Say Yes to a Dry Haircut

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Posted on Monday, December 7, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Amy Abramite

We are using a dry haircutting technique to compliment our balayage hair color service. For those of you who are not familiar with this hair color service, balayage is a freeform color technique that eliminates the use of foils to achieve highlights. Cotton is used in place of foils, and the color is painted on for a customized, non-cookie cutter result. The highlights are thinner at the root, and become wider towards the ends to create soft, natural pieces.

The placement of these pieces are decided by the judgement, and esthetic taste of the colorist. Or is it the stylist? Our question seems to be "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" After all, in a departmentalized salon, the stylist is the one cutting the layers to create the shape and movement in the hair. So, I suppose the answer is BOTH!

Dry haircutting maximizes the movement in the hairstyle and balayage color emphasizes it. We cannot have one without the other, and when it comes to any marriage, this one being a perfect one between colorist and stylist, there must good communication, or it's not going to work! It's equally important for the colorist to respect the layer placement, as well as the stylist to respect the color placement.

As a stylist, it's not always about what you take off, as much as it is what you leave on! The best way to do this is through a dry cut. I know dry cutting isn't a new concept to hit the scene (maybe it is for some), but with the growing popularity of balayage, every stylist on top of their game must know how to do it.

First, we shampoo and condition the hair, and secondly we blow dry. In our salon, we believe the best way to blow dry for balayage is through a finger tousle for straight hair, and a diffuser for curly hair, to enhance the hair's natural texture. Believe it or not, we want to enhance natural cowlicks, swirls, and parting patterns, to judge where the natural weight falls. This is the "map" on the head we use for the cut and the color placement. We chose to work with the hair's natural movement, not against it. It's much easier to see these patterns when the hair is dry, not damp. Simply put, dry cutting is an excellent way to see the fine details in someone's texture.

I also want to add that we believe soft, notched out design lines work best for complimenting balayage color, rather than blunt lines. Notched out lines have a natural, organic flow that makes them look beautiful when finger tousling with the blow dryer. When I dry cut, I choose to use three tools. My standard shears, a thinning shear, and a razor. I use all three for removing length and weight from the hair. I also opt out of using a comb when I can, and use my hands instead. Our end result is loose, undone hair full of volume and movement ready for the balayage color complement! There you have it: BaliHair.

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