The simplest cut
Minimalist simple design is often thought to be the most difficult to achieve because there is nowhere to hide any imperfections. The haircut commonly referred to as the Bob has this reputation with in hairdressing. I am referring to the classic Bob, one length, no layers, the shape relies on one straight line, possibly A line, maybe a fringe, any more complication and it is something else. Yes, my followers of fashion the Bob is back, it is termed, the return of the repressed, when something get so far out of fashion it starts to look good again. Choppy-choppy, graduated, curls, pass’e overnight as they say in French. The sharp clean cut gets a return.
Why is a simple straight line so difficult to cut into hair?
I’m glad you asked!
The eye see’s one continuous edge/line but in reality the hair that makes up that line is far from consistent. In the nape where the line is strongest the hair will be a short distance from the hair line and so registers the line pretty much as it has been cut. If we follow the line to above the ear we encounter an obstruction the “ear” and as generally we can’t remove it, we need to allow for it. If the hair is pulled too tightly when combed over the ear when cut, as the hair dries it will look like there is a chunk cut out of the line.
When we move on to the side of the bob, the hair is often furthest from the hair line at this point unlike the hair in the nape, so as it is dried it will naturally plumb out, in effect making it shorter, so if you have a cut level line, it will now be angling up. To avoid this we need to use no tension cutting and allow some extra length to compensate for the fact that the hair will rise up when dried.
Another important aspect of cutting a bob is to work with the hair in natural fall, everyone’s hair follows a unique pattern, think of how hair often spirals at a crown. When the hair is combed it needs to be allowed to follow this natural pattern before being cut. If it is combed to a false natural fall which is very easy to do, if you are not observing the natural movement, what happens is that when the hair is left to is own devices it will find its way back to natural fall and as this is not where the hair was cut, the line you thought you cut is has changed and is no longer sharp.
Graduation in hair cutting can both be positive and negative, if you desire a tapered shape graduation is you friend but if you are trying to achieve a sharp line this requires no graduation. The way this is achieved is by taking small sections, keep the hair close to the skin and not lifted out at all and of coarse sharp scissors also help. “So” not so simples after all!