Q: What is the difference between long graduated cuts and short graduated cuts?
A: I know that this is going to sound like an overly simple answer, but the difference between long graduated cuts and short
graduated cuts is literally the length of the hairstyle being created.
The term “graduated” as it regards haircutting is the same as saying “layered”. It doesn’t
matter whether the layers are very closely spaced (as in the stacked look of a beveled bob haircut) or very widely spaced (as in
the long layers of a shag haircut). Any haircut that has layering is “graduated”, although the term graduated cut tends to refer to more even layering.
This is simply another example of how haircutting terminology can become confusing as new
descriptors come into use. The term “graduated cut” is one that is usually learned in cosmetology school from the text sources.
Once a student gets into his/her “practical” portion of the education he/she will probably hear the terms “layered” cut and
“tapered”. And finally, once he/she is practicing in a salon terms like “stacked”, “beveled”, and “feathered” come into play.
All of these terms refer to cutting differing lengths of hair into the style, but may or may not refer to a specific technique.
In general, long graduated cuts will have much deeper layers, while short graduated cuts will
usually have shallower or steeper layers. It all depends on the cutting angle and elevation used to create the graduation.