3 Haircutting Techniques Decoded

A quick guide for better communication with the person holding the scissors

Have you ever sat in your stylist’s chair nodding in agreement while he or she laid out a plan of attack for your cut without knowing what the final result would be? You’re not alone. Here’s a breakdown of three terms often tossed around the salon, so next time your stylist raises the scissors for some final “slithering”, you’ll know what’s in store.

“Texturizing should be an accessory to your base cut,” says Alain Larivée, Canadian Creative Consultant for John Frieda and co-owner of Cajh salon in Montreal. Never over-accessorize, he explains, since this will thin the hair and lead to texture over texture, which lacks weight and strength. Naturally curly hair types should avoid texturizing techniques all together since it will lead to major frizz.

When hair has been over-texturized, a fortifying cut will rebuild your base. This means cutting the hair with a straighter edge to solidify the ends. Larivée does this often for clients whose hair has been thinned with a heavy-hand. “A square cut will rebuild the base and refine the shape,” he says, added that nourishing eucalyptus-based products, like John Frieda’s Root Awakening line will help to add strength as well.  

“Layering defines the parameter of your hair,” says Larivée. In other words, it won’t affect the main structure but rather the shape and contour. Most hair types can withstand layers, and it’s an especially helpful technique with short hair to create dimension and movement.

FLARE tip: “Don’t be afraid of the person behind the chair,” Larivée reminds. If you don’t understand what your stylist is about to do, ask for a better explanation to ensure you are both speaking the same language—and if you’re more of a visual person, reach for the salon’s stack of FLARE magazines and ask for an example.