Notching & Point CuttingQ: I've moved and need to find someone new to cut my hair. My stylist used to thin out my long, thick, coarse, loose wavy hair without using thinning shears to prevent frizz. She used regular scissors to remove bulk from the interior of my hair. It seemed like she took random strips and cut them, because sometimes when I wore my hair half up I would get random shorter strips that would show. I'm guessing it might be called notching or point cutting but I'm not sure. I want to tell my new stylist what she did, but don't know the right term. Can you tell me?
A: What you describe sounds most like a freehand notching technique, where the stylist takes the shears and snips away at the hair in a random fashion to remove bulk and create less volume in the hair. The freehand technique differs from traditional notching in that the traditional varation tends to be done more at the ends of the hair, while the freehand technique executed further up the hair shaft to remove bulk from different areas of the style.
You state that you've moved and are looking for a new hair stylist, and I want to encourage you to be sure and do your homework before you just walk into a salon and give a stylist a test-drive. Make sure the salon in question suits your personal style. A salon that focuses on trendy, funky styles for the 20-something crowd may not be suitable if you like a more traditional look. Similarly, a salon that caters to a much more mature clientele favoring roller sets and matronly styles may not be practiced in more modern styling and haircutting techniques.
If you find a salon you're interested in, drop by for a consultation visit before booking a service. Any salon or stylist who is worthy of the name will be glad to give you a few minutes to talk about what they can offer you. Take some time and watch the stylists at work, paying attention to the hairstyles that they create for their clients. This, more than anything, will give you a sense of what the stylist is most practiced in doing.
Remember that you are going to trust your hair to this person, and will possibly be developing a long-term relationship with him/her. As with any relationship, communication is essential. Speak with the stylists whose work you like and talk about the goals you have in mind for your hair. If the stylist seems to easily understand what you're trying to convey, and can offer feedback without immediately trying to change your look, you have found a stylist that will work with you to help you look your best.
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