How To Thin Out Hair

Point cutting hair
Point cutting - Photo: Margarita Borodina/Shutterstock
Q: Do you have a diagram or instructions on how to thin out hair without thinning scissors or a razor to create a shaggy style?
A: The main techniques used in thinning the hair with scissors are called Point Cutting, Notching and Slithering. These are all similar in that they use the scissors to remove a portion of the hair, but differ in the amount of hair they remove and the angle of cut used.
Point Cutting is used to create choppy looks and soften a layered cut, generally one that is mid-length to longer. The hair section is held perpendicular to the head and the scissors are used to cut inward at a steep angle. This technique is good for texturing curly hair especially, with the angle being adjusted based on the size of the curl.
Notching is done the same way as Point Cutting, but is generally performed on much shorter, straight hairstyles. This enables a spiky, wild look to be created and the hair to be given added texture and movement.
Hair texturing with scissors techniques
Slithering is generally reserved for long straight or wavy styles to remove bulk from the ends of the hair and give a soft finish. In slithering, as with the previous techniques, the hair is held out perpendicular to the scalp, but instead of cutting into the hair, the scissors are held slightly open and slid along the length of the hair away from the scalp.
Each of these techniques serves a purpose and can be used to create looks similar to those achieved with thinning shears and razor tools, although the specialized tools create these looks more easily and quickly by design.

See also:
Hair pointing and hair slithering
Notching and point cutting
Texturizing the hair
Techniques for chipping and slicing