Why A Cut & Color Service Is The Combo Your Clients Need! 

 Do you suggest clients get a cut—at least a trim—when they come in for color services? If not, you might start after you read this! We asked two color and cutting experts Farhana Premji (@xo.farhana.balayage) and Kara Williams (@haircolorkilla) on why complementing a color service with a haircut is so important. PLUS tips to make your fresh color POP. Keep reading for it all!

Why Should You Pair a Color Service With a Haircut?

“A fresh color needs to be complemented by a fresh haircut (but not necessarily the other way around),” said Farhana. “A haircut enhances a color the same way color techniques do—it can add movement, showcase the best features of a guest’s face, and can really bring the entire look to life.” Need more convincing? Here are three important reasons why a haircut is essential to a color service:

1. Her inspiration photo is a total look—and a cut is usually necessary.

“When a customer brings in an inspiration photo, it’s not just the color they like, but the overall look of the hair,” said Kara.  

“If a client is showing me a balayage inspo pic of someone with minimal layers but they have a ton of layers themselves, the color won’t translate,” Farhana said. “I need that length to create the gradient and it has to connect throughout the head shape.”



2. A haircut gets the hair to its healthiest state.

To ensure your look meets the client’s inspo photo expectations, a trim or cut prior to the service removes damaged or porous hair. “I take off anything that can adversely affect the color,” Kara said. “I build the shape into the hair, then do the color to support the look that’s already established. My goal is to get their hair to its absolute healthiest state before we go into color.”

 To remove damage ends without further disrupting the cuticle, Kara grabs her PARAGON II from ARC™ Scissors. “They are so sharp and powerful for dry cutting, perfect for creating clean lines and removing dry ends,” she explains.  

Kara uses her PARAGON II from ARC™ Scissors to remove split ends and create clean lines.


Click Here To Purchase The PARAGON II 



3. The result will look more finished than a stand-alone color service.

“I always recommend new customers book a haircut service as well, because they will not receive the overall look they are going for if a great cut isn’t established,” Kara said. “If the budget only allows for one or the other, I encourage the cut first and come back for the color later. It really is that important.”

Not to mention this GREAT point: “Even if a client hates the particular cut in the inspiration photo, no one ever brings in a picture of haircolor on hair that looks damaged or has split ends. A great haircut can make even bad color look better. It’s rarely the other way around,” Kara adds. 

“If there is any sort of strategic or intentional color placement involved in the service, the shape and length has so much to do with the end result of how the look will come together,” Farhana added. To create the shape of a look, Farhana reaches for her 6″ PHANTOM II scissors from ARC™. “My PHANTOM II shears are super lightweight and actually CUT through the hair without pushing it,” Farhana explains. 

Check Out The Video Below To See Farhana’s Shape & Gradient Placement!  

Ready To Add The PHANTOM II To Your Cutting Arsenal? Click Here To Purchase A Pair From ARC™ Scissors!




Should You Cut Before Or After Color?

This answer depends on the goal end result. “If we’re taking off more than 3+ inches, I usually do a rough cut with my PHANTOM II shears BEFORE the color service to establish the general length and shape. I’ll always refine and detail the haircut after the color,” Farhana said. “If it’s a less dramatic reshaping, I’ll usually wait until after the service. This makes such a difference in how I place my color during my application.”


PRO TIP: To avoid a choppy, unblended balayage Farhana makes sure to connect the lightest point of the top layer (the ends) to the transition zone (or mid) of her bottom layer.  This will continue the gradient created with her painting placement. via @xo.farhana.balayage on Instagram


What Are Some Rules To Remember When Cutting For Color?

Now that you’re ready to add a cut and color combo to your service menu, don’t miss these important cutting tips from Farhana!

Enhance a Balayage Money Piece:

“If the hair sits a few inches past the collar bone I love to introduce a modern face-framing technique to open up the face,” Farhana said. “I will typically introduce very connected, elongating layers through the exterior to give hair that effortless movement and a modern shape without cutting into the haircut’s design.”

Give Lobs Some Life:

“If the hair sits at the collar bone or above, I like to give the illusion of a one-length haircut with a soft perimeter. So I will point-cut at an elevation, going up the head shape,” she explains. “This releases weight while keeping strength, and gives the hair a natural swing as the client moves their head. It kind of acts like an invisible interior layer that grows out with ease, which my clients absolutely love!”