If you are totally new to cutting hair, it can be difficult to get your hands in synch with what you want them to do. When giving a haircut you need to use both hands. They both have different but important jobs to do…
If you are totally new to cutting hair, it can be difficult to get your hands in synch with what you want them to do. When giving a haircut, you need to use both hands. They both have different but important jobs to do. Since only 15% of people are left-handed, we will look at the jobs your hands do assuming you are right-handed (for sake of illustration). Your right hand is your cutting hand and your left hand is your holding hand. Your left hand is very important with your pinkie and ring fingers being your spacer fingers with your middle and pointer fingers being your holding fingers. Jobs of Your Holding HandYour holding hand (for illustration, it’s your left or less dominant hand) has 3 important jobs to do:
- Holds the hair – Once your right hand combs the hair up away from the head, your left hand takes hold of that hair between your middle and pointer fingers.
- Decides how much to cut – Your pinkie and ring fingers determine the spacing between the scalp and the cutting point. They decide how much hair needs to be cut off and act as a guide.
- Holds your comb – Once your spacer fingers help you decide where to cut, you need to transfer your comb from your cutting hand to your holding hand. Without letting go of the hair in your holding/left hand, slide your scissors between your thumb and your pointer. Press your thumb against your hand to hold your comb steady.
Jobs of Your Cutting HandYour cutting hand (your right or dominant hand) has 2 jobs to do:
- Combs up hair – You start off with wet, clean hair lying on the scalp. You need to comb up a section of hair so your holding hand can slip it between your 2 holding fingers.
- Works the scissor – When the hair is held between your holding fingers and is measured using your spacing fingers, you are ready to transfer your comb to your holding hand and make the cut.
Even though your cutting hand makes the most difference visually, it is the work of the holding hand that makes all the difference. If you don’t have your hair neatly lifted and spaced, you will end up with a messy and uneven haircut. For directions for how to manipulate scissors correctly, see The Beginner’s Guide to Cutting Hair chapter 5.