Using guidelines is a very simple process. Cutting guidelines are specially prepared sections of hair. Each is cut so that both the length and cutting lines are visible. These guides can be followed throughout the cutting process to help you produce even and precise results. If you don’t have guidelines to follow – or you don’t follow the ones you’ve got - you are likely to end up with an uneven and unsuccessful haircut.
The first guideline
When you have decided on the style and the length of your haircut, you can make your first cutting guide. This is the area that forms the foundation to a haircut. When you are learning the basic techniques of haircutting, it is important to have an understanding of how the foundations of haircuts work.
For example, it is easier at the beginning to learn to cut your perimeter shape first. This helps you to build the foundation (underpinning) or exterior shape of your haircuts. And this, in turn, gives you the guideline you will use to cut your interior shape, which is known as 'layering'.
Each style has a cutting pattern. (For more on cutting patterns, see the pages for all the different cuts in Haircuts.) Divide the head into segments and follow the cutting pattern of your chosen hairstyle. This way, you are sure to achieve the style your client has requested.