What is the Calligraphy Haircut?
What would you say if your hair stylist said: "Tell me what the hair of your dreams would be like." Would it have more volume? More color refraction? More natural curl definition? All these enhancements and more are possible thanks to German hairstylist Frank Brormann's new, patented tool: The Calligraphy Pen.
Despite its similarity in name, the Calligraphy Pen is in fact not something you write with, but a breakthrough haircutting tool that's creating major buzz in the industry. "The tool allows the stylist to cut every strand of hair at a perfect 21-degree angle resulting in about 300% larger surface area on each strand, David Colonna, creative director and co-owner of NV the Salon, and one of the lead educators for Calligraphy Cut in the U.S., says. "It's like upgrading from a 1-carat diamond to a 3-carat diamond."
Clutches pearls, go on...
Frank Brormann, who has over 30 years of experience in the hair industry and owns several salons in Germany, was trying to think of a new way to cut hair when he realized that cutting hair is like cutting flower stems.
Brormann bought a bouquet of flowers at a bloomery and realized that cutting the stems on an angle with scissors pinched the stems, whereas a sharp chef's knife left a fresher and wider cut. "I realized 'Oh, that's a great idea,' so that was the beginning of Calligraphy Cut," he says.
After leaving the flowers in a vase for a few days, Brormann noticed that their stems had developed a natural bend in the same direction that he had cut them. He hoped to replicate these results with a new haircutting technique, so he partnered with a German engineer to research how a blade can cut hair without damaging, scratching, or hurting the hair.
After 10 years of refining the technique and partnering with the University of Münster for research, Brormann's final product is a 3rd-generation tool that's changed the way a majority of Western Europe is cutting hair. There are already 6,500 stylists in Germany certified for the Calligraphy Cut, and stylists in France, Switzerland, and Austria are following suit.
While progress in certifying American stylists slowed with the COVID-19 pandemic, Brormann is excited about the potential that the cutting technique has for the U.S. "I can promise you the hair will not split like it did before and the haircut will last at least four weeks longer," he says. "You will get new hair only by using a new tool, no chemicals, no nothing; it's only a handcrafted and patented tool."
So how does the Calligraphy Cut work? "Calligraphy Cutting is freedom in haircutting, allowing users to manipulate every hair shaft to give the desired look," Colonna says.
He was introduced to the Calligraphy Cut while trying to learn new cutting techniques during a career change from athletic training and sports medicine to hair dressing. Colonna received Black Star training in the technique at Lois Christie's salon – Christie is the former president of Intercoiffure America-Canada, an association of the most talented members of the beauty industry – and afterward slowly rose to the Gold Star level to be considered a U.S. Educator for Calligraphy Cut.
"The education aspect is incredibly immersive, resulting in a level of confidence that inspires the stylists to reintroduce a plethora of styles back into the industry," Colonna says.
Barbara Fritze, a master designer at Bellezza Salon in Warren, New Jersey, became certified in the Calligraphy Cut four years ago after a client who had received a Calligraphy Cut at a different salon said that it was the best haircut she ever had. "The hair just looks beautifully finished, and it's maintenance free," Fritze says. "It lasts much longer, and it definitely adds volume and body to the hair."
To use the Calligraphy Pen, you hold it in your hand like how you'd hold a pen or pencil. "If you hold the Pen like you are writing," Brormann says, "and you move the pen by using your pointer [finger], it's a very gentle touch to the hair."
Part of the revolution behind the Calligraphy Cut is that it can be used to create practically any hairstyle a client wants. Name your wishes, and a Calligraphy Cut can get them done, both Brormann and Colonna assure.
"We have done Sassoon style bobs, tousled bobs, long bobs, pixie cuts, and ultra-short styles," Colonna says. "It works amazing on curly hair as it is more sculpting than just cutting."
Looking to add bangs to your new 'do? Not a problem. "We do a lot of bangs with Calligraphy Cut – personally, I will not cut someone's bangs without it," Colonna says.
Allan Thi, a master hairstylist at Radiance Salon in Ashburn, Virginia, has clients who travel from West Virginia and Maryland just to try the Calligraphy Cut. "They love the cuts because they don't have to spend a lot of time blow drying their hair since they cut already gives them that little bit of style they're looking for," Thi says. "Some days I have Calligraphy Cut appointments all day long."
The result after any style cut with a Calligraphy Pen is an overall healthier head of hair that will grow out for a longer period without developing split ends. You don't even need to use product in it to achieve a soft, natural volume, Brormann says. Sounds like a dreamy result to us!
For stylists who are interested in becoming certified in the technique, you can visit Calligraphy Cut's website to learn how to become certified.
If you're interested in getting a Calligraphy Cut, ask your salon if any stylists are certified in the cut. If not, we wouldn't blame you if you made a road trip to search for a certified stylist.