How To: Long Graduated CutThe long graduated haircut is traditionally a cut for women who want an especially long layered look. As with other “haircuts”, the term “long graduated cut” can refer to a wide variety of specific looks, since the key techniques of the cut consist of tension in the segment being cut and the use of 45-degree or smaller cutting angles and overdirection.
Overdirection is the technique of elevating the hair beyond the 90-degree – or straight out from the head – position, in the direction opposite the way the hair would naturally fall. It is used to create increased layers in the interior and at the perimeter of the hair.
In the case of the long graduated cut, the overdirection enables the stylist to add layers to the longer hair more easily and to balance the amount of bulk in the given style.
Click to enlargeAs it was in a short graduated haircut, the fringe will be elevated to a 45-degree angle and cut using a vertical cutting line in the long graduated cut. The top and crown sections are going to be elevated straight out from the head (at 90 degrees) and cut, and the side and nape sections will be over-directed or elevated to a reversed 45 degrees and cut with vertical cutting lines as well.
Here, the concept of a “reversed 45 degree elevation” and “over-direction” means that the hair is lifted beyond the point at which it stands straight out from the head and is held at what would be a 45-degree angle if the client were upside down. The diagram shown gives you the lengths to create a long graduated cut.
To start, you should:
1. Section the hair in a standard seven-section parting, separating the sides, and top into three sections, the crown should be divided into two equal sections roughly triangular shaped, and the nape area is divided into two equal halved down the center. Click here for illustrations on sectioning the hair for cutting.
2. Determine your desired lengths for the front, back and sides and cut a small guide to mark this length. Cross-check your side lengths by bringing them together in front or back to make sure they line up correctly. If the two ends meet at a central point in front or in back, then they are even. If not, bring the strands together at a central point and trim the excess length from the longer end.