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SHAPING

All these terms pertain to Cutting, shaping, styling, or viable methods of achieving certain results:
bevel, beveled, beveling, bob, bobbed, bobbing, channel, channeling, chop, chopped, chopping, clawed, clawing, cut, cutting, layer, layers, layering, piece, piecing, piecie/piecy, point, pointed, pointing, shatter, shattered, shattering, Shrag, Shraged, Shraging, shred, shredded, shredding, Slice, sliced, Stack, stacked, stacking, texturizing, undercut, undercutting, volumizing….

The shaping of hair results in a styled look. When I shape the hair I am taking into consideration what type of hair you have, the size of the hair shaft, the density of your hair, and the natural growth patterns of the hair at the scalp. I am also considering the body shapes: The head and face, the length of your neck, width of shoulders, height, and weight. A good hair shaping takes into account whether your hair is typically straight or curly and how it will be styled, even the tools you will be using to style your hair. This is so much more design oriented than just a haircut. In fact: for the sake of precision in design, I think of curling, straightening and styling as part of the shaping process.

THE TOOLS

Scissor cutting and shaping: I use the Japanese designed Razor Edge shear. This tool is extremely sharp and cleanly shears the hair shaft without leaving a shattered end that could result in split ends and fuzzy results. The scissor is a versatile tool. Of all it’s uses the scissor is irreplaceable for being capable of exacting a blunt edge as in a Bob, creating a reverse elevation or shelf as in a Wedge or a modification of that, point blending smoothness into the fall of layering such as a Long Layer or point blending to soften the harshness of a clipper cut nape to create a feminine allure. There are many wonderful hair creations made with the scissor but a good Hair Designer must also know the limits of what should be expected from this tool.

Razor shaping: Before the scissor was invented, the only cutting tools involved a single edge like a knife-edge capable of slicing, carving, or chopping. Nowadays Hair Designers have a tool called a Razor. I use a Japanese designed razor blade that is placed within it’s own Teflon guard that protects against accidental cuts and aids in the designing use of this tool. This manufacturer has created a blade which is the sharpest of all available anywhere. These blades stay sharper longer and allow me the greatest perimeters in design shaping. While some hair types should not be cut with the razor because the ends will shatter and frizz. There are other hair types that do best being cut with the razor only. In some instances a combination of scissor and razor will achive the desired result. In practically all cases of design the razor is going to reduce the weight of the hair strand and impart a light weight nature to your style which means greater freedom of movement, faster drying, shorter styling time and an overall nicer experience working with your hair on a daily basis. In the background however, is this truism: The healthier and less damaged the hair is, the better response to razor shaping. So therein lies an important part of my responsibility: determining which tool to use on what hair for what result.

Electric Clipper: This tool has specific uses. I use this tool rarely on women’s styles. When I do I will use it for a very close taper cut in the lower occipital and nape area and only if she is not satisfied with the taper cut performed with the Razor. Most Hairdressers will use the Clipper to do the traditional Taper cut. This is the modified Buzz Cut that is a bit longer on the top. The difficulty is in establishing a form that flattering and feminine for a woman to wear.

THE TECHNIQUES

Cutting: While Cutting and Shaping are closely related terms and you practically have the one at the same time as you have the other, the creation of the outline and the basic form is what has become known as the Haircut, even still it is being accomplished by, and can be known as, shaping the hair. The basic haircut is just that, basic. A Haircut can be as simple as a blunt edge at the bottom of ‘One Length’ hair. Or as involved as layering in a ‘Layered’ style or the reverse elevation stacking of a ‘Wedge’. In any case the Haircut should be understood as giving form to the Hair.

TEXTURIZING: Pointing, Shagging, Channeling, Tapering, Thinning, etc: Once the hair has a form it deserves shaping. Shaping the hair is what gives it a lively bounce and movement, volume and sophistication. A great number of Hairdressers and Designers are giving shape to the haircut form without understanding the semantics of the term. So suffice it to say that Shaping is what gives style to the Haircut. These different texturizing methods all have a common goal and that is to lighten the weight and reduce the bulk of the hair. The desired outcome and style should be the determining factor in the Design Artists choice of technique.