The Attorney Cut

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[adrotate banner=”3″]This name came from the amount of law students and young attorneys that get their hair cut this way. It is a ½ inch taper with the hair long enough on top to style conservatively. A natural tapered outline is what makes this haircut stand out. This haircut is one of the most common barbershop haircuts. It is a half inch taper with a square cut on top so the hair will not stick up in the corners or the crown. Enough hair needs to be left for a neat part that can be worn with a dry or wet look. This is a classic look for any age group or profession. It should be a haircut that you can provide like it is second nature. The techniques and steps to this haircut will be the foundation of the majority of the haircuts you will provide in your career. You will notice as you work through the different haircuts that the principles are the same, it is just the lengths that are different.

[highlight]LEARNING OBJECTIVES[/highlight]

  • Understand the basic shape that most men’s haircuts follow.
  • Understand the basic techniques for blending the most common clipper cut.
  • Understand the basics of blending short sides to a longer top.
  • Demonstrate the scissor over comb technique.
  • Demonstrate the clipper over comb technique.

[highlight]Step by Step Guide[/highlight]

  1. Start on the top section in the center. Use the scissor over comb or scissor over fingers technique and start with a center section. Hold the comb parallel to the floor and pull the hair straight up using the bangs as a guide. Take off the desired length in the first section. This will serve as the traveling guide. Keeping the comb parallel to the floor move it slowly toward the crown with the proper angle so the hair will be left long enough not to stick up.
  2. Repeat step 1 on the right and left sides of the center section. You will have a center guide and a previous guide in the comb. If there is any recession in the corners make sure to over direct the hair to the point of the recession. Repeat this step as many times as necessary until there is no more hair to cut. When you get to the round of the head and the comb is parallel to the floor there will be a point that the hair will not reach the comb. This is OK because we are cutting a square shape and need the weight in the corners.
  3. Blend the round of the head section to the top section. You can use either scissor over comb or scissor over fingers depending on the length of the hair. Start in the back or crown area and take a section in the center with your fingers or comb positioned parallel to the head. This will ensure the square shape leaving weight in the corners. Take small sections and work to the right side and then back to the center and work to the left. The smaller the sections the easier it will be to see the traveling guide.
  4. Cut the sides and back section. Use the blade on skin technique with the 3 ¾ (½”) blade on the detachable blade clipper. It’s not so short that it will show skin on the sides. Start at the right sideburn and run the clipper up the side of the head slowly. As the round of the head pushes the blade away from the head follow that angle until you run out of hair. This will blend the sides and back into the round of the head section. If done correctly there will be a minimal if any amount of blending left.
  5. Finish the blend if needed from the sides and back to the round of the head section. Use the 1 ½ (1/8”)  blade on the detachable blade clipper and the clipper comb. Hold the comb parallel to the head and run the blade across the comb while moving the comb upward. Start out with the heel of the blade on the comb and slowly pull the heel of the blade away from the comb so just the tip of the blade is in contact with the comb. The closer the heel of the blade is to the comb more length will be taken. The farther away less length will be taken and the blade will just blend.
  6. Start the semi-finish with the detachable blade clipper and the 1 ½ blade. Use a scooping motion around the outline of the haircut with the tip of the blade. Make sure to start scooping the clipper slowly away from the head about a 1-2 finger width above the hairline. This is a much easier way to start the taper than using a clipper over comb technique with the smaller tools.
  7. Continue the semi finish with the adjustable clipper in the open position using the blade on skin technique. Using the scooping motion, place the blade facing upward and pull the clipper away from the head when it reaches the hairline or slightly below where you left off with step 6. This will leave a nice natural/tapered hairline. Follow this step from right side burn area around the head to the other side.
  8. Repeat previous step with the adjustable clipper halfway closed and start scooping the blade about ¼ of an inch below where you left off in step 6.
  9. Repeat step 8 with the adjustable clipper in the closed position and start scooping the blade about ¼ of an inch below where you left off in step 7. This will complete the taper.
  10. Complete the finish. Use the t-trimmer to edge off the side burn area and clean up around the ears. Pull the ear down to make it easier to see any excess hair behind the ear. Just cut the hair that pops out. Do not go in to far. That will leave too big of an arc around the ear sometimes referred to as a white wall.
  11. Make the diagonal line on the neck behind the ear. Leave the line out as far as possible. Do not go in off the natural hairline and cut into the taper.
  12. Use an upward shaving motion to clean up the back of the neck. The taper is already complete so it is extremely important not to get anywhere near the hairline. Stop ½ -1 inch below the taper so a line is not made.
  13. Finish the opposite side of the neck and sideburn area.
  14. Texturize the hair to leave a natural finish before styling. Use the appropriate technique for the specific hair type as taught in the advanced techniques section. In this case with fine, straight hair you will use the 40-44 tooth thinning scissor on just the ends of the hair. Do not go in any further. That will remove too much weight and the hair will stand up out of place. Move the comb at a moderate speed and close the scissor all of the way. This will mesh the ends of the hair together leaving the natural finish.
  15. The final step of the finishing area is the straight razor shave on sideburns, around the ears, and back of the neck. Apply shaving cream on the areas to be shaved. Start on the right sideburn and grip the side of the head with the palm of your hand. Place your thumb on the side burn and stretch the skin. Shave the bottom of sideburn using a free hand stroke. Next shave the right side of the neck below the ear with a freehand stroke. Move on to the hairline using the freehand stroke all the way across. Use your backhand stoke for the opposite portion of neck below the ear. Lastly use your backhand stoke again for the opposite sideburn. Wipe off excess shaving cream with a clean towel and apply aftershave.
  16. Style the hair. Ask the client if they prefer the wet or dry look. A pomade or firm gel will work best for the wet look and a light cream or hair spray will work best for the dry look. Rub the product into the hair down to the roots. Comb the crown in the direction it grows and push the top forward and then to the side with a part. If using hairspray comb the hair in the desired position first and then spray without re-combing. Use the palm of the hand to just press the hair into the desired shape. Re-combing after the hair spray is applied will result in a wet look.

[highlight]REVIEW QUESTIONS[/highlight]

  1. What section should this haircut begin in?
  2. What haircutting technique is used in the top section?
  3. How should the hair be picked up on a recessed hairline?
  4. What section is blended into the top section?
  5. What two haircutting techniques can be used in the round of the head section?
  6. What type of motion is used with the clipper to create a tapered hairline?
  7. What clipper is used for the finish?
  8. Describe the process of texturizing fine, straight hair.

[highlight]AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY[/highlight]
Pay close attention to the growth pattern of the hair. This hairstyle is perfect for the client whose hair grows in a circle pattern around their head with a strong forward growth pattern on top. The finish is extremely important. The neater the taper and outline of the haircut is, the more the different dimensions of the haircut stand out. This haircut can be styled very neat or more textured depending on how conservative a look the client is going for. Use the wide teeth of the large scissor comb or a vent brush for a more textured look. Use the rubber brush with the teeth close together or the wide teeth of the finishing comb for a neater look. This is generally a conservative haircut so make sure to style accordingly.