I had the honor of teaching 2 barbering demonstrations at IBS New York . It was a great experience meeting so many people in my home state. Many of whom I have met through my online subscription, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. I also had the pleasure to see many familiar faces that have attended hands on classes at my barbershops.
The first class I taught was titled “Classic Barbering 101”. See the class description below:
Learn the differences and stunning similarities between classic and modern barbering. Find out how the tools, techniques, and haircuts have changed as well as stayed the same. Watch third generation barber Greg Zorian demonstrate a haircut using techniques and styles from the “good old days” as well as today. Leave this class with a better understanding of the history of our industry as well as what a barber means to his/her community.
The next class I taught was titled “How To Cut and Style the Perfect Pomp”. See the class description below:
Learn the many barbering techniques necessary to create a perfectly balanced pompadour. Using a mix of scissor over comb, clipper over comb, straight razor sculpting, fading, and blending techniques Greg will walk you through the step by step process to completing this popular haircut. You will also learn the styling techniques and products necessary to make your pompadour stand out in a crowd.
I would highly recommend attending both of the International Beauty Shows held in New York City and Las Vegas. The education department does an outstanding job of hiring the best educators in the hair industry. After sitting in on many of my colleague’s classes including technical, business, and motivational I came away inspired and more motivated than ever to get back to work building my barbershops, seminar company, and product company.
I recently had the opportunity to work as a platform educator for the Andis Company at this year’s Bronner Bros. International Beautry Show. It was a great experience as I have never worked this show before. I would like to share a portion of the Bronner Bros. mission statement to give you an idea of the company’s commitment to excellence and their contribution to the barber and beauty industry:
“Our mission is to be the largest African American, Christian Company in the world. Our focus is to pursue excellence by manufacturing and distributing excellent hair and skin care products for African Americans. In this pursuit, not only will we manufacture excellent products, but we will also be recognized as having the most glamorous styling operation and as having the worlds’ largest and the most exciting beauty show during the mid-summer and winter months. In fact, excellence will permeate everything that we do.
I also had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best barbers in the industry on the Andis stage including Kenny Duncan, Tone McGill, and Eric Cheeks. As well as working with these barbers the Andis company introduced 3 incredible new clippers: The Supra ZR, The Limited Edition Black Label Master, and the Slim Line LI. I will give a full detailed description of each of these clippers in future blogs and why I feel they are the best on the market and make my job easier every day in the barbershop.
As far as haircutting education goes this is one of my favorite shows because of the diversity. In a two hour time period on stage I went from cutting an Afro with a low taper to a bald fade to and undercut with two parts cut in. It doesn’t get any more fun than that. The crowd was extremely engaging and supportive and I am looking forward to my next opportunity to work at the show again.
Learning how to cut hair with a straight razor is an excellent and versatile technique to add to your skill set to become a more versatile barber or cosmetologist. This technique is excellent for men’s hair cutting and any female customers with short hairstyles that come into the barbershop. There are many different straight razor hair cutting techniques including straight razor sculpting, straight razor over comb, and straight razor over fingers. The focus of this article will be on straight razor over comb. This techniques is used to add texture, to remove large amounts of weight, and can also be used for light blending.
Straight Razor Over Comb:
To add texture to a haircut use a large comb to control the hair. Angle the comb slightly inward toward the head to pick up the hair instead of pushing the hair. Grip the razor in the palm of your hand so you have a firm grip. Move the razor through the hair with quick strokes about a quarter of the way down the shaft of the hair. Move the comb slowly upward parallel to the side of the head or the top of the head depending on what section you are working on. This will ensure the cut is even and you are not taking chunks out of the haircut.
To remove large amounts of weight which will be similar to deep point cutting repeat all of the above with the exception of digging deeper into the hair. Cut at least halfway down the shaft of the hair. Just keep in mind how thick the hair is to determine how much weight to take out. The faster you move the comb the less weight you will remove. The slower you move the comb the more weight you will remove.
For light blending repeat all of the steps above with the exception of how deep of a cut you will make. Cut on the very ends of the hair. This will give a similar effect to a blending shear but I have found it to be more effective when dealing with men who have problem crowns to deal with. These are the guys that you have to leave the back longer so it does not stick up but you don’t want the haircut to look like a bowl cut.
It is a great idea if you have not used this technique before to practice it on a mannequin first. Try each of the techniques above and see what happens when you move the comb fast vs. slow. Again, make sure to move the razor quickly so you do not pull the hair. When you complete this practice section you should be able to cross check the cut and see the different types of texture each one leaves. This will give you the best idea of when to use which one of the above techniques.
We had the opportunity recently to put on a hands on men’s barbering education class with O’Ba Men. The line is relatively new and imports many of their natural ingredients that go into their products from Brazil. O’Ba is company that strictly supports the salons and barbershops and does not sell anywhere else. That means your clients will not find these excellent hair care products in drug stores or grocery markets.
The class was attended by numerous salons and we had a great time. We demonstrated the various barbering techniques as well as some of the most popular haircuts. After the demonstration the salons came on stage on groups and worked on live models. It was very impressive how well the staffs from the different salons worked as a team to give some great haircuts. As usual with our classes we teach how to eliminate the blending step from the haircuts which is always the most stressful and hardest part of the haircut. We were also extremely impressed how quickly the attendees picked up the concept of starting at the top first and working down instead of from the bottom up. Our mantra has always been and always will be, “If you don’t put the line in, you don’t have to blend it out!”
We finished up the class with a shaving demonstration using O’Ba’s high quality shaving gel which is in the final stages of development. We covered the 14 strokes of the shave as well as the four different hand positions for holding the straight razor properly. We also demonstrated a shave with a safety razor as well for the states who only allow cosmetologists to shave with that type of razor.
We can’t say enough about the professionalism of the owners of O’Ba Men and their commitment to support salons and barbershops by selling their products exclusively in their places of business as well as providing ongoing educational support as well.
HowToCutHair.tv will be providing more barbering classes in conjunction with O’Ba Men in the future. We will be announcing upcoming class dates and locations as they become available. We look forward to seeing you there and encourage you to give this excellent product line a try in your barbershop or salon.
One of the more challenging men’s hair textures to cut is curly hair. It is difficult to pick up with your fingers and cut evenly. It is also difficult to pick up with a comb using the scissor over comb techniques. That being said it is necessary to take your time and make sure to cut every hair that you are holding in your fingers or comb. Also, be very careful with your barber shear not to dig the point into your finger too hard to grab the hair. Speaking from experience this can result in cutting your finger. A quick tip to make the shorter clipper cut sides and back easier is to use a skip tooth detachable clipper blade with the clipper over comb technique.
How To Cut Curly Hair
1. Cut the top section. Create a center guide using the scissor over fingers technique and a traveling guide.
2. Cut 1-2 sections to the right and the left of your center guide using the same technique as in step one.
3. Cut the round of the head section. Start in the back and create a center guide using the scissor over finger technique. Hold your fingers parallel to the head.
4. Using a traveling guide and small sections to insure accuracy, cut the hair to the right temple and then to the left temple.
5. Taper the sides and back with the clipper over comb technique. Use a detachable blade clipper with a skip tooth blade which will grab the curly hair much better than a regular blade.
6. Complete the outline. Edge off the sideburns and clean up the back of the neck. Use an upward stroke on the back of the neck with the trimmer to avoid razor burn and cutting into the hairline.