Haircutting Guides

Q: Hello. I am going to be cutting 1" to 1 1/2" off the chin portion of my girlfriend's hair. She is happy with the length at the back, but wants the front shorter. Should I use the back as a guide and cut from the guide to the front or should I cut the front to length and graduate it to the back? Thanks.
A: Well, since the front of the hair is the part that she wants to have shortened, you need to make sure to create your guides in the front first. The easiest way to do this is to bring the front strands from both sides together in front (centering them at the nose) and cut them together to the desired new length.
Please remember that you want to make certain you're getting an even transition. To do this, you need to select strands of hair from the same points on each side of the head and bring them forward to check the lengths and make certain they are even. Here's how I would go about doing this:
Start by cutting your front guides together. Cut one side of the hair front to back just to the ear. Take a lock of hair from the same point at the ears on each side and bring them forward (one will be already cut). The lock of hair that is uncut should be cut to the same length as the already cut one. This will give you a "stopping point" and will show you the "angle to follow" on the uncut side, allowing you to match the two sides.
Continue the cut by choosing a point just behind the shoulder to allow you to reach the maximum length well before getting to the center back and avoiding the "point" in back. Treat this the same way you did your initial stopping point (if necessary, you can bring the checking point to the center back to ensure they are even). Use the guides to match your angle on each side, and when finished, double check the cut from all angles to make sure you are happy with the result.
The big thing to remember is to err on the side of caution. You can always cut off a little more hair, but growing it back takes time.
Photo: Focus and Blur/Shutterstock
See also:
How to cut hair
Is it safe to cut the hair when it is dry?