“Long hair never goes out of style!” declares Michele Pritchard, @michelepritchardhair, a MODERN SALON Artist Connective member based in West Chester, PA. As long as it’s strong, shiny, glossy and well-cared for, you can’t go wrong!” Todd Tinnel, @toddtinnel, National Education Manager for Dyson, agrees. He recommends easy-on-the-hair thermal tools like the The Dyson Supersonic™ Professional Edition Hair Dryer that minimize damage thanks to engineering that uses air flow to draw moisture out of the hair while minimizing exposure to heat. If you have loads of long-haired lovelies on your books, check out these cutting and finishing tips to make the most of those lengths, regardless of texture and density.
CUTTING LONG, THICK HAIR
It’s All About Interior Layering. “That’s the trick to a seamless blend,” says Pritchard. “Below the rounds of the head, elevate sections straight up and cut straight across. This allows the section to lay short to long without sacrificing length,” she explains. “When you release the hair above the rounds, those layers just melt into the bottom, creating maximum elongation.”
Create Elongation with Top Layers. “I layer top sections the same way regardless of the hair texture,” says Pritchard. “I start in the center back and work around the head. Sections are all elevated to 45 degrees and finger angle is also 45 degrees, cutting short to long from head to ceiling. This technique creates seamless layers that elongate without removing volume.”
Curtain Bang Blend How-To. “What’s really in right now is soft, subtle face frame layers with a dramatic curtain bang. Curtain bangs can be short (nose length) or longer (chin length). To create a soft blend, over-direct the fringe to the opposite side of the face and cut into the ends with a texturizing shear.”
CUTTING LONG, FINE HAIR
Less is More. “When it comes to fine hair, cut what you need to and leave the rest alone,” advises Pritchard. “Keep the perimeter clean and as thick-looking as possible. Cut the minimum number of layers. When you do layer, lift sections to 45 degrees and only cut above the rounds of the head. Work with larger and fewer sections. This maintains as much hair as possible while creating maximum movement.”
Watch the Hairline. “If the hairline is sparse,” says Pritchard, “you can do face frame layers or a fringe, but there probably won’t be enough hair for both. So commit to one or the other and then go all in!”
FINISHING LONG, THICK HAIR
Show Love to the Roots. “The main issue with finishing long hair is people tend to focus only on the ends,” says Pritchard. “But if you’re doing waves or a big blowout, you must prep the roots with a good blow dryer. Work from roots to ends and always use the nozzle to direct the airflow to get perfectly polished hair.” According to Tinnel, the professional concentrator attachment on the the Dyson Supersonic offers super concentrated and targeted air flow. “The air comes out in a precise jet and allows the stylist to control what’s happening,” he says. “Plus the hair doesn’t move around and you can get really close to the scalp for maximum body.”
FINISHING LONG, FINE HAIR
Clip for Longevity. “Fine hair can drop quickly,” says Pritchard. “So just like with thick hair, be sure to spend plenty of time boosting the roots with your blow dryer nozzle. Then after drying each section, curl it up and clip it with a duckbill clip. Let the hair cool completely before removing the clips. It’s an extra step but you’ll get maximum longevity because cooling the hair sets the curl.”
CUTTING LONG, CURLY HAIR
Prevent the “Sproing.” “Most of my curly clients with long hair wear their hair smooth,” says Pritchard. “If you know your curly client will not wear her natural curl, you have to cut it in a way that prevents it from springing up. So instead of cutting into the curl to encourage it to coil, I create layers that debulk the hair to support a smooth, sleek blowout. I cut from short to long in the nape, then from short to long from the nape to the round of the head and finally from short to long above the round of the head. Each section is cut at 45 degrees.”
FINISHING LONG, CURLY HAIR
The Blow Dryer Prep is Critical. “The pain points for my curly clients who love sleek blow dries are curl reversal and frizz,” notes Pritchard. “That means finishing with a flat iron for the sleek, glass-like finish they love. But to achieve that finish, it’s important to prepare the hair properly with the blow dryer. The nozzle should follow the brush slowly and steadily, with the nozzle pointed toward the floor and you must use a lot of tension. Plus, I always dry the hairline first. If you leave it for last, it will be too late, and the curl will set in. Use a round brush and match the width of the section to the width of the brush.”
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