Details, Details: Signature Haircuts

FROM SASSOON’S PLAIN GEOMETRY TO TIGI’S DISCONNECTED LAYERS AND FIERCE UNDERCUTS, WE ALL KNOW A SIGNATURE HAIRCUT WHEN WE SEE ONE. WHAT WE DISCOVERED WHEN TALKING TO THE PROS IS THAT IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS. 

TWENTY YEARS AGO TIGI’S BRILLIANT International Creative Director Anthony Mascolo came up with a new technique that became known as transient layering. “You could put your shape in and eliminate length and weight, but the client could wear her hair forward, parted in the middle or any number of ways,” says Thomas Osborn, Creative Director and VP of Education. “It built a load of versatility into each haircut, and it’s still relevant today.” In fact, aside from the undercut, it’s precisely those loose, sexy, face- framing layers that make a TIGI haircut so instantly recognizable. “We have three foundation techniques—one-length, graduation and layers—that we use in everything we do, but I think that it’s our attention to detail, the personalizing, that takes our work one step further than everyone else’s,” says Osborn, who notes that while most hairdressers think they’re done once the hair is dry, that’s when TIGI is just getting started. “Once you’ve put the foundation in, you dry the hair, look at your client’s face and head shape, and make the cut suit her.” Anthony Mascolo has taken the undercut and made it his own, taking the hair super short when he wants a strong contrast to razor-cutting the hair so the perimeter stays longer and softer. Here he took his model’s existing length and point-cut-over-comb to take the weight out on the sides so the haircut conforms to the shape of her head.
BUMBLE AND BUMBLE HAS BEEN PREACHING THE GOSPEL of razor cutting almost since the beginning, but it’s the way they use the razor that gives their haircuts that signature style. “We typically use the edge, the heel and the tip as opposed to using the flat of the razor, which can take off too much hair so there’s nothing left,” says Sabrina Michals, Bumble and bumble Creative Director of Styling and Education. “Working on the edge gives you the flexibility to take out the teeniest amount of hair or the largest amount depending on the look you want.” Michals also talks about the “aesthetic that runs through our DNA at Bumble,” which is that no one should leave the salon looking like they’ve just had their hair cut. “We want it a little softer, looking like it’s grown in a bit, more organic and less precise.” Creating balance is key. For example, if you’re working at the back of the head where the hair is denser, you’ll use broader strokes for a soft line, but when you move around to the front of the head where the hair is less dense, you’ll use shorter strokes for a softer line. Finally, applying a product like Prep Spray to wet hair allows the shape to reveal itself as you’re cutting. When she’s working on a client with fine hair, Michals finds that Dry Spun, a styling product meant to be used on dry hair, actually builds up volume when she uses it on wet hair. “The volume is built into the cut,” she says. Still, there’s no discounting the impact that years of working backstage during Fashion Week has had on the Bumble aesthetic. “We are always trying to elevate the craft of hairdressing,” says Michals, “and all that experience working backstage has certainly helped to develop our eye.” It’s a skill that Bumble hopes to pass on to as many hairdressers as they can. At Bumble and bumble, it’s important that no one should leave like salon looking like they’ve just had their hair cut.
THE NAME VIDAL SASSOON IS SYNONYMOUS WITH THE GEOMETRIC HAIRCUTS he pioneered in the 1960s, like this asymmetrical bob he gave actress Nancy Kwan for her role in The Wild Affair. Kwan was photographed sporting this cut for a 1968 issue of Vogue, and Sassoon’s reputation was made. “Like all good design, these iconic cuts have transcended the era of their creation to become absolutely timeless,” says Mark Hayes, Sassoon International Creative Director. Today, the Sassoon team continues to pioneer the geometric approach that you still see worn and styled on the streets of any major international city.
What’s so appealing about the bob is that it can be dressed up or down and can be made to suit any face shape or lifestyle. “The Sassoon effect is truly a global one, so it’s no surprise that the bob is making news again in its new, relaxed guise,” says Mark Hayes. “At Sassoon, it never went away.”
Read more on

Suggested Articles

Think lots of baubles, barrettes, bobby pins, scrunchies and scarves this season.

When Devine’s hairstylist suggested that she go to beauty school, she knew she’d found her path. 

Gerber took to Instagram over the weekend to debut her new ’do.