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Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Alison Alhamed | July 10, 2011 | 10:14 AM

My class at Pivot Point International is nearing the end of Phase 1. In other words, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man, we hit the salon floor, taking real live clients, in just a few weeks. I am so freaked out.

Luckily I have a lot of awesome people in my life who have been great (and very, very brave) for letting me practice on them. More on that later.

As my class continues to improve upon our skills in sculpting the basic forms by adding advanced sculpting techniques, we’ve started to sprinkle in male client design techniques as well.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Sculpting male clients is extremely different. Number one: Their hair is often worn much shorter than female clients—making it next to impossible to control the lengths with fingers while sculpting. Number two: Male features are much more angular than female features, thus, male hair designs require special attention to enhance those masculine characteristics. Number three: Because of the shorter lengths, mistakes are often difficult to camouflage in the sculpture.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that some male sculpting techniques can also be applied to female clients—so there’s the silver lining!

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

The fabulous education Ms. Marie started our exercises on Men’s Sculpting by using a nape/hairline piece pinned to the male mannequin’s head. The focus of the exercise was to provide practice in sculpting medium gradation using the shear-over-comb technique—for a result of short lengths that progress from shorter at the perimeter to longer near the occipital, with activated texture.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Here's my "before" and "after," not too shabby, right? We kept an upright head position with the mannequin, 90-degree projection, used a horizontal comb, and the shear-over-comb technique. I didn't find this exercise to be too difficult, as it was a smaller nape piece and the hair was straight and easily controlled.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!


Then, we moved onto longer forms. Yes, my mannequin looks like Tom Hanks in Castaway, in case you were trying to place where you had seen him before.

We sectioned the hair from the back of each ear, and from the center front hairline to the nape. We used horizontal partings in the back and fringe, and diagonal-back partings for the sides.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Here he is for his "after" shot—I like it! It's a versatile look that can be worn down and "wind-swept," as seen here, or can be worn off the face with a longer fringe. Please note: I did trim his awesome mustache. I was considering giving him a handlebar mustache, but I don't think I could stop laughing long enough to give him an even cut.

Then, we moved onto another sculpture where we used notch cutting. This was a uniform/increase/solid combination form. This sculpture, well-suited for men who want longer lengths, offers multiple styling options. There is a lot of texturizing thoguout the interior and sides, which removes weight and adds mobility. This was a notched-cut form, which I LOVE, and added blending and textural interest.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!


Below, see his "after." I absolutely fell in love with notch cutting. Not only does it add so much interest in texture, but it also dramatically changes the overall look. Although it can be feminine to have piece-y lengths, the pivotal partings with 90-degree projection offered just enough precision to keep it masculine.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

So, for weeks, my father has been asking me to cut his hair. Every time, my response has been, "Hell. No." Seriously. I am NOT ready for that. My dad has thick, coarse, curly hair that I wouldn't have the slightest clue what to do with. He kept insisting that he didn't mind if he was my test subject and that it was OK that I didn't know what I was doing. He is so proud of me that I'm in school and he insisted that I cut his hair.

Well, fine. You can only say "no" to your dad so many times before it becomes a bit ridiculous. Well, I definitely should have stuck to my guns and continues to say "no." Below, is my dad's "before." He's laughing because I couldn't get good lighting anywhere in my house and we had to take 500 pictures. Here are two of them.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Below, again, is his "after." Yes, he is at a salon across the street. Yes, it's because I gave up half-way though his hair cut, terrified of continuing.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!


I really didn't know what I was doing. I thought, "Although I may not be ready for this, I've learned enough in men's sculpting where I can sort of improvise!" Wrong. As I watch Corina fix my Dad's hair cut, I realized some clients require advanced techniques on their hair, and my Dad is one of them. Thank God she was there to help me out—she actually even showed me why I messed up (I was using a comb that didn't have wide-enough teeth and I wasn't angling the comb far enough away from the scalp) and taught me how to do it correctly. Corina, thank you. And Dad, thanks for being so cool about me destroying your style : )

Then, for my favorite part about Male Sculpting Theory, comes the following anecdote. Alex, you are amazing. I have to preface the following statement by simply announcing my love for Alex. He 100-percent took my hand and walked me through the next hair sculpture.

Ever since I began my journey with Pivot Point, I have been desperately seeking that "A-Ha Moment" where I feel so. unbelievably. proud of something I have done. So proud that my eyes almost well-up with tears because I can't believe I created something so extraordinary.

Well, I totally had that moment with Alex. Although what I sculpted wasn't groundbreakingly extraordinary, I was just so happy to "go outside of the box" and create something cool, something I really liked.

It seems the tail is coming back into short-hair designs. Not so much that it ever really went away, but we're seeing it in different forms now. Alex helped me razor-cut (yes, me, with a razor!!) the following form, and texturize the hell out of it for the following look.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!


Here's me and Alex, posing with the new Tom Hanks—no longer a Castaway but, instead, a total babe.

Male Sculpting: Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!

That's all for now—I'll be sure to keep you posted with more "before" and "after" pics as I make my way through the last few classes of Phase 1! Next up, nails!!

Thanks again for your continued support,
Alison
xoxox


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