One of the most important things to consider when you are learning how to fade hair is how high or how low the fade should be cut. There are a lot of things to consider as you think about this question. Some of them include cowlicks, hair thickness, hair color, length of the bangs, shape of the head, surface of the scalp (lumps, bumps, and/or dents), moles, scars, customer’s age, customer’s job, desired hairstyle, and the customer’s preference.
A very important thing to keep in mind is that no matter how good you are at fading hair, if the fade is too high or too low your customer will not think it is a good haircut. If the haircut is 100% technically correct but it is not exactly what the customer wants they won’t be happy. This is especially true with the fade haircut customer. It doesn’t matter if they are a young kid or older suit and tie professional. The fade guys are the most particular and hardest customers to please.
In this blog I am going to discuss how to cut cowlicks. Even though I could write a book on all the different kinds of cowlicks I am going to keep it simple in this short article. The first and most important thing I would like you to always remember is what I have been telling my students and employees for years: “IT IS ONLY A COWLICK IF YOU CUT IT TOO SHORT ”. I know this sounds obvious but if you cut the hair too short in the crown or the pivot area the hair will stick up every single time. There is nothing worse than a customer walking out of a barbershop or hair salon with his hair standing up in the back. This is one of the number one reasons for a customer not coming back to you for a haircut.
The most difficult cowlicks to deal with are the ones on top of the head in the crown area. They can be closer to the top of the head, all the way down by occipital bone in the back, or somewhere in between.
- Always make sure to layer the top first. This will remove the weight and give you a guide to blend to. If there is too much hair on top you will lose sight of the cutting blade and most likely go too high with the clipper. If you cut too high it will be late to recover.
- Depending on how strong the cowlick is or how much the hair wants to stick up or out you need to leave anywhere from an inch to three inches from the base of the cowlick for blending.
- If the cowlick is closer to the top of the head you can usually fade past the occipital bone (round of the head).
- If the cowlick is lower let the occipital bone (round of the head) push the clipper blade away from the head in an arcing motion. This will leave you enough room to blend.
Cutting cowlicks correctly is one of the best ways you to keep a customer for life. This is the customer who has rarely received good haircuts in their lifetime. They will appreciate you and their tip will definitely reflect that.