Continuing Education: Cut & Style Terminology

Lauren Quick | July 16, 2014 | 12:27 PM

There's a reason continuing education is paramount to being an accomplished hairdresser; as a stylist, you never stop learning, but that also means that sometimes it's easy to forget.

Knowing what you mean what you say is key, and there tends to be some debates in word usage where hairdressing terminology is concerned. Label.M and Essensuals London helps out with a good, old-fashioned vocab set. Study up!


Point cutting: Use the tip of shears to make a texture edge.
Deep parallel point cutting: Uses the length of blade to reduce weight without reducing the length.
Slicing: Using the open blade to create a loose, seamless feel.
Slide cutting: Using slowly closing blades to visually blend short to longer lengths.
Channelling: The tips of the shears are used to cut through the hair, which creates a definite separation.
Brick cutting: The shears are used to cut into the hair, which creates random separation.
Twist cutting: The shears are used to cut into twists of hair systematically to remove weight.
Edging: A single blade is used with razoring action to create a frayed texture.
Back cutting: The scissors work against the direction of the cuticle to create maximum volume and texture.
Razor cutting: The razor is used in a scooping action to create a shattered texture.


Partings & Sections
Describes how hair is separated prior to cutting or styling.
Profile: Center forehead to center nape
Horseshoe: Recession to recession
Horizontal: Parallel to the horizon
Diagonal forward: Angles forward toward the face
Diagonal back: Angles backward from the face
Radial: Crown to hair line
Pivoting: Rotating from a central point

Describes how hair is combed in relation to the parting or section.
Natural fall: Combed with gravity
Overdirected: Anything other than natural fall
"T" to the parting: Perpendicular to parting
90°: Perpendicular to the head

Describes level at which the hair is lifted away from the head.
0° in the comb: No elevation
1 finger depth: Slight elevation
45°: Midway between 0° and 90° (graduation)
90°: Perpendicular to head

Describes the shape of the line being cut.
Square: Horizontal line
Visual: A variable line
Parallel: A line maintaining equal distance from the parting
Vertical: Perpendicular to the horizontal
Round: Following the headshape

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