It may seem unusual to discuss anatomy in haircuts, but knowing the references used for the areas
of the head and what they specifically indicate help you to understand what is intended with a particular haircut. The following are the
terms for the basic features of the head as they affect haircutting:
(Click to enlarge)
Top: The top of the head is simple to understand. It is the area directly behind
the forehead – the uppermost portion of the scalp.
Parietal Ridge: This is the point where the top of the head curves downward to
become the sides of the head. The term parietal ridge refers to the bony ridge along the upper sides of the head. The Parietal Ridge
begins approximately three finger-widths above the top of the ear.
Temple: The Temples are the small areas just above and in front of the ears on
each side of the head. They are pulse points for blood flow and flex points for the facial muscles. (If you clench your teeth you can
feel muscles below the skin of the temples flex.)
Crown: The Crown refers to the area at the upper back of the skull. The Crown
begins at the point where the top of the head begins to curve downward to the back of the head and ends at the point just above the
Occipital bone. It is a semi-circular area.
Occipital Bone: The Occipital Bone is the small bony protrusion at the base of
the skull where the skull joins to the neck. It can be easily felt through the skin of the scalp at the base of the skull.
Nape: The Nape area refers to the sections of the head from the Occipital Bone to
the bottom hairline of the neck and extending to the hairlines on each side behind the ears.