Explaining the Skills of an Old School Barber and Their Tools While They Cut Hair

—Josh Lawson

We're following Eric as he goes to The Grand barber shop in Austin, Texas with our newest employee, Jack, filming him as he gets his hair cut and beard trimmed. Eric wants to trim his hair up a little bit, and clean up his neckline. He wants to slick up his hair cause the heat seems to drop it a bit in the heat. So he wants to take it shorter, taking it down about half an inch, and about a half guard along the sides with a high fade.

Gabriel starts by using his rotary machine with a comb as his guard. They do things old school at this barbershop, cause it cuts through hair much more easily and much faster. A lot of times when people use guards they push it into the head and don't get a good profile. They just smooth it out. Gabe want's you to look guy walking out of here, but he also wants it to look good 2-3 weeks down the road.

He starts out by making the sides all the same length, then slowly take it down where it needs to go. For the most part, he starts on the sides first, then moves to the back, and finishes off on the top. Everyone has their own style, so to each their own.

When he cuts longer hair Gabe establishes a stationary guide through the middle and tapers from the crown forward. Your crown is the highest point of your head so it should have the shortest point. The longest hairs on your head need to be at the front because it tends to slope forward. You can't really take it passed the cowlick, cause then it'll start to grow in strangely and stick out.

He prefers to cut wet hair to dry hair, but he knows it'll shrink a bit when it drys so he over extends when he cuts. That's just his personal style. If it were dry, the hair would be much harder to cut in a symmetrical style and it wouldn't grow in as well. To help soften the cut on the sides he uses thinning shears around the corners. If you were to do it all over it give you a bunch of stray hairs that look like shit.

Now onto the beard. Usually, hair from the next grows up, and the rest grows forward, so when they meet the push together and create a rough patch. If you follow that line and condition your beard well, then it'll really help maintain your beard. Gabe cleans up that line with some scissors, while still maintaining its shape. He also cuts out the small bits that fly away from the beard itself. Then he takes some trimmers and cleans up the edges near the ear and really makes the neckline nice.

He ends the cut by sharpening his straight razor and shaves the back of the neck. A lot of people grow their hair uneven in the back, so he makes it all the same length. To avoid any kind of razor burn or irritation he does his best to go with the grain. He brushes off the hair around his neck, gives him a massage, and sends him on his way.

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