Common mistakes made when cutting long hair

You may feel comfortable cutting long, luscious locks, but beware of these five common mistakes that could cause a serious style disaster 

Model with long, pink hair Sharon Malcolm
Model with blonde waved hair Sharon Malcolm

Long hair can be a major style statement and something many clients will want to achieve for a fuller, fabulous feeling, but executed badly or in the wrong way for your client could lead to a major cutting catastrophe.  A master of her craft, Sharon Malcolm of Sharon Malcolm Hairdressing, Newtownards, Northern Ireland, shares the five most common mistakes made when cutting long hair. 

Five mistakes to avoid when cutting long hair 


Adopting a one-for-all approach 
While many clients may desire the one-length, longer hair look, the classic style doesn’t always suit the individual! The one-length look, without layering, limits the ability to create a carefully considered hair look for a client; having some layers throughout can sometimes compliment the client’s face shape and enable more volume in the hair. An emphasis on the importance of consultation and communication prior to the scissors!

Keeping hair longer than its texture can support 
It’s vital to consider the hair’s natural texture when cutting a longer look. Unfortunately, the correlation between texture and length often fluctuates, meaning very textured hair may look ragged and broken at the ends if left too long. A good suggestion to make in this instance, is blunt cutting, to achieve a thicker appearance.

Black and white image of model with long dark hair with loose curls and fringe
Model with blonde up-do by Sharon Malcolm

Cutting layers too short or too long 
Layers are a great way of creating a long hair look that is versatile and can be easily adapted to suit an individual client, however layers that are cut too short or too long can produce an unflattering outcome. Cutting layers too short can create a mullet effect — great if that’s what the client is hoping to achieve, but not a style for everyone’s taste. Cutting layers too long can make them harder to manage and style, with limited movement and volume. 
Not blending layers 
It is vital to blend layers to avoid visible disconnection between them, creating steps through the hair lengths. Often, the secret is simple: using the correct cutting angles. For example, if you want to reduce weight hold the scissors parallel to the section of hair. If you aim to play with more texture, go in at an angle to create something choppier. It is important to have the blend, and the technique will create the shape, texture, and effect that you want. 
A little too much relying on styling 
A finished look is inevitably dependant on how it is being styled. This doesn’t mean that styling can cover up a botch-job! Long hair needs a cut that gives it a foundation and structure. Recommending to your clients to start drying the hair underneath means they have the option to create the look at home. Avoid using a round brush on the top of straight hair as this can create a step-look, instead opt for a paddle brush to blow-dry, and use a round brush underneath. 

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