We began our foundations of hair cutting series with elevation this is the up and down movement of the hair it controls the vertical aspect of the silhouette. For part 2 of our series, we explore over direction (the opposite of elevation) and how it is the forward and back movement of the hair over direction controls the horizontal aspect of the silhouette.

Think about the context in which we use these two words "Over Direction" in hair cutting:

  • Over – past, beyond.
  • Direction – position, aim.


Ways to over direct the hair:

  • Over direct forward.
    • Creates length and density toward the back of the head.
  • Over direct back.
    • Creates length and density toward the front of the head.
  • No over direction.
    • Cutting the hair without moving hair forward or backward.
    • Leaves the hair to follow the natural head shape.
  • Over direct to a stationary guide.
    • All the hair is directed to and cut at the point of a stationary guide.
    • The guide never moves.
    • This action results in the maximum over direction within a shape.
  • Over direct to a previously cut section.
    • All the hair is cut with a traveling guide.
    • Each new section that is cut becomes the point of cutting for the next section.
    • This action results in a much softer build up of weight.
  • Over direct to a visual plane.
    • All the hair is cut to a visual point.
    • This action is easier to comprehend by watching Andrew in the video above.

Mastering these over direction techniques creates maximum control of your shapes! You will comprehend how to place the weight and density exactly where you want it to live in your designs.

If you missed part 1 of our foundations of hair cutting series, click here to learn how to control elevation in your hair cuts.

Check back next week for our 3rd and final foundational video where we'll cover finger angles when cutting hair!

Click here to learn more about Sam Villa ergonomic hair cutting shears.

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Tags: Fundamentals