Razors or Scissors? Jules Chan Helps You Decide
Students and clients often ask me how to decide whether to cut hair using a razor or scissors. In this blog, I outline the key differences between razor and scissor-cut hair – and provide pointers on which cutting instrument to choose.
What’s the Biggest Difference Between Razor-cut and Scissor-cut Hair?
In general, when the hair has been razored, the hair taper off to a thinner peak. Scissors tend to produce a blunter or chunkier look towards the ends.
Check out this mid-length razor haircut tutorial with the brilliant Manfred Kohl as your instructor and you’ll see what I mean
Is There More Than 1 Type of Razor?
Yes! You can choose between straight edge razors and those with a detachable guard or shield.
Straight edge razors require both concentration and experience, while a shield or guard gives you the confidence to slice a little faster without the worry of taking too much off.
My approach is to go over my razored ends with the scissors; this allows me to double check any crazy long ends as well as take extra weight out closer to the roots. But it’s a personal thing and you’ll develop your own style once you’ve built up experience.
When Would You Choose a Razor Over Scissors?
There’s no definitive set of circumstances where you’d decide to use the razor over scissors. It all comes down to the end result that your client is looking for. For example, you might opt for razors if:
- Your client likes their hair to be messy or jagged on the ends
- The hair is ultra-thick and coarse and you need solid but soft edges
Remember, razor cutting produces softness and movement, and is incredibly effective at bringing out waves and curls.
What Type of Hair is Best for Razor Cutting?
The best type of hair for razor use is medium to thick, coarse non-frizzy hair. It’s ok to use razors on finer hair but not if the hair is frizzy – see above.
Most clients will try the razor at least once and – depending on whether their experience was a good one – may or may not return to it!
Does the Razor Damage the Hair?
If you use a razor on fine frizzy hair, it can damage the ends by opening up the cuticles too much along the hair shaft – emphasising the frizziness. So it’s best to avoid using a razor on frizzy hair, unless your client is opting for a particularly wild look!
In this tutorial, Manfred Kohl shows you how to use a razor effectively to create a long loose shape.
Who Should Choose the Cutting Tool: Client or Stylist?
I’ve often heard a client ask for a razor cut. However, I think this decision is best left to you as a stylist.
After all, you can assess the hair texture and the desired result, then decide which tool is best.
What Can Go Wrong When Using a Razor?
I’ve mentioned a few possibilities above. Add to that, with an inexperienced stylist, one of the worst things I think is ‘over-razoring’ the hair. It can make the client look like a Japanese pop star!
Another problem is when the hair has been razored too close to the roots, it looks flat. That’s because there is no support from the hair underneath.
So to sum up my thoughts: Razor cutting is brilliant if you’re an experienced stylist with the right know-how.
Get to Grips with the Basics of Razor Cutting
MHD is packed with useful tutorials and cutting, whatever your experience level. But if you’re at the start of your journey, this tutorial teaches the foundation techniques needed to freehand with a razor or scissors. The result is a subtle graduated soft shape with loose movement and light internal and external tendrils.
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