Haircutting Methods

Short haircut in progress
Q: Could you please explain what mobile, stationary, and shifted methods are in haircutting? I have heard this but not quite understood it in my class.
A: These terms are referring to the guides created in preparing to cut layers into the hairstyle.
Mobile guides are those that move along with you as you work your way around the scalp. Mobile guides create uniform layers, by taking part of the segment previously cut and using it to show where to cut the next segment.
Mobile guide for cutting hair
Stationary guide for cutting hair
Stationary guides are those used to create increasingly long lengths. A blunt cut bob uses a stationary guide length at the bottom of the hairstyle. This means that the hairs at the bottom of the style are shorter than those at the top sections. All of the rest of the hair is cut to that length.
A stationary guide can be used at the top of the head and create longer lengths in the lower layers by lifting the hair to the same point at the top of the head. This is how many shag haircuts are created.
Shifted guides are those that are different depending on the area of the style being created. By taking different sections of the hair and using shifted guides you can create defined separations in the areas of a hairstyle. Tiers of layers in many modern haircuts are created by using shifted guides.
See also:
How to cut a uniform layered hairstyle
How would I cut uniform layers for medium length hair?
7-section parting
Start sectioning