Barbering Techniques – Traveling Guide

One of the most over looked techniques in barbering/men’s hair cutting is the use of a traveling guide. It can be used in a variety of different ways. For example, you can use it when picking up the hair and cutting with a barber shear, picking up the hair and cutting with a clipper, barber shear over comb, or clipper over comb. In the example below we will be focusing on using the scissor over finger barbering technique while cutting the hair in the top section.

Barbering Techniques – Traveling Guide

1. Pick up the front at 90 degrees and over direct the hair to the recession to avoid leaving any holes in the front. Make your first cut determined in the customer consultation.

2. Without dropping the hair pick up the next section with your comb and fingers only slightly behind the first section. The smaller the sections the more accurate your work will be. You will also be able to see your guide easier.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the right side. Depending on how long the hair is or how the shape of the head you may have to take 2 sections to the right of the center guide. In this step you will actually have 2 guides. Your center guide and your traveling guide.

4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the left side. Depending on how long the hair is or how the shape of the head you may have to take 2 sections to the left of the center guide as well. In this step you will again have 2 guides. Your center guide and your traveling guide.

This is an excellent way to cut for optimum accuracy instead of dropping the hair and picking up another section. You will always have the previous guide visible in your fingers. Using these smaller sections will result in a more accurate cut and eliminate any blending work and in a lot of cases the need to cross check your work.

How To Cut A Classic Side Part Haircut – The Business Cut

The men’s classic side part haircut is one of the most common and popular haircuts throughout the history of barbering. This is a conservative hairstyle that can be worn by any age group. It works great with a suit and tie in a professional atmosphere. However, in recent years it has become a trendy haircut that you see a lot in main stream media. Most notably, this hairstyle was worn by Justin Timberlake for his performance at the Grammy Awards Show.

How To Cut A Classic Side Part Haircut – The Business Cut

Barber Success Tips – Part 4

A successful career in barbering or any profession for that matter is dependent on many factors. Many books have been written on this subject. When it comes to barbering or men’s haircutting I feel that there are 10 things you must know to have a successful career. In this 10 part blog series I will go into each one in detail.

Barber Success Tips – Part 4

Barbering Tools of the Trade

The tools you will need to be successful in men’s haircutting fall into 4 categories: scissors, clippers, combs, and razors.

1. Clippers: You will need an adjustable clipper with attachments and a trimmer. Also, as you progress through your career and get more comfortable with you clipper cutting adding a more powerful detachable blade clipper such as the Andis MVP or Oster 76 is a must.

2. Scissors: You will need a 6″– 7” barbering scissor for cutting length and a blending scissor. I personally like to have a 6″ scissor for picking up hair and cutting over my fingers and a longer 7″-8″ scissor for the scissor over comb haircutting technique.

3. Combs: You will need a flat top comb and smaller clipper comb with a handle for your clipper cutting.  You will also need a large comb for layering hair or scissor over comb work as well as a finishing comb.

4. Razors: You will need a razor for cutting and texturizing hair. It can have a guard on it if you are more comfortable with it. Depending on if you are licensed to shave or not you will also need a straight razor with disposable blades.

Mastering your barber tools will go a long way towards a succeful and rewarding career in barbering.

Scissor Over Comb Technique

There was a time when the electric clipper did not exist at all and you were lucky if you had a hand clipper. Hand Clipper? Does anyone even know what that is anymore? It is a clipper blade attached to two metal handles that fit in the palm your hand. It had to be opened and closed as fast as possible to avoid pulling the hair while cutting it. Who would ever want to put themselves and their customer through that?

So how did barbers cut short hair efficiently? They used the oldest and most prestigious technique which is the scissor over comb technique. Different size combs were used the way different size clipper attachments are used today. The outline was done with the point of the scissor and finished with a straight razor shave.

There are two great benefits to cutting hair this way:

  1. Cutting hair with the scissors and the scissor over comb technique teaches a great understanding of graduation (shorter hair graduating into longer hair).
  2. It gives the customer a lot more confidence in the barber cutting their hair. The reason? The perception of a higher level of skill and the barber taking greater care in the finished product. There is a big difference in using this technique versus the barber asking the customer what number they get and running the clipper up the side of their head.

Learning to cut hair with the proper scissor techniques will go a long way to improving the quality of your haircuts and the perceived value of the service you are providing. This is what ultimately leads to greater customer retention, charging higher prices, and receiving larger tips on a consistent basis.