Graphic Tease: Creating Design Effects in Hair Cuts for Men and Women

Alison Alhamed | June 22, 2017 | 11:41 AM
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Carlos Estrella’s favorite tool to create hair designs, the BaBylissPro FX49 T-blade Trimmer.
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Designing creative graphics in hair cuts isn’t a big focus in beauty school—and licenses and state laws vary on which tools you can use to create the effects.

But Chicago-based BaBylissPro educator Carlos Estrella has created a 100,000+ following on Instagram as @los_cut_it for his signature hair designs on both men and women. MODERN caught up with Estrella for his tips on creating the look.

MS: When creating a hair design on a client, how do you determine placement?
CE: When consulting with a client about getting a hair design, I always try to hear them out rst and try to understand what it is they picture on themselves. After, I analyze the density of the hair before I decide where I should place it. It's common- ly placed on the sides starting at the temple or in the back by the crown or nape area.

MS: How do graphics differ among men and women?
CE: In a day and age where guys are letting their hair grow out more often and women are cutting theirs short, the difference in designs are close to none. In some cases, you might want to apply softer round and curvy lines for a more feminine look and sharper rugged edges for a traditionally mas- culine look.

MS: What are the steps to getting a perfect, clean design?
CE: The first step is to use a T-blade trimmer. I use the BaBylissPro FX49 T-blade Trimmer, which allows me to use the edge of the blade like a writing utensil and simply sketch out my design. Applying a finger to the scalp for balance and using pivot motions will allow you to create curves in circular shapes when holding the trimmer. Once I have the rough draft sketched out of my design, I go in with my razor and sharpen and detail all of the lines on the design before I apply hair color to enhance it and bring it to life.

MS: How often should the design be maintained to look its best?
CE: When there is no color enhance- ment involved, clients come back in three to four days to get a retouch
or wait five to six days for the hair to grow and cut it off. Now, for those who have used color enhancement I tell them to avoid that area as much as possible when showering or sleeping—even touching it—to keep the design looking fresh for a longer period of time. A design looks its best for up to six days before looking rough again.

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