The basics of a hair sculpture condenses into three main categories…
Solid form line (the bob), this is achieved with zero projection/elevation and appears to be a single hanging length, in actuality it’s a progression of lengths from shortest in the nape area to longest in the crown area of the head. This style has the maximum weight build-up, referred to as a weight line. The form line can be straight or curved, horizontal or diagonal or any combination there of.
Graduated form line (stacked or the wedge) is created with the use of projection or elevation, lifting the hair out from the head while sculpting. The projection angle is above Zero but no higher than 45 degrees. You can also achieve graduation by applying tension (pressure stretching) on the hair while sculpting, this creates minimal graduation in Zero projection but can greatly increase the graduation at higher projection levels. In basic graduation, the form line can be straight or curved, horizontal or diagonal, or any combination there of. Most commonly diagonal form lines are used, in creating a wedge/stacked sculpture.
Layered form: layering is divided into 2 categories (Uniform & Varying lengths)
Uniform layering is when all hair lengths across the curve of the head are the same length. A buzz cut would be an example of the shortest form of a uniform style. No matter the length, if all hairs are the same length it’s uniform layering. there is no weight line in layering alone. A 90 degree projection angle is used to create uniform layering and the basic form line is rounded.
Varying lengths, is when there is an increase from short to long with no weight line. The shorter lengths are commonly in the top or front areas of the sculpture, however in advanced sculpting varying layers can be performed anywhere in the sculpture. Projection angles vary from Zero to 90 degrees depending on where (in the design) this type of layering is performed. The basic form line is a oval or oblique.
Through these basic forms (categories) all hair cuts (Sculptures) are created. Each of these basic forms can be used individually or in infinite combinations… The more combinations, the more advanced the sculpture becomes. The possibilities are limitless…
Weight line: A weight line occurs with a concentration lengths in a given area due to the pull of gravity. Weight lines occur at zero to a 45 degree projection angle. Once you get above 45 degrees (in projection) the true weight line is lessened, achieving layering above the weight line. Weight line is commonly called a ridge line.
In curly hair because of the multi directional bends of the hair (throughout the strands) all projection angles are exaggerated, a low projection angle (say 20 degrees) can appear in the finished style to look as though a 45 degree projection angle was used. So in curly hair be very cautious of your projection angle while sculpting, or you may wind up with a totally different (shorter) design than your client is expecting!
Projection angle: The angle the hair is held while sculpting in relation to the curve of the head (projection angles are used in other areas of hair design, that will be covered in future lessons) Zero to 90 degrees are the projection angles used in hair sculpting & design. Zero degrees, commonly referred to as the natural fall of the hair is when the hair is held as close to the head/body as possible, or no projection from the head. (This gets a bit tricky in shorter bobs due to the curve of the neck)
In short bobs there can be a progression of projection angles through this curved area as in brush sculpted bobs also holding the hair at zero degrees in short bobs can achieve an under cut bob.
Above Zero to 45 degrees creates graduation and 45 degrees to 90 degrees achieves layering. Note: Zero to 45 degrees can also be used to create a layered design when used in specific areas of the sculpture, like above the horizontal curve in the bone structure.
This of course is just a basic understanding on hair sculpture…