Every so often a trend in hairstyling comes around that makes us wonder, what took so long? If you’ve ever been at the salon and tried to talk your stylist into letting you keep more inches while they harangue you about breakage, this technique is for you. Surface cutting removes dead ends without compromising length, for overall healthier hair. Because it sounds too good to be true, we checked in with surface cutting expert, Megan Schipani for the download on the technique.
Surface cutting is exactly that—instead of cutting the ends of the hair, your stylist will angle their scissors, chopping away at excess broken strands throughout the surface of your mane—not necessarily in one concentrated or purposeful area. Taking away broken hair on the surface is enough to leave hair looking smoother and with an overall softer appearance. And the best part of a surface cut is definitely that you don’t have to shorten your hair to achieve all the benefits of a haircut.
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A Haircut Without A Haircut
“Surface cutting is perfect for the client that wants platinum but doesn’t want a haircut,” she explains, of all those color addicts who want hair down-to-there. It’s especially beneficial for anyone dealing with damaged locks, although achieving it takes time (so make sure you see the right stylist).
Although the process is “tedious and meticulous,” according to Megan, it makes an incredible difference, especially in “lightened or hair that is heat styled often,” she adds. Surface cutting “cleans the surface of the hair, removing damage caused by chemicals as well as heat from tools and the sun,” she continues of the new cut.
Surface Cutting Techniques
To make sure your stylist is properly executing your surface cut (you don’t want to wind up with hair that’s hacked into or uneven, obviously) Megan suggests smoothing hair first using a round brush—though not with a flatiron. This is because “a flatiron can push hair below surface level and you will not be able to catch the hair with your shears,” she explains.
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A clean surface for your surface cut is also always your best bet. “Don’t load up with a ton of product either,” she emphasizes. “Heat and product can cause split hairs to lay flat and you will miss them when you cut.” To make sure your stylist avoids cutting into the hair and instead hovers over strands, Megan stresses that scissors should always be kept “flat on the surface.”
There’s no one hair type that surface cutting works best for. Instead, Megan notes that this technique is great for all hair types and is especially beneficial for girls “who have breakage from heat or chemical use. Surface cutting will keep their hair looking healthy and their color vibrant,” she adds. We can’t wait to try the cut without a cut, to make the most of our length while eliminating damage.