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.

Xcluciv Barber Supply Shear and Straight Razor Demonstration

Xcluciv Barber Supply Shear and Straight Razor Demonstration


Our most recent class was hosted by Xcluciv Barber Supply in Middletown, New York. The focus of this barbering demonstration was on hair cutting techniques with a barber shear a straight razor. The class was well attended even though it was in the middle of a snow storm. Everyone braved the elements to come out and learn how to increase and diversify their barbering skills.

The focus of the class was on the following barbering techniques: Scissor over Comb,  Scissor over Fingers, Thinning Shear over Fingers, Thinning Shear over Comb, Straight Razor over Fingers, Straight Razor over Comb, and Straight Razor Sculpting.

We also focused on versatility in hairstyles as well. We demonstrated how you can cut a taper down to a 1/4′ in length with barber shears and then showed how you can cut a disconnected Pompadour with barber shears and texturize with a straight razor.

We had a great time at Xcluciv Barber Supply and can’t wait to go back. For anyone attending the International Beauty Show in New York City this year on March 8th-10th make sure to stop by their booth #2231 and check out my full library of Barbering DVDs on display for sale at a 40% show discount.

Barbering Demonstration In Middletown, New York

We are proud to announce that we are partnering up with Xcluciv Barber Supply to put on a barbering demonstration in Middletown, New York. This class will be a four hour demonstration focusing on cutting men’s hair with barber shears and different types of straight razors. The class also includes a complimentary copy of our Barbering Basics DVD which retails for $99.95.

Barbering Demonstration


This is a brand new course that we have just developed is titled “Barber Shear and Straight Razor Sculpting Course”

How did barbers cut hair before the invention of the electric clipper? How exciting would it be if you had the versatility in your game to deliver the same accuracy in your hair cutting with a barber shear and a straight razor? In this exciting brand new class presented by third generation Master Barber Greg Zorian you will learn just that. Learn how to master the barber shear over comb technique, pick up hair correctly with your fingers, how to sculpt and texturize hair with a straight razor, when to use a traveling guide vs. a stationary guide, and much more. Start incorporating these techniques right away to enhance your finished product, wow your customers, gain an edge on your competition, and most importantly earn more money!

Learn these barbering techniques and many more:

–          Master barber shear over comb

–          Pick up hair and follow cutting guides the easy way

–          Cut medium to longer length hair

–          Longer shears vs. shorter shears

–          Offset grip vs. swivl thumb grip

–          Sculpt hair with a straight razor for a better finish

–          Texturize hair with the razor over comb technique

–          Create natural hairlines without picking up a clipper

–          Learn how to use a brush and hairdryer to create the ultimate finish

–          Apply these techniques to popular hairstyles

All attendees will receive a certificate of completion signed by Greg to hang up in your shop to let your customers know you are serious about perfecting your craft.

Seats are filling up so make sure to register online today!

Swivel Thumb Barber Shears

Sensei Swivl Thumb Barber ShearsTraditionally barbers use larger shears with a straight handle or ergonomic handle. This is what I have used for the majority of my career. As of 2 or 3 years ago the side of my  thumb was starting to get really sore where the barber shears would rub when I cut hair. This has been a problem on and off throughout my career due the amount of the scissor over comb technique I use every day.

A few years ago I switched to using swivel thumb barber shears. For me they have been a career saver. The swiveling thumb has allowed me to slightly change the angle of the thumb hole and that part of the barber shear now rests on the back part of my thumb. I have no more pain or soreness regardless of how much of the scissor over comb technique I use. I would highly recommend any barber having similar issues with pain or soreness to give these type of shears a try. They come in all different sizes depending on your comfort level. I recommend a shorter one for picking up hair and cutting over your fingers and a longer one for the barber shear over comb technique. They may feel a little awkward at first but it only took me about a week to get used to them. Now I feel like have been using them my whole career.

Barber Tool Tips – Barber Shears

In this blog series I will be explaining the different types of barber shears, barber shear cutting techniques, how to hold them correctly, and how to maintain them properly. Your barber shears are your go to tool for a lot of what you will be doing in men’s hair cutting. When I did my apprenticeship in New York State I wasn’t allowed to use clippers until I could do all haircuts including a flattop with short sides with the barber shears.

Barber Tool Tips – Barber Shears: Barber Shears

How To Hold Your Shears Correctly:

  1. Insert thumb just below the nail and just above the knuckle.
  2. Insert the ring finger to halfway between the knuckles. Apply pressure with your middle finger and forefinger and rest your pinky on the lever or on top of the finger hole.
  3. Keep your hand still and open and close the scissor with just your thumb. Keeping your hand still and just moving your thumb applies the necessary pressure to the cutting blade so the scissor can cut properly.
  4. Keep your hand a short distance in front of you and your elbow up in the air. This will allow you to open and close the scissor properly. Once you drop your elbow you won’t be able to open the scissor without moving both blades.

Proper use of your barber shears will ensure you produce the optimum quality of haircuts.