As hairdressers, one of the easiest ways for us to get hurt is by point cutting. "Rapidly moving shears in such close proximity to our fingers can be dangerous,” says Andrew Carruthers, education director for Sam Villa. “The best way to avoid injury is by practicing the proper technique so it becomes second nature, and then focus on depth and angle," he adds.
Carruthers suggests practicing the movement before you even touch the hair. Do it while watching TV or reading—just sit and repeat the movement hundreds, if not thousands, of times to create muscle memory in your fingers and a sense of where the points of the shears come in relation to fingers.
Technique. Pull away when you cut—open, touch and close on the way out to cut. The shears closing as they move away from fingers protects them from getting nicked.
Depth. Think how far the shears go into the hair. The shear must be introduced very deep into the section if you’re looking for strong visual texture. But, if it’s just a soft edge without removing too much weight or density, maybe the shear comes in just an itty bit, ¼-inch, to build a fairly strong line with a soft edge. A longer shear comes in handy when deep cutting, something like the Sam Villa Signature Series 7” Dry Cutting Swivel Shear.
Angle. Always think about the angle of the shear in relation to the hair based on desired results. Shears parallel to the hair will yield a soft, loose texture for a wispy and light effect, and a more diagonal angle yields larger peaks and valleys for a visually dramatic texture, also called “notching.”
“It’s essential to have ownership over point cutting, especially in this era of incredibly textured cuts,” says Carruthers.