How to Cut Hair: Florida Cosmetology License Exam, Part 3

Are you interested in a career in beauty? Do you enjoy giving makeovers and helping your friends improve their style? A career in Cosmetology may be perfect for you! After graduating from a diploma program in Cosmetology, you will need to pass the Cosmetology Licensure Examination administered by the to work in the State of Florida. The portion of the exam we will focus on hair cutting and hair shaping.

Hair Cutting/Shaping

Hair cutting is styling of the hair while using a comb, clippers, scissors, razor, irons and other hair shaping instruments to create a specific look. Different looks can be achieved to shape and thin out the hair. The Cosmetology student will become familiar with hair cutting implementation, methods, instruments and how to cut wigs during the course of a Cosmetology diploma program.

Select Haircutting Implements and Method

There are specific terms that identify parts of the head and hair. They include the apex, bangs, crown, four corners, nape, parietal ridge, sections and subsections of the hair. Other terms help define the hair cutting technique including the cutting angle, cutting line, elevation, tension and weight line.

  • Angle – space between two surfaces that intersect at a given point.
  • Apex – highest point on the top of the head
  • Bang – triangular section that starts at the apex and ends at the front corners of the head.
  • Crown – area of the head between the apex and the back of the parietal ridge
  • Cutting Line – angle at which the fingers are held when cutting.
  • Elevation – angle or degree at which a subsection of hair is lifted from the hair while cut.
  • Four Corners – the point on the head that signals a change in the shape.
  • Nape – the back part of the neck
  • Parietal Ridge – widest area of the head starting at the temples and ending at the bottom of the crown.
  • Sections – to divide the hair by parting into uniform areas.
  • Subsections – small sections within a larger section of hair.
  • Tension – amount of pressure applied when combing and holding a section.
  • Weight Line – the visual line in the haircut where the ends of the hair hang together.

Cut/Shape Hair using Clippers with Guards

Clippers are used to create short cuts. An edger or trimmer is used to clean up the edges on short haircuts. Guards are added to the clippers to cut to length, the guards are numbered in sequence based on the number of inches (Ex. Number 1, Number 2, etc.).

Cut/Shape Hair Using Scissors

Scissors are the basic tool to cut hair. They are very sharp and made to deliver a clean cut without folding or bending the hair. You can use scissors to thin, slither, layer, shingle, blunt cut or overdirected hair.

  • Thinning – Comb the hair from root to the tip to smoothen and straighten. Hold the section of hair in between your pointer and index finger with about 2 inches between the fingers. Point the shears into the 2 inches of hair. The hair can be cut straight or at an angle.
  • Slither – the hair is slithered by taking the scissors and holding them open slightly then gliding the scissors along the length of the hair away from the scalp. Slithering is used on long hair to remove bulk and make the hair hang smoothly.
  • Layer – a cutting technique used to create hair with varying lengths. Layers cascade from the shortest piece on top to the longest length of the hair.
  • Shingle – cut the hair close to the scalp at the nape of the neck, leaving the hair gradually longer as you go higher.
  • Blunt Cut – the scissors cut straight across, leaving a very clean and precise edge to the shape of the hair.
  • Overdirecting – cutting technique where the hair is lifted and cut over the head to create extra volume in the hair.

Texturizing Hair

Thinning shears are used to thin the hair or texturize the ends. Thinning shears can create volume and can help stubborn hair lay down better. A razor can be used to texturize hair creating softer results by feathering and thinning the hair as it is cut. There are specific texturization techniques, they include:

  • Point Cutting – used to shape the ends of the hair. Take sections of hair and cut them with scissors held vertical to the hair’s direction. This will give the hair smooth layers without a blunt edge.
  • Weaving – take thin sections of hair and use a tail comb to weave through the layer in an m-shaped motion, moving the comb’s tail up and down quickly through the hair. Isolate small chunks of hair and then cut to thin out the hair. The weaving motion is repeated all over the head for evenly cut hair.
  • Twist Cutting – sections of hair are twisted tightly and cut with scissors to texturize the hair.
  • Chipping – used to remove bulk and increase volume in thicker hair and can create a long wispy effect in the hair. To chip the client’s hair, take a section of hair and hold it up parallel to the scalp. Use the scissors to chip little chunks away from the mid-lengths of the hair.
  • Smooth-cutting – technique to thin hair with a hairdressing razor. The razor should come with a comb guard to reduce the amount of hair that can be cut. Take sections of the hair and lightly slide over them with the razor from mid-lengths to tips. As the razor moves through the hair, strands of hair are shortened and the hair is thinned out.

Cut and Shape Wigs

Before cutting directly into the wig, brush the wig thoroughly using a wig brush or pick. The client will need to put on the wig before it is trimmed so it is cut to the perfect length. Use thinning shears to take some excess bulk off the wig so the hair lays flat. Trim the bangs by pulling them down straight and cutting them like real hair. Wig hair should be cut a little longer so mistakes can be fixed.

Are these hair cutting and shaping techniques interesting to you? Are you ready to get your diploma in Cosmetology? Meridian College offers a Cosmetology training program in Florida that prepares you to deliver high–quality beauty and hair services to both men and women. Our hands–on Cosmetology training program gives you the skills you need to start an exciting career and become a leader in the beauty industry.

Contact Meridian College today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist.