When it comes to hairstyling, a great stylist will have many tricks and skills available. When a client comes in with problem hair, sometimes these styling tricks can be applied to help correct the problem. As I style hair, feathering is a technique that I use to create soft styles with a lot of movement. It also works well when creating shaggy styles. I find that feathering helps me create a wide variety of modern styles.
When feathering hair, I find that I can achieve the look I am after with both wet and dry hair. Work with whatever you are the most comfortable with. I usually divide the hair into sections. As you work with each section, make sure that you hold the hair firmly and pull it taut. If you haven’t used the feathering technique before, make sure you pay careful attention to your scissors. You will be using the angle of your scissors to essentially fan through the hair. You will use a forward motion to cut the ends of the hair. Keep your scissors angled against the hair with a 90 degree angle. Don’t fully open your scissors. I find that keeping them no more than 2/3 of the way open works really well.
When feathering, as with many cutting techniques, you will be working really closely to your fingers. When using scissors to feather hair, you will use a similar cutting technique to using the razor. When I first started feathering, I used similar motions to razor cutting and found that the results were quite positive. Fan the hair as you pass though it with the scissors. Focus on cutting the hair with the mid section of you scissors. Use this V where the two blades meet to slice through the hair. It took me a little while to master this technique and I find that dolls and hair dummies are a great way to practice. After all, they are much easier to please than an actual client.
Before starting, make sure your scissors are really sharp. Since you are essentially razor cutting with scissors, a sharp blade is really the only way to go. Dull blades will pull the hair and will result in inadequate results. Proper scissors are essential. I avoid using high precision scissors. I have found that these split the hair rather than cutting it. In the end, you will end up with a ton of split ends and no texture. I get my best feathering results when I use relatively sharp hair cutting scissors. My favorite pair is about six months old but well maintained.
There you have it. Feathering is an important technique to incorporate into your hairstyling regimen. You will find many uses for this technique each day in a variety of different styles. It is a great way to add texture and movement to many styles. Make sure you practice, practice, practice before using this on a real client and as always, make sure you have the right tools for the job before getting started.
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