While ’90s vibes have certainly made their way into several of the latest hair trends, undercuts and disconnected haircuts are yet another example of how nostalgia has played a big role in their increasing popularity. From models at fashion weeks around the world to celebrities on red carpets to influencers on social media, more and more clients are requesting these cuttingedge looks in the salon. According to Dani Niven, a STMNT Grooming Goods educator, short hair specialist and owner of Rebel X in Calgary, Alta., there’s been a shift this season from long, feminine hair to bowl cuts and shaggy mullets, which have been pushing traditional boundaries and encouraging clients to embrace their individuality.
“I’ve had so many people come to me and cut off all their hair just to feel more themselves and more at home in their own bodies,” she says. “I’m loving bowl cuts. They can be very bold, disconnected haircuts. I like the blunt ones a lot because the lines are just so drastic, especially with a heavy fringe.” While the shag, wolf cut and modern mullet were huge trends last year, we’re continuing to see variations of them now with an emphasis on adding texture (layers) and disconnection to haircuts. For shorter hair, textured crops are another trend this season. “We’re seeing a lot of heavy, short textures using either point cutting or razor cutting,” says Joseph Anthony Iannicello, an American Crew educator and owner of In the Chair Hair Studio in Windsor, Ont. “From there, people are creating their own twist on it with different hairlines, whether it’s a wispy fringe or a detailed lineup in the front.”
Making the Cut
When it comes to perfecting a disconnected style like an undercut, Niven says it’s important not to go above and beyond the shape (or “walls”) of the head or the parietal ridge. “If you’re doing an undercut in the back, you don’t want to go above the occipital bone,” she says. “Just do your best to complement the head shape when thinking about giving somebody an undercut or just a side shave—anything like that. There are very tasteful ways to do it that will make your undercut stand out compared to someone who just sections off a chunk from the side and shaves it right up.” Since adding any sort of disconnection to your haircuts is very technical, Iannicello says it’s important to begin by fully saturating a client’s hair before sectioning. “The sections can vary depending on what style haircut you’re doing,” he says. “Anything from vertical sections to horseshoe sections to cross-graduation sections. There’s a whole bunch of different sections you can do, but that’s the main part in organizing yourself to accomplish the haircut you’re going for.
“With hair nowadays, there are just less and less boundaries or boxes that people are in. Clients can be whoever they want to be and have haircuts that make them feel more like themselves.” — DANI NIVEN, STMNT GROOMING GOODS EDUCATOR, SHORT HAIR SPECIALIST AND OWNER OF REBEL X, CALGARY, ALTA.
Go With the Flow
Although it’s all about using the right technique and tools, Niven says it’s also important to pay attention to the patterns of the hair. “When you’re adding a little bit of a disconnection somewhere, you really need to understand how the hair is going to lay,” she says. “For example, if you want to do a mullet where it’s very disconnected on the side but you want to have it hang down nicely without poofing out, you might have to bring the clippers up a little higher so it can lay nicely. It’s just about examining your client’s hair, the pattern, the way it flows naturally and working with that.” While a thorough consultation is key to any haircut, Iannicello says that communication is even more crucial when adding disconnection to haircuts to ensure hairstylists and their clients have a mutual understanding. “Always listen to your clients and communicate clearly,” he says. “That way, you can ensure they’re satisfied with what you did and what you’re currently doing, so you’re both on the same page.”
PRO TIP WHILE CUTTING THE HAIR ONCE IT’S DRY CAN HELP YOU REFINE THE SHAPE AND DISCONNECTION, IT’S IMPORTANT TO WORK WITH FRESHLY WASHED HAIR TO GET A FEEL FOR ITS PATTERNS AND HOW IT NATURALLY LAYS.
Think Outside the Box
While some hairstylists may still find themselves bound by the limits of traditional haircutting norms, Niven says that now is the time to push through those boundaries. “Once you have a good knowledge base, you can understand how to create your own version of that,” she says. “You’ll understand how to break rules more if you know the initial foundations.” While disconnection can help add customization to your clients’ cuts, Iannicello says it can also help bring business back into the salon. “When you’re creating haircuts that are not symmetrical, they don’t grow out as uniform and symmetrical, which results in the client coming back more often to maintain the shape that they have for that hairstyle,” he says. “So, two, three or four weeks go by and that hairstyle is slowly growing out. They’re losing that shape and the disconnection that we achieved with their haircut. So, they’re kind of forced to come back sooner or let it grow out naturally.” “When it grows out, it’s not going to have the same effect,” adds Niven. “For example, it’s going to push out the hair that’s laying over top of it. Let your client know that they’re going to have to come back every two weeks or so to get their disconnection touched up, which in turn, generates extra money in your pocket.”
PHOTOS: HAIR: DANIELE DE ANGELIS, TONI&GUY, LONDON, COLOUR: STUART MATUSKA, MAKEUP: MARIA COMPARETTO & KATIE MOORE, WARDROBE STYLING: BORNA PRIKASKI, PHOTO: KEVIN LUCHMUN, HAIR: LAURA SCOTT & BAYLEIGH PEACE, MARK LEESON, U.K., MAKEUP: LAUREN MATHIS, WARDROBE STYLING: M&R, PHOTO: RICHARD MILES, HAIR: OLIVIA BINCH, MARK LEESON, U.K., MAKEUP: LAUREN MATHIS, WARDROBE STYLING: BERNARD CONNOLLY, PHOTO: RICHARD MILES