Detailing can make the difference between a good haircut and a fabulous one. Not only is skipping it a warning sign that your stylist isn’t spending enough time on your cut, but it could also have you rushing back to the salon for a quick fix—or worse, snipping stray strands yourself!
What exactly is detailing when it comes to a haircut? And how can you make sure you’re getting the full service you deserve?
What It Means to Detail a Haircut
Detailing is the finishing touch on a haircut. It is a careful check for flaws—evening out things that are crooked and fixing stray hairs that don’t fit into the desired shape or outline. The process will catch things like how the hair around a cowlick lays, or if a piece was missed because it was tucked behind an ear.
Most stylists will correct obvious imperfections by trimming a bit here and there, but true detailing is more precise. Detailing brings the style together, making sure that everything looks perfect before the client leaves the salon. It refines the final look.
A reputable stylist will also know the difference between how the hair falls when it is wet as opposed to dry. He or she should first dry the hair thoroughly, then check and detail the cut.
And because hair can’t be detailed after it’s been manipulated with hot tools or products, a stylist should always wait to curl, tease, or spray the hair until after it’s been thoroughly detailed.
How Stylists Achieve a Detailed Look
Stylists approach a haircut based on several factors, including the client’s face shape and hair texture. Their plan also determines how they will detail the hair.
After drying completely, the stylist should go back through the hair, sectioning it out. They may use shears, texturizing shears, or a razor to remove weight and bulk. Doing this strategically can add texture, volume, and movement where necessary to enhance the style they are going for.
Curly hair might get away with less detailing, but it’s still important. Flat spots could be a result of hair that isn’t detailed properly. And a shaggy, tousled look such as a wolf cut needs the internal and external layers to blend. Detailing can keep it from looking choppy or uneven.
Stylists routinely check on specific things for certain cuts. For example, a style that is super short in the back might need some clean-up at the nape, while a bold blunt bob needs to be precisely even all around.
To do a thorough job of detailing, stylists should look at the cut from every angle, not just through the mirror while standing behind you. A complete 360-degree view is the only way to see—and correct—the tiniest flaws. They should ask the client to tilt and turn their head this way and that, looking for any strands that don’t fall properly. Another trick is to have the client stand up and bend forward. This allows the stylist to see small pieces of hair that stick out longer than the rest.
Detailing Will Be Noticed Well After Your Appointment
Obviously, everyone wants to leave the salon with the best possible haircut. The beautiful thing about detailing is that your hair will continue to look great at home. When your stylist has done a thorough exam, it shouldn’t matter if you can’t get your part in just the right place. There still won’t be little stray strands tempting you to grab a pair of scissors.
A well-balanced, evenly detailed cut will also last longer. Unaddressed flaws will stand out even more as the hair starts to grow.
Has Your Hairstyle Been Detailed Right?
Talented stylists often work their magic without a client even noticing. They make it look easy, first picturing what will look great on you, then doing measurements in their head and snipping away, all while carrying on a conversation!
This means that a lot of detailing could be happening right before your eyes. The stylist won’t necessarily tell you every step in their process.
But if you haven’t noticed obvious signs that your cut has been checked, take a good look in the mirror before getting out of the chair. Turn your head, lean forward, and see for yourself if you notice anything that doesn’t look right. Stylists typically offer a mirror so you can see the back. Don’t feel rushed while you check.
Some clients can’t tell if their hair was detailed until looking in the mirror at home. After shampooing and styling it yourself, check for loose strands hanging down below the rest of the hair. Also look for layers that separate into chunks instead of blending.
If this happens, call your salon. Everyone can make a mistake, and reputable stylists will fix something they missed. But if a lack of detailing seems to be a trend appointment after appointment, it’s time to look for someone new.
The stylists at Vakkar Salon want you to feel like a million bucks—not just when you head home, but day after day until you come see us again. We pride ourselves on precision techniques that give our clients flawless cuts that are not just fine, but phenomenal.
Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll take care of the details!