The Most Common Hair Cutting Techniques

A haircut provides two important functions. It reshapes the hair after regrowth and removes split or dead ends. Some people prefer to get their hair cut in professional hair salons or barbershops. But, to save time or money, other people prefer to cut their hair at home themselves or to have someone they know to do it. Needless to say, cutting your hair at home will require a lot of practice to be able to achieve the same quality as in a hair salon.

Nowadays, many amateurs and even professional hairdressers think that the length of their hair cutting shears is determined by the size or length of their hand. Actually, the size of your hand does not matter. Instead of measuring your hands, you should consider the different techniques that you are planning to use to cut the hair.

As we said before, shears of different lengths are used to perform different hair cutting techniques. For example, short shears are best for detailed precision haircuts. Longer shears are more suited for powerful hair cutting.

To measure hair cutting scissors, manufacturers take into account their entire length. This is usually calculated by measuring from the points to the back of the finger ring. The standard size of hair cutting scissors that most hairdressers use is between 5 and 6 inches (12.7-15.2 cm). This length falls in the middle of the longest shears at 7 inches (17.8 cm) and the shortest at 4.5 inches (11.4 cm). If you can afford it, it is best to have one pair of short shears (5-5.5 in. / 12.7-14 cm) for precision cutting and one pair of longer shears for the different hair cutting techniques shown below.

Common Hair Cutting Techniques

Following is a list of the most common hair cutting techniques that require the use of longer shears.

  • Cutting a Bob Line: When cutting a bob line, the hair needs to be combed down against the neckline. In this case, longer shears allow hairdressers to make fewer cuts to cut the line all the way across. The longer blades provide a smoother cutting line and significantly reduce the time needed to create a bob line.


  • Cutting Next to the Skin: When cutting next to the skin, longer scissors allow hairdressers to easily get a smoother look. This is because longer shears allow you to cut longer sections. Hair cutting shears with a crane handle also help when doing these kinds of cuts. A crane handle will lift the hand away from the body, allowing you to cut more freely and more comfortably.


  • Scissoring Over Comb: Using a comb helps hairdressers pick up a wider section of hair than with their fingers. That is why using a comb during hair cutting means the cut will require less effort and less time.


  • Slide Cutting: Using shorter blades may make slide cutting more complicated and time-consuming. Longer blades eliminate these inconveniences because they allow you to slide the blades into the hair without needing to move the hair with your other hand.


  • Cutting Around the Face: If you use short shears to cut around the face, your hand will definitely be in your client’s face. In some cases, the finger rest of your shears will be dangerously close to their eyes. Using longer scissors to cut around the face allows hairdressers to complete this cut at a comfortable distance from their client’s face. The benefit of using longer shears while cutting around the face is not only that your client will have a much more comfortable experience. You will also be able to see what you are doing better. This will allow you to perform your work with more precision for a better final result


Additional Hair Cutting Techniques

We can distribute hair cutting techniques in the following ways as well.

  • Precision British Cutting: This style is sometimes known as the Sassoon method. Haircuts that use this technique feature masterfully executed precise edges. The layers and blending of this style are most recognizable in geometrical cuts but are the foundation for well-executed cuts of all shapes.
  • Standard British Cutting: Pivot point cutting is another name for this style. Precision and standard British hair cutting techniques were developed based on classic Sassoon cutting techniques. That is why both are standard for most cosmetology schools.
  • French Cutting: French cutting incorporates the hair’s natural movement into the cut. This is done in combination with easy styling. The haircut is created in direct coherence to the client’s bone structure and uses texture accents for emphasis and to add a natural look.
  • Razor Cutting: This hair cutting technique is not frequently used. That is because it requires a lot of confidence and professional skills. Razor cutting uses fresh blades for a haircut that leaves the hair soft on the edges. Razor cutting is the perfect way to get that wispy style. It can also make coarse and stubborn hair more manageable.
  • Dry Cutting: This technique is best for curly hair or fine hair. Dry cutting allows the hairdresser to observe the natural movement and weight distribution of the hair.
  • Clipper Cutting: In general, clipper cutting is used to describe men’s cuts done with electric clippers. Those hairdressers who offer clipper cuts are also skilled in scissoring over comb, where the comb holds and guides the hair instead of the fingers.

Angles for Cutting Hair

Generally, there are four types of haircuts: 0 degree, 45 degrees, 90 degrees, and 180 degrees. All of these specific angles are used to create the desired haircut. A zero-degree cut is also known as the blunt cut or bob cut. A 45-degree cut is also called a wedge cut or a triangle cut. A 90-degree cut is a layered haircut while a 180-degree cut is a shag.

Here are some other important angles to know:

  • Blunting is performed at 90 degrees to the hair.
  • Pointing is performed at 60 degrees.
  • Chipping is performed at 45 degrees.
  • Slicing is performed at 30 degrees.
  • Texturing is performed at 45 degrees.
  • Thinning is performed at 90 degrees.

hair cutting degrees

How Often Should You Get Your Hair Cut?

Finally, now that we have gone over how to cut your hair, it is important to think about how often it should be cut. Hair requires regular, frequent cutting and trimming to stay healthy. Hair regrowth is the most evident for people with short haircuts. This means that short-haired people should get a cut or trim every 4 to 6 weeks. People with long hair can wait a bit longer and get a cut or trim every 8 to 10 weeks.

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