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Cutting Terminology

Aerating- The act of cutting into the hair with a technique that mimics backcombing, to remove bulkiness.

A-line hair cut- A Haircut following the angle of the jaw line when the head tips forward.

Asymmetrical- When the hair is not symmetrical (or the same) throughout the hair cut. This difference can vary from subtle to drastic like in the example of an asymmetrical

Bangs or fringe – Strands of hair falling over the scalp’s front hairline to cover the forehead. Bangs can be shaped in an arc, asymmetrical swooping to one side, long or short, wispy or straight across.

Bevel – A subtle layer cut with curvature on the ends to give hair a soft bend. This helps hair turn under.

Blending- The process of blending one line of the haircut to the other line by cutting out the hair between both of those lines 

Blunt cut – Haircut that is straight across at the bottom without using a layer technique. One length cut. 

Caesar Cut- A semi – short Hairstyle, hair is layered 1” to 3” on the top and then brushed forward, adding a short bang to the front. This style is ideal for mild balding. 

Choppy- Involves point cutting different lengths into your hair; this process makes the hair look fuller 

Crew Cut- Requires your hair to be cut down very low on the sides and left longer on the top 

Disconnected – Any cut that has a dramatic length change in the hair. For example; mullets and Mohawks 

Dry-cutting – Is usually performed after hair has been washed and dried. Hair reacts differently while wet, while dry hair allows you to focus on how the hair will lay when styled 

Dusting (Trimming) – Cutting only the ends. The average amount removed is between ¼ and ½ an inch.

Elevation – Elevation is the angle from the client’s scalp at which you raise the hair when cutting. The elevation determines whether the hair is cut one-length (no elevation), graduated (1° to 89°), or layered (90° and more, but usually at 90°). (Aveda Institute: Cosmetology Curriculum, Hair cutting) 

Face Framing – A cutting technique that creates shorter layers around the face that curl under the chin. 

Fade- This is considered an aggressively tight taper. Hair at the sides and back is cut as close as possible with clippers

Feathering – Finely textured layering style. Can be short and smooth, or long and curly. 

Graduated cut – This cut involves layering the hair at an angle to build shape. 

Guide or Guideline- Is a pre-cut strand of hair serving as a guide or mark that allows one to follow a pattern when cutting. Usually the hair is sectioned divided into smaller sections to create a system of balance connecting sections.

Layers- This cut is performed entirely with shears. The hair is cut into uniform layers all over your head. The cut can be as long or short as desired and is very versatile.