The idea was to give my lengths a little movement by chopping in some long and subtle layers, accompanied by face-cupping pieces of hair that aren’t quite chunky curtain bangs but can be blow-dried using a round brush to frame the face in a similar, voluminous fashion. In what felt like moments, the initial cut was done and my hair was rough-dried completely with the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer. I say “initial cut” because Smith’s technique is to snip away, dry the hair to determine your natural parting and then start shaping. But there were no crunchy, thinning scissors used here. Instead, Smith opted for the “directional cutting” or “slicing” method: “Thinning scissors weaken the shape of the hair,” Smith told me, “but slicing in a downwards motion encourages hair to sit in a certain direction so that it kicks back nicely.” When razors are used at a steep angle, said Smith, the hair can almost appear frayed. “Slicing allows the stylist to control the angle better,” said Smith, so the finished result is more polished — exactly what I was after.