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.
We have just released a new video available to all of our premium members called the Modern Side Part. In this video you will learn how to fade hair correctly as well as how to cut in a side part.
The Modern Side Part hairstyle is a really interesting take on an old classic and is very versatile. The sides are either short or faded really close. The fade can be even all the way around or disconnected on the part side depending on the customers preference. In other words, the hair can be faded all the way up to the part but blended on the opposite side. Finally, the part is cut into the haircut. This is done with the finishing clipper by cutting a thin line along the natural part. Depending on the length on the top the hair can be styled flat to the head or with some height like a Pompadour.
With the latest Superman movie we have a new hero – Henry Cavill. So of course I have to write a blog about The Man Of Steel’s Haircut. As I have said in many previous how to blogs medium to longer length hairstyles are making a comeback. The latest Superman’s haircut is a medium length square shaped haircut which preserves the natural wave and thickness for the best looking finish.
The Man Of Steel’s Haircut
1. Start on the top section. Elevate the bangs to 90 degrees with a slight over direction to leave the bangs a little bit longer. The hair should be left about 4 inches long. Take small sections using the first section as your guide back toward the crown. Make sure to leave the crown long enough so it does not stand up. Follow this step on the left and right of the center guide until you run out of hair. Make sure you keep your fingers parallel to the floor to keep the square shape.
2. Cut the round of the head section starting in the back. Take a section in the middle pulling the hair out at 90 degrees with vertical sectioning leaving the hair about 4 inches long. Do not cut into the guide from the top section. Follow this guide to the right and then to the left. Take small sections to ensure accuracy. When you get to the temples over direct the last section the same distance as you over directed the bangs so the outline is slightly longer as well.
3. Cut the sides and back section. This is the same as step two except angle your fingers slightly so the hair in this section will taper down to about 3 inches long.
4. Cut the semi-finish section. Start in the back at the hairline and use horizontal sectioning and the palm cutting technique. Pull the hair out to 90 degrees and leave the first cut at about 2 inches. Take small sections and work your way up to the previous guide from section 3 without cutting into that guide. This will leave the haircut with a slight graduation around the perimeter of the haircut. Complete this step to the right and then to the left.
5. (Optional) Slightly texturize the hair if necessary. Use a fine tooth thinning shear and repeat all of the above step only closing the scissor about half way. This will take out just enough thickness without removing the natural wave.
6. Complete the outline. This is a little tricky with a medium length layer cut because you do not want any hard lines other than on the sideburns. Dampen the hair and brush it into place. Now edge off the side burn with a trimmer and touch up any longer hair in front of the ear. Just clean up any fuzz left on the neck without getting to close to the hairline to complete the natural finish.
7. Complete the style. I would suggest a pomade or styling cream that leaves the hair with a wet looking finish and will not harden up like a gel.
Final Suggestions: Make sure to keep the square shape. If you round the top off the haircut will be unbalanced. Leave the hair long enough to preserve the natural wave. You can always cut shorter if you need to. If the hair is thick and needs some texturizing make sure that you do not take out to much bulk removing the natural wave in the process.
There are certain haircuts that require additional texturizing and/or length removing that goes beyond the basics of barbering. With these advanced barbering techniques you will learn how to combine one of the basic techniques with a razor or thinning shear. These advanced barbering techniques are what will take your finished work from very good to exceptional and put you in the top of the men’s haircutting profession.
Advanced Barbering Techniques Guide:
Scissor over fingers with thinning/blending scissors technique is used for texturizing hair, texturizing and cutting length at the same time, or cutting length only. Section and pick up the hair the same way you would with the scissor over fingers technique and close the scissor once at the top 1/3 of the hair shaft to create texture. Keep closing the scissor in the same section to remove length.
Scissor over comb with a thinning/blending scissor is used for the same purposes as the over fingers technique except on shorter hair. Start about halfway down the section and slowly raise the comb while the scissor keeps opening and closing. When moving from one section to the next make sure to over direct the comb just enough so the previous section falls out.
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.
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.
Thumb over razor: Use the razor with a guard. 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.
The razor sculpting technique: Comb the hair in the direction it will be combed. Slide the comb slowly through the hair and follow with the razor stroke behind it. This is an excellent technique for smoothing out thick wavy hair or giving more body to straight hair.
Razor 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.
In order to become an exceptional barber or men’s hairstylist you must learn the basics first. There are four basic men’s haircutting techniques that are the foundation of men’s haircutting. In order to master this craft these techniques must become second nature. Everything you do from now on in your career in men’s haircutting/barbering depends on mastering these four techniques.
How To Cut Men’s Hair – Basic Men’s Haircutting Techniques
Scissor over fingers: This technique can be used for layering with vertical or horizontal sections. Hold the hair between the pointer finger and middle finger with the palm facing down and the pinky resting on the head to stabilize the section. Use the front portion of the scissor and do not cut past your second knuckle.
Scissor over comb: Stand upright leaning slightly away from your scissor hand. Hold your elbow up slightly and extend the scissor out in front of you. This will ensure you open and close the scissor with just your thumb. Once you drop your elbow you will be using all of your fingers to open and close the scissor and it will not cut properly.
Clipper over comb: The same technique as scissor over comb only you are using a clipper. This technique is excellent for removing large amounts of thick hair.
Clipper over comb is also a great technique for the semi-finish section to begin the tapered/natural hairline.
Blade on skin technique: This technique is used for short clipper cuts. Use the desired clipper blade length or attachment and run the clipper up the side of the head cutting to the desired length.
The blade on skin technique is used for the outline the forehead and temple area of shorter haircuts.
Lastly, the blade on skin technique is used for outlining the perimeter of the haircut including shaving the hair on the back of the neck.