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Barbering 6 Barbering 5

(Photos by @carmodyhoman and 4hairpleasure)

Men’s grooming continues to rise in popularity and many barbers and stylists are digging into their tool box to go beyond clippers and a guard.  Current silhouettes and texture are calling for the use of the razor or shears and really working with secondary shape to make the haircut come to life with detail work.

When working with mens cutting – and even short hair in general – there are challenges that plague alot of us.  

Fine Hair

If a guy has a fine texture, horizontal blunt cutting will build up bulk.  If your client is really thinning, blunt cutting can create lines. In these cases, consider a clipper-over-finger technique to create a soft, fuller-looking shape. To make the top look thicker, take the sides shorter.

Thick, Wavy Hair

If your client has thick, wavy hair, use a razor to remove density and change the texture of the hair. Start with wet hair.  Avoid razoring the first 1/2 ” of the front hair line and stay 1/2 ” from the scalp.  Hold your razor parallel to the headshape, lightly razor the hair using 1/4 ” sections going from the front to the crown of the head.  Then repeat the process from parietal to parietal.  

Barbering 3

(Photo of Frank Gambuzza for Modern Salon)


If a cowlick isn’t at the high point of the head and he wants a fade, take the fade up to the cowlick and cut it off. If that doesn’t work, take diagonal sections and cut the cowlick in a circular pattern (like a pinwheel) so it lays flat. The idea is to cut with the growth pattern. Short hair pushes long hair. 

Controlling the Fade

One of the biggest struggles with fading is setting the guide too high.  One of the simplest ways to control your fades is to always set your guide lower than where you want the fade to be. This will leave you an area to focus your blend so it is noticeable.  The further away you set your guide, the blurrier the blend.  The closer you set it, the tighter your fade.  

Barbering 1

(Photo from Keon Washington @keonthebarber)

Barbering 4

(Photo from Kris Rodriguez (@tacticalbarberofficial)