There are many factors to take into consideration when cutting different styles, but some things are universal whatever the cut. The following cutting techniques can be used on many styles, and sectioning is a vital skill to master.


Sectioning hair is a very important part of cutting. It is important to section all hair in preparation for cutting and to work neatly – clips are good to have handy to hold the sectioned hair out of the way. Having a water spray available while cutting is also an advantage, as hair can fry out while cutting. Hair is better cut wet for the basic cut and then personalized after you have fully styled the hair, before using any finishing products. Always sweep away all hair after cutting to reduce the risk of slipping while drying.

Club Cutting

A technique that involves using your scissors to create one steady weight line into the hair, simply by cutting straight. This is often used for bobs or one-length cuts, and sometimes on men’s cuts. It is the original cutting technique, and is a basic skill which must be mastered before progressing.

Chip Cutting

A fairly new technique that seems to have become popular over the last ten years. It can be used for many cuts, but is particularly good for softening the edges rather than cutting straight lines. It can be used in two ways: a deep chip cut or a small chip out. If cut deep, it will leave hair rather more straggly through the ends, making it look like it does when it has grown out slightly. A smaller chip helps to soften a cut and creates some texture around the basic cut, instead of in straight lines or heavy edges.

Scissor Over Comb

Used to remove weight in shorter hair, normally in the neck area and occasionally on sides when cut shorter into the ears, especially on men’s hair. This technique takes a lot of practice to master. What happens is that the comb is moved very slowly following the shape of the cut (which normally follows the contours of the head shape) and the scissors cut over the top of the comb, taking out excess weight or hair that looks longer than the rest.

You can use this technique together with chipping on mid-length hair, still removing weight but using a soft chipping cut to create texture. It is not advises to do this chipping technique on hair that is fine or thin, as marks or lines in the haircut can appear unless you care aiming for a choppy, textured cut. Practice definitely makes perfect with this cut, and it can take many years to master it fully – practicing on a doll’s head may help!

Channel Cutting

A technique that involves the scissors cutting while sliding over hair that is laid flat; you don’t pick up the hair in a section. This is always done on dry hair and normally on hair with layers in it, again to remove weight and put a sliced cut into the hairstyle. Never start channel cutting too far up the head, as it can cause hair to be cut too short and stand out.


Removes weight and bulk from the hair, but your scissors need to be very sharp for this. If not, they pull the hair and can cause damage to the hair’s structure. This technique has a similar effect to the old-fashioned thinning scissors, as it makes some hairs shorter, therefore thinning the hair or creating some softness and slices. The difference is that with slicing, it is done as and where you see weight that needs removing, or where you wish to soften and add slices to the hair. It is also only in small amounts, whereas thinning scissors cut the whole section and do not quite give the same effect of softness.

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