Learning from the Master: the Perfect Haircut with Jonathan Antin

This week on the #AskJonathan Antin Twitter Show our topic was “3 Steps To The Perfect Haircut.”

Jonathan received an influx of questions from stylists, salon owners and fans. Here were his answers and recommended steps to the perfect haircut:

Why don’t you allow for the tension-free version of cutting hair, allowing the curl to bounce or retract?


The reason for that is I believe in cutting a perfect line whether the hair is straight or curly. I know some people teach tension-free for curl but you cannot cut a perfect line using that method. I prefer the same tension through and through from start to finish, curly or straight. It’s about consistency. You start and end with the same tension. And then when finished, I fine-tune to allow for curl retraction.

What are your steps to the perfect haircut?


Step 1: Hair must be shampooed and conditioned and rinsed thoroughly.

Step 2: Section off hair PERFECTLY. Imperfect sectioning makes it almost impossible to complete a perfect haircut.

Step 3: If we’re talking about a woman’s medium to long layered haircut: Start in the back, two sections. First section is your guide, second one finishes the back of the head. Chin must be all the way down so you can use the back of the neck as a cutting panel. There should be no curvature in the back of the neck.

Last step: For the sides of the head, turn the head to the left all the way/chin up/level head to cut the right side of the hair using the back of the hair as the starting point, cut straight through. The head should be level, the shoulders should be level, and your cutting line should be level. Use the floor and the ceiling as your subliminal guide.

Last last step: When finished with the sides, portion out vertical sections starting at the temples pulling the hair straight up to 180 degrees, angling your fingers at 45 degrees. Use the corners of the ceiling and the wall as your directional guide. Always cross-check vertical sections horizontally when finished.

Last last last step: Face frame sectioning from the ears forward into 4 sections. The first two sections should be pulled forward. Cut them into a “C” shape and use them as a guide for the last two sections (think: upside-down horseshoe). To finish the haircut, pull the final two sections forward and trim.

Okay okay, it’s a little more than 3 steps… but it really is only 3 steps in theory: Section the hair, cut the bottom of the hair, layer the hair.

What’s your advice for finishing the perfect haircut?

For best results, go through sparingly with texturizing sheers using your fingers to feel where there might be extra, unnecessary weight.

Join us next Monday at 10 AM PT on a Twitter feed near you for our next #AskJonathanAntin Twitter Show. Click here to follow Jonathan on Twitter so you don’t miss out!

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And the next time you’re in Beverly Hills, give yourself the ultimate luxury with a visit to Jonathan & George Salon.