Hairlines and growth patterns

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Hairlines and growth patterns

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Hairlines and growth patterns are an essential element of the hair analysis. You should always look at them when the hair is wet and when it is dry (the hair could have been blow-dried into shape).


The areas to look at are:   

  • Nape hairline   
  • Crown   
  • Front and sides

Not everyone has a perfect hairline so make sure you check for uneven growth and awkward, moving shapes.

Growth pattern

You need to take your client’s hair growth pattern into consideration when you are cutting their hair because some patterns influence how a cut is carried out. The most common ones are:   

  • Double crown
  • Nape whorls
  • Calf licks
  • Widow’s peak

You should check for these growth patterns during your client consultation, before you start to cut the hair. If you encounter any, you should cut without using pressure to allow for the natural movement of the hair.

You may need to cut the sections of hair within the growth patterns longer than the rest of the hair. This allows for the movement of the hair as it springs back to how it falls naturally. The hair looks level even though it has not been cut level.

Some growth patterns can affect a style so much that it would not look right. For example, your client may want a style that is cut into the neck but doesn’t go into the middle. This won’t work if they have nape whorls. You need to consult more with your client, explaining why the cut won’t work.


Partings can be used to produce different effects in hairstyles. For example, a central parting can divide the hair evenly and help to make a heavy head or thick hair appear more balanced. Side partings can be used to draw the eye away from prominent features such as a large nose or uneven ears.

Fashion can also affect the way you use partings.

Some natural partings can be very well defined and it is often necessary to work with them rather than imposing new partings.

During your client consultation, before you start cutting, you should establish the pattern and strength of your client’s natural parting. This may determine the finished look you are able to achieve. 
Jordan Burr
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales

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