How to Create Unique Hybrid Haircuts
What do you do when a guest shows you inspiration pictures of several different haircuts? If you feel like a deer in the headlights, you’re not alone! But this is an amazing opportunity to design a custom haircut and add value for your client, according to creative artist and educator Manda Ziegelman.
Manda specializes in edgy, unconventional hair that celebrates different lifestyles and personalities. They recommend using disconnection to combine elements of pixies, shags, bobs and mullets and create fresh, unique silhouettes. ‘Disconnection’ refers to cutting isolated sections that aren’t completely blended with the rest of the hair.
As always, a proper consultation is the first step. Manda suggests starting the conversation by asking about the guest’s interests, lifestyle, vibe and favorite music. Getting to know your client helps you design the perfect cut for their unique tastes and personality.
This is also the time to assess the texture and density of the hair and figure out where it naturally falls. Think about where you may need to build more texture and where you may need to remove excess bulk to collapse the shape.
Once you’re able to visualize the shape you want to create and the fabric you’re working with, try these techniques to design a gorgeous personalized cut for your client!
Weight Removal in Long, Heavy Hair
How do you remove bulk and add soft, natural movement without sacrificing length? Since most density lives at the back of the head, you can be more aggressive with weight removal in this area. Try this quick and simple disconnection technique:
Step #1: Section off the lower-density hair in front of the ears. Secure this hair with Dry Sectioning Clips on each side.
Step #2: Create a horizontal section in the nape area. (Make sure to leave enough weight in the upper section to fully conceal the hidden layers.) Secure the hair above the horizontal parting with a clip.
Step #3: Separate a triangle-shaped subsection, with the horizontal parting as the base of the triangle and the tip pointing down towards the nape. Check to make sure there is enough weight in the perimeter and adjust as needed.
Step #4: Elevate the triangle subsection vertically, position your Artist Series Shear with the tips pointing up, and out cut the hair.
Step #5: Comb the newly-cut hair back down into natural fall. Repeat Steps #3-4 as needed until your desired weight removal is achieved. Release the hair from the clips and admire the new shape.
Lob Bob with Interior Layers
This disconnection technique is the perfect solution for guests with longer one-length bobs! It collapses the “triangle” shape that can happen when the ends puff out, and adds lightness and airiness with no visible layering.
Step #1: Create a horizontal parting in the hair at the guest’s eye level. Secure the hair above this parting on top of the head with Dry Sectioning Clips. This will serve as your “safety net” to ensure that the disconnected layers are fully hidden.
Step #2: Identify where the weight lives in the back of the head and the nape. Pick up a subsection of hair from this area and comb through the hair. Check to make sure there is enough weight in the perimeter and adjust as needed.
Step #3: Elevate the subsection vertically, position your Artist Series Shear with the tips pointing up, and out cut the hair.
Step #4: Comb the newly-cut hair back down into natural fall and assess the weight removal. Repeat Steps #2-3, working through the rest of the back section. Be careful around the ears, where density tends to be lower, to avoid removing too much hair.
Step #5: Release the clips and tousle the hair for TONS of natural movement!
Textured Shag-Mullet Hybrid (Shaglet)
Refresh and transform a grown-out shag into a mullet haircut! Strategically removing weight helps prevent a “bubble” shape on top of the head and adds tons of movement.
Step #1: Separate a horseshoe-shaped section on the crown of the head. Secure this hair out of the way with a Dry Sectioning Clip.
Step #2: Identify the hair that will form the side tails. Secure this hair with pin curl clips so you don’t accidentally blend it away. Clip the back sections of hair out of the way.
Step #3: Working with a small subsection on one side of the fringe (in front of the side tail), over-direct the hair forward and slide cut outwards with the Artist Series 6” Slide Cutting Shear. Open and close the shears in a “biting and chewing” motion as you work down the hair shaft, using the hairline as a guide for length.
Step #4: Next, create the short cutout above the ear for those edgy mullet vibes! Section off the hair above the ear (just behind the side tail) and elevate the hair horizontally. Out cut the hair very close to the ear, using the same “chewing” motion as you open and close your shears. Finish by detail cutting around the ear to create the look you want. (Another option is to shave this small section with a clipper! It’s all about your guest’s preference.)
Step #5: Repeat Steps #3-4 on the opposite side of the head.
Step #6: Release the back section of hair from the clips. Secure the hair in the nape area (from about ear level down) with clips to preserve the perimeter.
Step #7: The narrow horseshoe-shaped horizontal section above the nape area will form the disconnected area. Working in the center back of this section, elevate a subsection of hair vertically and slide cut outwards. Comb the hair back into natural fall and use your fingers to tousle and texturize the hair.
Step #8: Repeat Step #7, working from the center outwards on each side. Take special care around the ear area to avoid removing too much weight. Check to make sure the interior layers are balanced.
Step #9: Remove all the clips and comb through the hair. Visually inspect the mullet and make any adjustments.
Step #10: Texturize the surface of the fringe and side tails with the 14 Tooth Point Cutting Shear.
Step #11: Sculpt the hair with your hands, then secure the tail of the mullet out of the way with Dry Sectioning Clips.
Step #12: Work a sea salt-based texturizer through the base of the hair at the back of the head. Lift this hair straight up and blow-dry the roots with the Artist Series Professional Blow Dryer to create volume in the haircut shape. Brush this hair gently back into place, and use your hands to shape the section and bring out the roundness. Remove the mullet tail from the clips, and you’re good to go!
Textured Pixie-Bob Hybrid
Build lightweight, airy volume by removing weight above the ears! This is the perfect way to freshen up a heavy pixie-bob.
Step #1: Separate a horseshoe-shaped section on the crown of the head. If you’re working with finer hair, use a zigzag part for more diffusion. Secure this hair on top of the head with a Dry Sectioning Clip.
Step #2: Elevate a section of hair next to the face to a horizontal 90 degrees. Using the Artist Series Shear, out cut this hair close to the head in large chunks.
Step #3: Repeat Step #2, working around the head shape just beneath the horseshoe-shaped section. When you reach the back of the head, you may need to clip more hair out of the way to ensure that the hair on top will cover the disconnected section.
Step #4: Working with the same section of hair just beneath the horseshoe-shaped section, lift up the hair with your comb and texturize shear-over-comb with the Signature Series Reversible Blending Shear. Keep the teeth pointing up to prevent the ends from kicking out.
Step #5: Release the hair on top from the clip and comb it forward into place. Shape, sculpt and tousle with your hands!
Don’t Be Afraid to Disconnect
Many stylists shy away from disconnection because they’re afraid of creating holes or hard lines in the hair. We were all taught to “blend, blend, blend” back in beauty school-- but sometimes it’s OK to break the rules!
Manda’s game-changing disconnection methods involve creating safety nets by intentionally sectioning and clipping away the “surface” hair. This way, you and your guest can feel confident that the disconnected area will be concealed. If your guest is nervous, try clipping away the hair that you plan to disconnect and showing them how it will look.
Disconnection works for both punk-rock textured haircuts AND everyday weight removal! It’s one of the best ways to create custom solutions for your guest’s unique needs, style preferences and concerns. Grab your Artist Series Shears and a mannequin and try these transformational techniques today!
For more education and inspiration to keep it fresh behind the chair, be sure to follow Manda @MandaZiegelman and Sam Villa @samvillahair on Instagram.