Expert Advice

Cut Hair Better, Immediately: Tip #6 of 10

Ivan Zoot | February 2, 2016 | 11:28 AM
Ivan Zoot

Tip number six on my list of the things you can do RIGHT NOW to be a better haircutter is to create and follow good guides. If you cannot see the guide, don’t cut.  If you lose the guide, go back and find it.  If you cut the guide you now have a new, shorter guide.  Establishing and following proper guides sounds almost too basic, but it is the only way to cut consistently solid haircuts, really.

The guides for guides for haircutting are as follows…

  1. Guides should be large enough to serve their purpose. Six hairs you can barely see are not a guide.
  2. Guides should be exactly the length you wish for them to be. Measure twice, cut once. Choose wisely.
  3. Guides should be big enough so that you can clearly see them through your intended sections.
  4. Guides should be small enough to adjust. If an initial guide proves to be too short it can be hidden within a design as the new guide is established.

One of my most important rules in good haircutting related to guides is that if there is nothing to cut, cut nothing.  Haircutters will go through the effort of sectioning and parting.  They will carve out a section and comb it with the guide. When they get to the guide and no hair extends beyond the guide they feel cheated.  They did all that work to cut nothing?  No way.  So, they cut a little bit, and the little bit they cut is a little bit more than they should have cut.  Have the knowledge and skill to create a good guide. Have the discipline to follow the guide. Following good guides will make you a better haircutter immediately.

Happy haircutting


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