Having broken three Guinness World Haircutting Records ( I am on page 55 of the 2014 book) I can speak of efficiency with some authority. I have never asked anyone to cut hair faster. Over the years, managing chain shops, owning my own salon, training thousands of salon professionals I have never advocated for cutting faster. I have always discussed the need to cut better. Focus on cutting hair better and one day you will wake up quick. Focus on cutting hair faster and you will just do crappy haircuts. No one wants a crappy haircut. Period.
Getting to more, better haircuts takes time and effort. The more hair your cut the more your skills grow. The non-secret to being a better haircutter is and has always been VOLUME. 500 haircuts from now you will be a lot better haircutter. 500 haircuts after that you will be even better.
Along the way to your next hundred haircuts and the next hundred after that some specific efficiency focused tips and techniques will add to the skills that become a part of how you cut and how your cut better. Following are my top 5 efficiency haircutting tips to increase your productivity while maintaining technical quality and the highest standards of customer service.
Show a corner – It takes more time to cut two haircuts than it takes to cut one. That is pretty simple math to understand. Taper just a small front corner of the haircut and present that corner for inspection by the client? Is this short enough? Cutting the entire haircut, or even just half and then having the client tell you it is not short enough wastes a lot of valuable time. Cut a corner and have it blessed. Then cut the entire cut once to the proper length.
Cut the top first – Classic tapered barbered guy haircuts happen quicker and blend better when the top is cut first. I have been sharing this concept for many years as reverse blending. The classic approach of taper, layer and then blend is flipped around. Layering the top and then tapering the perimeter reduces the amount of blending and the blending time needed to complete the cut. Eliminating interior contributing weight from the cut lets you see the cut better, too. You can better cut what you can better see.
Condense sections – Razor thin, micro fine, 6-hair sections take a lot of time to cut. I recognize their value in stacking a precision bob or executing a similar precision shape. I support the idea that when cutting blended shapes, as is the case with most barbered and guy cuts, the condensing of sections adds huge amounts of efficiency with no loss of technical quality. Cross checking (also condensed) will smooth out irregularities that come from condensed sections. This is especially true in overhead layering applications.