Hair Cutting CapesQ: I often cut my husband's and children's hair and now I would like to use a hair cutting cape instead of a towel. Can you, as a professional, give me some tips before I buy a cape? What is the best material for a cape, smooth or rough? Can you put hair cutting capes in the laundry?
A: I highly recommend that you get a cape called a "styling cape" it is designed with a tightly-woven man-made fabric that has a shiny finish to it. This prevents the hairs from becoming embedded into the fabric and allows them to simply slide off onto the floor.
Capes that are made with rougher finishes are generally used because they are moisture absorbent, but they also have the problem of giving the cut hair pieces surfaces to adhere to. This means that you can have an abundance of hairs that accumulate at the neck and irritate the skin, or worse, fall down onto the clothing and into shirts when you attempt to remove the cape. There are few things more annoying than the prickly itch of having hair in your clothing.
Also, while you may be tempted to purchase a plastic cape, these are designed for use as shampoo capes and for chemical services since they provide a moisture barrier to keep staining and bleaching chemicals off the clothing, and to keep the clothing dry during a shampoo service. They are hot when worn for other purposes and are designed to be used with towels wrapped around the neck inside and outside the cape, so the closures don't usually secure as snugly as a styling cape.
Finally, since a styling cape is made of fabric, if there are tears or split seams, you can sew them and mend them easily. Plastic capes are cheaper, but if they become damaged, you have to replace them.
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