Recently I obtained a new manikin; specifically, a long haired manikin. After she arrived, and I gave her a good shampoo and conditioning treatment, I took a good
look at her hair. The length was great, but the ends were a mess. They were uneven and very stringy looking at the bottom. I knew she would need to be trimmed.
However, the sight of the unevenness and stringy ends made me think of the problems common to women (and men) who are growing their hair long. Many people
who are trying to achieve long locks think that cutting their hair, even a little, is anathema. The truth is, a little trim is the difference between hair that looks unkempt
and unhealthy and hair of which you can be proud.
As you can see in the first photo, the last four-to-five inches of the manikin's hair
was less than half the density of the upper lengths, but I'd bought the manikin specifically for the length, and the idea of cutting off five inches was a waste. I wanted
to make the hair look more healthy and to keep as much length as possible, so I split the difference.
I sectioned the manikin's hair into seven sections and gave her a blunt cut using a curved cutting line. Because of the disparity in length, I soon found no "extending hairs"
to cut to the blunt line and was finished with the basic portion of the cut. During this process, I removed approximately two inches of length from the manikin's hair.
It is important to note that I didn't cut any bangs into this manikin, preferring to keep her hair all one length. I made certain that my lengths were even on each side by
taking sections from the same places on each side and bringing them forward or back to meet in the center
of the face or center back of the head. Uneven lengths would be obvious using this method.
Now, I had a manikin with hair that was fuller all along the length, but the individual hairs at the lower two-to-three inches were still uneven in density, so I decided to
"balance" things out by using a straight-razor to texturize the ends of the hair.
I started by re-misting the hair and combing it flat. Then beginning in the center back of the head, I combed out one-inch vertical segments which I then combed from
the side until flat and held them with tension at a 15-degree elevation. At this point, I used the straight-razor to "gently" shave the lower two inches of the segment at an
inward angle. I carefully worked my way around the left side of the head before returning to the center back and work around to the right.
I double checked my reference points as noted above to ensure evenness. Once assured of the evenness of the cut, I used a b with a diffusing attachment
and a flat paddle brush to dry the hair to a mostly dry state. This keeps the hair
smooth and flat without added styling.
I can't stress enough for those of you out there who have long hair, or who are trying to grow your hair long that keeping your hair trimmed is an imperative to keep
it looking healthy. Daily styling, environmental factors, careless brushing and combing, sleeping, and mishaps lead to breakage of the hair, which can lead to unevenness
and skimpy looking ends. Even if you are as careful as you can possibly be, and have
no breakage, your hair does not grow evenly. Each individual hair follicle grows at it's
own pace, and while most of the follicles may be growing at any given time, over the course of months, signs of unevenness will begin to show.
The key is to go to a stylist whom you can trust to cut just enough to keep the hair
looking healthy, and be sure you tell him or her exactly what you want and expect. There may be a few stylists out there who believe that they know best and will try to
push your limits, but most of us have in mind the goal of making the client happy. And giving you a shorter cut than you wanted or expected is definitely not the way to achieve that goal.