What you need to know about razor haircuts

I find myself surprised that more stylists don't use the razor for haircuts. It's an excellent tool, easy to use, and clients love it and request it. I honestly find that it is one of my favorite ways to give medium to long layered haircuts. The razor is fast, easy on the hands, and gives lots of great texture. Razors come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges, so there is one for every stylist and every budget. Here's what you need to know before you get -- or give -- a razor cut.

Why get a razor cut?

The razor is great for giving hair that choppy, textured look. It also creates nice, soft, somewhat diffused looks. The razor is a nice way to cut angled side bangs, face framing pieces, and disconnected layers as well. I especially like to use the razor for anyone with some wave in their hair who wants to get extra volume on top. Razor cuts were made famous by Nick Arrojo, previously from TLC's "What Not to Wear."

What kind of razor? I have had clients tell me they took a BIC and used it to texturize their hair. But please don't do this at home! It's dangerous and could damage your hair. A haircutting razor is a special razor designed for haircuts. It has easily replaceable blades so that you always have a sharp tool. I prefer to use a razor with a guard to provide an extra measure of protection for the client and myself. Some stylists find that a razor without a guard gives a better haircut.

Who can get razor cuts? Razor cuts are best for anyone with somewhat fine to coarse hair. It can be straight or wavy. The healthier the hair, the better the cut will be.

Who shouldn't get razor cuts? If your hair is highly damaged you don't want to razor or texturize your hair. It will just complicate the damage. Also, if your hair is extremely curly, the razor can create a frizzy look. If your hair is very fine, the razor can cause split ends and damage. Also, the razor is not necessarily the best tool for precision haircuts. If you want a very exact, precise cut, then the razor is not for you.

Texturizing with the razor. Sometimes a stylist will give a haircut with shears, and then go back and use the razor to texturize or thin the hair. There is nothing wrong with this method, it still gives a great haircut. But it is an extra step for the stylist that can avoided by learning how to use a razor well.

Techniques. A razor can be used to thin straight hair by gliding the razor over a top part of an underneath section of hair. It can also be used to create a disconnected layer. Take a small section in the back of the crown, twist it, and razor off the ends. If you're a stylist who is new to razor cutting, practice on a mannequin until you are comfortable with the new skills. If you are a client looking for a razor cut, just ask your stylist. If they don't like using a razor, they can always point you in the direction of someone who does.

Other articles by this contributor:

Tips for easy, wash and wear summer hair

The best hairstyles and hair products for your hair texture

Make the modern pixie haircut work for you