Articles > Haircuts > Retouch Haircuts: 4 Ways To Touch-Up Your Client’s Cut
Last updated: December 06, 2022

Retouch Haircuts: 4 Ways To Touch-Up Your Client’s Cut

close formula

4 Stress-Free Cutting Tips For New Client Touch-Ups

Picture this: A brand new client is in your chair ready for a haircut. You ask “What are we thinking for your cut today?” and they say “Just clean it up, I want to grow it out more.” Then it happens, panic. How are you supposed to recreate what the previous stylist did? 


The truth is, you don’t have to and TIGI Global Brand Ambassador Philip Downing (@philipdowning7) is sharing four reasons why. Keep scrolling for Philip’s pro tips for navigating a retouch haircut with a new client, cutting tips for a softer grow out and why you should never forget the fundamentals. 


1. Consultations: This is a new journey for you and the client

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter who did the client’s previous cut. What matters is that they are in your chair now. “The biggest consideration to take during the consultation is: We are here, how do we get to the end result together?” Philip explains. He shared two key points to know:


  • Manage expectations. Talk to the client about what they want and what is achievable with their current haircut. 


  • Don’t be afraid to create a journey with the client. Depending on your client’s starting canvas (i.e growing out a pixie, bixie or bob—OH MY!), getting to your client’s desired look may take time and that’s ok! “Tell them, ‘We have a goal, but today we need to do x, y and z. I will hold your hand the next three times I cut your hair and we will do this together,’” explains Philip. 




2. Maintenance Cuts Are To Refine & Personalize

Don’t get frustrated if the client’s cut already has an existing shape. Instead, look for areas that might need refinement and how you can add your personal touches to the finished look. 


Pro Tip: Level-up retouch appointments with products that benefit your clients hair for the entire appointment. That’s why Philip grabs the Base Player™ Protein Spray from TIGI. Using it as a cutting lotion, Philips keeps the hair moisturized and provides boosted protection when it’s time for styling. 


Related: Philip’s 5 Tips for Cutting a Personalized, Lived-In Shag


3. Remember: You Don’t Have To Reuse The EXACT Technique 

Retouch haircuts (especially with a new client) are all about finding what worked—and what didn’t. Don’t stress about following the previous haircut to a T and don’t be afraid to swap out the technique for one that aligns better with the end goal.


Case in point: Philip’s client came in with a grown-out undercut previously done with clippers and was looking for a softer (but cleaned up) neckline. So, Philip opted for scissor-over-comb using his texturizers. Why? “This will clean up the neckline but also create a softer grow out for her next haircut,” he explains. This way when she comes back, Philip doesn’t have to worry about navigating a harsh line and the client can continue to grow out their hair. 




Pro Tip: When navigating an irregular hairline (we’re looking at you cowlicks) Philip recommends rotating the cutting comb in various directions to make sure the hair is evenly cut. “Make sure you are going in alternate angles getting everywhere the hair grows. So I’m rotating my comb and cutting in the opposite direction of the growth pattern,” he explains. 


4. Don’t Forget Cutting Fundamentals 

If your client is looking to transition their grown out cut from one specific style to another—it might be time to go back to the basics. To transition his client’s blunt bob to a soft, textured bob, Philip went back to textbook elevation rules. “Remember, the elevation creates the weight but the cutting technique itself is what makes the cut soft. So, I’m going in with classic elevation at 45 degrees to maintain a strong shape, but I’m point cutting the perimeter to make it soft,” he explains. 




Slide to See the Before & After! 

close formula


BONUS: Help Clients Style Their Cut With This Cheat Sheet!

Help clients get the most of their fresh cut by sending them home with products tailored to their style. Below, Philip shared a quick cheat sheet for his go-to styling products for every client!

  • For the perfect styling base: Base Player™ Protein Spray. A leave-in spray that moisturizes, protects against heat damage AND gives hair a healthy shine. It’s a no-brainer: EVERY client needs this product.
  • For frizz-free texture: TIGI Juxta-Pose™ Dry Serum. Curly clients are looking for a must-have air dry product? Juxta-Pose™ creates movement and texture without stickiness. 
  • For a smooth blow-dry: TIGI Wave Rider™ Versatile Styling Cream. The trick to selling more retail? Showing clients how to use products while they’re in the chair! Teach clients how to create touchable, voluminous blowouts using the Wave Rider™ Versatile Styling Cream. 
  • For a flawless finish: TIGI Contortionist™ Flexible Hairspray. Every client needs a hairspray, especially one that leaves styles soft and touchable! 


Psst… Here’s a Secret: TIGI Has an All-New Product Line Just for Pros: Shop Here!

More from
TIGI® Professional