Discussion Board:
Bulletin Boards > Cut and Style > Career in cutting only no color pros & cons
Posted By:
Posted By:BTCAdmin on: 9/3/2004 4:30:51 PM

Author: Thread: Career in cutting only no color pros & cons
Edward Scissor Hand
Posts: 5

Posted: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 7:16:00 PM
I'm a student & am about half way through schooling. I love cutting & am pretty good at it. I can apply color good but I am color blind so formulating and picking out different tints is hard for me. I really want to try & work my way towards a career as a cutting specialist, I'm very motivated & dedicated. I was wondering if any one had any info for me on which salons out there have cut specialists & if it's possible to make as much money only cutting if your really good?


Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 5:53:00 PM
I find that it depends where you are, depending upon what salons are hiring for what positions. If you want to just cut hair you would need to find a salon that requires only that...and have someone else who does the colors, etc... you'll find that stylists who work as only cutting in the salon are working in very highpaced, upperclass diva houses, where the person who cuts the locks is not the person who colors your hair....mainly because they dont have time...knowing that their next cut is in the waiting room, and that time is money, a color process would just interupt their scissor schedule..Which is great! The client is now being handed off to another person to become a blonde in an hour! :)
I think it would be a great idea for you to just cut hair in a salon, if that's what you want to do...just make sure you get into the right salon..Bright Lights Big Cities..thats where you want to look! :) For now, Focus focus focus on your State Board requirements and test, you wont become Edward Scissor Hands if you dont pass.......:) :) good luck!

Edward Scissor Hand
Posts: 5

Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 7:33:00 PM
Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! I do have high hopes of working in a high end salon & I practice cuting every day, My scissors never leave my hand!!! Does anyone have any names of these specific salons who deal with cut specialist, so I might be able to start making some conections & be better able to have a plan or direction for when I graduate?

Posts: 455
Silver Member

Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 7:47:00 PM

i agree. color is ok. I have no talent at it. Cutting on the other hand i do. I agree with anon. find a salon that offers you to specialize and go for it!

Posts: 2083
Platinum Member

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2004 10:37:00 AM
Think about the future for a minute...There are many many people out there who can cut hair very well and the prices for a good cut are lower every day. This means much competition for a haircutter. Also, consider what happens in a poor econonmy...people wait longer between cuts because they can...this means that you'll have to go out and get more clients just to stay the same, or raise prices, which will lose some clients, or lower prices to get more business. In addition, what happens to cutters when longer hair comes into style? The clients come less often, also requiring a re-think of your business. If you don't think this is a factor, remember that when long hair for men became popular in the 1960's there were 100,000 barbershops in America, today there are about 12,000. This was a direct result of...1) the barbers' unwillingness to believe that the long hair 'trend' would last...It did, for 20 years...2) their ridiculing of young men who wanted longer hair as 'queers' and 'hippies', 3) the loss of a whole generation of young male clients who never returned...4)The creation of quick-service 'salons', staffed mainly by Cosmetologists, cutting men's hair by default...and most importantly, the less frequent visits from their established clients, as the longer hair trend swept across all generations of males...
The point is that it's never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. I know that there's a lot to know in the Cosmetology field and that it's scary, so becoming a 'specialist' in one aspect is a more comfortable prospect, but it's a trap. If you have a 40 year career, you can expect trends to change every 10 or so. Imagine how boring your workday will be.You'll be utilizing only 4 or 5 tools during your whole career, i.e. scissors, razor, comb, brush and blow-dryer. In addition, if you are competent in many facets of the trade you'll have a much greater chance of building a clientel. Do you want to wait for a cut client to walk in when you'll lose the opportunity to service a perm, a set and styling, some extensions, conditioning treatments, a manicure, a waxing, a makeup application, and many others which create income for the salon and you, including the service which is already driving the hair trade today and will do so for the next 20 years, Hair color...Clients will be more loyal to their colorist than their cutter, come regularly even in poor economic times and frankly, haircutting alone is very one dimensional it's like black and white photography, graphic, but not enough so to fulfill the needs of the modern client. Imagine how demeaning it will be for you, to have to hand over your clients to a colorist who will make the client look younger and better than you can with your cut alone, and you'll always feel uneducated unless you can create those looks yourself. How can you hope to consult your cut clients on coloring if you can't do it for yourself?
Don't be a one-trick-pony. If you open your own salon one day, how will you be able to manage a staff of people who know more than you do about the job? I believe that you might be hiding your head in the sand, which as I said before, I can understand, because the idea of knowing everything about the trade is daunting, however, it's a much richer experience over a career, both professionally and financially. Think it over, do you want to feel inadequate in your field? A mere haircutter will inevitably feel so...Good luck to you...

Posts: 11

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2004 11:08:00 AM
In addition to cutting, how about doing other services other than coloring? What about skin care, facials, massage, manicures, pedicures, etc.? You could even consider teaching one day. I agree with Britboy on this one. Don't limit yourself to just cutting hair. Right now you're excited. Ten years from now you will most likely be bored stiff. Explore your options.

Edward Scissor Hand
Posts: 5

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2004 11:12:00 AM
your missing the point, thanks for your advise & it all makes good sense but I have the handicap of being color blind! now I refuse to let this stop me becuase I love to cut!! This is a good question, is there anyone out there that is a successful stylist who is color blind & if so what kind of advise could you offer?

Edward Scissor Hand
Posts: 5

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2004 11:21:00 AM
Absolutly I would love to get into to the education field one day, I deffenitly want to be around people who want to learn & continue to be taught new things & would love to possibly be some kinda educator as well some day! & as far as other services besides color I am also willing to learn, possibly good straightening tech as well as extentions but as for nails & facials I'm to in love with hair!

Posts: 33

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2004 1:28:00 PM
Well, if you'll never do color, because of not being able to formulate accurately, then at least master a couple of other things -- so you will be more valuable in a salon and so you won't be bored. Get really good at eyebrow waxing, for one. All of your cutting clients have eyebrows and that can be another thing you can add on for a bunch of bucks for very little time or money extra. Also, tinting brows, lip wax, all stuff you can do at your station.

Then there are the other things people have mentioned, but I'm merely thinking of things any cutter can do easily at his station.

Posts: 2083
Platinum Member

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2004 1:51:00 PM
There is no reason that you couldn't have somebody else formulate for you and you could apply, then you could always follow the card instructions later on until the client needed a new formula at which time you could adjust using the color description or again have somewone else re-formulate. You are allowing your handicap to hold you back and hide from all the other services. You don't need to see color to perm hair or do extensions.

Posts: 32

Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 2:05:00 PM
Though I agree with britboy on alot of his posts. I have to disagree with him on this point on specializing. But he is right you can perm and extensions.. anyway..

If you want to specialize in cutting. Then by all means specialize in cutting. I specialize in cutting and styling and I make as much money as anyone else in the company (which is about 125 hairdressers). I've had other stylist who specialize in color (many of whom also cut) do my color clients, when they leave the company, my clients stay with me and ask who should do their color now that so and so is gone. It has never hurt me that I don't do most of my color and I've never felt inadequate or lame because of it.

The other side of the coin is this, If I've chosen to specialize in cutting hair, then I have be the BEST!! If I'm just an average haircutter then I would be lame, and not make much money, and why would someone come to a me to give them an average haircut when they can go to someone who can give them an average haircut and a great color..?.. But, if you are the BEST, you will make money because people who are looking for the best, will find you and that is the reputation you have to build to be able to specialize.

To specialize is to make your life difficult, you are putting all your money on one bet. If you work at it with passion and patience your will win big. But if you slack you will also loose big. There is always pluses and minuses to every thing.

Find a salon that is departmentalized (chemical tech do chemicals, stylist do cutting and styling). Your chances are better is you live in a metropolitan city.

Posts: 2083
Platinum Member

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2004 7:40:00 AM
Yes Russell, but you know what...After 20 years of just cutting I was sooooo bored with it that I wanted to tear their hair out with my bare hands...Same comb, same scissors, same blowdryer. It took from the 1960's until the late 80's before a new tool arrived (notching shears), and another 10 years 'till the razor was back again, that's a long time between innovations...

While it is possible to make a living as a cutter, it's often a 'safe' way to avoid being a hairstylist, completely rounded and able to do any of the tasks needed to create a look for a client, making the workday much more interesting during a career.
Being a 'cutter' is a concept that emerged in the last Century and one which will be very hard to continue in the new one.
Cutting hair is pretty one-dimensional, styles don't really change that often but in the past 20 years as a color and cutting specialist, I've enjoyed a much broader experience, and avoided standing there like a numbskull while a 'colorist' explained to me and my client what was needed and how it was going to look.

Cutting hair is something that many people can do well, coloring is not.

Also, you didn't address my point about what cutters do when styles change and people grow their hair and visit the salon less often. This is happening right now actually, there's a whole 'grow your hair' movement in the 10-16 year old boys, who have been supplying many cutters with regular business in the past 10 years...Remember that trends don't last forever, and the short cropped, buzzed spiked styles are going out fast, and once they do it will be an avalanche. Many salons today rely on turnover to stay in business and it just won't be there quite soon.
This won't happen with coloring, the client is regular and loyal.

Posts: 95

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2004 3:05:00 PM
Here is a thought. There are eye specialists who may help to correct your color blindness. I know someone who was lucky to find such a person in the field who had a contact lense made for one eye to adjust his color spectrum. It looked a little odd but it sure made a difference in his career as an electrician. That was 15 yrs. ago. So I'm sure there have been innovations on the eye problem you have.

Posts: 32

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2004 7:38:00 PM
Britboy, I totally agree with your statement of it being a "safe" way of avoiding what you fear and being a well rounder hairstylist.

I'm just saying, if Edward is color blind, focus on the cutting first, when he gets bored with that and wants to expand himself, he will. As you said before, perms, hair extensions, etc..

He could always color all your clients blonde!! I'm sure you've met many a hairstylist that can only do blonde anyway... Just kidding..


Posts: 2083
Platinum Member

Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2004 8:31:00 PM
If he waits until he gets bored with cutting, he will have have trouble converting later, I was lucky to have a busy salon of my own to allow the transition.

Posts: 16

Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 7:16:59 PM
The bottom line is go with what you are passionate about. I have been doing color, cut, styling/up-do's and makeup but refuse to do perms and chemical straightening (no offence to any one that does) but the stuff destroys my skin and one drop anywhere leaves me itching and irritated for hours plus the irritation makes my skin look nasty (yes I have used gloves and barrier creams, it helps but you never realize how much you can get on yourself until it hurts, I have flicked it on my neck, my toe and of course my arms accidentally). I love the other stuff a great deal and could simply not choose to do just one because I am passionate about all the services that I do do. So if color is hard for you to do and the passion is not there put your energy towards cutting. Ever think of incorporating up do's as well. I always do great with wedding season. good luck! 
No needle is sharp at both ends!

Posts: 149
Bronze Member

Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 11:18:27 PM
Of course you can make a very successful career out of specializing. I have numerous frinds who specialize in cutting. They are amazing. They are VERY successful. There are clients who call our salon everyday looking for a cutting speicialist and never go back to someone who both cuts and colors.
If you had a heart problem would you go to a general practitioner to solve it? No. You would go to a cardiac specialist.
Are our clients reading in magazines how Frederic Fekai cuts, colors, perms, relaxes, fills nails, gives pedicures, and waxes their brows himself? No. He cuts and styles and has specialists in the other areas.
Do not be discouraged. Become the most versatile, well-rounded hair cutter and stylist there is and you will have people knocking down your door.
Good luck Edward scissor hands. I know you will be successful!!!!!!

Posts: 2

Posted: Monday, February 19, 2007 6:36:57 PM
specializing in just one, color or cut, I'll go for cutting everytime.  The color accents the cut but the cut can still look good without it.  Good color on a mullet is pointless.

Posts: 2566
Platinum Member

Posted: Monday, February 19, 2007 8:24:35 PM

Dear be_the_best

Welcome to the BTC Talk Back Boards!  Please take a few moments to read over the board rules in the green box above.  Don't forget to check out top notch rental education at BTC TV under interact. 

Cindy Farr Hester  Asst Moderator

Posts: 16

I work with a stylist who is colorblind.
Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:28:14 AM

And she turns out some of the most beautiful color I have ever seen! I am constantly watching her and asking her questions about her formulas and techniques. She has been in the industry for 13 years.

When she told me she was color blind, I was shocked. (She does not tell her clients, that she is color blind. Why worry them unecessarily?) But she says though she can't decipher color, she can always decipher tone, and that helps her to decipher color. Also, I believe after doing this for so long, she has just learned  how to better decipher color despite her blindness.

Posts: 1

this is your business expand your abilities...
Posted: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:39:32 PM

I started doing hair 17 years ago , I specialize in cutting with Vidal Sasson techniques , one day one client ask me to do her hair for her wedding , I was so scare but my co-worker help me out  to practice for a mont with up-dos , I was amaze how fun was to do brides , after that I did photo shoots , Tv, Miss Universe , Fashion shows , etc . Then I got high education in color .We are artists do not limit yourself , learn , practice , and explore all the aspects of this business , in bad economy you will never have a problem , specialize only if you are strong in one area but look for high education to improve your week areas .I have so many friends quit doing hair just because they trainning was only in one area ,,,,, some companies do this trainning to make sure is hard for you to leave the company , because your clients depend in you and someone else ,,,,, ( you doing cut and your co-worker doing color)

Think this is your buisness and all business need innovation , new services, and expansion , if you dont think this way you will out of business in a few years....


 Now if you are color blind , the next step for your business is delegate have an assistant good level to do the color ......

Delegation the next level to make your business growth !!!!

Good luck