By understanding the elements of hair cutting design you can cut hair more effectively. Many stylists cut the way they were taught but do not understand how the principles of hair cutting design effect their cuts. If you understand how the haircut elements work, you can get better haircut results. Redken training is based off of these same concepts.
In part two, the elements of movement were discussed. Now we can talk about the element of head form and how it applies to haircuts. The more we understand about the head form, the easier it is to make better decisions about the haircuts we are doing. If the directions of the head form changes, it influences the haircut and design. Understanding these changes will allow you to make decisions to create a complimentary shape.
Balance is an important element when performing a haircut. This is also most of the most common problems in hair cutting. Sometimes the perimeter will be uneven or one side will be heavier. By understanding head form concepts, it can help to alleviate these issues while you are performing your haircut.
When you begin to understand the head form, duplicating a look is easy. By knowing how to break down the look, you can simplify the haircut. When a guest returns to ask for the cut they received “the last time,” you can be confident that you will be able to duplicate their haircut.
First we need to talk about the natural falling position of hair. Natural falling position refers to when gravity affects the hair and how it will fall naturally due to the influence of the head. Remember the concepts learned in the elements of shape article. Shapes include points, lines, and angles. The same elements also apply to the shape of the hair during a haircut.
Initially you need to identify the highest point of the head. That is important because that is the point from which gravity will distribute the hair. When the head is in an upright position, hair will fall within specific areas. Often stylists refer to this naturally falling position by expressing it as “where the hair lives.” You can easily identify this point by placing a comb flat on top of the head. It may not always be in the center of the head and it may not be proportionate. That will help you in your haircut tremendously.
When you section the head vertically, you divide the hair with vertical lines. The purpose is to part the hair where the hair naturally changes direction. Sometimes the lines will not necessarily be proportionate. That is okay. It is important to part according to where the hair lives because that essentially is where the hair will fall. When you divide the hair from left to right, you want to part from the highest of the head to the center nape as well as the center front.
When you divide from front to back you want to part with a vertical line from the highest point of the head to the back of the ear. The easiest way to find the back of the ear is to place your finger at the top of the ear. When the slope starts to go back, that is the spot you want to separate at.
When you divide the hair horizontally, you can identify the five areas of the head. When you place a comb on the head vertically you can find where the head changes direction by noticing where the comb comes away from the head.
When we talk about head form in a haircut, you must consider the bevels of the head. There are eight bevels on the head. A straight line place on the head shows where the head changes direction. The straight line in between these two points of references is called a bevel. When you cut hair you may notice some direction refer to different bevels of the head.
So now that you understand more about the head form, you can learn about hair cutting guidelines. Cutting the hair using a moving guideline in relation to the planes of the head creates roundness in the shape. This is because it keeps all the hair the same length when the fingers are parallel to the plane on the head. Cutting to the planes of the head duplicates the shape of the head and also the silhouette. We you cut to the planes of the head, the shape will grow out evenly. Your client will not end up with random long pieces in between cuts.
By understanding the elements of head form, you can give better and more consistent haircuts. These concepts help to alleviate many problems that hairstylists experience while giving a haircut.