Point cutting is one of the hair cutting techniques that differentiates a boring haircut from an exciting one.
Point cutting is used to texturize the hair and carve out bulky strands from the edges to create different stylish layers that make the hair blend perfectly and look beautiful.
The point cutting technique works for both male and female hair styling. Depending on the hair's texture and thickness, point cutting technique can be used on either wet and dry hair and can serve to correct any hair shape or styling that doesn’t just seem right.
How to use the point cutting technique?
Both tools and skills are required to learn hair cutting techniques. First, you need tools to help with point cutting or similar styles. These tools include:
- A comb
- You can use 6.5-inch shears for barbering, or any other size that you are comfortable with and gives you the most control.
- A good chair
The point cutting technique's first step is to comb out the hair into sections right from the scalp. Slowly comb out a section of the hair and hold it vertically with your fingers at about 6cm from the tip.
Ensure that there is enough space between your fingers and the tip of the hair so that you would have enough mass of hair to perform this technique. At the same time, make sure you don’t hold the hair too far from the tips so that it won’t fall over, making it hard for you to texturize.
Holding the hair in the proper position, use the other hand to pick up your scissors, clipper, or shears. Hold it in an erect position towards the direction of the hair section that you’re about to cut.
While working with your scissors, it is necessary to note that your aim is not to really reduce the length of the hair but to texturize the tips. So, you’re not expected to chop off a large chunk of hair.
If you arc your scissors at a slight angle to the hair, you may remove a larger amount of hair with each cut, so it is important to position your scissors carefully so that you can control the amount of hair you remove with each point cut, while achieving your desired style.
When you’re done with one section of hair, comb out another area and do the same thing until you get the right texture around the entire hair. Unlike other hair texturizing techniques, point cutting is time intensive because it involves making subtle cuts on very small sections of the hair.
1. Hold the scissors downwards at about 45 degrees
Hold the handle end of your scissors downwards so you can create a deeper texture. For the best point cutting result that’ll give the hair a choppy layered look, be sure not to lower the scissors below a 45 degrees’ angle.
2. Make a cut of more than 1 inch
When you have pinched the hair between your finger (as directed in paragraphs above), cut the hair deeper than an inch. Ideally, point cutting chops off only 1 inch of hair, but you will have to cut between 1 to 2 inches if you want to get an exaggerated effect. However, when using this technique, it is important not to exceed 2 inches (5 cm).
Note that it is important to tell the client about the amount of hair you’re cutting off before you start.
3. Chop off the lowest layer of hair
Hold a small section of hair, and hold it in between your fingers at a length of 2 inches from the tip. Instead of pulling the hair up as is being done for short hair, let the hair hang downwards. Then, using your scissors, start point cutting upwards.
The reason for cutting the lowest layer of hair this way is to avoid making it look like a straight line.
Tips & Tricks For Point Haircutting
- When using the point cutting technique, you have to be patient enough to work on small sections of hair at a time. This process is time-consuming, and you may be tempted to go faster and with a larger chunk, but this is not ideal. Taking it slow and cutting small amounts of hair at a time gives the best result.
- You need to be careful with the scissors. Position your scissors in a parallel position to the tip of the hair, and avoid placing it too deeply into the hair. Doing this could put you at the risk of cutting yourself or a wrong chunk of hair. Remember, “slow, steady and cautious” is the best approach to point cutting.
- You can also use professional cutting shears, clippers, or razors. However, when using sheers, ensure that the tool has long blades to get you a sharper cut.
How To Use Point Haircutting Techniques on Short and Medium Length Hair
1. Wash and comb the hair
Firstly, wash and rinse the hair properly. Next, comb the wet hair thoroughly to loosen any tangles, and remove fallen hair.
For tightly coiled and textured hair, dry and straighten the hair before you start point cutting.
2. Comb out a small section of about 5 cm (2 inches)
Using your non-dominant hand, comb out 2 inches (5 cm) of hair vertically. While the hair is still in the comb, clasp the hair between your forefinger and middle finger.
Holding the scissors in the dominant hand, start working around the hair in a circular motion.
Avoid holding more than 2 inches at a time, as it may cause the hair to flop, and you won’t be able to get a clean texture. Also, working with less than 2 inches may not be ideal for getting you the right texture.
3. Position the scissors downwards
Unlike normal cuts that entail keeping the scissors straight up, point cutting requires that you keep the scissors straight down, at the same axis as your finger.
The goal for point cutting is not to reduce the length but to remove bulk and create a nice texture. This is why you have to move your scissors up and down.
4. Start trimming out chunks of hair
Angle your scissors into the hair you’re holding and cut out about 1 inch (2.5cm). Move the scissors to 0.3cm and take another cut. Start moving down the hairline while repeating the same process with every move. When you’re done, you must have created valleys and peaks in the hair.
If you’re aiming for the standard point cut, avoid cutting more than an inch of hair to avoid making the hair look jagged.
5. Cut from down to up
Starting from the nape of the neck, begin to point cut from down up to the sides. Next, move to the crown and then to the top.
When should you avoid using the point haircutting technique?
Point cutting can be a great idea for friends or family, but there are times when it doesn't work. These situations are not good for point cutting:
- If the hair of the subject is already very thin
- If the client desires a sleek, almost minimalistic hairstyle
- If you're not an expert stylist, don't trim your hair at first.
Point cutting can add texture and flavor to your hair, but it cannot be used as a general technique. Point cutting is not recommended for the following situations. Point cutting should not be done if the client's hair is too long, permed, or very wavy. Before you decide to add texture, it is important to assess the situation.
Conclusion: what you need to know about point haircutting techniques
These tools are not enough. You also need patience. You will lose patience while you point-cut. If you don't have patience, the ends may look jagged and you might accidentally cut your finger. This could ruin the original purpose of the trim. To ensure that your hair is not moved during the cut, you will need to sit in a comfortable chair.
Hairdressers in the USA are taught how to perform the point haircutting technique as one of the first and most important techniques.
Point cutting is a two-way process. You can either let your hair hang naturally or pull it up between the tips of your fingers and middle finger. You can easily see how much you have cut by holding the hair. You can ensure that you don't cut any extra length if you let your hair hang.
You don't want your hair to look wavy. Instead, measure your hair with a comb and make a straight line. This is the basic way to cut hair in the salon! You can quickly trim the hair with the tip of your scissors. However, don't cut too deeply into the hair. They should appear lighter but not necessarily shorter.
With each pass, trim as much hair as you can. Once you are done, drop the section and take a step back. Then, evaluate the hair and begin again. You are done when the ends look natural.
You can finish the process in the mirror if you are cutting your hair yourself. The client can see the final product and listen to their feedback. You can then cut again as necessary.
You don't have to be thick in order to achieve the perfect hairstyle. However, you should learn how to point your hair before cutting it. A quick trim can give your hair some visual interest, reduce weight and hide an obvious line. Be careful when cutting your hair!
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