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Articles > 9 Tips to Up Your Cutting and Styling Skills
January 27, 2016

9 Tips to Up Your Cutting and Styling Skills

Two words: Matrix. Destination. This year, the entire team came together and absolutely nailed their jam-packed weekend of education. From three different Hands-On classes to three different Look and Learns, everything about the weekend was spot on—and OF COURSE BTC was there for every tip-and-trick-filled moment! Here is an exclusive collection of the best cutting and styling secrets from all of your favorite Matrix educators!

 

1. Mastering the Undercut
When doing an undercut, it’s all about the tools and technique. To create the best results, use a longer scissors, a wide tooth comb and always remember that the thumb never stops moving. “The scissors are always opening and closing as the comb is going up the hair in one smooth motion. Once you get to the top, comb the hair down and repeat,” says Tarra Dean. “As soon as you stop the comb and cut, you create an unwanted line.”

 

2. Dry Cut the Hair
To complement your client’s everyday texture, Matrix Artistic Educator Daniel Roldan suggests dry cutting the hair. “Blow-dry the client first and give her the piecey movement she wants before you start cutting.” Dry cutting gives you a better idea for how the hair will fall and move, ultimately creating a more organic look.

 

3. Back Cutting Technique
“Backcombing is great, but it is temporary,” says Daniel Roldan. To create a more voluminous look that lasts the secret is back cutting the hair. Check out our Instagram post below to watch how he does it!

 

4. How-To: Blunt Lines
Remember when cutting, if you go into the hair holding the scissors straight, your shears will cut at a small angle—making the top layer slightly shorter than the bottom. To create a super straight, super blunt line, Matrix Artistic Educator Paul Falltrick recommends pushing your thumb straight and twisting the blade so you’re cutting at a small diagonal. This takes the angle out of the cut and ultimately creates a perfectly blunt line. 

 

5. Men’s Cutting
If you’re afraid to dive into men’s cutting, Matrix Artistic Educator Todd Kane has some expert advice. “First thing’s first, slow down. Whether you’re doing a clipper cut or shear-over-comb, you’re working tighter and closer to the head, so there is a greater chance for a mistake. Whatever your approach is, working from the bottom to the top or the outside in, take your time and practice.”

 


Todd Kane explains the importance of slowing down
when doing a men’s cut during the Men’s Street Style class.

 

6. Divide and Conquer
When doing dress work, don’t look at the whole head and get intimidated. Cori Randall suggests dividing the head, making a plan and sectioning the hair. Then conquer one section at a time. “Your confidence will grow as you move toward the end result.”

 

7. It’s All About The Braids
Braids are a classic styling favorite, but to create your own signature style Matrix Artistic Director Nicholas French advises stylists to construct first and deconstruct second. “Keep your braid strong by creating the foundation, and then make it your own by breaking it up and pulling it apart,” Nicholas says. This way, you can create stunning styles that are sure to last.

 


Nicholas French talks creating strong braids during the From Dreams to Reality class.

 

8. Don’t Fear Dress Work
To get past the fear factor that comes with bridal dress work, Matrix Artistic Educator and BTC’s Avant-Garde Big Shot Winner of the Year Michael Albor suggests a “confidence building” strategy. “Do her hair the night before the wedding, dress a quick push-pull knot or chignon on the side of her head—something you know she’ll love. Having your p
ocket full of quick styles you can do effortlessly will create more confidence for your client and yourself.”

 

9. Structural Backcombing
When doing dress work, Michael Albor suggests starting with one section and backcombing. Then add another section and backcomb both sections together. Continue adding sections and backcombing together to create the structure and style you’re after. “If you separate the pieces while backcombing, it can end up looking forced,” says Michael.

 


A few looks created by Michael Albor, Nicholas French and Cori Randall to inspire the ‘From Dreams to Reality’ attendees.