Saving Time by Using Efficient Cutting Techniques

by Sam Villa

If you’re a stylist, time saving tips and tricks are gold. It doesn’t matter if you work at a salon, on stage or do runway shows or shoot editorial, saving time allows you to do more, better. I recently asked Andrew Carruthers (Director of Education for Sam Villa) what his favorite time saving tricks are and wanted to share them with you in hopes that you benefit from them as well.

1. Master the Razor
Razors can move through large amounts of hair very quickly, and in many cases, much quicker than shears. Not to mention, razors are perfect for creating the highly textured on-trend looks this season…you can remove length and begin adding visual texture in one pass by using very large circular motions as you cut

Razor-over-comb is also a great technique for working with short hair, and can really save a ton of time when you need to remove a lot of hair and leave a highly textured effect.

2. Use More Compression Cutting  
Taking large sections of hair, compressing them together and removing them in one cut saves time and imparts movement. Think about stacking a large amount of paper into a paper cutter and closing the blade... would it cut a perfectly smooth straight line? Nope! Same idea applies here. Also, the large amount of over direction or elevation it takes to compress a lot of hair together will increase that softening effect because the hair is being moved so far from it's natural fall.  So, think about what parts of the haircut could be cut in one section and what parts require smaller sections to have more precise control of the shape.  Most of my haircuts these days are a combination of compressed sections and smaller more precision sections...rarely all one or the other. My guests need high quality AND time efficiency, so I move towards techniques that create the desired result in as few steps as possible to save time in the refinement stage.

3. Dry Cutting Isn't Just for Refining
Many stylists only cut hair dry as a refinement technique after most of the shape is built during wet cutting.  One of the major benefits of creating a haircut in dry hair is how immediately you can see the result.  Many times we think we have built the perfect haircut only to blow dry and realize we have a lot of "adjusting" to do.  Some of the most beneficial times to use dry cutting are on trims where you are maintaining the shape and just removing the length that has grown out, and when smaller adjustments are being made to a shape.  That's not to say you can't go from floor length hair to a little bob all with dry cutting... that's just going to take a little while regardless of wet or dry!  When I'm double and triple booked in the salon, I look for opportunities to use dry cutting as my primary tool…I can consult with the guest and then allow the support staff at the salon to devote time to an amazing shampoo, head massage and a world class blow dry. It allows me time to get caught up with the other services I'm currently working on and then step in for the dry cut... as long as your support staff is well trained and excellent at guest relations, the guest will still feel pampered and they will still see the value in coming to you.

Thank you Andrew - I love these tips because they’re efficient and they save cutting time so you can enhance your guests’ experiences in other ways that will make an impact, like a great head massage, treatment, etc. Because let’s face it, most guests have no idea how we cut their hair, they’re not really paying attention to our specific cutting techniques, nor should they have to, that’s our job.  But, what they will pay attention to is the fact that you respect their time and deliver professional results. And they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends…

Aspire for MORE!

Sam Villa
 

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