How to Feather Cut Hair

Stylist feathering hair with scissors
Photo: Tmon/Shutterstock
Q: I am a cosmetologist who has been out of the field for a long time and the other day I was asked to feather my uncle's hair. How do I feather-cut a man's hair?
A: Well, "feathering" is generally a texturing technique performed on layered hair to create lighter, wispy ends and remove bulk from specific areas. Feathering can be used on any hair length. You simply adjust the angle of the texturing cut to compensate for the shorter lengths.
The easiest way to create a feathered look in a layered cut, such as you described, is to comb vertical slices of hair and hold them at 90-degrees of elevation and snip small notches into the ends of the hair. Work your way from front to back using this technique.
The key is to comb your slices in the direction perpendicular to the direction the hair is styled in. If the hair is combed back horizontally from the face, use vertical slices and work front to back. If the hair is combed straight down, use horizontal slices and work top to bottom.
Be sure to cut the hair when damp as this technique can result in a lot of fly-away clippings if cut when dry. Style the hair afterward by using a blow-dryer with diffuser and a round brush to direct the hair evenly.
See also:
Angles and elevation for haircutting
What does feathering mean and is it possible for someone to feather their own hair?
Notching and point cutting