5 Tips to Master the Cut


A style isn’t made; it’s cut, so the best way to become a master stylist is to master cutting.

But cutting requires confidence, and you don’t gain that confidence overnight. We are limited with places to learn cutting in a safe environment, so most of us came out of school ill-prepared to cut great hair styles. We received limited information and practice time about cutting. We probably learned one cut, and don’t feel too comfortable trying it out. And who wants to experiment on a client’s hair? Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

But there are ways to become a cut master:

Train, train and train. I attended Pivot Point, a world-renowned school of cutting. But graduation from a prestigious school didn’t make me a master at cutting. It just meant that I was educated in a very systematic technique. So, I had to learn more. I took other classes, and learned other cuts, adding them to my portfolio one by one. Eventually, I developed a pretty extensive repertoire of cuts.

Learn your lines. Everything we do involves a system of lines and angles – vertical, horizontal and diagonal – so learn them well. Know how to use different lines and blend them. Until you become an expert at cutting, sectioning is critical. Be careful to use the same lines and angles when you curl the hair to create the style and design of the cut. If you learn to use your lines, styling will become so easy.

Boost your esteem. As I said before, cutting requires confidence, so you must have a foundation to build upon. Understand why you’re doing what you do so you can master it. I see a lot of people free-form cutting, and each client end up looking the same regardless of lifestyle or personality. A true cutting expert knows how to blend the client’s lifestyle, facial features and personality into a hairstyle the client will love and maintain.

Sell it. As you become more confident, you must be sure about what you know. If your client senses fear, she will become fearful, too. Give information with technique. Explain how you plan to achieve the look the client wants, and if you don’t know, ask someone who does.

Communicate clearly. To master cutting, you must communicate with your client and the client’s hair. Every time you pick up the hair, you’re sending a message to let it know what you want it to do. Talk to your client and refer to the picture as often as you need. It’s a partnership, but you’re in the driver’s seat. Be confident.

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