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Tom Connell’s Undersweep

In the Undersweep, Tom Connell presents how to create more of an editorial haircut – not too precise, rigid or commercial, but with a lot of softness achieved through rough detail. Combining the precision of hairdressing with the softness and wearability from the editorial and session world, Tom creates a graduated shape with a lot of internal movement and structure, blending together  structural and precise cutting underneath with freehand razor technique on the top.

Throughout the cut, Tom follows the natural movement of model’s hair and the organically occurring lines, letting the hair kick out where it wants to kick out and sit straight were it wants to sit straight. In order to achieve a desired look, he stresses the importance of looking at one’s character and personality when choosing a model, which are just as important as bone structure in making the style work.

Following the model’s natural features also dictates how Tom works with the hair, not wetting it too much in order to see the shape and the flick developing, as when the hair is soaking wet you can’t get the feel for the natural movement.

To accentuate this, he leaves out little imperfections to create the sense of softness. For every hard and structured part he’s doing, he leaves out little soft details “Wrapping the hard stuff in cotton wool” ensuring the soft and pretty feel of the cut.

It’s the little details that can make or break the haircut. You put a little detail in the haircut and it can create a completely different style.

Focusing on character, Tom is also working with the colour that has been naturally grown out instead of having a fresh, artificial colour. This adds extra dimensions to the haircut especially with darker shade coming through from underneath.

The rough feel Tom is aiming for also dictates the use of a razor and the wide teeth of the comb so that he can see the natural lines developing as he goes along. Following these allows him to break the structure and symmetry in the cut, with little details differentiating the left from the right side so that it’s not too contrived or fixed. Despite this, both sides individually have some degree of softness making the haircut pretty and wearable without being precise.

Although the cut looks rough and shattered through, it does require a certain level of technicality “you need to learn the rules so you can start breaking the rules”. Without that foundation, it might look good on the day but it isn’t going to grow out well. So watch the video, try it at home and share the results with us.

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