This image is a little crooked but we can’t complain, just thank the wonderful gal who uploaded this gem of a book. Thank you wherever you are. Okay so as you may know I attend cosmetology school. I’m also mildly obsessed with vintage hairstyles, fashion, and makeup. I’m hoping that with the combination of my interests I could help someone out in obtaining the perfect haircut for recreating vintage looks. These tips could actually be used by anyone who wants a little help in communicating with a stylist. Lack of communication is the biggest hurdle in not getting the cut a client desires. The breakdown can be either in expression or listening. Second biggest problem I’ve seen is clients wanting a hairstyle not a cut. I don’t know how many times I see a client bring a photo of a hairstyle they’d like in and they have the same haircut as the picture is either styled different, or the cut is just shown on a woman with a different hair texture or fullness. We have a book for clients to choose from, they choose a photo, we’ll try to show them a photo of the same haircut(book shows several women with the same cut) on a woman with similar hair too them. More often than not they’ll say yes but I like this cut better of something similar. This problem is NOT exclusive to the clients. A classmate of mine wanted to go short. When we had a guest stylist he needed a model, she jumped at the chance. He only cut her hair. The next day she mentioned to me she was leaving early to get her hair done by her own stylist, showed me a picture of Halle Berry. She had the exact same cut! Halle has a natural curl, and she doesn’t. I said to her “You already have that cut, you just need to curl that way”. I also hear classmate who trained and know how to cut, have a hard time understanding what a client is asking for. The multiple name for cuts and angles etc can very easily mean one thing to a stylist and another to a client.
Okay so what can you do? Obviously a photo is a great help. If the photo is showing a cut highly styled, ask the stylist how to style the hair. Any good stylist can give you any haircut regardless of period. There are only four haircuts(without going into barbering for men). All haircuts whether it was the middy in 1940, or the Dorothy Hammil in the 1970’s, or todays “lob” are one of these four cuts or a combination of them. Words and phrases that are direct and technical( you know them already, blunt cut, layered, angled, longer, shorter, etc) are much more helpful to your stylist than adjectives( feathery, lighter, swingy) that can be interpreted differently. Do you want a lot of slightly layered hair or a lot in the front less in the back? Where do you want your first layer to start? Where would you like to length to end? Bangs or no Bangs? If bangs coming to where? Do you want the ends or perimeter angled any way? How deep of an angle? These are questions that if not asked you should give the answer to.
Okay so you want the Middy haircut. A picture of glamour queen gorgeous set waves cascading behind her while never hurting may not be that helpful to the stylist. The hair was set to look smooth and wavy so layers while there aren’t clearly evident. The middy is whats known today as a uniform layer cut, the top cut planar or square like a classic men’s cut not blended as we do now, with a bit of an exaggerated U shape in back. Any hair pulled out would measure the same or very close to the same length. Classic Middy is 4 inches. So almost every head of hair is cut four inches. Also the top is cut planar or “square like a mans” (when explaining to stylist) Take a ruler and decide if you want to go this short. Then the perimiter is blended into a U. The Middy Plus is same haircut 4 1/2 inches, and on to what’s called the femme fatale which is 6 inches all over. So for any of these haircuts of longer or shorter versions, you’d tell your stylist I want a uniform layer haircut blank inches all over, and blend the back into a U-shape. Say you want Middy plus in front femme fatale in back. Tell them you want 4 1/2 inch layers in front 6 inch layers in back. Femme fatale in front, not so many layers in back? 6 inch layers in front, long layers in back, again u shaped perimeter. Of course if you want bangs, show them where you’d like them to end, and about how much hair you want to be bang. These haircuts were not thinned so ask the stylist to use shears not a razor and unless you want otherwise, not to use thinning shears. Also layer haircuts back then were cut horizontally. Today layer cuts are cut both vertically and horizontally. If you’d like your cut as authentic as possible ask your stylist if he/she could cut your layers horizontally. Explain your vintage look wishes as most stylists today believe vertical layers best.
Summary, using clear and concise language will help you get the haircut you want.
I think this post is a bit word heavy. Here’s the cliff notes to get a Middy.
Ask for a uniform(technically not a uniform because with the square top and u shape but this is the start point) layer cut ___ inches long cut planar on top or square like a mans cut. Ask to have the perimeter blended into a U shape with a bit longer length in the nape area so that the longest length would be 1/2 (yours may be more) longer than the rest.
Ask your stylist if he or she will cut horizontal layers. Explaining your reasoning will help.