How to Do a Shingle Haircut Step-by-Step

by Audrey Farley ; Updated September 28, 2017

The shingles haircut requires much care and precision.

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The “shingles” haircut, also known as the “shingle bob,” originated in the early 1920s, but is still worn today. This hair style features a dome-shaped bob, in which hair is cut into a point or v-shape at the nape of the neck. Since the haircut requires careful trimming and shaping directly behind the head, it is essentially impossible to give oneself the cut. To give another person the shingles haircut, carefully follow certain techniques to achieve a “shingled” look.

Comb the entire head of hair. Part the hair right down the middle of the head, from the crown to the neck, as the shingles bob is perfectly even and symmetrical.

Cut the hair so that the length reaches the bottom of the ears. Use a pair of shears to cut off the hair at the bottom, cutting in an even, level line around the entire head, but do not include the hair growing from the lower part of the back of the head, at the neck. Since the natural hairline in the back extends below the ears to the nape of the neck, the neck hairs will be beneath the cut edge and therefore excluded from the cut. Cut these hairs to 2 to 3 inches in length.

Use a comb and shears to trim and fine-tune sections of hair to make the blunt cut as even as possible. Again, take care not to trim the hair at the nape, since this part requires a special layering technique.

Gather the hair in two sections, one on each side of the back of the head, to keep hair from interfering with the shingled “v.” Pin each section to the head with clips or bobby pins.

Comb the hair down at the nape of the neck. Taper the hair into a point, or “v” shape, by cutting with shears. Use a razor to shave hair around the edges and make the “v” shape very clean.

Trim the tapered hair to different lengths to create a subtle sloping or “shingle” effect, rather than a staircase look. To do this, work your way up from the bottom. Begin with the hair at the point. Hold hair with a fine-toothed comb as you cut. Place the comb flat on the neck and tilt the comb slightly to gather hair between the teeth. Use points of scissors to cut off hair ends. Move the comb half an inch higher on the head and repeat until the hair at the neck is fully shingled.


  • Keep hands steady in forming the shingled effect to ensure that hair is cut evenly, rather than in patches.

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About the Author

Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.