Being beautiful: Sculpting the 'precise imprecise' haircut

August 31, 2013 11:49:42 PM

David Creel -


Once I had the pleasure of marveling at a sculptor, his hands covered in clay, me utterly hypnotized by his artistry. It was as if the artist were alone, lost, if you will, in the creation of something beautiful.  


It was in those moments that I came to understand the poetic difference in skill and passion. Fingers swirling to and fro, the body swaying up and around, it was the dance of a creator molding wet clay into inspiration. I have never forgotten. 


It's this same passion that separates the hairstylist from the artist, the latter being the most coveted by all women. My mentor, the late John Spiers, inspired me to feel the hair with my eyes closed, telling me it would open the windows to creativity I never thought possible. He was also the one who nurtured my gifts by giving me permission to break the rules of hairdressing from time to time. Sam Villa, world renowned Redken educator and friend, taught me to hold my shears like a poet, cutting the hair as if it were a poem telling the story of each individual.  


One of my favorite things is surprising guests in my salon, whether it's asking them to shake their shag while I freehand my shears through the moving strands or combing all the hair into a side ponytail before chopping it into an asymmetrical fringe. It's far from the guidelines of conventional cutting, but how marvelous can be the results. 


Be inspired. Be impressed at your next appointment in the salon. Fashion icon Coco Chanel said, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life." Maybe you don't have to change your life every single time, but there should always at least be the possibility for something distinctive and extraordinary to happen. 


I sometimes refer to my cuts as the "precise imprecise" style. That doesn't mean that your bob will be two inches longer on one side than the other. It's precise in its attention to detail, but imprecise in its openness to innovation. The hair texture, hairline, shade, and about a dozen other factors come into play as I design with eyes wide open precisely what the hair tells me it wants, with artistic abandon sometimes although never reckless, always customized, just as that sculptor all those years ago lost in his art. 


When your stylist is thinking as a true artist is when a bob becomes a masterpiece chiseled into and carved out with only you in mind. Traditional layers are old school; "stacked" and "graduated" are so last season. It's time for a new language when it comes to the best accessory of all time -- your hair. Remember: one size that fits all really doesn't fit anyone.

Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]