How Many Hair Cutting Techniques Are There

September 04, 2022

When you first start out behind the chair all the hair cutting techniques may seem very overwhelming. After all, there are so many to learn! You start to wonder if you will ever be able to keep up! Let's start with some of the basic techniques and go from there!

Blunt cut

The blunt haircut will be your first learned, and most used technique. A blunt cutting technique will be used for most perimeter work of a haircut. In most hair cuts you will use a blunt cut to achieve the desired length for the cut. Basically, a blunt cut is a straight line cut. There are no angles, or layers, or any elevation. Everything is blunt. All the hair and sections are cut by combing the hair straight down, usually at its natural fall and cutting. Our prime example of a blunt cut is the infamous, sleek blunt bob haircut. Making straight lines may seem like the easiest cut, but this cutting technique takes a lot of skill. This hair cutting technique is best used for fine hair. For blunt cutting we recommend using a longer, sharper shear, like ourMatsui Precision Shear. This shear will help you create a very blunt line... every time.

Layers and Graduation

Your next well known and used technique is the layering technique. Layers can be added to any cut to help remove weight and add movement to the hair cut. There are all sorts of layered cuts. Short layers, long layers, graduation .. they all give a different result.

The basic definition of a layered hairstyle is a haircut with different lengths throughout. Layers start as shorter on top and then longer on the bottom. Shorter layers will be short on top, removing more weight and helping to create volume in the hair. While long layers will be longer and more towards the bottom of the hair, removing more weight from the ends and helping to create movement throughout. This hair cutting technique is best used for thicker hair. You can add angles, or face framing layers to really help shape your clients hair and face. This hair cutting technique is achieved by elevating your hair sections and cutting on an angle. Your finger angle will help determine how many layers you add.

What is graduation? Well it is a form of layering hair however, it is used to build weight, instead of removing it. Graduation is usually achieved by layers from short to long, from the bottom to top, as opposed to layering hair from shorter at the top to longer at the bottom. This hair cutting technique is made famous by the graduated bob. This particular hairstyle brings the back of the bob closer to the head shape, creating a heavier weight line near the neck, or occipital bone of the head.

Scissor Over Comb

The scissor over comb hair cutting technique is one of the most popular Men's hair cutting methods. However, it is also a common hairdressing technique used for cutting short hair or pixie cuts. This technique is done with your comb in your less dominant hand ( so if you're a righty it will be in your left hand and vice versa). Your comb is held horizontal and your scissors parallel to the comb, with your scissor blades rested against it. Your shears should not move quicker than your comb. If done correctly you will have the same short and even results as a clipper cut, except more tailored to the head shape and a softer finish. When using this cutting technique on women with shorter hair it will help keep the finished look soft and feminine. 

Dry Cutting

While most haircuts are done ( or at least begin) on wet hair, another hair cutting technique commonly used is Dry cutting. Dry cutting can be used to simply blunt cut the hair or for texturizing the cut. Dry hair is great for seeing how your finished haircut will fall, and any weight line that you may need to help remove. Cutting hair dry is a more modern cutting technique than wet cutting is, however it has quickly become very popular amongst hairstylists.

Texturizing Techniques

Now that we have gone over the most common and basic hair cutting techniques let's have a look at some more advanced, texturizing techniques. Knowing these hair cutting techniques can really help make all the difference in your hair. Different hair types and hair texture will help you choose which texturizing technique will suit your client best.


Point Cutting 

Point cutting is probably the one of the most popular texturizing techniques. It is used to soften ends and remove weight. You point cut on wet hair to create textured ends or on dry hair to remove weight from the ends. You can do a deeper point cut to remove weight from deeper in the hair, and create more subtle texture. It can be used on thin hair or thick hair, short or longer hair, depending on what you are trying to achieve.


Slide Cutting

Slide cutting is also a technique used to blend layers and remove weight. When done on wet hair it can also help to create face framing pieces. We recommend using ourMatsui VG10 Sliders for this technique. You can use normal scissors however the VG10 Sliders are created for achieving the best sliding results. When slide cutting you are simply sliding the shears down the hair shaft from the mid section of hair. This helps to create layers that are soft and subtle. If you slide cut from the interior of the hair cut, outwards, you will remove more weight from the inside of the cut, this creates almost invisible layers. Different hair textures will respond differently to this technique. When cutting thin hair you will need to be more cautious of how hard you use your shears. Thicker hair will benefit from a little more weight being removed from the mid section.

Razor cutting technique

Using a razor to cut hair is also a great way to achieve texture and movement. Razor cuts do tend to be a bit more aggressive on the texture.. think a shag haircut. But if you have a client with thick, long hair this may be one of the best haircutting techniques for them. Always remember when razor cutting to use wet hair to ensure you do not give your client split ends.

Texturizing/ Thinning shears

These shears are used to blend cuts and create texture. Thinning shears are shears with 25- 40 teeth. They remove less hair and create light texture. Texturizing shears have less teeth but will remove more hair, and create chunkier texture. These shears are a must have for any hairdresser and/ or barber.

So many to choose from !

There are so many different hair cutting techniques to choose from ! The great thing about hair cutting techniques is they are always changing and evolving. As hairstylists we are always learning and aiming to keep our clients looking and feeling their best!

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