Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Haircutting Tips: Angles and Elevation (2)

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The other facet of haircutting that many people get confused over is Angle, and when a stylist speaks about angle in haircutting, he or she is referring to the position of the scissors in his or her hand in relationship to something else, usually the floor. For some people these concepts come naturally. They can look at a haircut and “see” the positioning, angles, and elevations needed to create the cut. For others, it takes more time to learn the way these different positions interact and affect the outcome of the cut.
The angles used in cutting the hair are going to vary widely from style to style and even from hair type to hair type. Because of this, there is no real reason to try and complicate matters needlessly. Unless otherwise specified in the cutting instructions, when it says “the hair is cut at ‘X-degree’ angle, it means that the scissors are held at an angle of x-degrees in relation to the line of the floor. For example a 45-degree cutting angle would mean holding the scissors halfway between completely horizontal (parallel to the floor) and completely vertical (perpendicular to the floor).
Hair cutting elevation and angles graphic
magnifier Click to enlarge

The use of angles and elevation help a stylist create a variety of looks. Generally speaking, the lower the elevation and the more horizontal the cutting angle, the less layered and more blunt the cut will be. Increasing either or both the cutting angle and elevation will increase the amount of layering in the hair.
For example: the classic blunt bob is cut with the hair at zero degrees of elevation and using a horizontal cutting angle; and the long-layered “shag” haircut is created by holding the hair at 180-degrees elevation and using a 45-degree cutting angle to create shorter-to-longer layers from the center of the head to the outside. Every other style and cut out there is simply a variation on the theme created by combining angles and elevation in different ways at different points around the head.
Stacy - Hair Stylist     ©
Related posts:
Haircutting templates to plan out a haircut
How do you cut an angle cut in the front?
Is there a certain angle I need to focus on when cutting hair?
How to hold your scissors when cutting hair