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How Short Can You Go?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:51 PM  |  by HD-Susan

No, we're not talking skirts here, guys. But, a common question men do bring to the Community forum is: How short can the hair in a system be cut? Can a crew cut, buzz cut or flat top really be achieved and look natural in a hair system?

Andy's short haircutSince I'm a lady with long locks, short hair is not my area of expertise! So, I looked to my fellow blogger and hair tech Mary for some wisdom. Here's what I learned:

Stick with lace for a lower cut

Very short cuts for straight hair can be achieved, but there are some inherent limitations. If you try to push the envelope, you might be disappointed.

The shortest cuts can be done with an all lace base. Because the hair can move around a little more when tied into lace, short hair will be able to lay a little flatter. You can go as short as one half inch (or a little longer than one centimeter). That's not short enough, you say? Well, it may be actually. It's all about the blending.

Just enough hair to blend

webcastFor partial, top-of-head hair systems, blending is really important. In a recent webcast, Diane gave a great blending demonstration. In this video (around 11:54), you can see how Diane cut-in long and short layers around the edge of the system to help blend properly into growing hair. Of course, this system has longer hair, so in the case of a buzz cut, the edge around the perimeter should be no shorter than a half inch for blending, but the remaining hair can be as short as one quarter inch. The men's HD03 or HD24 hairstyle are great examples. Any shorter than that and you'll see the base and a very conspicuous line of demarcation around the edge of the system. My guess is that's not the look you're going for. That said, if you're looking for a "flat top" style, it can be done, but the ventilation needs to be ordered specifically for the hair to stick straight up.

Donald's short haircutIn the photo above, our friend Andy shows you how a perfect blend is done. His side and back hair are really short and for a beautiful blend, but the top hair is a little longer. However, African hair types can usually go a little shorter. The tight curl helps with blending into growing hair. I defy you to find the edge of Donald's base here! Pure hair system perfection.

Skin and poly might hold you back

But...what if you have a skin base or a lace or mono base with a poly edge? Then you have to sacrifice that buzz cut to just be a really short haircut. With those base materials, shorter hair will definitely stick straight out and the base will be more noticeable because it is a thicker material. We don't recommend going any shorter than one inch when using a skin material or bases with a poly edge.


After looking at all these short haircuts, I must say, I'm pretty jealous of those tiny hair systems. You guys are lucky! Fast and easy to attach and clean. Rock those short haircuts, dudes. They're super cute.

About HD-Susan

Integration units, clip-ons, bonded systems—even hair transplants—I‘ve been there and done that! After mastering bonded hair replacement, I started a consultation business and created a training system that educates women on how to transition into wearing bonded hair faster, with greater success, and less emotional fatigue. I posted in the HD forum for over 4 years as a client, and eventually joined the staff at Hair Direct as a content developer in 2012. My role focuses primarily on creating educational and instructional materials that can help you learn faster and make more strategic decisions so you can have a great experience wearing hair. It’s not just about looking good in your hair, it’s about feeling good under it too.


Clacker Valve said:

Interesting article Susan. Thank you.

Clacker Valve

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