Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Reverse Graduation

Q: What is reverse graduation?
A: Reverse graduation is a haircutting technique developed by Fran Smith of Trevor Francis Hairdressing for
Normally when graduating hair, hairdressers work from the hair line up. The technique has been used for many years when cutting hair and it works very well. The problem however is that with normal graduation you cut the weight and length out of the hair first. This leaves very little options for creativity.
With reverse graduation this is not the case. You start from the top and then you work down towards the hair line, leaving as much length as desired. When taking your first section you figure out how much weight you require (and want to leave for the head shape). Lifting out from the scalp as with normal graduation, you take sections working down. When working down you will not get any graduation lines and this enables you to leave the length.
  • Short hairstyle with reverse graduation
  • Back view of short hair with reverse graduation
  • Haircutting with reverse graduation
  • Side view of a haircut with reverse graduation
magnifier Click to enlarge
The above photos show a beautiful short hairstyle, well tapered in lots of lengths and without graduation lines. This is very difficult to achieve using normal graduation, but extremely easy with the reverse graduation technique. The technique corrects itself as you work and is less time consuming. It is very versatile and can be used on many different looks and cuts. Reverse graduation works very well on curly hair.
Instructional videos (subscription based) are available on
Related posts:
How to cut hair
How to cut a long graduated haircut
How to cut a short graduated haircut