The South Beach Taper

If you have ever spent any time vacationing in South Florida, especially the Miami Beach area, you will recognize this haircut. It is a classic haircut with a neatly trimmed, thin beard that looks like it was drawn on the face with a marker.  A neatly tapered neckline and temple area with a sharp line-up on the forehead and side burn area make this haircut really stand out.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Identify the tools necessary to complete a short clipper cut.
  • Describe the steps necessary to create a smooth taper/fade.
  • Identify the various blades and attachments needed to five a taper/fade.
  • Understand the concept of starting the taper/fade with the longer blades and working down to shorter.
  • Demonstrate a taper/fade.
  • Demonstrate a straight razor neck shave.
  • Demonstrate a hot lather shave on the front hairline and temple regions.
Step by Step Guide
  1. Comb through the top to get the hair moving in the same direction. Use the appropriate comb for the density of the hair or the coarse teeth of the fade brush.
  2. Cut the top. Determine the length the client would like the top cut. Use a ½ inch blade on the detachable blade clipper. Cut the hair against the grain moving the clipper slowly to make sure that no hair is missed. Start with a center section and work on the side sections to the round of the head.
  3. Cut the hair on the round of the head and the crown. With the ½ inch blade cut against the grain blending into the top section. If no hair is coming off switch to the next blade size down.
  4. Move on to the sides and back section. Use the 3/8 inch blade on the detachable blade clipper and cut from the right sideburn to the round of the head. Move the clipper slowly so that no hair is missed. At the round of the head, move the clipper on a straight line up in the air away from the head. This will blend to the top without a line of demarcation.
  5. Start the taper in the temple areas. The taper will be on a diagonal from the temple to the top/front of the ear. Work from the longest length to the shortest for ease of blending. Start out with the ¼ blade on the detachable blade clipper. At the temple to the top of the ear area pull the clipper slowly away from the head in an arcing motion. This will blend the shorter length into the longer length.
  6. Repeat step 5 with the 1/8 blade on the detachable blade clipper. Start to pull the clipper away from the head slightly below where you left off with the clipper in step 5.
  7. Repeat step 6 with the 1/16 attachment on the adjustable clipper with the lever in the open position. You are switching to the adjustable blade clipper because we can get a few different lengths with the same attachment by adjusting the lever. This is much easier than taking blades on and off at this shorter length. Start to pull the clipper away from the head slightly below where you left off with the clipper in step 6.
  8. Repeat step 7 with the 1/16 attachment on the adjustable clipper with the lever in the halfway closed position. Start to pull the clipper away from the head slightly below where you left off with the clipper in step 7.
  9.  Repeat step 8 with the 1/16 attachment on the adjustable clipper with the lever in the closed position. Start to pull the clipper away from the head slightly below where you left off with the clipper in step 8.
  10. Repeat step 9 with the adjustable clipper’s lever in the open position without an attachment. Start to pull the clipper away from the head slightly below where you left off with the clipper in step 9. This is the shortest length we will use because it is the same length the beard will be cut.
  11. Taper the back and hairline. Use the ¼ blade on the detachable blade clipper up to the occipital area or just below the round of the head. As the head starts to round follow that angle slowly away from the head until you run out of hair to cut. This will be the first blend and your guide not to go higher than for the rest of the taper.
  12. Repeat step 11 with the 1/8 blade on the detachable clipper and start to slowly pull the clipper away from the head just below where you left off in step 11.
  13. Repeat step 11 with the 1/16 attachment on the adjustable clipper in the open position and start to slowly pull the clipper away from the head just below where you left off in step 11.  After that take the clipper at a 45 degree angle and run the clipper around each ear to further lighten up the outline. You are switching to the adjustable blade clipper because we can get a few different lengths with the same attachment by adjusting the lever. This is much easier than taking blades on and off at this shorter length.
  14. Repeat step 13 with the 1/16 attachment on the adjustable clipper in the halfway closed position and start to slowly pull the clipper away from the head just below where you left off in step 13. After that take the clipper at a 45 degree angle and run the clipper around each ear to further lighten up the outline.
  15. Repeat step 14 with the 1/16 attachment on the adjustable clipper in the closed position and start to slowly pull the clipper away from the head just below where you left off in step 14.
  16. Repeat step 15 with the adjustable clipper in the open position without an attachment. Start to slowly pull the clipper away from the head just below where you left off in step 16.
  17. Repeat step 16 with the adjustable clipper in the half way closed position and no attachment. Start to slowly pull the clipper away from the head just below where you left off in step 16.
  18. Repeat step 17 with the adjustable clipper in the closed position and no attachment. Start to slowly pull the clipper away from the head just below where you left off in step 17.
  19. Repeat steps 5-10 on the opposite temple area.
  20. Complete the outline of the haircut. Face the client toward you and make the center cut on the fore head. Do not go too far off the hairline. Gently press the clipper into the hairline creating the center guide. Make a straight line to each temple area off of the center guide.
  21. Line off the temple area. Make sure to leave a distinct corner connecting the front to the temple area. Slightly push the clipper into the hairline to create a sharper line.
  22. Create an arc from the corner of the temple area down to the side burn area into the desired width of the side burn.
  23. Pull the ear down and draw the outline around the ear with the corner of the blade.
  24. Cut the diagonal line behind the ear. Do not go off of the natural hairline. Leave the line as far out as possible.
  25. Trim the beard or fuzz off the back of the neck. Cut in an upward motion toward the taper and stop about an inch below so you do not cut into the taper.
  26. Repeat steps 21-24 on the opposite side of the haircut.
  27. Shave the outline with the straight razor. Make sure to ask the client first if it irritates the skin before beginning. Apply the pre-shave oil to the outline of the haircut and then the hot lather. Stand behind the client and wipe off the shaving cream from the front hairline. Lightly shave into the hairline to create a sharp line. Next, shave toward the temple area lightly touching the line. Follow the arc from the temple to the side burn area. Shave the side of the neck getting as close to the line as you can without cutting into it. Shave the bottom of the neck without getting anywhere near the hairline in order to preserve the taper. Repeat on the opposite side.
  28. Style the hair with pomade by rubbing the product into the hair and scalp. Use the appropriate comb or brush depending on the density of the hair and comb/brush it forward.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What clippers are needed for this haircut?
  2. What section should the haircut begin?
  3. What clipper is used on the top section?
  4. Should the haircut be cut from longer to shorter or shorter to longer?
  5. What clipper is used for the tapering on front of the ears and on the neckline?
  6. What technique and tool is used on the front hairline before edging?
  7. Which clipper will leave a sharp outline on the haircut?
  8. What hairstyling product will work best for giving this haircut a shine finish?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
This is a very long lesson plan and it may seem overwhelming but a lot of it is repetitive. As you can tell from the video there are a lot of steps in a small area that can be done quickly. We want to be a thorough as possible with the instructions because with any short haircut the smallest imperfection will show.
When cutting the outline with the t-trimmer do not press too hard. This clipper is very sharp and the lightest of pressure will leave a sharp line. Also do not drag down with the clipper. This will cause irritation.
Before shaving the outline with the straight razor, be sure to ask your client first. This step can irritate some skin types. Also, you just shaved it with a sharp clipper. Going over the same spot on the skin can cause irritation so be gentle and careful.

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