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The Lazy A-Line

December 10, 2018

The Lazy A-Line

I have many roles in our business...from running our West End salon to developing our product company, to working with architects and builders for our expansion plans. But at the core, I cut hair.

This has been my primary focus for almost 40 years, and in that time, I’ve developed a unique method to get the very best from any hair; The Diamond Dry Cut™. It’s allowed me stay at the forefront of a changing industry and keep clients happily returning. Over 100 clients have stayed with me for over 35 years.

Across those five decades from the 1970s, I’ve watched the ebb and flow of different industry fashions and training methods, and seen the core training around cutting slowly diluted.

So why are most hairdressers wedded to the A-Line?

As with couture fashion, the choice of outline sets the scene for the entire look. It’s the most important line and determines the shape that sits above it.

On hair, the A-line is an elementary foundation for above the shoulder Bobs, but is widely misused. I’m not sure if this is from a lack of thought or lack of advanced training - most hairdressing training seems to stop at Bobs. But it’s at the heart of so many haircut-car-crashes and most of the corrective cutting work I do for new clients.

Now I shouldn’t really mind because it’s really easy to fix and give the clients the best haircut of their lives when all they’ve ever had is the ‘Lazy A-Line’ regardless of their overall style.

The A-Line rose to fame around the Bobs of the 1960s and it was very specifically engineered for that geometric haircut sitting on or above the shoulders. Apart from giving a strong interesting outline, it energetically compensates for the thicker hair at the back and balances the weight with the less weighty sides. This throws the hair slightly forward towards the face and minimises movement so the crisp line stays evident.  Great for hair on or above the shoulders, not good with long hair, particularly textured or curly hair unless you are planning to enter Crufts! And it’s really really not the base line for short layered guys’ haircuts.

When & Why Not to Use the A-Line

1. Shape
An A-line past the shoulders on textured hair creates a pyramid shape, too flat around the eye level and too wide around shoulders/chest. Not attractive. One of my new clients with beautiful thick long hair called herself Hagrid (from Harry Potter) before we got rid of the insanely inappropriate A-Line which had also made her work so unnecessarily hard on blowdrying to try and compensate for a bad haircut. She is a style icon and now has over a million followers on social media.

2. Movement
With long hair you don’t want a haircut that throws hair forward with a curtain-line down the cheeks. If it’s past the shoulders it will also never hold that beautiful neat line you cut because the shoulders keep interfering making the outline look chewed. And most importantly...people do not want for long hair to hang lifeless like a dead animal around them, but for the fluidity, movement and sexual energy that beautiful vibrant long hair can give. So an A-Line that kills the movement of long hair and makes it just hang is not a good idea.

3. Condition
An A-line on long hair also asks the weakest hair on the head to be the longest (oldest) and the key feature. This hair in front of the ear and around the temples is usually the most fragile. The human eye assesses hair condition in a split second by looking at a few key points and making up the rest. If the outline ends at the front are thin and dry it makes the whole head look like weak thin hair which is normally not true. So reversing the line with proper graduation at the front flowing to longer hair at the back can remove the deadest unhealthy looking hair without any apparent loss of length.


Like the well dressed Englishman whose sartorial elegance isn’t noticed until 15 minutes after he has entered a room, great hairdressing has an element of understatement. It shouldn’t overwhelm the wearer but help them look and feel wonderful. When someone with a great haircut walks into a room the first thing that should be noticed is that the wearer looks great. Secondly it may click that the hair is beautiful, and maybe with some further consideration, that a great hairdresser has been at work. But the awareness and realisations should always be in that order.





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