Hairbrained Quick-Tips: Creating Movement with MENSPIRE

When it comes to men’s grooming, the classics never go out of style. But top-trends change from year to year – and this year – Oliver Moorehouse, Educator for MENSPIRE, is getting more requests for hair with movement. “Something slightly softer,” confirms Oliver. “Guys are wanting to see some hair on the sides, and on the top of their head,” he adds. Here, Oliver shares the perfect quick-tips for creating this year’s most on-trend style. Read on to find out how.

Tip 1: Sectioning. Oliver uses a rectangular box-section through the top, while he works with a triangular section through the crown area. This, he says, will give him more flexibility, if he wants to build up weight, here.

“We get asked a lot: Why do you use so many sections? Why are there so many clips in the hair (at the beginning of the haircut)? The answer to this is quite simple, guys,” says Oliver. “What we’re doing is breaking down our haircut into four easy steps. Going the extra mile with sectioning patterns makes the whole haircut that much more fluent.”


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Tip 2: Cross Graduation vs. Block Graduation. To create a style with movement, Oliver works through the side areas with a technique that MENSPIRE refers to as cross graduation. Working in diagonal sections, Oliver ‘club cuts’ the hair. This means that he’s working with the full area of the scissor, which will help him to build up weight through the contour area of the haircut, with precision and control. This technique is integral to MENSPIRE education.

“One of the hardest parts about this technique,” says Oliver, “is creating balance. We’ve got to find a completely new guideline from nowhere,” he says as he moves to the second side. To address this difficulty, Oliver sets what he calls ‘targets.’ “It’s really hard to gauge the length, to begin with. But if I put in these platforms, almost, that match from one side to the other, I’m going to be more inclined to find that [perfect] length.”

When Oliver gets to the top section, he alters his technique. This section, he says, separates the top hair from the bottom hair. For this section of hair, Oliver will be working block graduation. “Cross graduation allows us to create that ‘flow’ that we talk about so much,” he says. “Then with the block graduation, I’m continuing to build that structure through the top area.

Tip 3: Maintain Weight and Length in the Crown. Because Oliver wants to maintain weight and length through the crown area, he works with slightly more vertical sections. “I’m going to work with something almost square,” he says. “Something we like to do at MENSPIRE quite a lot when we’re working with the top area of guys heads is work off of vertical sections. The reason we find that this works so much better, is that it gives us options – it allows us to see how the hair falls.”

“In men’s hair, it’s easy to make mistakes that we can’t go back on,” says Oliver. “But if we can allow these sectioning patterns to give us the options – which we want throughout the haircut – then that’s great.”

“When it comes to sectioning men’s hair, there are those that ridicule us, and those that applaud us,” adds Josh Lamonaca, Head of Education at MENSPIRE. “But our philosophy is simple: Where hair grows, a section goes.” And the MENSPIRE team has come by this knowledge through countless in-salon hours. “Over the years, I’ve come to understand 80% of men’s haircutting is psychological, and 20% is practical,” confides Josh. “Every man has a unique form of hair growth.” So, at MENSPIRE, educators and craft hairdressers create movement, similarly, with an eye on suitability.

“I’m constantly reassessing as I cut,” finishes Oliver.   

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