Clipper Cutting Techniques
Men's and Boys' Standard CutsIf you start to delve into the realm of clipper cutting the hair, you’ll soon learn that although the lengths of the haircuts created in your average clipper styles are much shorter, the number of different hairstyles possible is just as varied. At least, the terms for the hairstyles are varied. There are some basics, however, and that’s what we’ll try to focus on here.
The following are some very basic terms used in clipper cutting the hair and what they mean:
Buzz Cut: a haircut that is created by cutting the hair short all over to a uniform length. The hair is generally cut to ¼-inch or shorter. Variations include the Crew Cut (where the hair in front and on top is left a little longer), Butch Cut (a name variation), and Induction Cut (clipper cut to minimal stubble as done on admission into the Armed Forces).
These cuts are all generally uniform in length varying only slightly in the different areas of the head.
Flat Top: This is a group of cuts that have a range of lengths and finishing techniques. The hair at the top of the head is cut to create a horizontal plane when styled to stand vertically. The cut can be very short, exposing the center top of the scalp and tapered severely on the sides and in the back (sometimes called a horseshoe flattop because of the horseshoe shape of hair created). It could also have sharply edged corners or smoothly rounded ones along the parietal ridge.
Click to enlargeBowl Cut: This is a long-known style that has come in and out of fashion. Sometimes called a Basin Cut, or a Pudding Bowl Cut, the hair is cut off at a specific point following a line all the way around the head. The cut off point is usually just above the tops of the ears.
There are a couple of variants, such as the Dipped Bowl Cut where the cutting line curves downward in back following the line of the crown, and the Undercut where the hair at the cutting line is lifted and the clipper cutting extends up an inch or more beneath the edge to create a freely moving curtain of hair. The hair below the Bowl Cut, Dipped Bowl Cut, and Undercut it usually clipped to 1/8th of an inch or shorter.
Short Back and Sides: Although not always a clipper cut, this style refers to the traditional men’s haircut where the sides and back of the hair are cut short, but the hair on top of the head is left long enough to be combed over and parted as desired. The style often includes bangs.
The following are cuts that are recently popular once more and feature longer hair at the bangs area:
Caesar Cut: The Caesar Cut is generally clipper cut hair to a uniform length of about one inch all over the head, and left slight longer at the forehead edge to be combed downward in straight-edged bangs. The perimeter of the hair follows a traditional man’s cut – around the ears and squared at then neck.
There is a variation found in the length of most Caesar Cuts depending on the preferences of the wearer and the density of the hair. Those individuals with more dense hair (thicker) may prefer a shorter cut, but the hair is rarely shorter than ½-inch all over the head.