Freestyle haircuts are some of my favorites. They really allow us to get creative and step outside of the cookie cutter mentality. Asian fusion, in particular, is fun and places an emphasis on cute.
For this month’s column, I picked up a few model dog heads to practice on. These models are also a great way to display different haircuts to clients. I wasn’t sure what my end result was going to be when I started this cut, but after letting my creative side take over, I’m so happy with the finished product.
Of course, model dog grooming isn’t the same as grooming a real pup, but the process of getting the final results is the same. A couple of tips for using a model dog head: 1) Poke holes in the pelt for the nose and eyes beforehand; and 2) Take the time to really brush and comb out the hair before starting to cut—as with grooming real dogs, prep is key!
Step 1: Clear Eye Corners
Clear out the inner eye corners using thinning shears, clipper or regular shears. I hold the hair on the snout out of the way, making sure I do not cut hair away from the bridge of the nose.
Step 2: Trim Visor
Comb the hair above the eyes forward and, using curved shears, trim a visor. I create a slight bevel over the eyes to give character to the look.
Step 3: Trim Chin
Comb the hair on the chin down and set the desired length with curved shears. You want to shape the chin into a smile or half-moon shape. I use the jawbone as a natural guide to separate the face and neck, defining the head and really make it stand out.
Step 4: Trim Muzzle
Comb all the hair on the muzzle forward and trim the hair level with the nose, so no hair is hanging over.
Step 5: Finish Muzzle
Comb the muzzle hair out and scissor the hair over the bridge of the nose, connecting to the upturned edges and completing the circle.
Step 6: Trim Cheeks
Lift each ear and trim the hair on the cheeks short.
Step 7: Start Topknot
Start to cut in the topknot, starting your line at the outside corner of the eye and following back over the ear. This is where I felt my creativity kick in.
Step 8: Round Topknot
I like this side part I created and went with it. I started to scissor one side of the topknot round.
Step 9: Round Head
Starting at the back of the head, scissor it round and up into the top knot. I work upwards to ensure I won’t cut the topknot too short.
Step 10: Finish Ears
I decide on butterfly-style ears. I trim the bottoms to the desired length and scissor up into the topknot, keeping the whole head rounded.
Step 11: Blend
I take my chunkers and blend any hairs out of place.
Sep 12: Accessorize
Lastly, add a cute accessory.
Professional groomer Anne Francis, CMG, is a grooming competitor, speaker and Andis educator. She works at The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass. Is there a breed or cut that you’d like to see featured in the Grooming Table? Send your suggestions to email@example.com.