What is dry cutting?
Dry-cutting is where the stylist works with dry hair, usually in the hair-types natural state. This is different to the traditional approach to haircutting which involves completely wetting the hair prior to cutting. There is no right or wrong when considering approaches to cutting hair, and both dry cutting and wet cutting have their strengths.
What are the benefits of dry cutting?
Dry cutting is a more ideal approach for natural and curly hair than traditional wet cutting methods. Hair takes on a drastically different state when wet, and this makes it very difficult to accurately see how the haircut is forming.
When dry cutting, your stylist can properly read both the hair-type and natural fall of your hair – the growth patterns, curl type, density and tendencies of your hair. This allows your stylist to give you a haircut that is more personalized and tailored to you.
Why is it important to cut dry?
Hair takes on drastically different characteristics when wet. For example, wet hair can stretch nearly double its length when compared to dry hair.
Wet hair is also more easily manipulated, and while this can be very helpful during other approaches to haircutting, it can lead to unintended results when hair returns to its natural fall.
When we cut dry, we are cutting hair in its natural state, and this gives us a more accurate result that is easily recreated at home.
What is natural fall, and why is it important?
Natural fall is when hair is distributed without manipulating the direction each hair strand falls – allowing crowns, cowlicks, parts and hairlines to sit naturally. To understand natural fall in this context, it is necessary to understand distribution. Distribution is a technical term in hairdressing that refers to the direction that individual hair strands move away from the scalp – in other words, how the hair is combed (or not combed) during cutting.
Cutting against the natural fall of the hair can give undesired consequences. For example, forcing the hair to part differently can result in overhanging hairs on the baseline when hair is later parted naturally, or misreading a crown has the potential to cause hairs to stick up when allowed to sit naturally.
One of the great things about hair is that it can be styled in drastically different ways. This allows us to achieve so many different looks, and some truly fantastic styles. However, cutting against the natural fall of hair can become an issue when we aim to recreate these styles at home – often it requires effort and skill!