5 Barber Tips for Hair Tattoos & Design Detailing

Hair tattoos have indisputably become part of a wider cultural consciousness in today’s modern society, and have been in trend in multiple geographical locations spanning across the world. Hair tattoos have become synonymous with the marks of a skilled barber, and are highly coveted by bold men and women alike. 

However, many barbers and hairdressers in and beyond Singapore still struggle to deliver a clean-cut hair tattoo when requested. At Wahl, we understand this, along with the innate challenges that come with hair tattoos and design detailing. Which is why we’ve put together this piece, such that we not only equip you with the best tools in the market, but also the skills and knowledge required to improve and master your craft. 

Here are 5 barber tips for hair tattoos and design detailing: 

1. Cleaning Up Before the Cut

Before you go about creating a hair tattoo for your customer, it’s best to first use a #2 or #3 guide comb to clean up the hair. Our Premium Attachment Combs at Wahl fit on any and all of our professional clippers, but we recommend using them on our 5-Star Super Taper Cordless or Senior Cordless for bulk removal work, especially when it comes to thicker and denser hair. 

Doing this will allow you to see through to the skin, giving you a better foundation to perform the graphic line work needed to create a hair tattoo. 

2. Leverage T-Wide Blade Trimmers  

Using a T-wide blade trimmer can help you maintain precision when working on intricate hair tattoos and design detailing. The Wahl 5-Star Detailer Li Cordless is the perfect barber shop tool in this regard, allowing for super close trimming, outlines and accurate detail work. If you prefer a little more weight to your professional trimmers, the 5-Star Detailer T-Wide Corded is another great option. 

The T-wide blade extends past the hair trimmer itself, and their extended lengths allow for more creative control when doing design detailing. Start off your hair tattoo by only using the corner of your trimmer blade to establish your demarcation lines. The corners of your trimmer blades are also extremely useful for working on the front line-up when doing hair tattoos. 

3. Mastering Straight and Curved Lines

The way you handle your trimmers will determine your results. As such, it is important to master how you create straight and curved lines with your hair trimmers when doing hair tattoos. 

For straight lines, use the entire blade of your professional trimmers on-scalp and apply light pressure. For curved lines, you use only the corner of a T-blade trimmer for greater precision work when detailing. If you’re just starting out, practice doing straight lines of about 10 centimetres long before moving on to curves. You may also want to practice on the nape of the neck, where the detail work can be faded down afterwards if necessary. 

4. Go Slow When Sharpening Line Work

Once you’ve gotten your demarcation lines, use your T-wide blade hair trimmer to sharpen and thicken them slowly. To create thickness for your hair tattoo, build upon your demarcation lines by going over them a few times each. Once finished, gently work against the grain in the opposite direction while being extremely careful to avoid irritating or cutting the skin. 

Keep in mind that great hair tattoos have three dimensions to them: highlights, shadows, and mid-tones. More often than not, barbers focus on the former two and leave out the lattermost. If you’re looking to deliver immaculate hair tattoos that are intricately designed, be sure to perfect all three design dimensions using your professional T-wide blade hair trimmers, including your mid-tones.   

5. Don’t Skip Reworking and Finishing Steps

Once you’re done with the initial detailing work, go over your hair tattoo once again to define them more cleanly. You can also apply appropriate hair supplies in your barber shop or hairdresser—such as a clear shaving gel—to better see which portions require more definition.

Furthermore, hair tattoos are designed to draw attention, making it extra important for you to clean up your hair and necklines after you’re done with detailing work. Nobody wants to sport a striking hair tattoo that’s surrounded by an otherwise unclean cut. Use a finishing tool such as the Wahl 5-Star Finale Shaver Cordless alongside a razor blade for a clean, ultra-close finish. 

Get the Barber Tools You Need from Wahl Singapore

Wahl supplies professional barbers worldwide with the best hair clippers, hair trimmers, and more. We also keep industry professionals up to date with curated how-to tutorials and the latest barbering updates and tricks of the trade.  

Shop Wahl online today, or visit any of our professional distributors or personal care retailers in Singapore.

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