The 3 c’s of cutting

The 3 c’s of cutting

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  Welcome to all who stopped in and will be reading this!

I want to discuss the 3 c’s of haircutting Control, Calculation, & Cut. These rues are generally for the newcomer to haircutting it can even help the most seasoned vet to tighten up those technical skills. The 3 c’s are explained as follows:


This is one of the most important aspects of haircutting because without control you leave your guest with a horrible haircut. Here’s what i mean by Control! Every individual has what is called a growth pattern this determines in which way the hair grows. When combing the hair out from the root we must determine the stream of the hair growth. While some hair stream goes forward others can take a reverse direction of growth or even a lateral way of growth.

Control is where i comb/brush the hair in it’s natural way of growth so there will be no miscues when cutting the hair. I’ve made the mistake once maybe twice of plugging a hole in someones head, and witnessed others do it on multiple occasions.

Cotrol also ensures a smooth transition between blend lines. Brush/comb area cutting for a proper guage on the blend process. Cutting no more or no less of the necessary clippings. Before you make the cut on any area of the head ask yourself, Do i have control?


Here is where we make a decision how much is going? and how will it be removed?

Hair is described as Coarse, Medium, and Fine so results will vary when cutting depending on it’s density. When making your calculations I advise you to work your way in from the largest guard down to the smallest. The rules is you can always remove more but once it’s gone you can’t put it back!

Thin hair has less hair per sq. inch so when cutting thin hair it may appear lower then expected when a cut is made. So the importance is to calculate How much to leave for styling purposes.

Will you cut with scissors or clippers? Will you use shear over comb, finger work, clipper over comb, or plain clipper cut? When i find out the way the hair grows, and how i will attack the haircut it’s time to cut!


Now the fun part begins! We make the cut. This is where we take our time and stick to our calculations. If it’s thin hair we take off a little until we reach desired length. Thick hair is a little easier to recover when a mistake is made, however using the same safety precaution should be used.

Technique comes with practice I suggest mastering the clippers before moving to scissors and when both are masteres enter in the shear over comb technique along with the clipper over comb technique. When it comes to cutting it’s important to remember that you will always get better the more you practice. Challenge your skills at every chance you get.

This is just a quick lesson on cutting. Stay tuned for more instruction and demostrations!

Thanks for reading,

Shannon kamal


About Post Author

Shannon kamal

With 20 years of haircutting experience and a professional career of 15 years, I truly enjoy the barber world! As an educator for the past 13 years, I've found pleasure in sharing what bit of knowledge that I do have. I am currently an educator in the state of Massachusetts and run a little quiet barbershop in the heart of Dorchester. As I reach a higher age I look forward to grooming the next generation of barbers to come. Thank you for your time! Shannon Kamal

Recent Comments

  • Vesna

    • January 7, 2018 @ 7:47 pm
    • Reply

    Hello Shannon,

    Thank you for your interesting article! I really enjoyed the read.
    I’m not going to cut anybody’s hair, but, it was interesting to learn about 3 c’s.
    It seems to be so easy when you watch professionals work, but…. is it really so?

    There are many things you should take care of, like the quality of someone’s hair, stream of the hair growth etc., as you mentioned in your article.

    Thanks again!

    • Shannon kamal

      • January 8, 2018 @ 12:44 am
      • Reply

      Hi Vesna,

      Thank you for commenting! I actually though it was easy only to find out it takes years of practice. I had to learn this the hard way! I remember thinking I was hot stuff because i was able to cut my little brother hair to his satisfaction (now that i think of it maybe he only liked it because i was his big brother). Now I get to hair school thumping my chest and butchered one of my classmates. That day i found out that not all heads are the same. Texture, growth, and density are all factors to consider. From that day on i respected the craft and began to study every chance i got.

      true story!

      Thank you for stopping by and being social!

      Shannon Kamal

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    • May 27, 2018 @ 2:44 pm
    • Reply

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