Razor Cuts

razor-cutsThere are many questions that come to mind when deciding whether to use a razor or scissors, here I will address some of the ones that I have come across whilst working with clients and students.

What’s the biggest difference between hair that has been razor cut as opposed to scissor cut? In general, when the hair has been razored, you will see that the ends of the hair taper off to a thinner peak, whereas the scissors with produce a blunter or chunkier look towards the ends.

When would you use a razor rather than the scissors? If a client likes her hair to be messy or just jagged on the ends, or the hair is ultra thick and coarse and you need solid but soft edges, that would be a good time to pick up the razor. Razoring the ends will produce more softness and movement, it brings out waves and curls. Depending on how the person wants their end result to look, these factors can help you to choose whether to use the razor or the scissors.

What type of hair is best for razor use? Best type of hair for razor use is medium to thick, coarse non-frizzy hair. It’s ok to use them on finer hair but not if the hair is frizzy (as mentioned above). Most clients will try the razor at least once and depending on whether their experience was a good one, it can affect how the clients feels about it for the rest of her haircuts.

What can go wrong with using a razor? Other than the ones mentioned, with an inexperienced stylist, one of the worst things I think is ‘over-razoring’ it! It can make the client look like a Japanese pop star! Another problem is when the hair has been razored too close to the roots; the hair looks flat with no support from the hair underneath.  So to sum up my thoughts: I think razor cutting is brilliant if the stylist is experienced and has the know how.


Now let’s explore some common myths about razor cutting:

  • Myth: A Razor will give me split ends
    Fact:     A dull razor will give you split ends. Razors, when sharpened and changed appropriately, are much sharper than shears and have the ability to slice through hair with very little tension. When working with thick coarse hair, more than one blade may be needed to achieve consistent results throughout the haircut.  If a razor haircut is ever painful or you feel excessive pulling, it is possible that the razor being used is dull. Imagine slicing a tomato with a butter knife. You probably wouldn’t get the prettiest results.
  • Myth: You can’t cut curly hair with a razor.
    Fact:     First and foremost, refer to the previous myth. A dull razor on any hair type, especially curly hair is a giant no-no. Razor cutting is most often used to create texture, take out bulk, or “thin” the hair. All of which are techniques that are most commonly overdone on curly hair, hence the bad rap the razor gets on curls.  If the blade is sharp and glides through the hair, it can be used to define, enhance, and create beautiful, soft, fluid movement in nearly all types of curly hair, depending on hair type and texture.
  • Myth: Razor haircuts will make my hair frizzy:
    Fact:     Over-texturizing or over-thinning a haircut will make your hair frizzy. A novice razor user might only feel comfortable using the tool for bulk removal, thinning, or texturizing: all of which are cutting techniques which when overdone, creates frizz. An experienced razor user knows that one can create seamless layers, bounce, fluidity, natural movement and swing in a haircut with a razor and will hold off on the texturizing or thinning if it is unnecessary.
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