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Surface Razor Cutting For a Highly Textured Finish

Andrew Carruthers

Author Andrew Carruthers | Education Director for Sam Villa

RAZOR /rey-zer/

noun: A sharp-edged instrument used for cutting hair and shaving the face

Stay right here, you are about to be challenged! We’re here to share an alternative and fresh approach to razor cutting on the surface of the hair. The technique of surface cutting directly relates to utilizing the razor in a parallel position to the section as opposed to a perpendicular position. All of us here at Sam Villa® just love utilizing razors in our cuts. This technique will result in straight cutting lines with a highly textured finish.

The Sam Villa Modern Heritage Collection features two different full length haircuts that incorporate surface razor technique. To view these full-length haircuts head to our Video on Demand page.





Recommended Tools For This Technique

Let’s discuss the two different razor blades before we begin:

9-Gap Razor Blade

The 9-Gap blade will perform more as a blending shear. The spacing between the cups and the exposed blade is tight. Using this blade will not leave obvious ‘peaks and valleys and the resulting texture will be soft.



6-Gap Razor Blade

The 6-Gap blade will perform more as a large tooth-texturizing shear. The spacing between the cups is spread out. Using this blade will create more obvious ‘peaks and valleys’ in the end result. Think of this blade as adding deliberate texture.



The Technique

9-Gap Blade
  • Comb through the section to smooth it out
  • ‘Trap’ the section into your fingers in between the bridge of the comb and the fingers behind it



NOTE – This ‘trap’ action will deliver the necessary tension needed to secure your sections

  • Come into the section with the razor and work it parallel to the section-on top of the section
  • Remove hair from the surface to create your line



6-Gap Blade

Use the exact same technique as with the 9-Gap blade making sure to ‘trap’ each section for tension. Once again, utilizing this blade will result in more ‘deliberate’ texture.

Both of these blades will prove to be especially beneficial in adding beautiful texture to fringes or other short areas of your shape. 9-Gap for softer ends and 6-Gap for more textured ends.




Work with vertical sections elevated to 90 degrees horizontal (or the appropriate elevation for your desired weight balance)

  • Comb through the section to smooth it out
  • Hold on to the section with two fingers with high tension
  • Again approach the hair with the razor parallel to the section and remove hair from the surface until the section is cut through (also play around with how large the stroke of the razor is)




The traditional approach of cutting the hair with a razor in the perpendicular movement is absolutely fine but let’s change it up! We will continue to challenge you to do, think, and say things differently. If we don’t change our approach we become stagnant. Our guests are a lot smarter than they used to be—they observe what is going on around the salon and they WILL notice when we utilize a new technique. So, let’s keep the fire burning to stay fresh with ourselves and give our guests’ something to look forward to instead of the same old, same old!



What is your favorite razor cutting technique for adding surface texture? Share your techniques in the comments box below.

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