Introducing the Calligraphy Haircut—the Easiest Way to Add Texture and Body to Fine Hair

Published on: 12/01/2021 1:38 pm

Haircutting trends come and go but haircutting techniques are far less common. When we heard about the calligraphy cut, we were instantly intrigued and conjured images of 19th-century calligraphers in full palatial garb hacking away at our manes. Turns out, we weren’t terribly off. Here’s how the technique is done and what you need to know before asking for it or trying it out yourself… if you’re feeling bold.

“A calligraphy haircut is a form of haircutting that utilizes a cutting knife, referred to as a calligraphy pen, rather than a pair of shears,” explains salon owner and pro stylist Gina Rivera.

What Is the Calligraphy Haircut?

The technique skews on the difficult side because it requires mastery of a whole new tool. “While my father and my uncle were both highly experienced in razor cuts, it’s always exciting to see the tools of the trade increased and expanded. The calligraphy cut technique utilizes a specialized calligraph cutting knife that uniquely cuts hair at a 21-degree angle by slicing it. The technique does not utilize shears,” says Gina.

“The calligraphy haircut is a cool and unique way to add texture to the hair while also adding body and movement,” says Ramon Garcia, celeb stylist (and my stylist, shout out!) at Ramirez Tran salon.

Who Should Try a Calligraphy Cut?

As it adds so much movement, it’s a game-changer for ladies with thin manes. “This cut is fabulous for creating volume and works especially well for those that wear a bob, big waves, or even a sleek look,” explains Gina.

The reason it maximizes sleekness boils down to how the technique is carried out. “The calligraphy cut eliminates split ends because the cutting surface is very smooth. This can contribute to strength and shine as well.”

If this cut sounds too good to be true, it gets even better. “Some that wear this look even report that it can make the hair appear longer,” Gina continues.

How to Get the Calligraphy Cut

As it’s not reached the saturation point, you should be discerning about who does the cut. “It’s very important to have a professional administer this cut because this is not a look that you want just anyone to create. It should be someone who has strong knowledge of the technique and professional experience. There are different levels of calligraphy pens denoted by the finish—black, silver, or gold. The colors indicate the level of experience the professional has achieved with the cutting technique with gold being the highest.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a calligraphy haircut? If your hairdresser swaps out their scissors for a cutting pen, they’re likely sculpting your strands  into a calligraphy cut. The idea is to help the hair absorb more moisture and conditioner so it’s fuller and bouncier. It’s great if you’re embarking on a growout, but still need to clean up your ends without losing length. 
  • Is a calligraphy cut worth it? Calligraphy cuts are particularly impactful for straight and wavy hair. If you’re looking to add volume and the appearance of length, this is the service you want to book.
  • Is a calligraphy cut good for curly hair? Though calligraphy cuts work for most hair types, there are better techniques to showcase your thick or curly hair. 

What is a hairdressing Calligraphy Pen? The tool looks like a small, angled knife which slices your on a diagonal.

Credit to: Emilie Branch for