If you want to keep your hairline straight and sharp, your barber can edge up your hairline. Edging techniques involve using a specialized pair of clippers, called T-edge clippers, that are designed to shape hairlines and create straight edges. From your sideburns, across your forehead and even across the nape of your neck, barbers who are familiar with edging techniques can give you that crisp and clean haircut that you are looking for.
With or Against the Grain
Edging techniques give barbers the option of cutting the hair and hairline with or against the grain. While this decision is best made between the barber and the customer, Alex Campbell, a professional barber and instructor, suggests one technique. According to Campbell, a customer with wavy or curly hair that is between one-half inch and one inch long should be cut with the grain. When hair is shorter than one-half inch, the barber should use an against the grain edging technique.
Determining the Hairline
The determination of how short the hairline should be for an edge up cut is up to the barber and the customer. However, if the customer does not have a preference, then the barber must analyze the natural shape and height of the hairline to see how far back the hairline can go without it looking unflattering. The same thing goes for the nape of the neck. For instance, a barber should not cut a hairline that goes up the nape of the neck higher than where the customer's earlobes end.
Evening the Hairline
When a barber edges up the hairline, he must make sure that the hairline is straight across both sides, and that one side is not shorter than the other. He can use a pen technique, which involves edging up one side of the hairline first, and then lightly tracing a pen across the hairline to make a mark on the opposite side where the hairline should be cut to. This ensures that the opposite side of the hairline is edged up to the same height as the first side. The pen mark can then be removed with soapy water and a towel.
The final assessment of the edging style is for the barber to look over the entire head and look for displaced hairs or hairs that were not shaved away. Such hairs are then removed and the hairline is cleaned up with the T-edge clippers.