Black men’s hair is very different from that of any other race. Black barbers are well aware of all the differences and know how to handle this type of hair. However, barbers of other races often do not know how to cut black mens hair, leading to major mistakes and extremely dissatisfied customers.
Fortunately, there are a few simple techniques that can be employed when working with the hair of an African-American. Learning and practicing these techniques will enable any barber to master the art of cutting this hair type and keep all of their clients happy with their service.
- The first step is to properly prepare the hair for cutting. Black men’s hair is naturally curly and tends to be easy to tangle. For this reason, it is critical to remove tangles before beginning. For longer hair, a pick is recommended while a brush can be used to straighten short hair. Brush with the grain of the hair.
- Next, one should determine the exact amount of hair he wants to cut off. Clippers come with a number of guards of various lengths. One can select the exact guard to use and adjust the clipper blades to get just the right length.
- Be certain to put a towel around the client’s shoulders to protect his shirt. Failure to do so will cause the person to have to wash his shirt immediately after getting a cut.
- Divide the hair into quadrants mentally. Finish one quadrant completely before moving on to the next. Jumping around at random will result in an uneven cut.
- If leaving the hair longer, it is necessary to cut with the grain of the hair. For a shorter cut, one should go against the grain of the hair. Afros can be cut in any direction. One should remove only a small amount of hair at a time when cutting an afro. This is because it is always possible to take more off if needed, but impossible to put it back if one cuts too closely.
- Any uneven or rough patches will need to be leveled out. It might require one to use a bit of additional pressure to achieve close cuts.
- Remove all guards from the clippers and set the blades to their lowest setting. Beginning on one side of the hairline, trim all the way around to the other. Give the hairline a rounded edge by following the curvature of the client’s head.
- Trim the temple hairline at a right angle to the top of the hairline. Create a smooth arc as you move back to the sideburns.
- Cut the sides of the back vertically and make them as even as possible. Gently edge the back hairline and make it even from side to side, parallel to the floor.
- As a final step, put a small amount of aftershave on the hands and pat down the edges of the client’s hair. This will help to prevent any skin irritation that might result from the close cutting in this area. Allow the client to view the finished cut in a mirror so that he can decide if this is acceptable or if more needs to be cut off.
Learning how to cut black mens hair is not difficult. However, one must learn these basic steps and procedures in order to properly serve African-American clientele. Their hair is very different in texture and moisture content from the hair of any other race.
Using improper techniques with this hair type can result in completely unacceptable haircuts that can not be corrected short of shaving the head and allowing the hair to grow back out over time.