Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Designs cut into low or faded hair, like those seen on the side of Mohawks, are being done at barber shops across the nation. These new designs can express everything from a barber's creativity to political views. They are essentially the new version of tattoos, albeit temporary, shaved into the hair instead of etched into the skin. They are also more affordable than tattoos. Unless you are highly skilled, you will require the help of a barber.

Decide what design you want and where you want it. If it is a more simple design with just a few lines, you can use a ruler. Otherwise, a trip to the barbershop or a stencil is recommended. Also, make sure you cut the design into a place you can easily see and access.

Put a towel or plastic cape around your shoulders, tuck it in around your neck and secure it to keep hair off your skin.

Shave the hair down low using the electric clippers and the proper guard, if your hair is not already cut. You should have several different guards. Each guard guides the clippers on how close to the scalp to cut. Refer to the instructions for the clippers if you're unsure which guard to use.

Remove the guard and turn the clippers off while you prepare. If you are using a ruler, straight edge or a stencil, put it in place and hold it there firmly until you have completed the design.

Turn the clippers back on and slowly create the design. If you are free-styling, stop and check the mirror frequently to make sure you're still on track. Complete the same process if you are using a stencil or guide.

Use a barber's brush to sweep away excess hair. You may need to do this while you are still working on the design to keep the area visible. Make sure to do this after you are finished, too, brushing the freshly cut area and your neck to clear off unwanted hair.


Always start with the hairstyle you want before your design. If you'd prefer not to cut your own hair, visit a shop and have a stylist create the right canvas first. If your design isn't all you hoped it would be, you can trim all the hair shorter to start over. Once hair grows back, you can try again.


Be sure the clippers and all other tools you are using are sterilized beforehand. Infection and disease can be spread through unclean barber supplies.