Sections and Thinning scissors


Section God and Bash it Thinners is a lot of what we are hearing in social media at the moment. It’s all very funny and sometimes very justified but others time not so in my humble opinion.

At Mike Taylor Education sectioning hair correctly is key and if you don’t learn this early on you never will and you will not reach your full potential in the barbering industry.

When I was first taught many, many moons ago I said to my teacher “practice makes perfect” and she said “no, sections make perfect”. So I now use this with my students - sections make perfect, practice makes permanent!

I often get barbers that attend my academy that have been taught poorly and it is so hard to undo what they have been taught and show them how to use a comb for sections properly. There are so many different ways to get around a haircut, after all what we do is art, but you cannot break the rules until you have learnt the rules.

An important part of teaching at Mike Taylor Education is standardisation - ensuring that we all teach the same. We tell our students that there are hundreds of ways to go about a haircut, we will teach them one way but once they understand what they are doing and why, they can try different ways to see what works best for them.

To me its about nice clean sections and working methodically throughout the cut so you don’t get lost and cut too much hair off. I’m sure most of us when we started barbering have had a client where we’ve cut too much off but sometimes you need to make mistakes to learn from them. Working neatly and methodically will help you to retain length and not get lost.

So when I do hear “section god” I do think you don’t need a hundred sections and section clips in hair thats 5cm long. Never disregard sections as they make a better haircut, you just don’t need to take a 100 of them.

The other thing I hear a lot of now is ‘bashing it with thinners’. Again I think if thinning scissors are used in the correct manner they can be a great tool to have but not used correctly or over use can lead to drastically bad haircuts.

To me thinning scissors should only be used in the last third of the hair unless you are trying to create lift which then I would opt for a razor, not thinning scissors. Thinning scissors are also useful to teach students point cutting without too much risk of them hurting themselves. Thinning scissors have also had to come out when that blonde 3 year old won’t sit still and is having a tantrum in your barber chair. For me, safety has to become the priority for both me and the child and I have used them to help blend the haircut.

Unfortunately thinning scissors do seem to be getting used far too much resulting in very bad work. I often sit when I am in airports, train stations, coffee shops etc looking at haircuts and I can see from a mile off those who have been “bashed with thinners” and the results are not good. So at Mike Taylor Education we do teach how to use thinning scissors but we also show you the better alternatives to get the correct results.

With social media being huge and You Tube being the most used social media channel, a lot of people now are trying to learn barbering from the internet. I believe this is a massive problem. To learn barbering correctly it needs to be broken down and taught and explained properly with questions asked. No two people will learn at exactly the same pace or same way so how can be people be taught just using a You Tube channel?

When I was cutting in my shop last week a client told me he had just taken up golf and was already better than most people at his club. He explained he paid for 20 lessons and on the first lesson his teacher said please ignore learning golf online it will set you back just take your 20 lessons with me then see where you are. I 100% agreed with him when he said it was the best advice he had ever had.