Beauty 101: Tools used in a Haircut

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There are so many tools that a stylist can use during a haircut. Some may be a little frightening, like a straight razor, while others may look as plain as a pair of scissors. But really, the talent of the stylist mixed with the proper tools makes a huge difference in the success of your haircut. I’m going to show you three of the most common tools used in a haircut, and show you the effect they leave on straight hair.

The hair I’m using is a human hair extension. It’s not quite as forgiving as hair on a head, but it will show you the basic cuts that it leaves on the hair. Keep in mind that curly, thick, coarse, fine or any other texture may show a different result! 

I love cutting with shears. I do a lot of blunt cuts around the perimeter of the hair, and use a point-cutting (cutting small triangles into the ends) technique to add layering and lightness around the face.

Texturizing shears remove bulk at the ends, or through the length of the hair. They can soften lines left from blunt cuts (especially in blondes), and soften layering to help it blend. I use these quite a bit in the salon to add lightness and volume without removing too much hair.

Razors are great for adding really soft edges or ends to a haircut. Women with baby fine hair may like having their hair cut with a razor since it won’t ever leave a blunt edge. Razors also a great for adding a little choppiness into your ‘do!

Don’t hesitate to ask your stylist about the tools he or she uses, but do trust that they know what they are doing! And there is also a good chance they use a tool that I haven’t mentioned–but now you know the three most basic tools and what they are used for.


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Sarah says · 10.03.12

Great post! Thanks for the information. πŸ™‚

Lauren says · 10.03.12

The hair in the last picture looks great! I’m not sure it would look so good on my curly hair, though!

Kate says · 10.03.12

Yeah, razors are not typically recommended for curly hair! (mentioned this at the beginning of the post!)

Gina says · 10.03.12

Great lesson. Interesting. When you say texturizing can soften lines left from blunt cuts especially in blondes, I was wondering why blonds. I have blonde hair.

Kate says · 10.03.12

Oftentimes blonde hair shows more “lines” or “cuts” than darker hair!

April A. says · 10.03.12

Thanks for the information! I really wish you could do my hair but Mississippi is a bit far away. Love your blog and youtube vids. Keep ’em coming!

Rhonda says · 10.03.12

Do you still work in a salon?

Amanda says · 10.03.12

I would LOVE to see a post like this about curly hair. As a curlygirl who’s had WAY more than her share of horrid haircuts, I’m well aware that it’s a unique challenge to take on. Would love to better understand why. πŸ™‚

RyanandPriscilla says · 10.03.12

Great post, I have wondered what the difference is between the tools. I love your blog and have learned lots of new styling ideas, thanks to your tutorials!!! I have very thick hair that, after 2 pregnancies, is very curly underneath and slightly wavy on top. Your “softly curled” tutorial works great on my 2 textured mess!! I’d love to see some tips on how to talk to my stylist to get the cut I want! I always go in with an idea, but almost never get the desired result. πŸ™

Blue Dog Belle says · 10.03.12

Good to know! Thanks lovely!

xo, Emily

jennyrb78 says · 10.03.12

Which of these tools and techniques do you request when getting your own hair cut?

aplatefulofhappiness says · 10.03.12

i would like you to know that you are the reason i started a blog today. i happened to stumble across your blog a month ago when i was looking up hair tutorials for elegant up-dos. when i came across yours i was hooked and have checked your blog every day for new posts. I was discussing with a work friend the other day about your blog and came to the thought of “hey i think i might enjoy blogging”. so i just want to thank you for your inspiration

xo krystle

Kate says · 10.04.12

enjoy it! πŸ™‚

Rachel says · 10.03.12

I’m just a month into cosmetology school–I haven’t learned much about how to use the texturizing shears or the razor yet, but this post was informative and I’m excited to get some hands-on practice pretty soon!

Gigi says · 10.03.12

As another curly headed girl (the older I get the curlier it seems to get) I would love to know 1) the best technique for getting it straight and 2) the best technique for getting looser curls (if that’s even possible).

Anonymous says · 10.04.12

Very informative post…thanks! You are so right about the razor. I have really fine hair and LOVE to get it cut with a razor. I’ve found it gives me the best look. Unfortunately I’ve had a few stylists tell me they don’t use them.

Nicole Sykes says · 10.04.12

Ahhh I am IN LOVE with your font! I want to use it on some wedding send-outs! Can you tell me the name of it & where you got it? I would appreciate it!!

Kate says · 10.04.12

it’s called Lavenderia πŸ™‚

Brittany Landers says · 10.04.12

This is good to know! I’ve had to switch hair stylists several times, attempting to find a good match. I feel like this post will help better tell her what type of ends I would prefer…especially on my bangs.

-Best, Brittany of @suburbchicblog

Sparkles says · 10.05.12

I have a lot of fine,very straight hair and I find when a razor is used it thins out my hair too much. Is it being used incorrectly? Without some choppiness, though, it is too heavy and it is flat! I have just had to break up with my sweet stylist after two years because color’s great but my cut never makes me feel pretty.

gjtodd says · 10.05.12

When you cut or trim hair, whether its with shears or a razor, do you always cut the hair while its damp? I have extremely curly hair and my stylist told me in order to get a better cut that she needs to cut my hair when its straightened and dry. Is this something I should worry about damaging my hair? She says its fine, but I wouldn’t mind getting a second professional opinion. Thanks you!

Anonymous says · 10.06.12

Another curly hair girl wants to know…do you any great stylist in Augusta Georgia? I would so drive for you to cut my hair, but you don’t take new clients. Thanks and HELP!!!

Anonymous says · 10.07.12

What brand of shears would you recommend from a shop like Sally Beauty? I want to start trimming my own hair but I want to make sure the shears I buy will give me the best chance at making sure it’s a good trim. Thanks!


Anonymous says · 10.15.12

Hey Kate! Do you recommend blunt cuts or are there any other types that you like?
– Harper

Anonymous says · 10.21.12

Will texturizing shears leave your hair frizzy if you have curly hair? I have a stacked cut now I am trying to grow out. My hair is thick and wavy/curly. It seems the ends look horrible and are more frizzy after about 6 weeks into a trim. I try to go for trims every 8 weeks.

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scharly says · 01.19.13

Looking for your professional opinion regarding my current hair stylist as it seems like you are a very talented lady! Anyways, the woman who currently does my hair, has been doing so for the last 3+ years. In this time she has never given a consistent cut. Some times its great, but more times than not its not what I asked for. I go for frequent cuts (every 8 weeks usually) and by the time I grow out the mistakes she made last time, she’s hacking at it again. Is it time to give up on her? She’s still early in her career so I keep hoping she gets better but I’m wondering if I should take my hair and money else where.


Laderma says · 04.02.13

So great your article is! It hard to say how much I have learnt from your article, such as your idea of life and love. I will recommend it to anyone.
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Carrie says · 08.13.13

Thanks for sharing these steps for hair cutting. These will be very useful for me.

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Rishi says · 10.10.13

This article is good to know how to trim hair and how can i use tools to drim hair.

Suni says · 08.19.14

Do you recommend any specific brand of shears for occasional at-home cuts? My 2 1/2 year old is absolutely traumatized by visits to the salon (& most people who witness it are traumatized and partially deaf when they leave). I don’t want to cut his hair forever, but until he gets over that I’ll do my best to keep him looking debonaire. I just need some better shears!

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Sheree says · 10.02.15

Thank you for taking the time to put these examples together. In searching the internet, this was the only blog/site that explained the differences with actual photos. These photos helped a lot.


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Taper says · 05.07.17

I browse your website, its very impressive, I love it.
I wish I could just leave her hair down with a cute clip, but she doesn’t have hair like that. Within Men hair style an hour it would seriously look wild

Krupali Bodani says · 08.01.17

Good to know! Thanks lovely post! I always wondered what can help me out to get soft end hair after hair cutting or trimming. You actually cleared my mind thanks again. I would love to hear some tips from you on how to choose a cutting combs or trimmer combs.

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