Reducing: Study the most effective barber abilities & strategies

The barbering business is booming and reducing, little doubt, is the principle a part of the job. Holding your abilities and strategies updated will guarantee you might have a very good consumer base, thereby securing a job for all times.

Reducing instruments and their makes use of

Used for quite a lot of reducing strategies akin to membership reducing, slicing, texturising or thinning. Costs for scissors can differ significantly. Usually, barbers use longer scissors than hairdressers to allow them to make use of all barbering reducing strategies.

Thinning Scissors:
Thinning scissors are used to take away bulk – not size – and should solely be used on dry hair.

Clippers include totally different sized attachments that are numbered 0.5-Eight relying on what size you need the hair. Usually, every grade will increase size by 3mm. Clippers normally have a lever or additional blade to allow you to extend the size by half a grade.

Trimmers are used for tapering and outlining as they lower hair a lot nearer and finer. They’re significantly good for eradicating hair exterior of the hairline.

Most frequently used for hair tattooing, shaping up and creating sharper hairlines. Detailers lower extra intently than trimmers which allow you to create sharper, crisper strains.

Andis Foil Shaver
Andis Foil Shaver

Foil Shaver:
These are nice to make use of for ending pores and skin fades. They’re lined by gold-titanium hypo-allergenic foil making certain an irritation free shave with an ideal easy end just like that you’d get from an open razor.

Razors can be utilized when reducing the hair to take away bulk and skinny out the ends. They’re significantly good for creating textured seems. The razor should solely be used on moist hair.

Open Razor:
Primarily used for shaving facial hair and neck hair though they’re at present generally used to form up and create bald fades.


There are numerous totally different combs accessible in varied sizes and for various functions. Additionally they come in numerous colors which may also help with sure hair colors – utilizing a white comb when reducing darkish hair and a black comb with blonder hair will make it easier to to see the hair higher and guarantee an ideal end.

• Reducing Combs – These have finer enamel on one aspect which allow you to maintain good pressure when reducing and wider enamel on the opposite for detangling and sectioning.

• Taper Combs – Taper combs are thinner than basic reducing combs and slim at one finish. This lets you get nearer to the scalp when creating tapered seems.

• Clipper Combs – These are huge combs designed for mixing, tapering, clipper-over-comb and flat prime reducing strategies.

• Professional Edge Comb – This comb has a ledge on it that helps assist the scissors or clippers while you’re performing the clipper or scissor over comb method.

• Flat Prime Comb – This comb features a bubble stage designed to make sure a fast, straightforward and correct lower.

Army Brush & Membership Brush:

 The Bluebeards Revenge Military Brush
The Bluebeards Revenge Army Brush

These are designed to softly therapeutic massage the scalp, making it very best to make use of when reducing shorter hairstyles and advantageous or thinning hair. These brushes are nice to make use of for fades as they take away dust and mud from the hair while spreading the pure oils, serving to to make any hairs which have missed your clipper blades arise on finish.

Reducing strategies

Holding and Palming Scissors

An expert barber will maintain their scissors utilizing their thumb and third finger. This helps to keep up most management with the scissors. Though initially this may take some getting used to, it’s going to grow to be pure over time.

Throughout a haircut you need to by no means must put your scissors or comb down. As an alternative, if you find yourself not utilizing your scissors you ‘palm’ them. To do that you take away your thumb from the scissors and maintain them in your palm. Some barbers want to show the blade round to level in the direction of their wrist once they palm. Both is okay so strive each and see what you’re feeling extra snug with. Once more, this system could take a short time to get used to.

That you must be snug with each of those strategies earlier than you begin reducing in your head block so be sure that you spend time practising this.

hair cutting techniques

• Membership Reducing – This system is when the hair is lower bluntly, straight throughout. It’s used to take away size however retain bulk and might be accomplished on moist or dry hair.

• Level Reducing – This system is used to texturise the hair and take away bulk. The quantity of weight you take away will depend on the angle you narrow in at. This may be accomplished on moist or dry hair.

• Thinning – Utilizing the thinning scissors will take away bulk with out eradicating any size. They are perfect for use on medium to thick hair to take away weight and texture the ends. This could solely be used on the mid lengths and ends of the hair and also you have to be cautious to not over use as this may trigger wispy ends. Solely use on dry hair.

• Freehand Reducing – For this system, the hair is combed into place and lower freehand – with none pressure. Supreme to make use of on fringes and hair strains because it leaves the hair to sit down naturally, due to this fact not inflicting the hair to ‘bounce up’ when the strain is launched or the hair is dried.

• Razor Reducing – This system is used to take away bulk and create a softer look. It shouldn’t be used on advantageous hair and will solely be used on moist hair.

Clipper Over Comb

clipper over comb

Clipper over comb is utilized in a variety of barbershops. This system removes bulk and is ideal for mixing in a haircut or creating a brief taper. That is achieved by holding the comb in your much less dominant hand and the clippers in your dominant hand; deliver the comb out from the hair to the specified size and lower the hair that’s left in entrance of the comb’s enamel.

Over Comb Method
Barbers excellent their brief hair work by utilizing a clipper or scissor over comb method. Some barbers say you need to solely use clipper over comb and a few say you need to solely use scissor over comb. In fact, to be an incredible barber you need to use each strategies relying on the specified type.

Tip: when utilizing clipper over comb method, make sure you solely use the bottom of the enamel within the comb to be sure to don’t miss the comb and create a bald patch.

The outcomes from clipper over comb look like lots sharper then scissor over comb. Additionally, when mastered, clipper over comb will take you much less time to carry out than scissor over comb. This system is especially used on shorter hair kinds to mix the hair from the shorter again and sides into the size on prime. Extra assured barbers could use this system for an entire lower. Finest used on dry hair.

Scissor Over Comb

Scissor Over Comb

Scissor over comb is used for brief commencement. That is achieved by holding your comb in your much less dominant hand and your scissors in your dominant hand. The comb is used to raise the hair up and the scissors observe the comb. Lower the hair to the specified size by reducing the hair that’s left in entrance of the comb’s enamel. This must be accomplished comparatively rapidly to keep away from getting strains. That is one thing that isn’t straightforward to grasp and takes many hours of apply and endurance to excellent.

This system is normally used on shorter hair kinds to taper the hair on the nape and sides. It will produce a softer completed look than utilizing clippers and usually lasts a bit longer earlier than the following haircut is due. It’s best used on dry hair.

Layer Over Comb
Conventional barbers use this system to layer hair. That is carried out by inserting your closed scissors in to raise your part after which place the comb in and convey out to the specified size and lower. Keep it up repeating this system in 1cm sections. This system might be accomplished all around the sides and again of the pinnacle in panels and is even typically accomplished on the highest lengths of the hair if the hair is brief sufficient.

Professional Edge Comb
It is a nice invention for individuals simply beginning their journey into the hair or barbering business. The comb has a ledge on it that helps assist the scissors or clippers while you’re performing the clipper or scissor over comb method.

A suggestion is used to find out the size that the remainder if the hair must be lower.

A suggestion is created by reducing the preliminary part on the required size. As you progress to the following part, you’ll use a small sub-section from the rule that will help you decide the size of the brand new part. This then turns into your new guideline. By matching every new part to the beforehand lower part you’ll guarantee that you’re following the unique guideline. A suggestion might be lower vertically or horizontally relying on the haircut.

Following pointers is significant to make sure you work methodically and create an correct, balanced haircut.

Cross-checking is a way used to verify for errors. It’s critical that that is accomplished on each lower to verify size and steadiness. When cross checking, have a look at the hair the other option to how you narrow, for instance, in case you took vertical sections then cross verify taking horizontal sections and vice versa.

andis clippers

What strategies to make use of when?

You will need to remember that barbers will use totally different strategies or a mix of strategies to attain the same completed consequence.

Utilizing the Clippers to Mix with the Head Form
Head form is so essential when reducing brief males’s hairstyles. A standard downside barbers have is understanding how far to go up the pinnacle with the clippers. This may be made lots simpler by utilizing the shoppers head form to find out how excessive up you need to go. When utilizing the clippers, take the clipper up and out. By no means curve the clipper in across the head when the pinnacle form modifications. If you happen to get this proper it provides you with an incredible information to attaining an ideal lower to your consumer which is able to swimsuit his head form. You’ll discover if you do that on the again of the pinnacle you’ll take the clippers as much as simply previous the occipital bone.

When utilizing the clippers keep in mind to go good and slowly. Ensure you decide up all of the undesirable hair by utilizing the clippers in numerous instructions to make sure you obtain an excellent lower. The one time you wouldn’t use the shoppers head form as a information is that if the consumer has longer hair on prime. You’ll then must work decrease with the clippers to maintain the load. Additionally, often your consumer could ask you to take the mix greater however as a basic rule all the time use the pinnacle form.

Any barber price their salt will have the ability to lower hair utilizing both scissors or clippers. There isn’t a proper or flawed approach as each give a distinct end relying on the person. Clippers will give a pointy, blunt end. When fading, clippers are important to offer the sharpness that coiffure wants whereas scissors will create a softer, extra pure end. When initially coaching, it is crucial so that you can be taught all of the strategies to allow you to make an knowledgeable choice on what you suppose will likely be greatest to your consumer and when.

“I’ve had learners at my academy inform me that their boss has requested them to solely use scissor over comb method as they don’t like utilizing clippers to mix within the salon though they’re able to use the clippers with a grade to chop the again and sides. I personally don’t perceive the difficulty with utilizing clippers to mix if you should use clippers to chop the again and sides because the sharper, blunter end that clippers give is already on half of the lower.” Mike Taylor.

Reducing Outlines
The outlines of haircuts are particularly essential in barbering. That you must body your haircuts with perfection and you can’t afford to make any errors when reducing outlines as they’re simply observed. You need to keep in mind:

• When creating the define form you need to use the pure hairline the place doable.

• If you’re taking the hair over the ears, use the nook of your clippers or trimmers – like you’re utilizing a pen. Chances are you’ll must go round a couple of occasions to make sure you have eliminated all the hairs.

• When going over the ears, all the time verify the pure hairline first. Generally males can have a much bigger hole between their hairline and the highest of their ear and it could be greatest to depart hair a bit longer to assist cut back the hole slightly than observe the pure hairline.

• In case your consumer is carrying a shirt then it’s usually greatest to ask them to undo the highest buttons with the intention to be sure to have taken all of the neck hair away.

Neck Strains

There are three typical neckline shapes:



Usually you’ll find the vast majority of shoppers within the barbershop go for a tapered hairline. It progressively transitions from the size of hair in the back of the pinnacle, fading into pores and skin alongside the pure hairline and it grows out in a approach that leaves the type trying neater for longer.



A squared neckline is lower straight throughout in an outlined line and will observe the pure hairline as intently as doable. A squared hairline makes the neck seem wider which might profit a thinner neck however wouldn’t be suggested for a consumer with a wider neck.



A rounded neckline is lower equally to a sq. neckline however the sq. corners are rounded off. That you must make sure you don’t ‘spherical’ the corners an excessive amount of as this may make the haircut seem extra female. A rounded neckline makes the neck seem thinner which might profit a wider neck however wouldn’t be suggested for a consumer with a thinner neck.

Form Up
It is a method accomplished on the finish of the haircut. Utilizing detailers or a razor, you line up across the circumference of the haircut to boost and sharpen the completed consequence. This may also be referred to as a Line Up or Edge Up.

Eyebrow Trim
An eyebrow trim is a standard ending service on the barbershop. This may be accomplished scissor over comb or trimmer over comb and infrequently you might also want to make use of a freehand method for stray hairs. You need to supply this to all your shoppers and so they have the choice to say no however it’s possible you’ll must reassure and advise some shoppers as a standard delusion is that it could possibly make the eyebrows develop again thicker – which isn’t true!

Ear Singeing
Ear singeing has been carried out for hundreds of years. Having originated within the Center East, it has since made it’s approach throughout Europe now changing into a preferred additional so as to add to a haircut or shave. Singeing includes taking a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, lighting in on hearth, then gently tapping the burning cotton up towards the ear to singe or burn off all of the hair.

Sideburns are an essential a part of a person’s haircut and correct shaping of the sideburns will enhance the ultimate look. You need to keep in mind:

• There are numerous totally different sideburn shapes from the basic squared form to extra pointed or longer kinds, nonetheless most males will go for a delicate squared form.

• When reducing sideburns, keep in mind to think about the face form and coiffure to assist decide the most effective completed look.

• Keep away from reducing the sideburns greater than the highest of the ear as this may look unnatural.

• If you’re reducing to a degree, maintain the hair nearest to the ear and lower the form in by eradicating the hair nearest to the face.

• By no means use the ears to find out the size of the sideburns. Ears are nearly all the time uneven. Examine the steadiness and symmetry within the mirror by standing behind your consumer and place your fore fingers on the base of every sideburn and visually verify they’re at an excellent stage.

Fundamental reducing rules

In barbering, your work will all the time come all the way down to 4 primary haircuts. Having a strong understanding of those fundamentals will make it easier to to create nice haircuts that you may interpret to supply diversified and particular person seems.

One Size

One size lower is when the hair is all lower to 1 size. On a person, this may very well be a raver type or surfer type with a bob.

Lengthy Layers

That is the place the hair is all pulled up and lower on the desired size parallel to the highest of the pinnacle. On a gent this may very well be a protracted, heavy metallic type haircut. In barbering, we might normally lower this with sq. layers to make it extra masculine.

Uniform Layers

This lower, basically, can be a protracted haircut for a gent. A uniform haircut is the place the layers are introduced out to a 90-degree angle from the pinnacle and lower to the specified size ensuing within the hair being the identical size all around the head. In barbering, this is able to create a cool surfer look or a brit pop/indie look.

Brief Commencement

In barbering, that is 95{44647368ea155128d94cd7d0dedf9bedf567023d92af0d66be48457fdba38a27} of our work. A brief graduated haircut is the place the hair is left longer on prime and tapered in in the direction of the ears and neck.

A ‘Fade’ haircut is similar as a graduated lower the place the again and sides are lower brief and blended seamlessly as much as the size on the prime, nonetheless, sometimes a fade is understood to be a shorter type. There are numerous various kinds of fades, such because the foil fade, razor fade, low/mid/excessive fade, bald fade and so forth. You’ll be able to mix the fade with a spread of lengths and kinds on the highest to create varied seems which has helped this grow to be a preferred type of this period. That is presumably one of many hardest abilities to grasp. There isn’t a proper or flawed option to full this lower and barbers will use many alternative strategies – the trick is to strive totally different strategies till you discover the one which works for you.

Foil Fade
It is a method you’ll use after finishing your fade. Utilizing a foil shaver will take the realm it’s used on fully bald so you’ll obtain the same end to a razor fade. One factor to recollect is these can solely be used on very, very brief hair, therefore the explanation you’ll compete the fade first. When utilizing the foil fader, pull the pores and skin taut together with your non-dominant hand and flick the fader out, this may minimise the seen line and create a easy end.

Razor Fade
A razor fade provides you with the same impact as a foil fade, however as an alternative of utilizing clippers you utilize an open razor. Equally to a foil fade, you’ll additionally full this system after finishing the fade in order that the hair is as brief as doable. Apply some pre shave oil to the realm you’ll be shaving after which lather up the realm with shaving cream. Use an open razor to take away the undesirable hair then mix in with a really shut bladed trimmer.

Glossary of cuts

This haircut is lower near the scalp on the again and sides and progressively will get longer or ‘fades’ as much as nearly any size on prime. There are numerous totally different variations of a fade, together with low/mid/excessive fade, bald fade, razor fade.

Crew Lower
This complete haircut is finished with clippers. It may possibly both be one grade throughout or with a shorter grade on the again and sides and longer grade on prime.

French Crop
This could be a versatile lower as it could possibly both be styled sensible and easy or textured and messy. Graduated on the again and sides with some size remaining on prime. The time period ‘French Crop’ would usually imply it’s styled ahead with a fringe.

Flat Prime
A tough haircut to grasp because the ‘observe the pinnacle form’ rule goes out of the window. A Flat Prime is the place the hair is lower on prime with emphasis on flatness and the perimeters and again are lower to offer a sq. form.

Excessive Prime
An identical form to the Flat Prime however with extra peak on prime.

This lower is just like a brief again and sides with the hair saved lengthy on prime and styled with quantity to create a quiff. The distinction between a Pompadour and a Quiff is that for a Pompadour all the hair on prime is styled backwards.

Slick Again
This could primarily be any size of hair offering it’s lengthy sufficient to slick again. The time period ‘Slick Again’ refers back to the styling of the hair all going again and normally completed with a moist look.

A disconnected lower is the place there isn’t a mixing between layers someplace inside the type. It may be accomplished on lengthy or brief hair.

An uneven lower is the place the hair is lower with out symmetry, that means one aspect is lower or seems to be longer than the opposite.

Bowl Lower
It’s all within the title. This form was typically created by inserting a bowl on the pinnacle and reducing round it.

A well-liked 90’s look the place hair is left longer on prime and styled in a center parting.

The hair is taken very brief on the perimeters, leaving a strip of hair within the center that might normally be styled spiked up.

Mop Prime
A man’s mid-length haircut. This layered lower would usually be collar size on the again with a fringe and size left over the ears.

Hair is lower shorter on the prime and sides with appreciable size left on the again.

Just like the Pompadour however with the Quiff solely the entrance part is blow-dried backwards – the remainder of the highest part is brushed ahead. There are numerous variations to this type. Usually, the hair can be shorter on the again and sides with size remaining on prime to type upwards and backwards from the brow.

There are numerous variations of this type. The time period ‘wedge’ refers to a way that makes use of a weight line or tapers to create a full-bodied look. Not as extreme as a step.

That is the place the highest is left longer and the beneath part is taken shorter leading to an ‘overhang’ of hair.

A haircut the place the totally different lengths don’t mix however as an alternative there’s a sharp, apparent weight line or ‘step’ within the hair.

Refers back to the again hairline – also called a squared neckline.

This refers back to the neckline space solely – it’s NOT a fade.

Mike Taylor Education Barbering Resource Book
Mike Taylor Training Barbering Useful resource Guide

This text has been taken from Mike Taylor’s Barbering Useful resource Guide, which is available for purchase from Salon Companies. RRP £6.

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