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Elevated Scanning Technique to Build or Collapse Weight in a Haircut

Lya Navarra

Author Lya Navarra


    We all have guests who desire texture, body and movement to their hair without wanting a lot of layering on the top of the head.  We could very well perceive this as their desire to want what they cannot have, but at Sam Villa we are all about solutions.

    Elevated Scanning takes the guesswork out of it!  During your consultation you will be able to acknowledge their desire and discuss these two great techniques that will result in exactly what they are looking for!

    Tools For Success

    • Sam Villa Signature Series 7” Dry Cutting Shear
      • Why this shear? The power ridges on the back of the blades of the 7” Dry Cutting Shear give the shear stability enabling us to get through rigid dry hair without the hair being pushed.
    • Sam Villa Signature Series Short Cutting Comb
      • Why this Comb? The Ivory color in contrast to the dark hair allows for the best visual while cutting and we don’t want a lot of tension while combing our sections – the wide teeth are perfect!

    Before You Cut Any Hair

    Our model has a medium textured hair with a bit of a sparse hairline so we are going to begin our first section about an inch or so behind the hairline to protect the density around the front hairline.

    NOTE: – Check out this video clip to see the technique used to finish the hair prior to cutting to add dimension to the hair – you want to perform the Elevated Scanning techniques on dry hair.

    Elevated Scanning to Build Weight

    In this technique we place shorter hair leading to the longer hair above in order to create body and airiness.

    elevated scanning technique to build weight in a haircut

    Cutting short to long from bottom to top to support the longer hair:

    • Face your guest toward the mirror for the best visual on parting out your sections
    • Using the parting tooth at the wide spaced end of the Sam Villa Short Cutting Comb, slice out a vertical section from the natural part
    • Elevate this section straight up from the head at 90 degrees and let the perimeter hair fall out to keep it strong
    • Come into the lower portion of the section with your shear at about mid shaft
    • ‘Scan’ the shear in an upward motion along the section, “SHORT TO LONG” from bottom to top, taking care to not go in too deep
    • Once you get to the ends, release a small amount of uncut hair before creating your next cut to maintain length and density
    • Continue around the head in vertical sections

    NOTE – You will want to leave out the upper portion of the section closest to the part.   How much you leave out will depend on the natural texture and density of the hair – the more hair, the closer you can cut to the part while still leaving enough of a veil over the texture you created underneath.

    Elevated Scanning to Collapse Weight

    In this technique we reverse the direction that we move, short to long.  By cutting in the opposite direction, building the short on top to length on the bottom, we keep the shape lean while still imparting the sense of texture and airiness.

    elevated scanning technique to collapse weight in a haircut

    How short you cut the first piece of the section is dependent on two factors:

    1. How deep into the section do you want you want the visual texture?
    2. Do you want more support?  If so, go deeper into the section
    • Face your guest toward the mirror for the best visual on parting out your sections
    • Using the parting tooth at the wide spaced end of the Sam Villa Short Cutting Comb, slice out a vertical section from the natural part
    • Elevate this section straight up from the head at 90 degrees and let the perimeter hair fall out to keep it strong
    • Come into the lower portion of the section with your shear at about mid shaft
    • ‘Scan’ the shear in an upward motion along the section, “SHORT TO LONG” from the opposite direction - top to bottom - again, do not go in too deep
    • Once you get to the ends, release a small amount of uncut hair before creating your next cut to maintain length and density
    • Continue around the head in vertical sections

    What you are able to achieve with these two techniques as an alternative to surface layering is trust and VALUE!  You are able to deliver the look the guest requested in the consultation.  Not only will she be thrilled with the cut, she will sing your praises to her friends and family that you LISTENED to her wants.  Be reminded that communication builds wealth!

    Your Feedback

    If you have any questions or comments about this technique be sure to let us know in the box below.

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    Click here to follow Andrew Carruthers, Education Director for Sam VIlla on Instagram. Email info@samvilla.com for more information on how to book Andrew for an in-salon class.