Blending is fading or tapering shorter hair to longer hair without having a line marking the difference in length. Learning blending is key to clipper work for all barbers and stylists.
Almost every men’s haircut uses blending – for either a tapered hairline, shorter sides to a layered top, or a skin length fade. Clippers are perfect for creating that seamlessly blended look for your customer that wants any of those looks with different hair lengths. Women who have shorter hair need their layers blended as well, so you’ll need to know how to use the right clippers to master this technique.
How to Blend Hair
A new favorite type of men’s haircut leaves the tops longer but the sides extremely short. Blending is essential to this and many similar looks.
You won’t necessarily have to touch the top of the hair to create a good blend. There are different size clipper guards to use when trying to blend.
- Use the longest clipper guard over the entire sides and back. Change to the next shortest guard.
- Stop and pull away about an inch below the top of the sides and back. This will create that more tapered look.
- Use the shortest guard to blend the bottom of the sides and back in with the rest.
- Use your clippers without the guard to clean up the line at the bottom of your neck and around your ears.
Blended vs. Non-Blended
Instead of leaving a line of demarcation on the back of the neck, blending the hair with a faded look is much more professional. It looks more finished and will grow out better over time than a hard line.
Non-blended cuts are either squared or rounded off at the back of the neck, but these can start to look messy after a week. Your clients will most likely need frequent touch ups with a blocked haircut. Many barbers now do a blended look so that their clients’ haircut still looks neat and professional after a few weeks of growing out.
If you visualize a one finger width around the perimeter of the hairline and create a soft blended and faded look there instead of a blocking or lining that area, you will get the desired effect.
What Are Blending Shears?
Blending shears are another way to achieve the blended look without clippers. These aren’t used for fading the hairline, but more for blending different lengths of hair from the sides to the top. These can thin out thick hair to create a gradual faded look.
Blending shears are best used for scissor over comb cuts to get rid of harsh lines in hair length and give a more textured look as well.
Some customers might even want these used if their hair is thick and gets too hot once it grows out but it’s important to remember not to cut too much with the blending shears as they can thin out client’s hair and can take too much off sometimes. Education and practice are definitely the best way to master these.
If you have any questions about blending or want to know more about how to correctly use clippers to blend, contact Patrick today!