Supercuts using hair thinner?

I get my haircuts at Supercuts. For the past year or so, every time after I get my trim, the hairdresser attempts to use this device.

It is like a comb, but has a blade in between the teeth. It is combed through the hair and you can feel it snagging and chopping its way through. When asked, they reply that it is some new trendy gizmo that makes your hair look a certain way. As far as I can tell, this thing’s purpose is to thin your hair!

Can any Hairdresser Dopers verify what exactly this thing is? Also, if my theory is correct, why would anyone intentionally want to increase the amount that thier hair is thinning?

Every time I go in is usually a different person, so I am forced to defend myself again against this mysterious tool. I am not losing my hair yet, but certainly don’t want to artificially add to the process.

IANAHairdresser, but being gay I have a certain genetic knowledge of the process…

Anyways, he idea of thinning hair during haircuts isn’t new. The device you describe is a variation on standard thinning shears. I have my stylist thin out my hair on the sides because the hair on the sides seems to grow faster and it ends up looking puffed out and sort of mad scientist-y if I don’t. The shears also help smooth out and blend the style so that you have hairs of different length, which makes it look less like you just got a haircut. Using thinning shears doesn’t cause your hair to grow back any thinner or sparser.

The thinning shears also add lift if you use them close enough to the scalp. (The little short hairs tend to stick straight out and “lift” up the longer surrounding hairs, giving my fine hair the illusion of being thicker – until it grows out in about 3 days.)

Definitely not new. They’ve been using them on me for around 15 years. That’s everywhere, not just Supercuts. I even saw a pair at the dollar store last week, for people needing a touch-up at home.

Thinning the hair isn’t new, though the gadget might be. I though it was just old-lady hair parlors that did that. Twenty years ago, when my grandma used to take me to get my hair cut, the hairdresser would first compliment me on my nice thick hair, and then thin it out (she used scissors though). I was so glad when that salon closed, but then my mom’s hairdresser kept trying to cut my hair in layers. Blah.

I’m with you, Ariad. I don’t trust these gizmo’s.

I can’t really conceptualize the difference between shortening the length of many of my hairs and making my hair thinner. I especially don’t see the point if it grows out in three days.

The gadget is not new, I remember them from at least 35 years ago, and they’re probably older than that.

I have to have my hair thinned. It is too damned thick. It gets thicker and fatter without getting much longer. When I was a kid, my hair was particularly thick, and the barber had a hard time cutting my hair. It was the first time I ever heard anyone cuss.