Haircut Tutorial: 2017 Pompadour Make Over
How to Cut a Pompadour
A pompadour is a classic style that's longer on the top and shorter on the sides. Part of what makes the style a pompadour is how you blow-dry it; however, getting the right cut is important too. While the traditional pomp has sideburns and longer sides, you can skip the sideburns and give yourself a short fade for a modern touch instead.
Trimming the Bottom
Start with hair that's at least 4 in (10 cm).The client's hair should be long enough to be combed straight back and have some height when blow-dried with a round-barrel brush. Depending on the exact size of their head, this should be at least 4 in (10 cm) long.
- Keep the texture of their hair in mind. Curly hair will straighten and lengthen a bit when you style it into a pomp.
- It would be even better if the hair on the sides of the client's head is already cut short. Something around to 2 in (3.8 to 5.1 cm) long would be great!
- If your client’s hair is too long, do a rough cut by trimming it down to approximately 4 in (10 cm) on the top, and 2 in (5.1 cm) on the sides.
Create 2 deep side parts that join in a V in the back of the head.Use a fine-toothed comb or a rattail comb to create a deep side part on the left and right sides of the client's head, right where it starts to curve down. Angle the parts so that they connect in the back of the head in a shallow V-shape. Gather the hair between the parts, and secure it with clips.
- The side parts will be a little different on each person, but it's typically around the temples.
- Make the side parts curve down a little so that they connect in a V a little bit above the eyebrows.
Shave just under the parts using clippers and a fine-toothed comb.Make sure that you have trimmed off the bulk of the hair first using hair-cutting shears. Hold the comb with the teeth pointing up and angled away from the scalp. Comb it up through the hair until you've caught the hair that's just beneath the first side part. Run the clippers across the comb to trim the hair that's sticking out of it.
- Take the guard off of the clippers for this. The comb's teeth will keep the clippers from shaving too close. You can even do this with scissors instead!
- Start at one temple and work your way along the part until you reach the bottom of the V, then repeat the process for the back.
- This is the baseline. Make it about the same thickness as the comb, about 1 to 2 in (2.5 to 5.1 cm).
Blend the hairline up to the bottom of the baseline with #3 clippers.Run a fine-toothed comb up through the hair until it's just below the baseline. Start on one side of the head and finish in the back, then repeat the process for the other side.
- Make a few more passes along the bottom portion of the head to make the head shorter.
Clean up the edges and perimeter with detail trimmers.Run the trimmers along the perimeter of the client’s hair, starting at one temple and finishing at the nape, then doing the same for the other side. Be sure to get the sideburns, behind the ears, and the bottom of the nape.
- Pull the ears away from the scalp so that you can reach behind them.
- Detail trimmers are a type of clipper with a narrow point that allows for precision.
- When doing the nape, hold the trimmers so that they are parallel to the hairline, then pull them away from the hairline. This will give you a crisp edge.
- For an old-school, rockabilly look, keep the sideburns long.
Blend the sides and back with a fine-toothed comb and scissors.Run a fine-toothed comb upwards through your client’s hair with the teeth pointing upwards. As you are doing this, snip away any stray pieces of hair that are sticking out of the comb.
- This is similar to how you cut the hair previously with clippers.
- You can use this time to create a modern fade by making the hair towards the bottom of the head shorter.Keep in mind that cutting the back of your own hair can be very challenging. Have a friend hold a mirror up for you so that you can see the back of your head.
- Make sure that you are using good hairdressing shears and not plain, old scissors.
Cutting the Top
Unclip the hair and comb a 1 in (2.5 cm) thick layer towards the back.Remove the hair clips that you put into hair on the top of the client's head first. Next, create a part across the back of the head, 1 in (2.5 cm) above the bottom of the V. Comb the hair below that part down.
- The hair should be thick enough to hold its shape above the part. If it keeps covering the part, just clip it back up again.
Trim the hair to match the bottom of the baseline.Pinch the hair you just let down between your middle and index fingers. Slide your fingers down until they line up with the bottom edge of the baseline. Cut the hair that's sticking out from under your fingers off.
- Make sure that your fingers match the angle of the baseline. Remember: the left and right sides connect in a V!
- You may end up with a long point of hair sticking out from beyond the baseline. If that happens, just trim it down to match the baseline.
Grab a section of hair from the center part, running from back-to-front.Make a V-shape with your middle and index fingers, then pinch a section of hair above the part you just made. Make this section about the length of your fingers, and angling from the back of the head to the front.
- Use the hair you just cut as a guide to help you cut this section.
Slide your fingers to where you want to cut, then cut the hair off.First, slide your fingers up the section of hair until they reach the included bit of hair from the baseline. Then, trim the hair that's sticking out from above your fingers.
Continue to cut sections of hair until you reach the forehead.Angle your fingers slightly so that the hair gets longer the closer you get to the client's forehead. Include a strand of hair from the previous section in the new section.
- How many sections you end up doing depends on the length of your fingers and the client's head. Expect to do 2 or 3.
Repeat the process on the sides of the top section, if needed.This all depends on how wide the top section of hair was. If it was very wide, you might not have gotten everything between your fingers when cutting. If you need to do this, be sure to include a strand of hair from the middle section you just cut.
- Start from the front of the head and work your way towards the back.
- Remember to angle your fingers so that the hair is longer in the front and shorter in the back
Even out the hair along the front hairline.Pinch a section of hair from the client's front hairline, keeping your fingers parallel to it. Slide your fingers up until they reach the end of the hair, then trim off any excess that is sticking out above them.
- Do this all along the front hairline, from one side to the other.
- You are not cutting the hair shorter. You're just evening it out.
Comb the sides down and trim them so that they match the baseline.Take the left side section from the top of your client's head and brush them down. Pinch the section between your fingers, slide your fingers down until they hit the bottom edge of the baseline, and trim it.
- Work your way along the head, from front to back.
- Repeat this step for the right side of your client's head.
Finishing and Styling the Cut
Slick their hair back using a water-based, strong-hold pomade.Apply a quarter-sized amount of pomade to your palm, then rub it between your hands. Run your hands through the client's hair to distribute the product, then brush it straight back.
- Using a water-based pomade is helpful for avoiding too much build-up when your hair dries. However, it may not be strong enough to hold the style. You may need to use a stronger product, such as gel or hairspray.
Blow-dry the client's hair with a round-barrel brush.Apply some heat protectant to your client’s hair, and then roll a round-barrel brush under their hair until it is caught in the bristles. Blow-dry the hair using a high-heat setting and a directional nozzle. Finish with a cool blast from the hairdryer to set the style.
- Rotate the brush while blow-drying their hair.
- Start in the back of the client's head and work your way to the front—or vice versa.
- The high-heat setting will create volume, while the directional nozzle will create smoothness.
Weave your shears through the bangs to thin them.Comb down a thin section of hair from the front of the head. Pinch the ends between your middle and index fingers to keep it taut. Open your shears and weave the bottom blade up-and-down across the middle of the hair section. Lift the shears upward and slice through the section.
- Alternatively, snip through the hair section with thinning shears.
- Repeat this step once or twice more moving towards the back of the head. Only do the long hair on the top, not the short hair on the sides.
- You don’t have to thin the hair all the way towards the back. It all depends on how thickly your client’s hair is growing.
Add more texture to the top section by snipping into ends of the hair.Pinch a thick section of hair between your middle and index fingers. Lift your hand up and slide your fingers towards the end of the hair until you have about 1 in (2.5 cm) left. Snip down into the hair with the tips of your shears.
- Do this a few times throughout the top section.
- There are no hard or fast rules for this since everyone’s hair is different. Just use this technique to add texture where you think the client’s hair needs it the most.
Clean up the perimeter and trim any hairs that are too long.Comb through the hair on the top and sides of the head back. Brush out stray hairs and trim any that appear too long or uneven. Use trimmers to even out any unevenness on the sides, and detail trimmers to clean up the perimeter.
Apply more water-based pomade, then mist the hair with hairspray.Apply another quarter-sized amount of pomade to your client’s hair, making sure to distribute it evenly. Hold the can of hairspray about 10 in (25 cm) away from your client’s head, and apply a light misting.
- The haircut is now complete. Take a moment to dust any stray hairs off your client and then present them with a mirror.
- Give the pompadour a modern touch by making the sides shorter or adding a fade.
- Leave the sides and sideburns longer if you want a traditional, rockabilly look.
- For a unique touch, use edgers or detailers to shave the deep side parts.
Video: HOW TO CUT A CLASSIC POMPADOUR
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