A haircutting class with Marylle Koken at the Wella Studio in Woodland Hills, CA started with some stretches to prepare the body as well as the mind for some unaccustomed movement.  This unique hands-on seminar walked attendees through nine cutting techniques and then gave them an opportunity to practice them with Koken, a Sebastian educator and salon owner of The Harlot Salon in Venice Beach, CA. Koken was assisted throughout by Frank Andrade.

“These are nine cutting techniques that I grew up with and first learned,” said Koken. “You’re going to do one haircut with all nine techniques. We’ll also talk about tools, how to work with them and hold them, and your body position.”

The two day deep dive (February 23-24, 2015) was a studio-exclusive that included instruction on Sebastian styling and service, as well as the cutting philosophy.

“Your body is accustomed to doing something in a certain way,” said Andrade. “The same is true with how we cut or how we foil and we want you to just stay relaxed in your body and your mind.”

The day was organized into show, tell and do.  First, a seconds-long video demonstrated the technique and called out the most important points related to it.  Then, Koken went to a long weft of hair and demonstrated the technique, talking it through.  Once all techniques had been seen via video and through Koken’s demo, the class practiced the new technique and finished the day by using all nine techniques on one mannequin head.  



To create shape while reducing length

It is great for straight Asian hair

Takes some weight out

“It is all about the tension and the pressure you are applying on the blade. You place the blade on the section and you stroke the hair with a very soft ‘c’ scooping motion. If you hold it too strong on a section the hair will come off right away because the blade is so sharp.”


Curve inward toward the head

“You are moving the blade before you hit the section. It looks very elegant.”


To create diffused lines for choppier texture


Mass reduction

Go in with your texturizing scissors


Hold the blade like a pen

“You create a lot of spaces in the hair with this technique. You keep the same length but create some movement.  I love this technique.”


To create fluid movement from mid-shaft to ends.  Great for hair that is naturally wavy.

 “It’s good to practice your movement before you start cutting.”


Removes weight, creates movement.

Glide the scissors

“If the hair that comes off is too rough, that means there is too much tension in your scissors.  You have to cut, not scrape.”


Always on the top

Short strokes for mass reduction, diffused lines

“When you comb the section up, keep your two fingers holding the section very tight.”


Creates a lot of movement, open spaces, removes weight but keeps length.