Perfect a Tapered Men's Cut, and 7 More Men's Grooming Questions, Answered

The artists at Sport Clips are all about making guys look great, and this cut, from the new 2018 collection, is Sport Clips Artistic Team Member Stacia Kelley’s go-to. Why? It’s neat and classic and the texturizing throughout the lengths customizes the cut for every hair type and offers limitless styling versatility. Watch Stacia do her tapered cut with texture, as well as a trim on her client’s trendy “scruff.”  And check out her answers to seven men’s grooming questions she’s always asked!


Sport Clips How-To

Men’s Tapered Cut with Texture



What do you like about the clipper-over-comb technique?

Clipper-over-comb is my go-to for blending a haircut because the comb lifts the hair out of natural fall with no over-direction to create the smoothest transition from the lower guide to the top guide. It also creates forward or backward movement depending on the diagonal cutting angle while blending. The first thing to establish is how heavy you come in with your clipper. Having resistance with the comb by stabilizing your hand on the client’s head ensures accuracy.


What’s the best way to work around the ear?

Ha! An ear is fun! It’s a moveable object and you must be assertive with it. A client isn’t going to give you a break if you miss hair around the ear because you weren’t aggressive enough to get in there and cut it. Through experience you will figure out how to hold it down with your comb hand. Where you will struggle is with cauliflower ear… that doesn’t move! That’s why I love the Andis T-Outliner. It has a bit more blade length for those hard-to-reach areas. It’s also my favorite trimmer!


What’s your best advice for executing fades?

I always start with the longer guard and work my way down. This allows me to be efficient and keeps the fade consistent around the head whether it’s low, medium, or high. Also, always look at the silhouette of your fade. You won’t always see mistakes looking directly into your blend but if you’re inspecting the silhouette shape you can see discrepancies.


Any tips for speeding up men’s haircuts to be more efficient?

Accurate partings are critical. Map out your haircut with a solid plan before you begin. When working with 2 inches of length or less length on top, I create the initial length by cutting over my finger. But then I cross-check utilizing clipper-over-comb. This speeds up cross checking because the comb lifts the hair without over-direction so I’m not cross checking in 20 different direction. Precision is key in men’s haircuts.


What are your must-have shear types and sizes for men’s cuts?

This is completely individual. I used my hair school shears for seven years. If they feel comfortable in your hands, they are right for you. Everyone has different-sized hands. Get scissors you can control. A long shear covers more ground, but your scissor is straight, and the head is round, so if you’re using  scissor-over-comb, you can only cut a section at a time or you over-direct the hair. So beware of claims that a shear is more efficient, because, is it really?


What are some ways to finish a guy’s hair so it looks polished but not too "done?"

Tapering the hairline makes it look very clean but not overly sharp. This is true of beards as well. It’s a look that’s soft yet clean. When it comes to styling, I like to blow dry the products into the hair. This produces texture, lift, and form with a pliable, undone finish.


Can you share an "aha" moment regarding men’s cutting?

It seemed like one side of the head always looked better than the other on my hair cuts. I thought maybe I just had a good side and a bad side! Then I figured out this was due to how I held the comb while blending. If you hold the comb diagonally forward on one side, you must rotate to match or you will create a different direction in the movement of the hair. This leads to a ledge on one side. Mind blown! The lesson is, knowledge is power and will always make you a better artist!


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