For the most kickass cuts for men, when do you choose the clipper, shears or the razor? Here are the answers you’ve been looking for.
Yes, as a classic tool, the clipper has been back in full force in the last few years. But your men’s haircutting arsenal should also be focusing on other traditional tools, too, such as shears and razors to create awesome fades, boxy haircuts and sharp, clean lines for your clients’ #hairgoals.
The Ultra-Versatile Clipper
According to Oliver Kult, Babyliss Pro Canadian National Brand Ambassador, who was mainly self-taught before taking a deep dive in the education circuit, “the clipper was my go-to. It’s the most versatile tool for cutting men’s hair. I don’t really do scissor over comb a lot. I just maximise the use of my cutting guides with the clipper, and I keep changing them as I go along.” Yes, he has four different clippers that he uses for different finishes and detailing, depending on the client’s hair and the look he’s going for.
“Although I feel it’s important to have all three types of tools, 90% of my haircuts are done with the clipper. Because the blade is not always exactly the same thickness, I alternate between two clippers to get a perfect, super smooth fade.”
The quasi-universal cutting tool that, incidentally, is now also gaining momentum for women’s haircuts, too, thanks to the unrelenting popularity of undercuts for girls, has the added advantage of facilitating the cutting of every type of hair, “although you have to be more cautious when using it with fine, blonde hair, because it can create lines.” But it’s amazing for dark, curly hair. With three different clippers you can create many types of haircuts and “you can even cheat a bit if your technique is less than stellar by combining different cutting guides.”
Surprisingly, according to Kult, the clipper is ideal, too, for thinning hair. “Some guys generally think that having longer hair on the sides is going to camouflage the fact that the hair is thinning at the top, when what you really want is to have very short hair on the sides and longer on the top. It gives the illusion of fuller hair.”
When cutting men’s hair, the goal is always to create square shapes and bold lines that will give hair that masculine edge and boxy silhouette.
“And, for this, the ideal shear is a very long one. I really like an eight-inch scissor that will practically go around the head for creating a smooth, clean line, » says Kult. “As a barber, you need to have a very clear idea of the type of haircut you want to create as soon as your client sits in your chair. I think we’re more precise. Classically-trained hairstylists tend to improvise more and go with the flow of how the haircut is taking shape.”
In his kit, Kult has three different types of shears: four, six and eight inches “for different looks. I really like the four-inch shear to give a bit of texture and create the connection between different sections.”
The Razor For a Super Clean Finish
One of the biggest trends in barbering at the moment is the ultra-smooth finish that almost looks photshopped, particularly around the face where you’ll want to zap any baby hairs.
Your best investment for that perfect, clean line around the face? The cheap, plastic barbering razor that costs less than $5. You just need to make sure you’re changing the blade between every client, to ensure you’re implementing the best hygiene practices.
If, in the past, the razor was almost exclusively used to shave the neckline, “now we’re starting to use it above the eyebrows to create a really square line around the temples. It’s called a sharp line up, and it’s a huge trend.” This type of haircut requires a barbering technique to straighten the hairline. So instead of a natural hairline, your use the razor to line up and shave straight lines and sharp angles on the forehead, temples, sideburns and back.