Cutting a bob takes technique and practice. But cutting a graduated bob takes precision and skill! It's all about mastering the graduation of the cut, creating sharp lines, and blending flawlessly. In this DE PRO blog, we illustrate a detailed step-by-step on how to cut a precise graduated bob; working with a vertical cutting line and a 45-degree elevation, as well as a 90-degree elevation. We guarantee the final results will be everything! So, let's get started.
Step 1: Prep hair prior to the cut.
Shampoo and condition the hair prior to the cut. For this particular graduated bob, we suggest cutting the hair dry for accuracy. So, blow-dry hair straight using a Denman or paddle brush. For highly textured hair, you may use a flat-iron to ensure hair is smooth.
Step 2: Part the hair.
Create a horizontal part from ear to the ear across the nape of the head about 1 inch above the hairline. This is your first working section. Clip remainder of hair into five sections for control.
Step 3: Create a guideline.
Create your first guideline by cutting the center of the nape section to the length desired. Use a horizontal cutting line parallel to your fingers then point cut the ends of the hair using the tips of your shears. Cut the right and left sides of the nape section the same length as the center guideline.
DE PRO TIP: We recommend using a point cutting technique when cutting graduated haircuts because it creates texture, volume, and movement within the hair without shortening the length of the cut. You'll notice that celebrity hairstylist, Stephen Webster (@stephenwebsterbeauty) point cuts in majority of the visuals used in this blog.
Step 4: Part off the first horizontal section.
Working up the back of the head, measure and part off your first horizontal section approximately 1 inch wide.
Step 5: Create a vertical subsection.
Beginning at the center of the horizontal section, create a vertical subsection approximately a 1/2 inch wide. Extend the subsection down to the previous nape guideline (created in Step 3). Comb the subsection smoothly at a 45-degree angle to the scalp. Hold your fingers and shears at a 90-degree angle and cut. This is your vertical guide.
Step 6: Cut horizontal section.
Proceed to cut the right and left sides of the horizontal section by parting off vertical subsections and cutting with the same technique in Step 5 - Extend the subsection down to the previously cut hair. Comb the subsection smoothly at a 45-degree angle to the scalp. Hold your fingers and shears at a 90-degree angle and cut.
Cross-check each section vertically and horizontally throughout the cut. Each completed section will serve as a guideline for the next section and should blend evenly.
Step 7: Create the next horizontal section.
Part off another horizontal section approximately 1 inch wide. Beginning at the center, create another vertical subsection that extends down and includes the previously cut hair. Comb the hair smoothly at a 45-degree angle to the head. Hold your fingers and shears at a 90-degree angle to the vertical subsection and cut. Cut the entire horizontal section this way. Then make sure the second section blends evenly with the previously cut section.
Repeat creating horizontal sections and follow the same cutting procedure until you reach the apex of the head. Then proceed to the crown.
Step 8: Cut the crown.
Maintain the length in the crown by holding each vertical subsection throughout the crown area at a 90-degree angle while cutting. After cross-checking the back section and crown section for even blending, proceed to the left-side section.
Step 9: Create a side guide.
Create a small guide section on the left side at the hairline approximately a 1/2 inch wide. This guideline should be the same length as the nape. Repeat on the right side of the head. Check that both sections are the same length. Clip the right section - it will be cut later.
Step 10: Create left side section.
Part off a 1/2 inch horizontal section on the left side of the head. Comb the section smooth, including the side guideline and part of the nape section. Holding the hair with little or no tension, cut the hair from the nape guide to the side guide. Your fingers should be held at a slight angle to connect the two guides.
DE PRO TIP: More advanced hair cutters can use a freehand cutting technique to blend the nape guide and side guide. Watch Stephen Webster demonstrate below.
Step 11: Cut left side section.
Working up the side of the head, part off another 1/2 inch horizontal section. Then starting at the ear, part a 1/2 inch vertical subsection that includes the previously cut guideline and a small portion of the nape section. Comb smooth, elevate at a 45-degree angle from the head, holding the fingers at a 90-degree angle. Cut the section even with the side guideline and nape section.
Continue creating horizontal sections on the left side of the head following the same cutting procedure. Cross-check each section for even blending. Add hair from the back section as well to make sure that the two sections are symmetric in length.
Step 12: Blend side section to crown.
When the left side section is complete, the hair in the uppermost part of the section should be the same length as the crown area (cut in Step 8). In the final 1 inch section, comb the vertical subsections and hold them at a 90-degree angle to the head. Position your fingers at 90-degrees and cut parallel to your fingers. Cross-check horizontally to make sure the ends are even.
Step 13: Cut right side.
Move to the right side of the head and follow Steps 10-12, exactly as you did on the left side of the head using the established guide (created in Step 9). Once cross-checked for blending accuracy, move to the top section.
Step 14: Cut & complete top section.
For this particular cut we are going to leave the fringe (aka bang) area close to the length of the side and crown guidelines. Starting at the center of the head create a center part from the hairline to the crown area. Complete the top section by taking 1/2 inch vertical subsections parallel to the center part. Hold the hair up from the head at a 90-degree angle. Include hair from the crown and hairline, then cut to blend the sections. Continue using this cutting technique until the remainder of the top section is cut.
Cross-check the cut by holding the hair up from the head at a 90-degree angle and check the completed cut. Trim any uneven ends.
Step 15: Check the cut.
Blow-dry the haircut to check for even blending and desired movement throughout the sections. Trim as needed. When you're satisfied...
Fall in love with the final results!
Click here to watch the full-version video of Stephen Webster creating this stunning graduated bob transformation.