The Princeton Haircut

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The Princeton is a short and low maintenance haircut that was first made popular in the 1950’s. This is a great haircut for someone that does not want to put a lot of work into styling their hair. It is also great for young children with difficult cowlicks because you are basically cutting off the crown. You will need to be proficient with the clipper over comb blending technique to achieve the perfect finish. Most recently this haircut has been made very popular again by the actor Daniel Craig in the latest James Bond movie Skyfall.

[highlight]LEARNING OBJECTIVES[/highlight]

  • Demonstrate the scissor over comb technique
  • Demonstrate the clipper over comb technique
  • Understand how to blend from very short hair to longer hair without a line of demarcation
  • Demonstrate tapering on the neckline

[highlight]STEP BY STEP GUIDE[/highlight]

  1. If the hair is longer start on the top section first. Use the scissor over comb technique start in the center section. Over direct the bangs slightly to leave the hair longer in the front to comb to the side or stand up.
  2. Repeat step 1 on the left side of the center guide.
  3. Repeat step 1 on the right side of the center guides.
  4. Cut the round of the head section. Start in the right temple area and use the scissor or clipper over comb technique and blend into the top section. Follow the contour of the head. This is not a square shaped haircut so you do not need to leave weight in the corners.
  5. Follow step 4 all the way around the head to the left temple area. Make sure to cut the crown down so there is not hair sticking up.
  6. Cut the sides and back section. Use the ½ inch attachment on the adjustable clipper of the 3 ¾ blade on the detachable blade clipper. Blend into the round of the head taking an imaginary line straight up as the head rounds in. This will leave the hair with a smooth blend and no line of demarcation.
  7. Follow step 6 all the way to the opposite side of the head.
  8. Cut the semi-finish section. Start out with the 1 ½ blade on the detachable blade clipper or the 1/8th attachment on the adjustable clipper. Place the blade on the hairline and use a scooping motion to create the taper or natural hairline.
  9. Follow step 8 to the opposite side of the haircut.
  10. While you have the 1 ½ blade on the detachable blade clipper complete any blending necessary in the round of the head section.
  11. Complete the semi-finish.  Use the adjustable clipper in the open position. Use a scooping motion and taper the hair around the outline of the haircut at a 45 degree outline.
  12. Repeat step 11 with the lever halfway and perform the same motion scooping the blade away from the head about 1/4 inch below where you left off with the longer setting.
  13. Repeat step 12with the lever all the way closed. Now the taper is complete and when you move on to the finish it will not be necessary to get close to the hairline with the trimmer.
  14. Use the trimmer and complete the finish. Edge off the sideburn area by making a line and then shaving to it. Do not drag the clipper. It will leave razor marks and razor burn.
  15. Finish the outline behind the ears and the back of the neck. Make sure the line is not cut too far in underneath the ears. You do not want to lose the taper created from the semi-finish. Use the trimmer in and upward motion at the hairline to remove the beard or fuzz on the neck. Make sure to stop about ¼ – ½ inch below where you left off with the adjustable clipper in the closed position.
  16. Finish the other sideburn area by repeating step 14.
  17. 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.
  18. Style the hair to the client’s preference. Use a styling paste for a dry finish or a gel/pomade for a shiny finish.

[highlight]REVIEW QUESTIONS[/highlight]

  1. What section should you start the haircut in if the hair is longer?
  2. What men’s haircutting technique is best used for the top section?
  3. What section should be cut after the top section?
  4. What shape haircut is The Princeton?
  5. How many different clippers are used on this haircut?
  6. What type of hairline looks best with this haircut?
  7. What type of product can be used for a dry finish?
  8. What type of products can be used for a shiny finish?

[highlight]AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY[/highlight]

For this particular haircut the blending from the short area on top to the longer bangs is the most important part for leaving a natural looking and classic style. Efficiency with the scissor or clipper over comb technique is a must.

Make sure to finish the haircut off with a naturally tapered or faded hairline.