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Hanging Out on the Corner: The Key to a Great Guy's Haircut

Ivan Zoot | May 13, 2013 | 9:03 AM

The corner is an important place in the world of the barbershop, the world of guy haircuts.  The shop was on the corner.  Barbershop quartets got plenty of practice and exposure standing out on the corner near the shop.

Hanging Out on the Corner: The Key to a Great Guy's Haircut

The corner is the key to great guy haircuts.  No, not the street corner, the haircut corner.  The best of men’s haircuts have the corner left in.  This is especially near and dear to me as it is one of the single biggest reasons why I am even in the haircut business.

Elaine did not understand how to leave the corner in her guy haircuts.  Every time she cut my hair it was not quite right.  I would see haircuts I liked.  I would show her pictures.  I had (and still do have) good hair, plenty of it.  Why could I not get the look I was after?  I did not know it then, but I know it now… It was all about leaving the corner in.  I got passionate about my own haircut and the business of haircutting once I learned this key structural element.

When I needed a haircut in the days when I had my shop I would simply drop down in a chair and ask an employee to cut my hair.  One day one of the cutters asked me, during my haircut in a co-workers chair, “how come you never sit in my chair”.  “You do not know how to leave the corner in” was my reply.  On my next haircut I will show you what I mean.

Planar sculpting, cutting he hair in intersecting vertical and horizontal planes is the key to creating bold, geometric guy haircuts… Draw all the hair up and cut it across in a plane parallel to the floor and ceiling… drawing all of the hair out to the side, parallel to the floor and cutting it perpendicular to the floor and ceiling… and leaving in the corner where the planes intersect.  This corner gives the look its masculinity, its strength.

I showed this corner to the cutter who I never let cut my hair… she looked at it and exclaimed. “You have got to cut that off!”.  “That is why you do not cut my hair”, was my response.  She was taught that all short haircuts were cut at 90 degrees… Pull everything out 90 degrees and cut it off 90 degrees to the scalp.  This creates softer, rounder shapes… with my rounder face this makes me even rounder…  I need square hair… most guys need square hair.  They look better in square hair.

Learn to leave the corner in and you will see the difference in your guy haircuts.  This runs counter to some of the training out there… and contrary to our desire to blend everything when we cut.

Happy clippering.

Ivan

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