Industry News

The Five Tools of Guy Haircutting

Ivan Zoot | April 29, 2013 | 1:53 PM

Baseball scouts are forever searching for the next great 5 tool player.  The phrase refers to a player who possesses the 5 skills in baseball that separate prospects between being good and being something truly special.

In baseball the 5 tools are, a throwing arm for distance and accuracy, a catching glove, can you make big defensive plays when needed? Speed on the bases, can you run?  Hitting for average, can you make contact and get on base?  Hitting for power, do you have a long ball?  Can you clear the bases?

The Five Tools of Guy Haircutting

A player who brings all 5 fast becomes an MLB fan favorite, a perennial all star, a future hall of famer.  That is why true 5 tool players are rare and special.

In the guy haircut game the 5 tool players are the standouts as well.

This is NOT about mastering the five key cutting tools of guy hair.  Many cutters have strong skills with a straight shear, a blending shear, a clipper, a trimmer and a razor.

This is about being on the top of your game in the use of the 5 environmental tools of guy haircutting.  Not the tools in your station drawer.  This is about a level of mastery of the tools that truly separate true masters of our craft from average haircutters.


The 5 tools of guy haircutting mastery are:

Your station mirror and the one across from you - Do you use the mirror to assess haircuts in perspective?  Can you use the mirror to balance two sides of a cut from one position?  Are you using your mirror to manage your business, monitor other cutters and keep tabs on the entire room?  Good mirror skills make a huge difference in your haircuts and the overall health of your business.

Your cutting chair – Do you spin the client and remain stationary?  Do you raise and lower the chair based on where you are cutting on the head?  Are you standing in the proper spot beside the chair to manage your cutting AND your business?

Proper lighting – Most cutting environments are designed by people who do NOT cut hair.  Do you have the proper lighting overhead?  Fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent, so as to prevent shadowing?  Are the lights placed above the mirror on the wall to fill in shadows below the occipital bone?  You cannot cut what you cannot see.  Proper lighting is a must to deliver premium work.

Your floor mat – Top level cutters stand to the side of the chair, not behind or in front of it.  A mat to the side of the chair sets you up to use the chair and the mirror properly.  Stay on the mat. Stay in your zone.

A white shirt or barber jacket – All star men’s haircutters wear white.  It is not a shirt.  It is a high performance haircutting backdrop for assessing outline, silhouette and contour in perspective with the head between your chest and the mirror.  Throw a shoulder in behind the head and see how good a haircutter you really are in an instant.

True 5 tool cutters are rare and special in our business.  They fast become client favorites, top earners and fully booked professionals, our version of the hall of fame.

I am always scouting good 5 tool cutters.  Once I find one I jump in the chair.

Happy clippering.



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