10 Pro Haircutting Terms You Should Know

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1. Texture

Texture is the technique of adding movement to the mid-to-ends of hair. You know when hair is straight across and looks flat? It works for some people, but for others it looks shapeless. Adding texture means the ends will have more movement and more “life”. How much texture depends on the placement of your color, if you have any, and where we want to create the texture. Think of texture as “piece-y-ness”. It’s also a nice option if you don’t want strong layers. For anyone who has straight hair, adding texture is AMAZING, because it creates movement without any harsh lines.

2. Taking out Weight or Bulk

The technique of taking out weight can look similar to texturizing. We take out weight where we feel the hair is too heavy - sometimes hair is heavier on certain parts of the head than others, like at the back of the head, where our hair is always denser and thicker. When finishing a bob haircut, we tend to take out the weight or “bulk” from the ends to give it more movement so you’re able to shake it out and have that lived-in look.

We can do this with shears, razors, or thinning shears.

3. Point Cutting

We point cut to blend any harsh lines, to create texture and to add seamless layers. We can do this on short or long hair, and we can point cut deep V’s or little tiny V’s, depending on how much we need it. The most common way is to lift the hair up and draw deep V’s into the hair so it falls into seamless layers.

Every hair cutter has a way of doing their point cutting to create their signature look, so talk to your stylist about what they like to do.

4. Perimeter

The perimeter is the outline of the hair. We use this word a lot in the salon. We might ask you how much you want off your perimeter, which means: how much length do you want off, or would you like to keep? Would you like a blunt (straight across) perimeter or a more textured, feathery one?

Tell your stylist, because that’s usually where we start. It creates the foundation for the haircut.

5. Blunt

The word blunt means straight across. If you’re asking for a blunt bob, your bob will be the same length all the way across. You can have a blunt haircut on long, medium or short hair.

A blunt haircut creates weight on the ends (perimeter) and is a great option for anyone who has fine hair.

6. Weight

Weight is when hair falls into a “heaviness”. For some haircuts and hair types, we have to create weight; and for others we have to remove weight. We create weight, for example, on a bob and on a graduated haircut. We need that weight for the hair to fall heavy in a certain spot to create the shape we want that most flatters your face and profile.

7. Layers

I just want to say that there is no such thing as “one layer” or two or three. Layers are cut by lifting the hair up so it falls soft and feathery, creating movement and a femininity to the haircut. You can choose where your layers start and whether you want them towards your face as well. The shape of the layers can be customized to fit your lifestyle (do you wear your hair up and want some wisps coming down?) and face shape.

I love doing layers on anyone who has long, thick hair to add movement and femininity.

8. Cuticle

I love talking about the cuticle with clients. It’s something we don’t think we have. When I first heard of it, I thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but joke was on me! I want you to hold a hair strand with your fingers and move down. It feels smooth, right? Now move your fingers up. There’s a bit of roughness, isn’t there? Those are your tiny, tiny cuticles.

Cuticles are like shingles on a roof. They protect your hair. They open when we lighten the hair, and they close when we tone the hair. They also open when we shampoo and close when we condition; this is why you should never skip conditioner! And they seal when we use serums, which is why I always recommend serums to clients.

When you think of your hair health in terms of cuticles, life just starts to make more sense!

9. Face-Framing Layers

Face-framing layers are not bangs. They are the layers that literally frame your face. Depending on what’s most flattering for you, they can start at your eyebrow, cheekbone, jawline, or below the jaw.

How you like to wear your hair also dictates how we cut your layers. For a client who wants her layers to frame her face when her hair is up, I cut them differently than someone who wants to pull back all her hair because she’s a new mom.

10. Rough-Drying vs. Blow-Drying vs. Air-Drying

  • Rough-drying is drying the hair with the blowdryer without a brush.

  • Blow-drying is when you use a round brush to smooth out and style your hair.

  • Air-drying is when you leave your hair to dry on its own without a hairdryer.

The reason I put this in here is because for many clients the word “blowdry” is the same as “rough dry”. You might come out of the shower and blast your hair with the hairdryer using your fingers and out the door you go, whereas another client would use products and a round brush to create volume and smoothness.

Why is this important? Because how you use a hairdryer tells me how you style your hair and dictates how I will cut your hair. So make sure you tell your stylist what you do at home so we can customize a look that’s just for you!