BEFORE & AFTER: Flat Top Afro Haircut How-to
Clark Walker (@jclarkwalker) is one of our newest ONES TO WATCH salon professionals we found on Instagram lately, and we learned that he actually acquired his new barbering job entirely through Instagram – he didn’t need a resume or cover letter, his work/pictures alone scored him the job.
During his first week in barbering school, Walker learned about other barbers using Instagram, not just to post pictures of their work, but to connect with other shops and pros across the world. So he started his own.
After 6 months and 1,000 plus hours into haircutting, he graduated and began work at a nearby Ray’s Barber Shop in Ogden, UT. As time passed, he got more personal with his posts – and started to include short bios about his clients, descriptions of their hairstyles, etc.
After working a year at Rays, Walker was ready to move on and started following a high-end barber shop in New York City called, Fellow Barber. Over the next year, he became an avid follower, and one day noticed they had posted a “Now Hiring” photo. Walker commented on the photo, and directed them to his Instagram feed.
They loved what they saw and invited him to stop in for an interview. Walker and his family’s plan was to move out to New York City anyway, so this was a perfect opportunity for him.
After moving out to New York, Walker scored the job a couple weeks later after an informal interview! Thanks to Instagram!
Here, he offers us a step-by-step on how to achieve a flat top haircut.
"With this haircut you want to make sure you do a few things, before you even think about cutting hair, during the consultation," says Walker.
STEP 1: Be sure the client is ready (since it can take about a year to grow this amount of hair).
STEP 2: Discuss how much length/height they want to keep up top and the general shape. We chose a very cylindrical shape and a very level top and slightly rounded corners (there are so many variations of flat tops).
STEP 3: Talk about what type of fade they want on the sides and back. (what number guards? to the skin? low medium or high fade?)
STEP 4: Remind them of the amount of maintenance this haircut requires and be prepared to teach them how to do it after the cut.
( ON PAGE TWO THERE ARE THE FULL HAIRCUT STEPS )
STEP 1: "Pick out the hair, (hopefully they have come with it picked already to save time) its best to use a hard plastic or metal pick comb and start with the surface, pulling up and out, and slowly work your way deeper and deeper towards the scalp. Trying to get maximum height."
STEP 2: "Start the haircut at the bottom, and begin shaping by using your clippers to cut straight up the head (if using a guard, use no bigger than a 2 to do this, any bigger will make it difficult to cut the hair in a vertical technique like this), as vertical as possible, removing the shape on the sides and maintaining/creating the shape for the top. Do this all the way around the head to create the cylinder look- it will take some time. Be patient."
STEP 3: "Once you have the shape of the sides done, you should work on the fade. My client wanted a very low fade, so it would keep some length on the sides and still be a nice looking transition to his beard. Work from the top to the bottom. (eg use a 2 up to the parietal ridge, and then a 1 1/2 below that, to a 1 below that, then a half, etc, until you reach the bottom. Making sure all transitions are smooth, and there are no lines)."
STEP 4: "Cut the top (it will already be picked out). I prefer to use free hand, meaning i don't use a comb, its simply sculpting with the clippers closed all the way, and no guard. Cut until it appears level to you and the client, then pick out the hair again and repeat the same procedure of cutting the top until its perfectly level. Do this as many times as needed, usually it will require at least three rounds of picking and cutting. (The more rounds you do, the more likely the flat top will look great the next couple of days as the customer has to pick out the flat top themselves.)"
STEP 5: "Be sure to cut the vertical portion of the hair above the forehead as well. This is crucial for the look, and gives the appearance of additional height."
STEP 6: "Round the corners using the free hand method (if desired)."
STEP 7: "After using a spritz of water or a very light pomade on the surface, use a wide flat comb, or anything that you think will work (even a large book) to press down slightly on the top of the hair to finish off the FLAT look."