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Cutting & Styling Hair With Razors To Create Shattered Bob Hairstyles

Using a razor to cut hair is not new.  In fact, it's been used by hairdressers for many years.

Some of the best hairstylists use razors to create dramatic and high fashion styles for runways.  Which explains why razor hair cutting is more popular in Europe than in the United States.  Many in the hair profession believe to achieve the most finished results for a tailored hair cut, the razor is the best hair cutting tool to use.

Note: For some images of razored hairstyles check out:  Razor Sharp: Shredded, Chopped & Sliced Hair

Vivian MacKinder, my own personal hairdressing heroine (who I recently saw and interviewed at Cosmoprof 2009), is probably one of the most skilled hair cutters with a razor of any hair professional I have yet to meet in the hair world.  Watching Vivian work with a razor is like watching a sculptor with their special tools.

Note: To read more about the amazing Vivian MacKinder please check out:  The Evolution Of Vivienne MacKinder

Vivian visited the Paul Mitchell school when I was there attending classes and demonstrated several of her techniques.  It was one of the highlights of my attendance at the school.  She also make some very special hair cutting razors available for purchase.  Yes I did buy the razor with some back blades.

Razor Hair Cutting Requires Extensive Practice

Razor cutting, in my humble opinion, requires a special skill set which translates to practice, practice, practice.  Vivian will tell you, as will those who know her well, that she practices non stop with mannequin hair before she takes her razor, scissors or any other hair cutting tools to real human hair.

In fact razor cutting, especially in Europe, has been used on wigs and toupees for many years.

Razor Hair Cutting Is More Popular In Europe

Why has razor cutting been more popular in Europe than the United States?  My own personal opinion is that in Europe the hairdressers undergo a much more rigorous training schedule which usually involves a long apprentice period.

As a result of the long and very intensive training they receive they have more instruction in razor cutting than most hairdressers in the United States experience.  Of course this is not true for every case but it is definitely a trend.

Razored Hairstyles Ebb & Flow In Popularity

Razored hairstyles ebb and flow in popularity depending on prevailing fashions and celebrity hairtrends.  Right now razor cutting is generally less popular because people are embracing long hairstyles as well as more natural trends.

Razor cuts can look incredibly edgy and sexy but unless you have the right hair type, texture and condition, razors can cause long term regrowth problems including frizz and split ends.

Razor Hair Cuts Designed For Bobs, Crops, Chops

In a very general sense razor cuts are often designed to work with shattered bob hairstyles or shorter chops and crops where sharp perimeters and hairline edges are desired.  Razor cuts also work well with dramatic hair color designs or haute hairstyle.

Find A Hairdresser Who Is Skilled In Doing Razor Cuts

If you have your heart set on a razored haircut make absolutely certain you find a hairdresser with extensive razor cutting experience.  As I mentioned above, learning to give good razor cuts require extensive practice in learning how to handle the razor and how to chisel in the appropriate hair movement and flow.

Unless a hairdresser can show you a book with many different razored styles, has won hair styling awards for their razor work or has completed extensive razor hair cutting classes, they may not be able to create the ultimate cut you will be happy with.

Traditionally Trained Barbers Often Provide Exceptional Razor Haircuts

Yes, I'm being extremely cautious about razor hair cutting but only because I have studied this hair cutting technique for several years.  One thing I have learned is that traditionally trained and licensed barbers are often very skilled with razors since they must learn extensive razor cutting.

If you are a hairdresser who wants to learn razor haircutting considering taking classes and practicing the handling and the cutting itself on mannequins before trying to give an actual hair cut with the razor.

How To Do A Razor Haircut

When I was first practicing cutting mannequin hair with a razor I was taught to lay the razor as flat as possible on a section of hair and move the razor in short, steady strokes down the hair shaft from the roots towards the ends.  I learned how easily it is to remove too much hair in one swoop.   Luckily I was only chopping up mannequin hair and not some poor unsuspecting hair model.

I was also taught that the more erect I held my razor, the more hair I removed.  Learning to hold a razor properly is the most important starting point and can be difficult but mastered with practice, practice, practice.

Using Razor On Dry, Wet Or Damp Tresses?

There is also disagreement whether hair should be razor cut wet, damp or bone dry.  Again how you decide to razor a hair cut and whether the hair is dry or not will depend on how you were taught and the results you wish to obtain.

One disadvantage to razor cutting bone dry hair is that the razor will become dull and start to pull at the hair which will prevent a precision cut.  However, with practice it can be done on dry hair as Master hairdresser John Sahag demonstrated during his lifetime.

Razors Must Be Kept Sharpened

Razors must always be kept in a excellent, sharpened condition.  Those who often use razors for cutting suggest that a razor blade with a rounded point is preferable to any other type.

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