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Last updated: November 24, 2020

5 MORE Tips That Will Make You A Way Better Barber

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The recent interest in traditional, authentic men’s barbering is indisputable. Every time we post a barbering look or technique online, the BTC community goes wild! And, of course, the worlds of salon styling and barbering collide from time to time. Award-winning salon owner, colorist, international platform artist, global educator and men’s grooming expert Matty Conrad, is considered to be one of the best barbers in the world. So we asked Matty—what do stylists need to know to keep their barbering on point? Here’s what he said.



1. Understand the Terminology
The buzz word right now in men’s hair is “fade.” A fade is achieved when you taper the hair down to the shortest possible length so only skin is left on the sides and back with no visible outline. Most guys will ask for this, but what they really want is a “tight taper,” which is short on the sides with enough hair left at the bottom to create a solid outline. So next time your client asks for a fade, ask him if he still wants to see an outline. 


2. Put the Guards Down
Feel your scalp for a second…it’s bumpy, right? If you slap a guard on a pair of clippers, you will only create a perfect relief map of your client’s scalp on the outside edge of the hair, and he can do that himself at home! Instead, learn how to use the proper combs to control the hair, and set in your taper angle.



3. Select the Right gear for the Job 
Make sure that you have adjustable, all-purpose clippers (the plugins with the lever on the side) and a trimmer. They are designed to do very different things, and you need them both. Get a pair of fine-tooth taper shears (sometimes called blending, texturizing or thinning shears). You also need a proper clipper comb, a standard cutting comb, a taper comb (the thin bendy ones) and a good, flat, natural bristle brush.


4. Maintain Perspective
Have you ever finished a haircut that looked great in your chair, but as the client walked to the front desk, you spotted a flaw you hadn’t noticed? The difference of a few millimeters, a strange shadow or a poor blend can ruin a whole haircut. So you must get some distance between you and the client, and also view your cut from a different angle. The best way to do this is simply turn the chair around so that the client is facing away from the mirror. You will instantly spot imperfections that you blend away, leaving you with perfectly barbered sides and back.


5. Keep in Mind That Your Outline is 50% of Your Haircut
So focus on making it as perfect as possible. A really strong outline can cover up a less than perfect interior, but not the other way around. A barber cleans up the hairline all the way around, and that includes the beard and brows. Be confident about being a grooming expert!


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