After a few years of interviewing stylists and asking all of them about the secret to getting the haircut you want when you’re at the salon, I’ve learned a few things about being “prepared.” And it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that their tips are relatively similar. First, make sure you have a pic of the look you love and be ready to explain to your stylist your everyday routine, how your hair behaves on a normal basis, and how much time you have to style it on your average Tuesday.
When I’ve asked about the importance knowing the exact technique vernacular—think how the angles will be cut, how they'll section it out before the chop—most of the time, stylists tell me it's not necessarily. They are the pros and they’ll figure out the best way to give you the haircut (probs the one in the photo referenced earlier) you want. The same method doesn’t always work for every hair type, so you gotta have faith, basically.
But a few weeks ago, I made a last-minute hair appointment (because I was getting a headache from flipping my bangs out of my eyes every 10 seconds, and I could barely see) and I learned a little something about cutting techniques.
When I sat down in the chair, the stylist asked me if I usually razor cut my bangs, and I honestly didn’t have an answer because I don't pay attention to the exact technique phrasing, and I certainly never request it.
I didn’t think I had, but I trusted him and told him to go for it, regardless if I had them point-cut with scissors in the past or not.
I’m not sure what force of total acceptance and relaxation came over me, as I’m never that chill in the chair when we’re messing with my bangs. I’m very particular—almost annoyingly so—about the length of my bangs. I like them right below my eyebrows, soft, and a little piece-y. I want to be able to wear them blunt a la Zooey Deschanel, or push them to the side for a completely different look.
I’d rather go back every three weeks for a trim than have them cut shorter than below my brow, otherwise I look like I’m nine (and nine wasn’t a great year, FYI) and I’ll cry for two weeks.
I left with fringe that looked damn similar to my girl Felicity Jones’s bangs above, and I couldn’t have been happier with my cut, and the feeling of confidence that comes along with that is not to be ignored. It was a good hair day, indeed.
So, a month later, because of my specific length requirement, it was time for a cut yet again. This time, I was in mizu salon senior stylist Judy McGuinness’s chair, and I immediately asked if she was going to razor my bangs. After she confirmed my suspicion, I had her explain the main difference between point-cutting with scissors and using a razor.
“The main difference is that a razor cuts the hair at a 45-degree angle, so you’re cutting on a bias instead of long cutting,” she said.
So what does that do for your look?
"You can point cut with scissors to get a softer effect, but with a razor you can cut the line and remove weight at the same time, so it just gives a softer, more lived-in sort of feel," Judy explained.
So instead of a super blunt, mod bang, you get a softer blunt line.
You can cut still get a blunt line with a razor, it just gives a softer effect as they grow out, making them appear very natural.
Another bonus for me, as someone who likes versatility in styling her bangs, Judy told me razoring makes it easier for you to push them to the side as they are growing out—“because they’re not just heavy and sitting there.”
I will request that my bangs are razor cut from here on out, as I've seen it work successfully on my hair type, which is straight and super fine.
Interested in what razor cutting can do for your fringe? Before demanding that it's the razor way or the highway, chat with your stylist to see if that's his or her specialty (if they're not trained in it, don't push it!), and of course, if it will work for you.