Posts Tagged ‘haircut’

10 Mistakes Stylists Make When Cutting Curlies

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 4th, 2013

When we asked curly clients for their horror cut-and-blow dry stories, we got an earful!

1. Thinned the hair/used a razor.

2. Gave a blunt cut.

3. Didn’t use a diffuser.

4. Ran fingers through the hair during the blow dry.

5. Dried the head upside down.

6. Cut the hair wet.

7. Cut too much; didn’t consider how much curl takes away from length.

8. Combed the hair while wet.

9. Used a small round brush to blow dry.

10. Used no product.

Now you know what NOT to do, use the education and suggestions in this issue and other texture education to focus on all the positive things you can do to be a curl expert and total beauty resource for your clients!

Read the digital version of Texture!

Cutting Curly Hair: I Prefer Wet

by Chair to Chair/Shannon McCarthy on Monday, December 20th, 2010

shannon mccarthy

Shannon McCarthy is a senior stylist and educator for James Joseph Studio and James Joseph Salon. James Joseph Salon and Studios are the most award-winning salons in Boston with more than 30 local and national awards. James Joseph Salon has been named one of the Top 100 Salons in America by “Elle” magazine, and James Joseph Studio has been named the Best Affordable Salon in Boston. James Joseph has also been one of the Salon Today 200 three times.

When trying to decide the best approach for cutting curly hair, consider these techniques. There seems to be a lot of people who are under the impression that when getting their hair cut, a dry technique is always best. The only time that cutting curls dry is useful is for clients who are wearing their hair one way. If you are working with a client that is always styling straight then doing a dry cut on flat ironed hair would be desirable. If they want to be able to do both, employing this technique will give no insight to the way the hair is in its natural state. For a client who is always wearing their hair curly, start wet. Wet hair is easier to manipulate to see where the curl is falling. You can literally look and see how the weight proportions of the curl are falling.

For shorter hair clients, you can move the hair around with your hands and see which way the curl would like to go. This is a great way to help us decide optimal shape for short hair. Whether working with bob lengths or head-hugging tapering, cutting the hair wet allows you to see how the curl is going to fall as it begins to dry. You can see the hair in its natural state and decide where to cut more or less hair. When working with long-haired clients, try to scrunch and fluff the hair to get a good idea of where the layers are falling. Curly hair also has a tendency to not curl evenly around the head. Unbalanced curl patters can become more apparent in longer lengths. Oftentimes the curls around the perimeter can hang and not be as tightly wound as curls in the crown and front of the head. Look carefully and asses where the curls are tighter and looser. Then you can decide how to approach the cut to enhance each curl pattern within one head. After diffusing you can then chip at the curl to detail and remove weight.

Playing with asymmetry can be a great way to give some edge and interest to a head of curls. There is nothing that should be or is symmetrical about curls. Curls fall in different proportions all around the head. You can use this to your advantage. As stylists we often see curly hair that looks like a bell. This is the result of improper layering and shaping. This looks like all the weight is falling all to one place. Creating different layers in different parts of the head can do wonders for managing curls. Cutting around the face to give different curl proportions can allow the curls to flow in a soft and less structured manner.

When trying to decide the best approach to your cutting technique, listen to your clients. Figure out what their ideal style is and approach your cutting techniques to suit that style. Mix wet and dry cutting. Start with a wet cut, and then detail with dry cutting. With this approach you will be thanked for addressing all of your client’s needs. Once she can trust and see what you are able to create employing many different techniques, we will start to break the assumptions of one technique being the best approach for many different, unruly, and versatile types of hair.


by CurlStylist on Monday, July 12th, 2010

The modern shag can be seen everywhere—it can be short, medium or long, and works best with fine to medium hair textures. Everyone from Ellen DeGeneres (short) to Kristen Stewart (medium) to Ashley Simpson Wentz (long) can pull it off, but styling is key. Top stylist Sam Villa gives tips for styling the modern shag.

“The new shags have more weight around the perimeter and sink in the nape area, enhancing head shape. Typically, shags look best when a root lifter or volumizing spray is used. For height at the base, use Redken Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray. To bring layers to life, use Redken Layer Lift 07 Elevating Spray-Gel or Redken Curl Refiner Leave-In Anti-Frizz Detangler for unruly curls. To style, work Rootful 06 into damp hair at the roots and use either Layer Lift 07 or Curl Refiner midshaft to ends – where curly hair tends to get more frizz. Then, hit with a blow-dryer low speed and your hands, or a diffuser, and think “controlled chaos,” explains Villa.

Products to use

Redken Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray—Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray boosts roots with long-lasting, touchable fullness.

Redken Layer Lift 07 Elevating Spray Gel—Clean-Feel Technology creates non-tacky style manipulation and helps to control frizz. Lightweight non-aerosol spray is good for fine hair and volumizing formula boosts the lengths of hair for a shiny, full finish.

Aerate 08 Bodifying Cream-Mousse – A never before seen texture inspired by a cross between a soufflé and a mousse. Patented styler fuses the volumizing benefits of a mousse and the conditioning properties of a cream to create something entirely new; a revolutionary aerated texture for extreme volume-boosting power.

ClipperGuy: 5 Tips for Clipper Cutting Curly Hair

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.

Clipper cutting the shortest of curly hair styles is a skill unto itself. It can be a complete career. Following are my top five tips for successfully clipper cutting the shortest of clippered looks on naturally curly hair textures.


1 blade = 2 lengths: Every clipper blade leaves 2 basic lengths of hair in its wake. Understanding how to use this basic clipper fact puts the power of clipper cutting in your hand and on your client’s head.


Go with the flow: Clipper cutting with (in the same direction as) the hair’s natural growth pattern will remove less hair—leave more hair behind on the head. Think of cutting with the grain as long clippering. Clippering with the grain, no matter the clipper blade or guard length, leaves more hair on the head.


Swim upstream: Clipper cutting against the hair’s growth pattern will remove more hair—leave less behind on the head. Think of clipper cutting against the grain as short clippering. No matter the blade or guard size, clippering against the grain will take the hair down lower (shorter).


Fade away: Use the above information in points 1, 2, and 3 to literally rock the world of faded, short, close clipper cuts. Cutting from the top of the head, down, and alternating from working first with and then against the grain, you can make super-short faded haircuts a snap. The key blade rocking motion transitions these areas without visible demarcation, the hallmark of great faded clipper work. The tips will grow. The referrals will flow. Your profits will show.


Re-book: These short cuts grow out as fast, as they are short. Before you know it the client will be back in your chair. Super short clippered clients are viscously loyal, too. Become super-diligent about rebooking clients before they leave the shop and you will be packed solid before you know it. Once you are booked solid, exciting things happen. More on this in my next posting!

Building business in the super-short, clipper-cut sector of the curly hair market is fun and easy. The rewards are huge. The clients are loyal. The work is fun. The hair grows back fast. I would love to hear of your experiences, challenges and success stories. Please share.

The Clipper Guy: Top 5 Tips For Securing Sections

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, June 21st, 2010

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.

Clipping and securing hair sections during cutting is a reality of hair cutting. How to clip up and secure hair is a subject of debate. There are concerns of damaging hair with rough clips or harsh tools. There are issues of presentation and theatre. How does the client look during the performance of the cutting service with hair piled up on and all over their head? Here are my top five tips for securing sections during hair cutting.

1. Clip it: Classic sectioning clips are the standard. Today, sectioning clips are better than ever. The new wide-jaw clips are designed to hold larger amounts of hair gently. There are soft-touch, coated clips that are nice to hair and feel great to use. The old-style steel ones can be put to pasture in favor of these newfangled options. If you prefer clips, today’s choices just rock.

2. Knot it: Another option is knotting the hair in subsections. You can subdivide main sections into subsections and twist and lock these in on themselves. These little knotted sections look great, neat and organized, during cutting. There are online tutorials showing how to twist and lock these knots. Try it.

3. Gel it: If the hair you are working with is not too thick, long or heavy, you can secure sections by just loading the hair with a medium-to-firm-hold styling gel. Partings and sections can be laid over and will hold and cling in place. This is my preferred method for sectioning control. I like to work with styling products in the hair for a number of reasons… more on this in my next blog. This reason is to secure sections in a snappy and professional manner.

4. Comb it: You are using a comb to comb; use a comb to lock extra hair up and away. You have plenty of combs. Grab another and use one as a hair clip. Slip it into the hair section and back lock it into place. This works great, looks professional and all those combs are right there at your fingertips, anyway.

5. Customize it: The standard clips or your convenient combs just do not reflect your artistic creativity. It is time to express yourself when in hair cutting mode. I have seen a lot, but I am sure I have not seen it all when it comes to hair section clipping. Chopsticks, pipe cleaners, kids hair accessories, etc. They all can be pressed into service for holding hair. Use a bit of creativity and see what you can come up with.

Try a few of these techniques and discover which one is the right one for you. Maybe it is not just one. Maybe more than one of these are right for you… the right one at the right time on the right client.

I would love to hear of your opinions and success stories. Please share!

Antonio’s View: Tips for Avoiding Making Clients Frizzy

by Antonio Gonzales on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

See Antonio’s blog here.

The word “frizz” never sounds good in any sentence unless you are asked to create couture hair for a Paris runway show. Apart from that, frizz is not a desired look and can be challenging.

From one hair stylist to another, we have all had the client (sometimes daily) who wants our help in making her hair frizz-free. I would like to talk a bit about the part we may be playing in making the client’s hair even frizzier. Please keep in mind, I am not here to lecture anyone or talk about what I do better. I’m here to share with you all the mistakes I’ve made in the past and how I changed my techniques to get better results and happier clients.

What Stylists Might Do That Can Make Hair Frizzier When Cutting

1) Thinning shears on dry, thick curly hair is the No. 1 culprit in turning curly hair into frizzy hair. Although using thinning shears may seem like an easy solution, it can lose you a client if used incorrectly. When used on dry hair, thinning shears create a line of shorter length within the section of hair. And as we know in building the structure of the hair, short hair supports long hair. By using these shears, you may have removed bulk but what you have also done is made the hair fuller (shorts supports long). This can become frizzy if there are too many internal shorter pieces.

If you would like to remove bulk from thick curly hair, I recommend doing your haircut (wet or dry) with regular shears. Blow dry the hair smooth. Then hold a dry section of hair half way down the hair shaft and point cut the bulk away. This is not only safer than the thinning shears, it also gives you more control without disturbing the shape you’ve created.

TIP: Remember when removing bulk with any tool or technique, keep in mind not to disturb the shape of your haircut. Also be careful not to over thin the hair as this can create an unwanted texture that will work against your hair cut.

2) Razors can be another culprit in making a client’s hair frizzier. Remember the razor we were given in beauty school? Yes, the razor with the guard and the straight handle. Well, this razor in particular can make a not-so-good situation really bad and here’s why. When we use a razor with a guard, we have to scrape the blade against the hair to get friction and remove hair. Some of you may say “it’s not scraping”! Well, if you use the old-school barber razor on the hair instead, instantly you can feel the difference (and so does the client). Because the razor has no guard, that little blade becomes a magical tool that makes love to the curls. Don’t get me wrong, with any tool in the wrong hands, a client could end up looking like she was attacked with a weed whacker. That’s why we as hairstylists have forums like this, to share and learn from our mistakes.

TIP: I recommend any hairstylist to find an academy that teaches how to use the barber razor to cut hair and advance your training. Sometimes mastering the techniques which we are afraid of could be the best move for our career.

Too Much Heat on Your Highlights

This is another “frizz creator” hiding in our salons. I’m sure you’ve heard of clients with fine hair wanting a few (bleach) highlights because it helps give a little body. As we already know, bleach aggravates the cuticle, which in return gives a little lift. Well add bleach to curly hair which lacks moisture on a great day (and already has lift), put too much heat on it, and voila!! You have frizz. I’m a firm believer in allowing the bleach (and developer) to do its job. What’s the rush? Curly hair deserves better treatment, don’t you think?

TIP: Avoid using hooded hair dryers to process your foils. They not only get hot, but they also pump an endless amount of hot air into your foils which serves to dry the bleach. I recommend getting a Climazone or a roller ball for the salon, these generate heat without the endless air.

Too Little Product

I have two words for you, layering products. Most of us agree that this is the one sure way to combat frizz. I won’t go in to details about which brand to use (that’s my next article) but I will share three easy steps: cleanse, tone and moisturize (oops that’s for your skin). The three things to think of when reaching for your products at your station are:

Hydration - Keep curls healthy and hydrated with any water based curl cream you see fit. Now I’m not talking about heavy oil based lotions. I’m talking about water based curl creams that hydrate from the inside out that and comes in different strength for different types of curls. As we know there are oils on the market for us to use that are very hydrating, if you feel your curl cream is not rich enough for thicker hair, add a little Morrocan oil or Hamadi healing Serum to the curl cream for an added boost of hydration.

Hold: We know drinking alcohol in excess is bad for us. Well the same goes for our hair. I love using an alcohol-based liquid spray to help define my curls. Applying the curl cream first helps dilute the alcohol content. Together they give great hold and definition.

Shine: This is the final step in the layering process. Use a light cream, lotion or silicone to give the ends the shine and hydration it needs. Whether you diffuse the client’s hair or have the client sit under the roller ball to dry their gorgeous curls, the ends tend to look a little dry. To avoid this dryness, apply a light silicone-based cream or oil-based cream like Lumiere by Kerastase. This the final step of the layering process, and can be applied to dry hair or you can even apply it to the ends when the hair is still damp. When applying, use your fingertips to work the product through without destroying the curl.

TIP: Have your client bring in her favorite products for you to see and watch them apply her products. You will be amazed with what you will see. Layering the wrong products using the wrong techniques is one sure way to get frizz.

Over-drying the hair

If we think of hair as a fabric that we can mold into anything we want, it becomes easier to handle and we can create ideas of our own. There are so many ways to style curly hair, but let’s keep in mind that not every curly head of hair responds the same. When diffusing, try not to dry the hair all the way. Try drying your style 70 percent of the way and then allow the hair to air dry. Sometimes over-drying the hair can create a halo of frizz, so not drying all the way and leaving a little moisture in the hair can keep the curls hydrated, repelling frizz.. When using the hairdryer, use stronger heat and air flow on the root area and less pressure and heat on the ends. This will result in getting rid of excess water in the root area and creating lift where needed the most. Since the ends are the older part of the hair, they tend to dry faster so be gentle with your approach.

Aggressive Hair Coloring

When doing single processes and glosses, always think of the most gentle way to get your end result. In the past 20 years I have used Framesi, Davines, Redken (permanent and demi-permanent), Majirel, Dia Color, Miss Clairol, Clairol Professionals, Wella Color Charm, Koleston Perfect and Color Touch, just to name a few. And I actually love all these colors but stick to my favorites. I believe that whichever color your salon chooses to use, there should be continual in-salon training focusing on promoting healthy hair. Think of why you are using stronger volume peroxides. Perhaps you can use a lower volume with your bleach. Ask yourself “Why am I doing this soap cap with permanent color?” or “Should I be using semi-permanent color?” For your first-time color clients I am passionate about using Colorshines (Cellophanes) and staying away from any peroxides, even the littlest amount. I’m determined to encourage a resurgence of Colorshines into the salon. I think many stylists have become hooked on peroxide and they need to think of peroxide as an aggressive chemical.

My next article will cover cocktailing products and my favorite creams, oils and silicone products to keep curls feeling loved.

Short and Spring-y: How to Sell it

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, April 26th, 2010

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.

We have explored the reasons why going short is great for your clients. We have examined the stylist benefits of selling and delivering short styles to curly clients. Now it is time to look at specific tactics for making this sale. How do we get the client to say “cut it short”.

Here are my top five tips for how to sell short cuts to curly clients. Make it easy for them to say yes and the curls will hit the floor and the dollars will hit your wallet. All the other benefits we discussed in past weeks will be enjoyed by all.

1. Use Images: Create a style book of great images of short and curly hair cuts. Use it as a consultation tool when discussing hair cut options and choices. Point out looks that have similar texture and models with similar features.

2. Talk about the Benefits: When pitching the big snip, focus on what is in it for the client. Remember the benefits we discussed for her, easy of styling, time savings, product savings, and more.

3. Build a Bandwagon: An even better style book than the one above that you create from images you pull from magazines and the web is the one you build with images of your actual clients. Show real clients and the snappy looks you have created. Create the feeling that everyone is going shorter and no one will want to feel left out. Appeal to the heard mentality. If everyone is going short and looking great, no client will want to be left behind.

4. Review Your History: Remind your client of the great suggestions you have offered in the past and how well those suggestions worked out. Mention the color you suggested that she loved or a prior cut that was a risk to take and paid off big for her. Refresh in her mind just how good your instincts have been in the past and how good an idea it is to take that leap with you again.

Lead By Example: You go short first. Take the plunge. Set an example. You are supposed to be a leader and an influencer in the world of style, fashion and glamour. Step up and step out front with a bold new shorter look. The clients will eagerly follow. The industry statistic is 80% in 8 weeks. That is to say 80% of your clients will go short within 8 weeks of your big change hair cut.

If you wait any longer, it will soon be summer. Spring-y season will have passed you by. Start selling and start cutting. I would love to hear some of your success stories and see some of the images of the great short curly cuts you are doing. Please send them along.

Short and Spring-y

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, March 29th, 2010

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.

Spring is in the air. Thoughts of spring turn up ideas of fresh starts and new beginnings. When we speak springy, short curly hair comes to mind. It is time to shed the heavy clothes, long sleeves and some hair. It is time to start selling shorter haircuts.

Many times I have overheard a client asking to go short and a stylist working hard to talk them out of it. How often is this about the shorter cut not being the right look for the client versus how often is the stylist projecting either their preference for long hair or their fear of the big snip?

Curly clients can benefit from short hair cuts in so many ways. Here are my top five tips for why shorter looks are great options for many curly clients and why there is no better time than NOW to help them take the big snip.

  1. 1.

    Short, curly hair offers a host of unique image options. The range of style choices is wide. The ability to create shape and form with textured hair is unique. This is when hair cutting becomes fun.

  2. 2.

    Short curly hair shows more curl. When length comes away, weight and drag is reduced. Curls kick in big time. If you and your clients love curl, your will have more curl to love as the length falls to the floor.

  3. 3.

    Short curly hair enjoys better overall condition. So much of the effort to maintain beautiful curly hair is focused on hair condition. The longer hair is the longer you have had it on your head. The older it is the more it has been exposed to the deteriorating elements of daily life. Short equals healthy, shiny hair that is full of vibrancy and life.

  4. 4.

    Short curly hair is easier to work with and maintain. You will save your client hours per month on daily styling, drying and working to achieve a more maintenance intensive, longer look. This is a great way to bring value to a client’s relationship and quality to their lives.

  5. 5.

    Short hair requires the use of less cleansing, conditioning and styling products. In point 4, above, short hair was a time saver. Now it is a money saver. If your client is embracing their greener side, the use of fewer products is a planet saver as well.

We have seen how short and spring-y haircuts are great for curly clients. Next blog we will continue this discussion by examining the top five reasons why cutting curly hair short is good for you as a stylist.

Clipper Guy Says . . .Nice To Meet You!

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, March 15th, 2010

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.

You put a lot of time, effort and energy into keeping up on your skills and education as a stylist. You try to be well-versed in the care of any and every type of hair. The prospect of cutting heavily textured and naturally curly hair stops you cold. There are way too many chances for this to go wrong. It can take forever for a curly client to recover from a bad haircut. Then again, maybe you are the queen (or king) of naturally curly hair care and cutting in your shop. Being a leader and staying at the front of the pack requires continuous effort and reinvestment in your craft.

It is nice to meet you. Welcome to my new blog here at

I am Ivan Zoot, a licensed cosmetologist, barber and salon industry educator. I have cut a lot of hair. My salon in the Chicago suburbs does more 300 haircuts every day. I do not cut celebrity clients. I cut hair for real people who want celebrity style and glamour but do not have teams of professionals in the bathroom every morning as if life was a photo shoot or a movie premiere.

Let’s talk about cutting curly hair cuts. Let’s discuss taking control of this large, passionate and profitable market. I have looked online. I could not find a web site called There is an opportunity and a reason we gather here.

I like to break things down and focus on individual elements of a challenge. Here are my Top Five Tips to overcome the fear of curly cutting.

  1. Get over it True success as a commercial stylist can only come when you can stand at your chair, look to the door and know that whoever and whatever walks in, you can deliver a service and take their money. No exceptions. If there is a service you cannot perform or a type of client you fear, get over it. Period. Salon diversity and multi-culturalism is a salon reality.
  2. Get skills Once you have identified a skills “opportunity” like curly cutting, get the education you need. Take a class. Attend a seminar. Watch a video. Buy a book. Our industry prides itself on the wealth of education and information available.
  3. Get practice This is how you got started in our business. You are never too old or too experienced to offer services for FREE to learn and master a skill.
  4. Get the word out Promote. Promote. Promote. Once you have committed to expand the volume of services you do in curly cutting you need to let the world know. The clients will flock to you if the skills, the value and the enthusiasm are in place.
  5. Get busy Get busy curly cutting with passion. If you have spent a few minuets cruising or, you are well aware of the energy and enthusiasm this is segment is brimming with. By positioning yourself as an expert here you will be very busy being busy in no time.

I look forward to getting to know you and your curly cutting challenges, hopes and dreams. This blog is intended to serve as a forum for ideas, concerns and discussions specifically centered around curly hair cutting. Keep the cards and letters coming.


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