A Designer Haircut – versus – A Haircut.

 Is there there a difference, or just hairdresser hype?

The average British female will have 9828 days of bad hair days in her life time. This is the equivalent of 26 years based on the average women’s lifetime of 63 years. This was the incredible findings that emerged last month in a poll of 2000 women, covered in a previous blog.  As  a hairdresser, the only thing that surprised me was that the average women’s age in the UK was only 63!! My understanding is that many feel entirely different when their hair won’t behave. Having flat, unmanageable tresses can make you feel tired, grumpy and less confident. In contrast having great hair can make you feel self assured and more Likely  to hold your hair up high.


The survey went on to reveal that 12% of Women have canceled a date and 20% admitted to calling into work sick because their hair won’t go right. 8% realised that they often compensated by overdoing their make-up.


For those that think these findings are all a little extreme will almost certainly concede to feeling less confident and  happy when their hair let’s them down.  12% in the survey admitted that their moods often led to rows with their partner and 14% have been known to snap at their children. Of course unlike cloths that don’t work for you on any particular day, you cannot just take your hair off and swap it.


Whilst surveys about the emotional impact of ones hair does not surprise me it is always useful to help my team and I refocus on what business hairdressers are truly in and never to underestimate the power of a great haircut. With 56% of the ladies surveyed said they are nicer to people around them and 67% having a better day overall, the mission statement for our team – ‘to help make your hair work for you 365 days a year’, whilst a challenge, is still what motivates me especially when you factor in the  ripple effect of positive energy this can produce when the mission is accomplished.


How do I get more good hair days?


“Of course it’s all in the cut” I hear you cry. absolutely but the ultimate power of a great hair cut is in the knowledge of your chosen hairdresser. Sure it’s nice to catch up, share holiday stories, your hairdresser may even be ‘sweet’ but if they do not understand the ‘Principles of hair design’ it will be a matter of chance. In a world where you don’t get something for nothing the bargain haircut that you think you are getting may not be such a great deal. Average haircuts that cause most bad hair days highlighted  in this survey are largely symptomatic a poor hairdressing standard of education, and a seeming lack of understanding from the public that a haircut is different than a designer haircut. One is concerned with what is on the floor and the other with what is left on your head and how it works for you says  Simon Willetts director of Combers, Taunton’s leading hair salon


If I were buying a made to measure suit the Tailor would apply the principles of design to ensure the suit not only fitted but enhanced my frame and disguise what seem to be a growing number of lumps and bumps that age and gravity conspire against. Buy off the shelf and you take a chance.  Their are rules and principles in hair design that like any ‘principles’, they are a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as in this case the foundation of cutting your new hairstyle.  If they are ignored or not understood you will get an off the shelf look that has been deigned for someone else and someone else’s hair, or even worse one that looks like its been cut by a committee!


Principles of a hair design or a made to measure haircut!


In your consultation the following will be considered:Natural hair fall, Gravity, texture, condition, growth patterns, density, head shape, and You.


So assuming a hairstyle that will suit has been agreed your hairdresser now has to have the skill to execute that cut with your unique hair and head shape.


The head shape at first glance appears round but in  fact it is a series of flat planes that if not accounted for will result in flat spots in your hair. Ever wondered why you cannot get enough height or width? – well this is the reason. Unless you want you hairstyle to reflect the the exact imperfections of you head shape your hairdresser needs to understand  the following:-


Horizontal cut lines produce weight and width creating stronger shapes

Vertical cut lines productive illusion of length and softer shapes

Diagonal cut lines produce rounded or beveled shapes designed to soften even further

Elevation controls the graduation in the shape.

Straight graduation is elevation on or below horizontal 90 degrees

Scooping graduation is elevation above horizontal 90

Swelling graduation is elevation above horizontal 90 and wrapped over the head before cutting.

Finger angle creates the volume in the shape

Over direction creates length and weight in the opposite direction to which hair is pulled.


If your hairdresser applies these principles with consistent attention to the planes of your head shape using precise sectioning, give you advise on styling with correct product choice and placement  you will be less moody, more confident and have better relationships with everyone you meet, though sadly it’s not a guarantee to longer life expectancy!!


Please don’t have nightmares as if you have found this blog you are probably not the average British woman,  and in my experience the average British woman is not necessarily prepared to pay for a genuine designer haircut.


Simon Willetts Director of Combers hair salon is the hair columnist for  the ‘Limited Edition Society’