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Last 60 Years on The History Of The Haircut by Joe Giampa


My new clients often ask me "why do you cut hair dry?"

I then reply with "have a guess?" Most clients think a little, then respond with "because you can see how the hair falls".

"Spot on" I say!

So, if the general public can relate to the reason why, then why don’t most hairdressers cut hair dry?

That’s a simple answer too, because they have been taught to approach haircutting in a wet state, this is the industry standard across the world.

In the 1950s when hair was set in rollers and clients where placed under a dryer for an hour for the hair to dry, hair was cut dry with mostly a razor.

Then a hairdresser named Vidal Sassoon from London changed all of that and introduced geometric wet cutting and slowly over a decade or so the roller set and dry cutting was replaced to reflect the fashion of the time.

Vidal Sassoon

This changed the way women looked on the streets!

It was the wet structured cutting approach that became the trend, which at the time made sense. Every modern hairdresser in the world wanted to learn this new approach.

This system of cutting is still taught in colleges around the world, which is still a very important part of understanding haircutting because it sets out the haircut in grids or sections.

Unfortunately, unless the hair is dead straight this approach alone is not always wearer friendly. When hair is cut wet then blow dried by the hairdresser to make it sit well it looks good in the salon, but when you try and achieve the same result at home it doesn't quite work.

That’s because cutting hair wet is like creating a shape with a pencil and a ruler, straight lines and blunt ends, dry cutting uses the basic principles of the wet approach but the cutter is taught to read the hair and work with natural movement like you would approach a sculpture.

Im not saying that Dry Cutting hair is better or worse, simply stating my personal preference and my approach and in most cases unless the haircutter is made aware that there is another way, he/she will continue to cut hair wet and would never really understand the art of organic haircutting.

When a Master Cutter cuts your hair dry, the difference is recognised instantly, and

it’s easy styling at home from then on.

And that’s a brief History on the haircut.

Joe Giampa

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