How-To: Scissor Over Comb


In this simple how-to video, Traci Sakosits, North American Creative Director for Sassoon Academies, flawlessly demonstrates the Pareto Principle: The 80/20 Rule means that in any set of things a few (20%) are vital and many (80%) are considered trivial.

The principle – applied in the case of cutting hair the Sassoon way – is that the final 20% of work during the definition and finish phase will produce 80% of the result, giving the look its individuality and helping to train the eyes to see detail. Read on to discover how to achieve a technically on-point finish using Pareto’s 80/20 principle – plus learn how to implement a precise scissor over comb technique.


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Steps 1-3 represent the bulk of the work, or 80%, while steps 4-8 (which are depicted in the video) represent the finishing work, or 20%.    

Step 1: Establish the basic shape; this includes optimal length and internal proportions.

Step 2: Cross check for precision.

Step 3: Graduate the external length into the internal lengths, working through the fingers.

Step 4: Achieve precision when working scissor over comb.

  • Scissor and comb move in unison.
  • Work parallel to the hairline.
  • Work in vertical channels from the hairline, up.
  • Work both visually and technically.
  • Once done, the hair should appear velvety in texture.

Step 5: Blow dry the hair with a Vess brush.

Step 6: Graduate and refine the lines to include the fringe. Graduation in the fringe area is achieved by following these simple techniques.  

  • Work over the head to achieve an even tension across the forehead.
  • Draw a line with the tip of the scissor.
  • The graduation on the edge of the hair creates a geometric look that settles onto the skin.

Step 7: The final definition is done with the smallest comb, to further graduate and fade the hairline.

Remember - the last 20% gives you 80% of the result – and a strong finished look is dependent upon your ability to pay attention to the details.

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Her go-to hairstylist took to Instagram to share the breakdown for the look.