Many times when beginning a career in barbering or men’s haircutting the barber or cosmetologist will struggle the most in one particular situation. This is when giving a haircut the hair is too short to pick up with your fingers and the desired length is to be left longer than using the largest clipper attachment. Now what? or a look of confusion is what I get from the student. In my opinion this is where the truly talented are separated from the average.
There are two haircutting techniques that are used in this situation. The first one is called scissor over comb. This haircutting technique is when the comb slowly moves through the hair picking it up and the scissor held in the opposite hand opens and closes quickly cutting the hair. This is the oldest technique in barbering. (Yes, there was a time when the electric clipper did not exist.) With time and practice this technique will become second nature and you will start using it on longer hair instead of picking it up. You will find this haircutting technique to be much more efficient as well as more accurate than picking up the hair in many sections.
The second haircutting technique is clipper over comb. This works the same as scissor over comb except you are using a clipper. I recommend using an adjustable clipper or detachable blade clipper but never a trimmer. The trimmer is not powerful enough and the blade is too fine causing clipper lines in the haircut. Another benefit too this technique is you can begin the taper around the outline of the haircut after you finish each section. This will drastically increase the efficiency of your haircutting without increasing your hand speed. It is extremely important that the customer never feels like you are rushing them out of your chair.
This is the first blog of a multi-part series on men’s haircutting techniques.
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