The Ivy League Haircut

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[adrotate banner=”3″]The Ivy League haircut is a classic that has been for a long time. It was most popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It is very popular again today and sometimes you will see a messier look or more of a flip in the front. The true definition of this cut is the hair combed forward and to the side without a part. The front is combed slightly up and to the side without a hair out of place. A natural hairline or low taper accentuates the shape of the haircut. A firm gel or heavy cream works best to keep the hair styled neatly all day.

[highlight]LEARNING OBJECTIVES[/highlight]

  • Understand the concept of a square shaped haircut
  • Understand the concept of beginning the haircut on the top
  • Demonstrate the scissor over comb technique
  • Demonstrate scissor over comb with thinning shears
  • Demonstrate the clipper over comb technique
  • Demonstrate a tapered outline with the adjustable clipper using the clipper over comb technique
  • Demonstrate a straight razor neck shave on sensitive skin

[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 and this will serve as the traveling guide. Keeping the comb parallel to the floor move the comb 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. Repeat this step as many times as necessary until there is not any 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. Cut the round of the head 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 a scissor over comb or a clipper over comb technique. In this lesson we are using a 1 ½ blade on the detachable blade clipper. It leaves a more blended finish which is perfect for thick hair that grows straight out from the side of the head. Blend into the previous cut guide from the round of the head. You will a slight line of demarcation from the previous step that you will blend to.
  5. Start the semi finish. Use the adjustable clipper in the open position and the clipper comb. Using the clipper over comb technique bevel the comb at a 45 degree angle and follow that cutting plane until you run out of hair. This will blend perfectly into the previously cut area. Start in front of the right side burn and follow this step all the way around. Make sure to angle the comb so that you stop cutting after about a 2 finger width above the ear and hairline in the back.
  6. Continue the semi finish with the adjustable clipper in the open position using the blade on skin technique. Using a scooping motion place the blade facing upward and pull the clipper away from the head when it reaches the hairline. This will leave a nice natural/tapered hairline. Follow this step from right side burn area around the head to the other side.
  7. 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.
  8. Repeat step 7 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Finish the opposite side of the neck and sideburn area.
  13. 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 stroke again for the opposite sideburn. Wipe off excess shaving cream with a clean towel and apply aftershave.
  14. 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 heavy paste or wax 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 to the side. Comb the bangs to the side it grows and push up slightly in front.

[highlight]REVIEW QUESTIONS[/highlight]

  1. In what section should the haircut begin?
  2. What technique is best used in the top section for the required length of hair?
  3. What section should be cut after the top section?
  4. Which techniques can be used in the round of the head section?
  5. What technique is used in the sides and back section?
  6. What clipper and blade is the best to use for the sides and back section for removing length?
  7. What clipper is used for the semi-finish section?
  8. What type of product will leave a wet looking finish?
  9. What type of product will leave a dry looking finish?

[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, the more the different dimensions of the haircut will stand out. This haircut can be styled very neat or with a more textured look – wet or dry. 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. Either way, make sure to rub the product all the way into the roots of the hair.