of the head and blend to the previous guide left from the top. If a contoured shape haircut the hair will be held parallel to the round of the head and blended to the previous guide from the top.
-Sides and Back:
The sides and back section starts just below the round of the head. It stops at about 1-2 fingers width above the ears and about a 2-3 fingers width above the hairline. This is the next section cut and will blend into the round of the head section. After completing the first three sections the finishing will be much easier. You will have a clear picture of where the outline should be and what it should look like.
-Semi-Finish:
The semi-finish is the 1-2 fingers width above the ears and the 2-3 fingers width above the hairline. This section and the next, when done correctly, will transform a good haircut into a great haircut. A classically tapered hairline will make the shape of the haircut really stand out.
-Finish:
The finish is the outline of the haircut. All that should be done here is lining off the sideburn area, around the ears, and clipping the hair off the back of the neck. Make sure not to get to close to the semi-finish section. If you cut a blemish into that step it will have to be re-cut and the hairline will be left too high.

REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What are the two basic shapes of men’s haircuts?
  2. Name two types of haircuts in each category?
  3. Name the five sections of a man’s haircut?
  4. Which section should you begin the haircut on most of the time?
  5. Explain what the semi-finish area is?
  6. What three steps make up the finish?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
We recommend learning this section inside and out. These shapes and sections need to become second nature. Barbering is a very precise skill and the best results will be achieved by taking this systematic approach.

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