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Bulletin Boards > Cut and Style > Been cutting for 8 years, still feel so insecure
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Posted By:BTCAdmin on: 9/3/2004 4:30:51 PM

Author: Thread: Been cutting for 8 years, still feel so insecure
Posts: 17

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2004 6:55:00 PM
Hello -- I need some good advice from good stylists. I have been a stylist for 8 years (with a 4 year break figured in somewhere in the middle) and have been back in the biz for a year. Even though I have 5 years experience, total, I still feel very insecure with cutting. Certain haircuts seem to throw me every time. I am very uncomfortable with short tapers on women, certain mens styles (especially mullet styles, or styles that are short on the sides and layered in the back) and I am just uncomfortable around the ears and getting the sides and back to blend in any layered style. I also feel uneasy with graduated styles. I cringe when someone shows me a picture and it is one of these highly texturized new piecy styles. If anyone has any words of wisdom, I would be so grateful. Any haircutting classes I go to seem too advanced for me because I still don't feel strong in just the basics. Hope this made some sense.... Thanks for listening, and I am looking forward to responses. I do love hair so much, but I am so hungry for education and refinement I can't stand it! Thanks again -- TWStylist


Posted: Friday, January 09, 2004 8:20:00 PM
Well. Let's see. First of all if the "mullet" style is high contrast you may not get it blended completely. Just like a very long haircut that has a too short shortest point creates blending difficulty. We end up taking weight out where we'd like to keep it. The traditional mullet can be treated as two separate entities. Front and back.

A mullet inspired cut is easier to blend. Try to cut the basic shape by choosing your shortest point. It may be the front or the point at the sides by the ear. Use this as the guide for the rest of the haircut. I assume when you are done it will be too long but you will have the weight where you need it. Then tailor from there. At this point the cut is technically blended, so to pick it up straight from the top and blend to this point for instance will just reduce the weight in the interior without compromising the integrity of the blended shape.

This is true of any two lengths that are difficult to blend event a long layered cut with a shorter bang.

Posts: 277
Bronze Member

Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2004 3:55:00 AM
I would ask your local beauty school if you could sit in on the hair cutting classes or find a mentor to help you. Do you have a friend, or manager or co-worker who can inspire you and teach you? Also, videos help as well. Buy some mannequins and work on them. Practice makes perfect. (well, nobody is really perfect, but you get the idea :) ) Good luck!!

Posts: 33

Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2004 11:51:00 AM
Hi tw, Have you brought this to your managers attention? Maybe someone in your salon would be willing to work with you on a daily basis until you feel more comfortable. I totally agree with niceanon, except for the beauty school part- I think technically you need a more one on one approach with someone with experience. Your manager could schedule "in salon" classes once a month, that each stylist can contribute and teach something new or something "new" to you! Good luck!


Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004 1:08:00 PM
I learned everything I know from a position as an apprentice. I also did this later in my career so don't le that stop you. It's very difficult to be in a position where you are expected to know things that you don't, and can make you feel silly asking. An apprentice position, you're not expected to know and you get to "start over". It doesn't matter that there are plenty of things that you do know, that just makes the situation better and more efficient for everybody. If you have an open attitude about learning, it can be really great. Being that you have experience and knowledge, means that whomever is teaching you will have a more fulfilling experience and be better able to give you the tools. I think this situation gives both of you a break. You can ask all the silly questions, and your mentor/trainer will have a student with a head start. You might want to look for fast track type training environments. Some salons say that all their assistants, assist for a certain length of time. Others believe in working at the individual's pace so a fresh graduate may assist alot longer than you will. Possibly all you need is a good three months of intense training to perform confidently. In which case you wouldn't and shouldn't be an assistant for 9or 12 more months, you should be building a clientele as soon as you are ready. Watch out for huge egos in this environment too. Because someone with a huge ego will be critical and keep you back longer than you need to be. Look over contracts carefully and question before signing. If you are presented with a contract ask a professional to look it over before signing. Those are all the pitfalls I can think of right now.


Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004 7:45:00 PM
It is my humble opinion...

If you really want to be good (comfortable with any request that a client my throw your way, or really understand the concepts of cutting hair shapes) then be ready to study.

The absolute best way to learn is to find a technically talented mentor. A mentor will keep you from making the same trial and error mistakes that you'll have to make learning on your own which will accelerate your learning. The challenge is finding a technically proficient mentor that is also a good teacher. These people will usually not be the most popular or flashy, the will tend to be humble and work in the back not seeking the spot light for themselves. But, there are always exceptions.

Another way to learn is to attend every class you can find, no matter who is teaching or what company is sponsoring the class. If you submerge yourself in the craft that you are learning your will make leaps and bounds in your own ability and thought processes.

Haircutting videos are a great way to watch and learn. If you choose this route then I'd suggest that you buy a case of mannequin heads and cut while you watch, pausing the tape or DVD as needed.

But, in addition to the above is the thinking that has to be done. What makes cutting hair difficult is the fact that you are cutting a geometric shape (regardless of the tool you use) in 3 dimensions on a irregular shaped head. So it takes time to be able to wrap your brain around the concept and then be able to create with that concept. With constant study one day every thing just clicks! When it clicks, then it's your job to share your knowledge with someone else and in your sharing it will make YOU better.

Hope this helps.



Posted: Friday, March 05, 2004 9:33:00 PM
Hi! I personally have not attended this 3 day course but have heard exceptional things about it, the 3 day core cutting class at Paul Mitchell, it breaks everything down, is simplistic and practical, all levels of stylists attend and the instructors are very down to earth and unpretenious as are the stylists who attend. I am saving up to go to it myself (I believe the price range is roughly 1,000 ish)I have really never totally grasped cutting myself and feel i am making things up and getting lucky, good luck and I need to take action on my education myself.


Posted: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 8:37:00 PM

Posts: 2566
Platinum Member

Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 4:34:00 PM
Thank you for posting:

While I do not think you need to quit, we all started at some point and wanted to quit.

Can't we all say we had some bad days?

What I say is talk to your local distributors and take cutting classes, Matrix has a cutting system now and so do many other manufactors.

Tell them to keep you informed of any local classes. And go. The fee is usually minimal.

When you are not busy, sit and watch you coworkers, and listen to their consultations, then watch what they do.

You had a big break.

Sometimes I take a weeks vacation and I joke to myself "I hope I remember how to do hair!"

Of course, I do. But I continually educate myself.

behindthechair.com has an excellent selection of haircutting books in their bookstore - maybe you are the type of person that needs to see a visual, as in the parting patterns in drawing. Or you might be the kind of person that would learn more from video. You might need hands on classes. Just go for it! You can learn and grow and not have these thoughts in the future.

Wishing you much success,

Cindy Farr Hester, BCH
Haircolor with Cindy
BTC Sunday nites

Posts: 58

Posted: Monday, September 13, 2004 2:43:34 AM
if you trully want to get better, you must first get back to the basics, if you can attend vidal sassoon classes. They always have been, and they always will be the best in precision cutting.

Posts: 24

Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 7:15:52 PM
First of all the mullet is so awful anyway (business in the front party in the back) Just remember when you do make a mistake try to understand why you made it and correct it the next time around

Posts: 3

I feel ya!
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2004 9:18:09 AM

Now I am just a student with a degree background in Fashion Buying and Merchandising as well as Direct Marketting.

I have been pondering the same exact situation.  Especially how the tools work.  Some of us have learning abilities and disabilities that create conflict in putting all the pieces together.  That is my case and YES it causing anxiety.  I suspect you might be a perfectionist as am I.  For now, I am working on manequins starting with the one length cut (trouble with straight lines) and got that down and moved onto techniqes (great with other basic cuts so...) from on line learning of Redken, Matrix, and this site!  Wow, how neat is it to follow directions, feel it and keep working other cuts after completion!  I also now understand how important a solon's marketting tools is.  Most product cmpanies use a dollar for dollar program that wants the salon to use their educators to improve the stylists in  the salon.  The kind of salon I want to be with does buy Crew, Matrix, Bumble and Bumble and such and have the company provide training seminars on their new cuts and products otherwise all I am learning is someonelse's habits and limited knowledge they allow me to learn.  I also now have Monday off to take classes either hands on or watching and educator and learn.  I can't tell you how much this has imporved my understanding, confidence, and use of tools (especially my mind).  It's not just what we know but how much of a sponge do we want to be or do we want to so too hard, my way is good enough.  For the latter why would Aquage hold seminars in up do and finishing, it doesn't make sense to do it your way.  The best stylists and the educated continuously and put their money in themselves and their homework.



straight lines lol
Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2005 9:57:10 AM
Boy if only our clients knew how many of us have a hard time with straight lines lol.  My trick is my mirror when I am done cutting I turn the chair and look for any lines when doing a fade cause I just cannot see them with my natural eye. Same with women getting cuts that are all one length. also standing back helps too and looking at it when I am done.  Another thing I have learned people who are right handed tend to drag the hair to the right, left handed people drag to the left.

Posts: 18

oh my...
Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2006 5:10:34 AM
Not to sound like a complete snob.....but anyone who wants a mullet has to go!!!...Then again depending on where you work, that says a lot about the clients that walk through the door. I would simply tell someone who wants a "mullet" that the style left in 1988, and we are now in 06. Or you could say in a very nice way, "im sorry, that style was 25 yrs ago, and it's something that I never learned how to do."

Posts: 16

Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2006 3:02:20 PM
Well Classic, I have no idea where you've been for the past couple years...but mullets have become extremely fashionable. Not your feathered back mullets, but mullets nonetheless. Messed up with wax, flat ironed, piecey, edgy. Not exactly for your every day business man, but they can be found on countless hipsters and rockstars.

Posts: 210
Bronze Member

Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2006 4:37:03 PM
Yes, I was going to say earlier, just when you think that you've gotten rid of them for good, they come back in style! My god, some of that eighties stuff was ugly. (Not back then, of course...lol)

Posts: 402
Silver Member

Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2006 8:31:29 AM

What I have learned about todays world is almost anything goes. Clients have different personalities and many want to impress their personality through their appearance.

I have a client.... he is a crazy wild man whom I love dearly... he has a mullet. His job prevents him from letting all his hair grow, and he's not ready to chop off that bit of rebellion. He can be polished on the job, and biker man off the job. If he wants a mullet I will give him one. He is paying me to provide a service. I can tell him it's out of style. He doesn't care. I would never refuse to do it for him, and to be quite frank I would miss his company, and can't imagine him any other way. It suits him.

I have another client, total metal head.. her hair was long , thick and obnoxious. She didn't care much about make-up or ultra feminine clothing but felt her long hair kept her feminine. It hid her face, made her miserable with maintenance, and she was sick of it. I gave her an a-line nape with a long layered, heavily textured chin length pointed blunt. I textured about 3 inches deep. OMG!!! did we turn heads. She didn't feel manly, she looked very professional, and still looked hip and happening. We then spliced eggplant into her natural lvl 4 color. Sharpened her up. She loves it, I impressed myself, her family loves it, clients talk about it to me, how they saw it and OMG she looks awesome.

I have another client, very posh woman, her etiquette would call for a polished professional look. This lady wanted heavy spliced blonde streaks in her short bob. I wouldn't assume she would want this very unnatural look due to her position in life, but she does, and it looks good, and she likes it.

I have PTA moms, fashion enthusiasts, maintenance men, realtors, bankers, restaurant owners, high school girls and guys, musicians, artists, a wide variety of clients. What is in, now, does not necessarily suit their life style. In todays world I find a variety of styles that date back to the 20's. And some styles that take a bit from this era, a bit from that era, and a bit of the future.

We definitely have license to be creative in todays world. Keeping up on what is in, and sharing with our clients is wise, but no one is locked into a specific series of seasonal cuts. Observing them, and learning them will benefit all, but don't stifle your creativity by putting Lindsey Lohans locks on everyone, we will have a bunch of clones running around.


Read this the other day and noted it.........

Anyone can play with finger paints, it's making it beautiful that counts.

Posts: 1

Posted: Sunday, April 01, 2007 10:04:51 AM

Hello -- I know just exactly how you feel TWStylist.  I did hair for 16yrs, then I have stayed home when I had my children now for the last 7yrs.  I am going back to work now that my children are older, but due to my license expiring the 5th yr that I wasn't working, I went this month and took my written test and practical exam for state board and PASSED. Talk about needing to get back into the groove and need to know the basics again, I haven't been in beauty school since I graduated in 1984!  I think that my biggest problem isn't that I can't do it, it is just self confidence and building that back up.  I can't say that I am not scared to death to go back to work in the salon next week, I will be working with people that I have known for a long time, but the I still feel intimidated since they have never been out of the loop, and I am sure it is going to take me a little while to get my speed back, like them.  My future co-workers have let me know they will be there to help me in anyway, and never be afraid to ask.  Do you have anyone in the salon that can help you take the intimidation away?  To help me get back to the basics, and to pass the state board exam, I ordered the Milady's textbook (I don't really think you need that) and the most helpful item I ordered from Milady's is their DVD, it is very basic, it will definately help you with the most basic cuts, as well as other services and from there you should be more confident enough to use that info in any hair cut. As far as cuts for men, fades, etc. it didn't really have alot on it, but on this website I noticed there are DVD's for these cuts.  As Nice Anon, I agree, that is exactly what I did, I have several mannequins I purchased and I practice updo's on one, cuts & color, getting back into practice for foiling, and I turn on the DVD and hit play and stop alot!  The Milady's DVD is very basic and should help you.

Posts: 2566
Platinum Member

Posted: Sunday, April 01, 2007 7:19:21 PM


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Posts: 12

maybe you should look up some advance classes
Posted: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 7:57:23 PM

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