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.

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.