The 1950’s Pompadour

The Pompadour is a hairstyle that represented and defined the decade of the 1950’s. This hairstyle was made famous by musicians Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. To be able to provide this haircut properly you need to have an excellent understanding of graduation. In other words, you will be blending a natural hairline to the much longer top that this hairstyle requires without leaving a heavy weight line or line of demarcation. You will also need to be proficient with a vent brush and hairdryer for styling the finish. Most recently the musician Bruno Mars wore a retro 1950’s pompadour to the Grammy Awards.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Understand and demonstrate longer layering techniques
  • Understand and demonstrate the concept of over direction
  • Understand and demonstrate graduation
  • Demonstrate scissor over comb
  • Demonstrate clipper over comb
  • Demonstrate hair drying and styling techniques
  • Demonstrate a tapered hairline
  • Demonstrate a straight razor neck shave
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
  1. Start on the top section comb or brush the hair forward to make it easier to pick up. Take a section from the bang area over direct the hair to the front of the ear and create your first guide. Pull the hair straight up with your hand parallel to floor at a ninety degree angle. Use the scissor over fingers technique and do not cut past your center knuckle. Take small sections using the first cut as your traveling guide and work your way to the crown. Do not cut to close to the crown. There needs to be enough weight left so the hair does not stand up and is long enough for the desired style.
  2. Take one to two sections on either side of the center guide until repeat step one. Take as many sections as you need until reach the round of the head section. The smaller the sections the more accurate the cut will be. Make sure you are picking the hair up with your fingers parallel to the floor. This will leave the necessary weight in the corners for this square shaped haircut.
  3. Blend the round of the head section into the top section. Comb the bangs out of the way to leave them longer. Use a large comb and the scissor over comb technique. Make sure you are pulling the hair out at ninety degrees to avoid leaving a weight line. Move the comb slowly through the hair to avoid leaving lines of demarcation. Follow this all the way around the head dipping down slightly in the back to allow for the crown area to remain longer. (In this step you will be combining cutting the sides and back section and the round of the head section at the same time).
  4. Begin the semi-finish section. This is the two finger width area around the outline of the haircut. Use the 3/8th blade (3 ½) on the detachable blade clipper. Use a scooping or arcing motion around the outline of the haircut. Make sure to move the clipper slowly so it cuts the hair as you pull the clipper away from the head. This will also help you avoid leaving a heavy weight line or .line of demarcation. Also, make sure to dip the clipper down a little bit lower in the back to allow for a longer crown area.
  5. Blend the semi-finish section into the round of the head section. Use the clipper over comb technique with the detachable blade clipper and the 1 ½ blade. The 1 ½ blade cuts and blends at the same time. Follow the same cutting plane with the comb as you used in the previous step with the clipper blade. This will smooth out the minor weight line or heavy area left from the previous step.
  6. Continue to work on the semi-finish area with the detachable blade clipper and the 1 ½ blade. Use the tip of the blade with a scooping motion on the entire outline of the haircut. Do not move the clipper up through the hair. Rest the tip of the blade on the hairline and arc the clipper away from the head. This will begin the taper or natural outline.
  7. Continue the semi finish with the adjustable clipper in the open position using the blade on skin technique. Using the scooping motion, place the blade facing upward and pull the clipper away from the head when it reaches the hairline or slightly below where you left off with step 6. This will leave a nice natural/tapered hairline. Follow this step from right side burn area around the head to the other side.
  8. Repeat previous step with the adjustable clipper halfway closed and start scooping the blade about ¼ of an inch below where you left off in step 7.
  9. Repeat step 8 with the adjustable clipper in the closed position and start scooping the blade about ¼ of an inch below where you left off in step 8.This will complete the taper.
  10. If you still see a slight weight line in the transition area from the semi-finish to the sides and back section use your 40-44 tooth blending shear and the scissor over comb technique to blend. Move the comb quickly and cut on the tips of the hair. This will avoid cutting length or taking out to much of the weight. Remember, this is a graduated hairstyle so you will see an extreme difference in the length from the sides to the top.
  11. Complete the finish. Use the t-trimmer to edge off the side burn area and clean up around the ears. Pull the ear down to make it easier to see any excess hair behind the ear. Just cut the hair that pops out. Do not go in to far. That will leave too big of an arc around the ear sometimes referred to as a white wall.
  12. Make the diagonal line on the neck behind the ear. Leave the line out as far as possible. Do not go in off the natural hairline and cut into the taper.
  13. Use an upward shaving motion to clean up the back of the neck. The taper is already complete so it is extremely important not to get anywhere near the hairline. Stop ½ -1 inch below the taper so a line is not made.
  14. Finish the opposite side of the neck and sideburn area.
  15. The final step of the finishing area is the straight razor shave on sideburns, around the ears, and back of the neck. Apply shaving cream on the areas to be shaved. Start on the right sideburn and grip the side of the head with the palm of your hand. Place your thumb on the side burn and stretch the skin. Shave the bottom of sideburn using a free hand stroke. Next shave the right side of the neck below the ear with a freehand stroke. Move on to the hairline using the freehand stroke all the way across. Use your backhand stoke for the opposite portion of neck below the ear. Lastly use your backhand stoke again for the opposite sideburn. Wipe off excess shaving cream with a clean towel and apply aftershave.
  16. The final step is styling the hair. Use a powerful hair dryer and an wide tooth vent brush. Dry the hair from front to back and from the sides upwards. Dry the bangs straight up in the air at ninety degrees. This may seem a little awkward at first but the hair will fall right into place with a styling paste or pomade. Use a styling paste if the customer would like a dry look or a pomade if the customer would like a wet look.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What section should you begin the haircut in?
  2. Which men’s haircutting technique is used to cut the top?
  3. How far back should you over direct the hair on the top section in the front?
  4. Which haircutting technique is used to cut the sides and back and round of the head section?
  5.  What clipper and blade will be used for the semi-finish area?
  6. What technique should be used to blend the semi-finish into the sides and back section?
  7. Which clipper should be used to complete the semi-finish section?
  8. What styling product will leave a dry looking finish?
  9. What styling product will leave a wet looking finish?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
The Pompadour is a fun haircut that will allow you to show off your skills as a finished barber. It requires a proficiency in all of the barbering techniques as well as an excellent understanding of a graduated hairstyle. Make sure to finish off the haircut with a naturally tapered hairline. This will accent all of the different lengths of the haircut perfectly. Finally, finish off the haircut with a professional style. Make sure to find out if the customer prefers a dry finish or a wet looking finish. Dry the hair up as high as you can on top for the perfect style that will definitely stand out.

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