Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Buzz and Flat Top

Although I saw a great video on flat top hair cutting on YouTube today, it really isn't appropriate for this, the video quality was pretty bad, even though the cut was great. Also, being that it was a lady that was getting the flat top, and they started out with MUCH longer hair than I am supposing you will have if you are a regular buzz/flat top sort of person.

Anyhow, as Jonathon mentioned a couple of days ago in his great post on StyleDash, this post is going to be instruction on how to do a buzz or flat top. If you are looking to do more complicated cuts, then you should get this book, as it is awesome, gives great illustrations on how to do much more complicated styles.

If you are looking for my article on how to cut your own hair in the taper style, go here.

Start Up Those Clippers

Day before yesterday's post was on the taper cut, and we will be using many of the same instructions on how to do this cut, as this is basically just a modified taper cut (which means you will also need the same tools of the trade). In fact, go read that post do everything that is there until you get to cutting the top, and come back here, because up until the point where we get to the top, this cut is IDENTICAL to a taper as described there.

Blending the Back and Sides

A little tip that I picked up about getting the back and sides to meet up correctly is that you should blend them by criss crossing your clippering over the top of the ears (see image):

Grab the Scissors, Cutting the Bangs and Top

Here is where we need to change things up a little bit from the taper cut. First, you are going to pull out your spray bottle and start wetting down the hair on top and the bangs, give it a few good sprays all over the top of your head. Now, comb all of the hair straight back.

Good, now go ahead and comb the bangs down onto the forehead, collect up the hair between your first two fingers of your comb hand. The purpose here is to cut the hair that is protruding from between your fingers, so keep them flat, and make sure you have the exact length you want. Then, carefully cut the hair across your fingers. Do this on one side of the front, then the other, combing down the hair each time. After you have done this, comb the hair flat against the forehead and trim any loose ends that might be there.

When you have the bangs cut to length, comb them back onto the top.

Similar to how we did the collect-and-cut on top in the taper cut article, we are now going to start on the centerline of the head, and collect hair and cut from front to back, using the bangs as a guide for length. See the pictures below for a demonstration:


When gathering the hair, you will want to comb the hair straight back, then imagine a 2 inch wide mohawk strip of hair where you will be cutting, now, comb everything away from that 2 inch strip, toward whichever side that hair is on, down the head so that it is out of the way, and you have a clear strip of hair to gather and cut.

Repeat from front to back in 2 inch strips starting at the centerline of the head, the going to the sides.

Important Note for Flat Toppers:
At this point, when cutting the top with scissors, ensure that you leave enough length on top to actually have enough room to flatten.

To Flat or Not?

Here is where you have an option, you can basically be done at this point, apply a blow-dry to the hair, brush off, gel the hair and spike it, and call it a buzz at this point, or you can move onto the clipper across comb on top to create the flat top.

For the flat top, you now need to blow dry the hair, blowing from the front back to ensure that the hair is standing as straight up as you can get it. Make sure that the hair is good and dry, and really at attention! Get your clippers out, and set the blade length setting to as short as possible. We won't be using a guard, just the bare clippers.

Now, take your comb and starting from the front, at the height that you want the top of the flat top to be, and keeping your comb flat (like you are balancing an egg on it), comb back from the front a little ways, then hold the comb steady. You are now going to use the clipper-across-comb technique that you used on the sides and back, except here, you will be using it to flatten any hair that is sticking up through the comb.

Be very steady here, as any movement can cause you to cut too much hair, and make it difficult to get the effect. Take a look at this picture:

Do this from front to back, combing the hair back frequently to ensure that it stays standing upward. When you are satisfied that the hair on top is nice and straight, take another look at the sides, and flatten them a little more to be even with the top.

Use the Mirror

Give your hair another blow dry, apply gel if you need it to keep you hair at attention, then get to cleaning up. With this type of cut, you are going to find that you are a lot "hairyer" than normal, many many more small hairs that a normal cut, because of the clippers, so you might want to shower before you finish your styling.

Now, all fresh and styled? Great, now go take a look in the mirror and marvel at your beauty, at your perfection. You handsome stud, you look better than Dolph Lundgren in Red Scorpion!

p.s. If you are still interested, here is a link to that video.
p.p.s. If you are ready to get started, then do it, get started. Hair doesn't get shorter by itself :)

p.p.p.s. One other thing, now that you have your hair cut, if you guys need to get yourself looking your best for a date, an interview, or even if you are getting out of the house to hit the bar or something, you will want to check out this page!

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