Q: Say that you were layering long hair and the customer wants to have just a few long layers, would it be better to part the
hair off and pull it straight up cutting it across, or would it be better to pull the hair straight out and down sort of at an angle to
layer it. I tried doing it by pulling the straight up and cutting, but the layers were too short. I didn't know if maybe my guide line
was too short or I should have just pulled the hair straight out at an angle and cut. I also tried to pull the hair out and cut once
on a customer and her hair was so thick that I kept losing my guide and the end haircut didn't look as planned. I am so confused about layering, please help!
A: Well, when pulling the hair up over the head (180-degree elevation) your guideline was obviously too short if the resultant layers
were too short as well. This technique is good for creating evenly spaced layers in a hairstyle, but you should always cut your guide
for this method with the hair hanging down at zero elevation. Doing this will let you ensure that the shortest layers are at least this length.
The technique of pulling the hair out to a 90-degree elevation (to the side) is another good way to
create long layers, but this time you are using a traveling guide as opposed to a stationary guide as is used with the above technique.
This means that as you work your way around the head you are using hair that was previously cut as a guide for the next cut. The
problem you encountered with the client with thick hair is very likely a result of trying to cut too much hair at once. Here are
some basic tips for cutting a layered haircut that should help:
Always section the hair first. This will let you keep the hair under better control by keeping the
hair not being worked with secure and out of the way.
When cutting thick hair, use small slices. On an average scalp, a good rule of thumb is to use
slices about as wide as your pinky finger. With especially thick hair you may want to go even thinner.
Always double check your dimensions. Be sure to check the lengths at different points in the cut to
make sure you arenít getting off balance. Pull thin strands from different points of the head and raise them to a central point above
the head to make sure they are all the same length. Donít wait too long between checking or youíll find you canít get back on track and the cut will be uneven.
We have some good articles on haircutting here at Hairfinder. Take a look at them
and you should find even more helpful information on cutting hair.