Q: Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me definitions of break points in a hair cut. Like say I established a seven inch
guide from the bottom section like my guide and then I began to work up the head in 1/2 inch sections vertical layering the hair, versus
if I would bring down sections blunt until the top of the ear or the occipital bone and then I began to vertical layer from that parting
what is the difference, because when I read a lot of magazines about hair cuts they seem to begin the hair cut with horizontal sections
to the top of the ears. Could you explain these differences to avoid confusion? Thanks.
A: I’m not familiar with the term “break points” in cutting hair, and I suspect these are local terms or specific to the salon or
trainer under whom you studied. Typically, the use of horizontal slices when cutting the hair is intended to maintain smoothness and
evenness of the cutting line as you travel around the head on a horizontal plane. Horizontal slices can be used when over-directing the
hair to create a weight line by combing the hair below the horizontal slice up to join the slice and cutting it all at the same point.
This means that the hairs below the horizontal slice are progressively longer. Horizontal cutting generally creates more clearly defined weight lines.
Vertical slices are used in order to create smoother and more even layering.
The difference between the techniques seen in magazines and what you may use on your own clients is
often simply a matter of stylist’s creating their own processes for cutting the hair. If you understand the basic shape of the hairstyle
you intend to make, the method for creating that shape is less important than the outcome. A hairstylist in training is taught the
methods favored by his or her instructor or patron. In cosmetology schools these techniques are usually standardized, and can lead to
some confusion when the student goes out and works in salons with established stylists who have their own methods or who were trained
as apprentices to other stylists.