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How To Cut & Style Balding or Thinning Hair

Lya Navarra

Author Lya Navarra

Androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is the most common cause of hair loss and will affect up to 70% of men and 40% of women at some point during their lifetimes. Classic androgenic hair loss in men usually begins above the temples and vertex of the scalp. As it progresses, a ring of hair remains and rarely progresses to complete baldness.

As you can see, we'’re dealing with a pretty sensitive and ego-bruising subject here: hair loss. We love how Andrew Carruthers, Education Director for Sam Villa refers to balding spots as ‘light areas’ on the head…, a much more preferred phrase when speaking with your guests’ wouldn'’t you agree?

The reality of it all, however you want to address this sensitive occurrence for men, is that they already know there are changes happening to their hair.  And if you are not addressing hair loss with your guests’, you are doing yourself and them injustice.

What do you stand to lose if you just do the cut and ignore the occurrence? You miss the opportunity to discuss the challenge of hair loss and how you can assist the overall look with the right haircut, product – not an option, but a necessity – and styling tools.

You may think that guys don’t want to pick up a styling product or use a blow dryer, but you will be surprised!  Your male guests want to be taught how to deal with the changes that are happening and most will welcome the option to not only look better but to feel better about the ego-busting pattern of hair loss.

As mentioned, first and foremost, product is not an option, it'’s a necessity.  In this video, Andrew applies Redken’s Dense Fx™ product from their Cerafill line of products for thinning hair to his client’s wet hair (this is an important step – make sure you are applying the product to wet hair for maximum benefits). The beauty of this styling product is that it plumps up existing hair to increase each hair’'s diameter. The end result is like gaining 9000 more hairs! Click to learn more about Redken Dense Fx™ from their Cerafill line of products for thinning hair.

Redken Cerafill thinning hair solutions - Dense Fx

The product is applied at the scalp in the area where hair loss is evident and massaged gently at the roots.  Andrew then blow dries the Dense Fx™  into his guest’s hair using his fingers, creating a more exposed cuticle which will give the hair even more texture and volume.  The end result is the illusion of thicker hair!

  • Begin in the crown and blow dry the hair toward the back of the head using a concentrator nozzle to direct the airflow
  • Lift the hair with your fingers up and off the scalp while blow drying
  • As the hair is drying you will begin to see the filling-in and masking of the balding area

Now let’s get into the dynamics of cutting with a tool to balance out the light areas vs. the dense areas of hair.  As mentioned earlier, genetics are one of the culprits of  male pattern baldness and you will not often see baldness along and underneath the parietal ridge – the “ring area”.  The ‘light areas’ are more common above this area.

Sam Villa InvisiBlend Shear to the rescue! This unique blending shear will enable you to safely and softly eliminate density leaving the ends of the hair very soft and light. No two hairs are cut to the same length, which eliminates all cutting lines.

  • Working with the teeth of the InvisiBlend Shear toward the head, go through the dense area to remove some of the bulk
  • HOT TIP – the direction of the teeth will influences the direction the hair will move
  • Keep in mind what you are trying to achieve is a balance of the dense area to the thinning area for an airy look and feel
  • You will want to use a point cutting technique for cutting into the crown as to avoid any blunt, hard lines in this area

InvisiBlend Shear - softly remove weight without leaving lines in the hair

Now that the hair is dry and the dense areas are reduced and more balanced to the ‘light areas’, Andrew will go back in with finishing product.  The product of choice for finishing this hairstyle is Redken For Men outplay texture putty.  You want a matte finish for the best visual result as well as for the hold factor and effect on the hair.  What you don’t want is a product that is oil based to weigh the hair down and defeat the result of the Cerafill Dense Fx™ used on the hair when it was wet and dried in.

  • Place a small amount of Redken For Men outplay texture putty into the palms of your hand
  • Emulsify by rubbing your palms together rapidly and warming up the product
  • Watch how gently Andrew just barely touches the top of the hair to adhere the product only to the ends – never taking the product down to the scalp

You will clearly recognize the difference in the hair texture from the beginning of this video to the end.  The combination of the Cerafill Dense Fx™, Sam Villa InvisiBlend Shear and outplay texture putty all played their own role in the transformation.

Before and after photo - how to cut and style balding or thinning hair to appear thicker

The key to the success is the value you add to your guest’s appointment.  You have the ability to meet male pattern baldness head on (literally) by educating your guest on how to achieve the same results at home that you have given him in the salon.

Don'’t be afraid to use and recommend styling products and tools – your guests want to be informed, they want to look their best and you are there to uncover the fear they may have to face their hair loss challenge head on.

Let us know how this works for you; we want to hear from you!  Share your experiences and what has worked well for you and your guests!

If you have any questions or comments be sure to leave them in the box below.

Don't forget to check out the Sam Villa InvisiBlend Shear – perfect for removing a small amount of weight without leaving lines in the hair!