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The bob is one of the most iconic cuts in the industry and has become a top requested service in the salon. As more and more women debut this style, you’re bound to have various textures and densities asking for a similar style - which requires a new set of skills to get the perfect blunt bob each time. 

What do you do for those guests that want a really solid precise bob, but have a ton of hair in the back, and don’t want a lot of layers? You undercut it,” explains Andrew Carruthers, education director for Sam Villa

Undercuts and soft undercuts have grown in popularity because they allow the stylist to achieve certain styles they would originally not be able to because of varying textures. By undercutting the bottom layers, the weight and bulk around the nape is pushed up into the occipital which allows hair to swing and have more balance, plus it collapses the shape at the neckline, and that little extra fullness at the occipital creates a nice scoop effect.


Carruthers finds that using Redken One United Leave-In Conditioner as cutting lotion gives hair nice slip, without making it feel oily.  He also uses a Sam Villa Signature Series Swivel Shear 6” with a forward set thumb design to allow his body position to remain neutral and reduce stress on his wrist.

Cutting Tips for an Undercut

  • Take a horizontal line from the top of the ear to the back to create an area to detach for a more balanced shape from front to back. 
  • Use vertical sections down the back middle at 90º with a slight diagonal finger angle to create a nice short to long graduation. 
  • Each new section is married with a previous section using natural over direction.  The guide hair and new hair meet in the center of the section to follow head shape.
  • Neckline – cup hand and curve fingers at the nape to access hair better.
  • Wrap dry the undercut area on medium heat and airflow with a handle comb.  Dry it slowly so there is time to manipulate hair into place and create softness. 
  • Detailing – use a detailing comb for precision and a Sam Villa Signature Series Reversible Blending Shear to carve out more softness.  The blending shear can also be used to refine and soften the perimeter.

 “Aside from creating a really beautiful silhouette, removing this weight also makes it really easy for the guest to blow dry their hair at home!” adds Carruthers.


For even more education be sure to follow Sam @SamVillaHair!