Star Trek‘s Jean Luc Picard had a certain savoir faire, a style of getting out of dilemmas smoothly and quickly — like when he tricked “Q” into promising never to meddle with humanity. I’m no Starfleet captain; I am an average 30-something who dislikes speeding tickets, jealous girlfriends, and unnecessary personal inquiries. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to talk my way out of hot spots, and as a business owner I’ve studied how others squirm before the sharp end of my own questions. Here are a few tips that have worked.
It worked on Ezra, a high school bully I dodged for an entire semester after beaming him in the back of the head with a juicy seeded grape. The easiest way to talk your way out of a jam is not to put yourself in that situation at all. In short, be prescient and avoid confrontation. Avoidance may delay the inevitable, but it may also give you time to prepare and your adversary time to cool off.
Avoidance is also possible, but not as easy, in conversation. Simply changing the subject rarely works. Instead, create a conversational diversion such as a compliment, “call-waiting,” and in extreme cases, poor cell phone reception (that’s right, hang up).
Explain (in Detail)
Oscar Levant said, “There’s no problem so simple a little explanation can’t make complex.” Indeed, every time I try to get straight answers from my IT team I end up wading neck-deep in geek-speak. Talk your way out of a jam by making your opponent regret ever asking their elementary question. Elucidate, expose, and expound upon your explanation enigmatically and inscrutably. Add an argumentative tone or a “that’s a stupid question” to your verbal defenestration and your sophistry will be complete . or whatever I just said.
The Power of Suggestion
A master stroke of conflict avoidance, or, as I like to call it, my coup d’état. One morning while driving unbuckled in my convertible, I was waved to the side of the road by a police officer at a seat-belt checkpoint. “Why aren’t you wearing your seat belt?” he barked as I stopped the car. And then I did something that would have made Miss Cleo, Mind Freak, and every other intuitive out there proud. “Excuse me?” I answered before I knew what I was doing. “You just watched me take my seat belt off as I was pulling over. You were looking at me the entire time!” The deer-in-the-headlights look on his face was priceless. I had just rocked his entire world, I shook the very foundation of his sanity, I blew his mind — and he let me go! Never underestimate the power of suggestion.
When confrontation is unavoidable, consider deferring to another authority (your friend, your boss, your mother). I see it regularly as a real estate investor; the person with whom I am speaking is uncertain about giving a price, so they “have to check with someone.” It can be an effective, albeit freshman, approach.
Lie, or Be Selectively Honest
In his “The Decay of the Art of Lying,” Mark Twain said it best: “Lying is universal — we all do it. Therefore the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object and not an evil one; to lie for others’ advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect.”
Practice these tips, and at the least, they may get you out of your next traffic stop.
Ian Charles Parrish is an investor and president of Investors United School of Real Estate, America’s first professional school for real estate investing. For more advice,
Many guys are too scared to talk to the opposite sex. If you happen to be one of them, you have to get over this hindrance immediately or you will never learn what makes women tick. Fortunately, female seduction happens to be a skill that can be learned. So if your goal is to talk to a woman confidently and make them think about you, keep reading to find out which killer techniques could work for you.
How To “Smooth Talk” A Woman – And Make Her Fall For You
Technique #1. “Low Frequency”
Research shows that women find men with lower voices much more attractive and far sexier than those who have higher-pitched voices. This happens because lower voices translate to higher levels of testosterone. Men who tend to speak or sound like an adorable cartoon character need to change their voices; otherwise, they will simply have to live with lifelong rejection.
Technique #2. “Default Phrases”
In order to be perceived as a smooth-talker, several canned lines exist, which can be put to use no matter what the situation. These lines could easily save you from awkward silences when you most need them. It would be essential to come off as natural when you utter these lines, though, so practice them well and secretly smile at your success.
Technique #3. ” Simple Hypnosis”
Expert seduction artists have long been putting hypnosis tactics to use to lure women into their traps quickly and easily. Fractionation is one of these tactics, where women are made to experience a slew of emotions with every conversation. Women will then become addicted to the man emotionally and he will become an irresistible drug in her eyes.
This tactic is known to be so successful, in fact; it can work within a mere span of just fifteen minutes. For this reason, fractionation is said to be the most controversial seduction tactic ever – because the “superpowers” that it gives to any man who uses it.
But before you use this technique, you must heed this warning.
Fractionation is considered as a ‘dark art’ tactic which is the basis of hypnosis-based seduction, and while controversial, it is known to be one of the most effective tactics ever invented by underground seductionists. It is described in a step-by-step system in the Deadly Seduction Manuscript ([http://www.deadlyseduction.com]).
These psychology tactics are highly unconventional techniques that are used by the secret elite in the seduction community. Use at your own risk. I personally vouch for the effectiveness of these tactics, but care must be taken as they could be outright dangerous in the hands of the unscrupulous.
If you want to be influential and have people find you credible then speaking better is the thing you’ll want to work on.
If you want to have executive presence and be an incredible leader your communication skills need to be on point.
If you’re not closing the number of deals you want, you may want to look into how you speak and come across to others.
Great communication skills are the foundation for influence and leadership. If you want to be more influential make sure your message comes out clearly and powerfully. If you want to be an excellent leader make sure you have magnificent communication skills.
Consider the stakes of the situation.
Obviously chatting with your bestie or ordering food and beverages are not high-stakes situations. There isn’t an unknown in the outcome. Nor do you desire something great or life-changing. These are routine situations in your life.
But going on a job interview, meeting with a prospective client. reporting to the CEO, and public speaking all have unknown outcomes and a great desire for a particular result. You want and don’t know if people will like you. You want and don’t know if you’ll be perceived as having executive presence.
You don’t know if you’ll be able to persuade people to see your point of view and you want them to like your life depends upon it. Cuz it kinda does.
Speak better in high-stakes situations.
To get what you need out of life, you need to speak smoothly. In the last blog post, we talked about the 3 critical steps to speaking well in high-anxiety situations (like interviews, presentations, venture capital meetings, client meetings, small talk, etc.) They were:
- Be relaxed. We perform better at everything we do when we’re comfortable, and speaking is no exception.
- Eliminate Over-Articulation. The pervasive misconception is that to speak better, you must punch out on each sound. Instead, use co-articulation where you smooth your sounds together. This is how you become a persuasive speaker.
- Pause. Stop after concepts and phrases to make it easier for people to understand you. This will also help you be concise.
- Breathe. Speech is air molecules that vibrate, so “let your voice take a ride on the air.” This will keep you calm and improve your speaking voice.
- Use Back Resonance. People can understand you better when you don’t use your lips too much to speak. Let the vibration hover over the back of your tongue. You’ll learn back resonance when you take The Voice Spa.
The next important step is to make sure you speak smoothly & fluidly. Why do you need to speak smoothly? Because choppy speech doesn’t hold people’s attention for very long.
Choppy, staccato, monosyllabic speech causes your listeners to work too hard to follow your message. And when they’re working too hard to follow your message, they’ll have a harder time following your call to action.
While it’s essential to listen more and better, it’s even more important to speak so effectively that people can’t help but fully understand your message.
Choppy speech, the opposite of smooth speech, even causes people to interrupt you. If people are interrupting you frequently, you’ll want to assess how you sound and think about using very smooth speech.
Want super choppy speech? Go ahead & use over-articulation. That’s the exact opposite of speaking smoothly.
Here’s how to smooth out your speech: instead of popping each consonant sound, link your sounds together between your pauses. This results in words that are connected to each other.
Following are some fun/amazing tricks to transitioning from the last sound in a word to the first sound in the next word. 🙂
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From a Consonant to a Vowel
When one word ends in a consonant, and the next word begins in a vowel, say it so the word beginning with the vowel starts with the final consonant of the last sound.
“I have an apple” becomes “I_have_anapple” where there are no sound breaks between any of the words. All the sounds are connected. Make sense?
How does this impact your speech? You end up sounding smooth & fluid, making it easier for people to listen to you.
Making them really want to listen to you. And making it almost impossible for them not to hear what you say.
From Vowel to Vowel
When a word ends in a vowel & the next begins in a vowel, you add a “glide” sound between the 2. If it’s a front vowel like the sound /eee/ use a y, and for a back vowel, use a w.
Consonant to Consonant
When one word ends in a consonant & the next begins with a consonant, slide your tongue from one place to the next.
If the 2 consonants are the same, say the sound only 1ce! (the only exceptions are the ch & dz sounds as in orange juice–say those 2ce!)
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Whatisshedoing? Your tongue goes from the /s/ spot to the /sh/ spot (further back on your palate) without stopping. It’s a continuous sound.
Speak Smoothly Tip II
There’s another trick to sounding smooth. Because speech is air molecules that vibrate, we need to use a lot of air when we speak. That results in having a full resonance that can easily project across the room & in a loud environment.
For every breath group you utter, make sure the air comes out continuously. Don’t stop the air from coming out in between breath groups. This results in a very smooth sound that really holds people’s attention, consequently doing what you need them to do.
Get in touch with me if you have any trouble speaking smoothly. 🙂 I can sort it out for you in no time flat!
Lets talk about the upper part of our silhouette. That delicate area between your chin and chest. Do you have NECK LINES? Most of the time we all seem to be focused on lines and wrinkles on our face but what about those lines below our chin?
To be on the safe side always include the area below your chin with your daily facial treatment. To be honest the best time to start is early before you see any lines. Today’s fashions focus on neck lines. Your neck is a very noticeable area.
Believe it or not some women and men would actually choose invasive alternatives to smooth lines on there neck with botox injections. Besides the obvious risk with this type of procedure there is also a risk that your voice could change. I can’t imagine taking that kind of risk.
There is another way to save your neck from neck lines. There are muscles in your neck also called neck bands or neck cords. Without proper skin care you can expect sagging and lines to start appearing between the ages of 40 and 50. Like the skin on your face decreased volume and loss of elasticity is also common with the skin on your neck.
You need to do more than simply wash your face and neck every morning and evening. Based on these facts we need to focus on natural skin care ingredients for our neck that are safe and effective. Once you know what to look for you will welcome smooth firmer beautiful skin.
To learn how to smooth neck lines with positive results. You will need to know what to look for. Natural products are totally safe and free of harmful chemicals. Nutrients with rich natural antioxidants will smooth and firm your skin.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out with air-dry clays or have been sculpting for years, you probably encountered the nightmare of fluff. What I call fluff is the tiny fibres that are in the composition of clay. When the clay is wet, those tiny fibres are not very visible, but when the clay starts drying and when you start sanding, the fluffy particles reveal themselves in all the glory, haha. So today I’m going to share a few steps that I take to give my dolls the satin smooth finish. It took me years of experimentation to find what works so I hope you’ll find it helpful!
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I wouldn’t promote anything I don’t absolutely love!
Not all air-dry clays are the same, choosing high-quality clay will increase your chances of achieving a smooth satin finish. Read the article about my favourite clays here. In my experience, stone clays like “La Doll” or “Premier” have less visible fibres than “Paperclay”. I’ve gotten pretty good results with “Paperclay” as well, but if you’re just starting out, stone clay might be a better choice for you.
No matter how much you try to smooth out the clay when it’s wet, sanding is inevitable. For that, you’ll need an assortment of different sanding papers, from coarse to very smooth ones. When shopping for sandpaper, you’ll see numbers such as 60-grit, 120-grit, or 200-grit (in some countries the grit numbers might vary, so pay attention not only to numbers but to the sandpaper itself). The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper is. I start with medium sandpaper (60-120 grit) to polish rougher areas and remove larger bumps in the clay, then I move on to fine (160-240 grit) and super fine (400-800 grit) sanding papers to polish the clay. The sanding process is very long and tedious, but it’s crucial to achieve the smooth surface. It takes a few hours to sand one doll so be ready for that.
It’s quite hard to capture those tiny fibres and fluff that really annoys most of the doll makers but you can see some of it here. It doesn’t go away even when I sand with very fine sandpaper.
While sanding you might notice that no matter how much you sand or how fine the sandpaper is the fluff still appears on the surface of the clay. Because of the composition of clay, the tiny fibres can’t really be sanded away unless you polish with ultra-fine sandpaper for hours. In my experiments I found that the next step makes the biggest difference in getting rid of the fluff.
When your doll is fully sanded with fine sandpaper and all the bumps are removed, coat all the surface with clean water and soft watercolour brush. It’s very important for the brush to be flat and extremely soft. This process will glue all the fibres back to the surface. It makes a huge difference! You can repeat this process a few times. Wait for the clay to dry completely, gently sand it with super-fine sandpaper again and coat with water one more time. I usually do it just once and repeat only on the areas with still visible fluff.
Because air-dry clay is water soluble, coating the surface with water, glues the fibres back to the surface and seals it. It’s very important to have soft flat brush so you won’t leave any brush marks on the surface.
It makes a huge difference every time I use this trick!
This step is optional but I find it helps with filling in tiny indentations and evens out the surface a little bit more. The biggest issue with most of the primers is that they are grey so it might be harder to paint your doll after. I use primer just for my ball-jointed dolls because I cast them in porcelain later.
Doll parts sculpted with La Doll clay and sprayed with primer.
Painting is the final step in achieving that satin finish. I recommend using white acrylic paint or white spray paint. Use a very soft watercolour brush with acrylic paint, this way you’ll avoid brush marks that will ruin your smooth surface again. If the paint is too thick, dilute it with water a bit. It’s better to paint in thin layers building up the colour than in one thick one.
If you’re having trouble with acrylic paints and brush streaks, try out the white spray paints. Coat the surface in thin layers to avoid paint dripping marks. Wait for each layer to dry and spray from a distance, make sure to read the label for detailed instructions.
I hope these steps will help you to achieve what we all strive for, smooth and beautiful dolls! Let me know in the comments if you have any advise yourself. For more tips like this, check out my doll making classes! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter and get all the future articles about doll making right into your inbox!
It’s always nice to get as friendly as you can with the people you’ll spend so much of your waking adult life working alongside. But building personal relationships at work can create a few sticky situations. Here are a few of them, and what to do when you find yourself in trouble.
1. When You Get Promoted and Your Coworker Doesn’t
You get one, your friend in the same position doesn’t. Now there’s resentment and a new power dynamic to negotiate. You can’t share your work drama with the same abandon anymore, because you’re in different roles. The kind of belly-aching you’re accustomed to is no longer appropriate. Also be prepared to withstand some initial resentment.
Either way, it’s best to talk about it once out in the open. Be proactive. Address the aspects of your relationship that have to change according to your work functions, but emphasize what aspects of your friendship do not have to change. Check in, be humble, and be honest. It’ll help you both navigate the new situation if you’re still on the same page and can express some solidarity.
2. When You Become Friends With Your Boss
You and your boss have become close outside of work. You get in a fight. It makes things… awkward at the office. This is normal. All friends fight. The only tricky bit is not compromising either of your jobs. Keep things civil and professional, and try not to be too defensive. If it’s a minor thing, take a bit of distance, cool off, then send an olive branch email to smooth it over. If it’s major, make it clear that it will not impact your daily office routines, but make a plan to chat outside the office after work.
3. When You want Skip Out on a Social Event
Your coworker wants you to double date! Fun, right!? But you don’t want to. That’s totally fine. You’re under no obligation to do so. Trouble is, turning it down can be a little tricky. You’ll want to be as firm as possible, without being mean. When in doubt, try to downshift. Say you’re super busy and would prefer to have some one-on-one time, maybe coffee or lunch! Eventually, she’ll get the hint.
4. When You’re Fighting With Your Coworker
This is the same as fighting with your boss, just that the stakes are slightly lower. Though you also have the potential to damage the other’s reputation in the office. Be careful not let the fight spill over into the work day and make either of you act unprofessionally. Otherwise, the same rules apply.
5.When You Don’t Want to Make Friends With Everyone
You’re close with a couple of your coworkers, but not another. You’re under no obligation to let this other coworker into your clique. People have the right to chose their friends and you are not required to be friends with people just because you work together. But do be sensitive to the feelings of the person you are not including. Avoid talking about all the fun stuff you and your pals are going to do in front of this other coworker. It’s the kind way to behave.
6. When You Don’t Fit in at Work
If you’re the one on the outside of the cool kids clique at work, don’t worry. It doesn’t say anything about you necessarily. And you certainly shouldn’t take it personally. Be warm and civil with your coworkers, and then divert your friendship-forging attention elsewhere. Make sure you maintain an active and fulfilling social life outside of the office so you don’t get discouraged by not being part of the crowd. The upside here is that you’ll focus more on your work and not be as easily distracted by office banter.
7. When You Overhear Hurtful Gossip
You overhear your coworkers talking about you behind your back. Resist the temptation to throttle them. You don’t have to confront them, but you shouldn’t hide and pretend you didn’t hear either. Take time to cool off and give them the space to do the adult thing and apologize. If they don’t, they’re probably not worth talking to.
8. When Your Coworkers are Mooching Off of You
Are you always paying for the coffee trip? The happy hour round? Rather than quietly resenting this state of affairs, give your coworkers the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to set things right. Try saying, “Hey, you mind grabbing this round? I got the last few.” Or something equally casual. It’s awkward the first couple of times, but you’ll be glad you got better at asking. It’s better than slowly going broke!
The European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters beside the River Main in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, June 17, 2021. European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane signaled that policy makers may not have all the data they need by September to start shifting policy away from the current ultra-loose stance. , Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) — The European Central Bank will supercharge its regular bond-buying program before pandemic purchases run out in March, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Policy makers will increase the pace of their standard tool next year and make it more flexible to be able to better address market stress, respondents said. They also predict the ECB will start phasing out its emergency plan in December, and one in four say it could be followed by a new program.
No policy shifts are expected at next week’s Governing Council meeting.
The ECB is preparing for a major policy overhaul at its final meeting of the year, when new economic projections will give officials a better view on future stimulus needs. Economists predict the central bank will lay out a path then for its pandemic emergency purchase program that won’t exhaust the 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.2 trillion) envelope.
Next Thursday, the focus will be on President Christine Lagarde’s message to investors betting on faster interest-rate increases amid a global surge in inflation and policy tightening by central banks elsewhere. Economists see rates on hold through at least 2023.
“They will be searching for clues about what the ECB intends to do about the PEPP,” said Claus Vistesen of Pantheon Macroeconomics. They’ll also “be looking for evidence of push-back against the clear shift in market expectations, currently pricing in a rate hike by 2023.”
Officials have cautioned that now is not the time to tighten monetary policy. While the current spike in euro-area inflation — the rate is well above 3% — and a relaxation of the health crisis may add to arguments for reducing support, price pressures are widely expected to moderate, with supply bottlenecks threatening to damp the recovery.
What Bloomberg Economics Says.
“The Governing Council will debate how transitory the current spike in inflation will be, but Lagarde should maintain her view that the above-target readings are unlikely to persist. That will allow her to leave open the door to increasing the pace of monthly bond buying through the APP in March when the PEPP expires.”
–David Powell, senior euro-area economist. Read more here.
Recent public comments have offered some flavor of the upcoming debates on future monetary policy.
More conservative Governing Council members such as Estonia’s Madis Muller and Klaas Knot from the Netherlands have expressed some reluctance at preserving the extraordinary flexibility of crisis-era stimulus as conditions improve.
Other, including Italy’s Ignazio Visco, advocate that flexibility of some form should remain. France’s Francois Villeroy de Galhau, meanwhile, prefers having a “contingent option” that could be activated during periods of market turmoil.
Such a tool is already being studied at the ECB, according to people familiar with the matter.
The majority of economists predicts the ECB will commit to spending as much as necessary under its conventional APP program to maintain favorable financing conditions.
Other possible changes include raising the share of bonds that can be bought from each issuer, loosening a rule that allocates purchases according to the size of each economy, and moving away from fixed monthly amounts.
Visco told Bloomberg Television in an interview this week that another option — increasing the share of debt issued by international institutions in the euro area — is “something that we may end up doing.”
Read more: ECB Officials Talk About Flexibility. Here’s What They Mean
“The bank will make an explicit statement that APP purchases could be used more flexibly over time and asset class if necessary to ensure that the transmission mechanism of monetary policy is smooth,” said Andrew Kenningham of Capital Economics.
As for actual policy shifts, Kenningham is joining Joerg Angele at Bantleon Bank and many others in being patient.
“The upcoming meeting will be some kind of bridging event,” said Angele. “It has already been made clear that no major decisions will be taken and that the December meeting is the one to watch.”
How to Style Bangs in order to get a new interesting look? How to style bangs for a perfect party or glam look? And, most importantly – How to style bangs to get a cool, everyday hairstyle? Well, the answers to all of those questions are right here so give these 7 great ideas a shot ASAP:
If you’re wondering how to style bangs for school you absolutely must give this trendy braid a shot! The idea behind this look is to create an interesting tight headband-like braid that’s going to keep your bangs neat and away from your face and eyes.
How To: Section your bangs and braid them carefully starting at one temple and finishing at the other. Use two bobby pins to hide the end of the braid behind your ear.
Pro Tip: Apply some gel before you start braiding to make hair more manageable and tame baby hair.
2 Gwen Stefani Roll
This edgy trendy look is absolutely perfect for parties and, once you see how easy it is to do, you’ll want to style your bangs like this all the time! So, if you’ve ever wondered how to style bangs like a pro, it’s time to give this extraordinary look a shot!
How To: Section your bangs and tie the rest of your hair into a bun or a ponytail, tease the base of your bangs to get them to stand up, spray heavily or use maximum hold hair gel and then simply create a funky big roll by folding the ends back and securing them with two bobby pins.
Pro Tip: A spritz or two of hair gloss will give this look a glossy, super elegant finishing touch.
A pouf is always an easy, fast, glam way to style your bangs and, the fact that this style can be worn in all occasions makes it a great choice for both work and parties. So, whenever your bangs refuse to look good, pick them up in a pouf and focus on styling the rest of your hair.
How To: Section your bangs, tease the base for volume, flip them back and secure with two bobby pins. Push the hair closer to your hairline if you want a more raised pouf or pin close to your crown for a more natural look.
Pro Tip: Add a foam pad for an XXL pouf and don’t forget to smooth out the top section of your hair.
4 Back Pouf
Gym hair can be made to look really sexy and all you’ll need only a headband and a ponytail band to pull off this simple, 5-minute hairstyle!
How To: Tease the top part of your hair starting from the bangs, all the way to your crown. Comb your hair back gently put on a headband and slide it back slowly to smooth out the bangs and shift the volume to your crown. Gather the rest of your hair into a low ponytail and voila!
Pro Tip: Hairspray the hairline to tame baby hair and frizz.
5 Charlie’s Angels Locks
How to style bangs that are in desperate need of a clip? Well, in case you don’t have time to visit the salon and get your overgrown bangs trimmed, you can always give this sexy 70’s style a shot!
How To: Part your hair at center and use a wide barrel curling iron to create large half-curls facing outwards.
Pro Tip: Add a headband for a more modern, Boho-like style.
6 Cute Side Swept Bangs
Want more awesome, totally cute ideas on how to style bangs? Well, the style I’m about to suggest right now is absolutely ideal for school and won’t take more than a minute of your time!
How To: Sweep your bangs to the side and secure them with a cute hairclip. Use hair gel in case your bangs are really short but be careful not to put too much as that will make your bangs look greasy.
Pro Tip: Use a shiny, crystal hairclip instead and pick up the rest of your hair into a low bun for a glamorous look.
7 Pin up Roll
Retro pin up rolls are one incredibly sexy, not to mention quite simple way to wear your bangs so give this look a shot in case you really like this style but haven’t got the time to trouble with all those elaborate retro up-dos.
How To: Section your bangs, spray hairspray and comb using a fine toothed comb. Roll the bangs up keeping the ends inside. Once you’ve rolled the bangs all the way up, move the roll just a little bit to the side so that the inside can show and pin it down using a small bobby pin.
Pro Tip: Apply a little bit of hair gel onto the ends to make them more manageable.
You see? With this many awesome tips on how to style bangs, you simply can’t allow yourself to be bothered with bad hair days! So, get your comb out- get set – gooooo! Do you have other cool ideas on how to style bangs and which one of my tips on how to style bangs are you going to apply?
I still remember how frustrated I got when I first started grooming.
I was the assistant, doing mostly bathing and drying for the groomer. One day, she was overbooked and was falling deeply behind schedule. She had a basic “all trim” on a larger dog that she hadn’t even started yet. Out of desperation she asked if I would remove some of the coat before the bath.
I thought to myself, “Sure, why not? How hard could it really be?” I picked up the A2 clipper as the groomer handed me the appropriate head. I twisted it on and set to work.
What a mess. The dog wasn’t hurt but my work was awful. The dog was full of uneven coat and lots of tracking.
The groomer had always made it look so easy. Coat seemed to melt off like a hot knife through butter. Her clipper work was always smooth and even. No track marks. No sticky-outies.
This was not nearly as easy as I thought!
However, I stuck with it.
The groomer coached me as I struggled with the second side. It turned out somewhat better but was far from perfect. Today, I would not consider my work that day as acceptable – not even as pre-work before the bath. It was that bad! Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about all the tracking. It was just the rough cut before the bath. Once the dog was clean and blown dry, the groomer finished it in no time.
Fast forward 10 years. I had mastered the clippers and figured out how to eliminate tracking in the coat. On rare occasions, I still had problems. By that time, I was in my own mobile grooming van and running my own business. One of my clients was a buff American Cocker whose owners wanted clipper cut.
Most of you who have been groomers for any amount of time know some buff-colored Cockers track terribly when clipper cutting. This dog was no exception.
It didn’t matter what blade I chose.
It didn’t matter how powerful the clipper was.
It didn’t matter what time of year it was.
The. Coat. ALWAYS. Tracked.
On one appointment, I basically threw my hands up. I could not get the tracking out of the coat. I had used all the tricks I knew to no avail. As I sat there contemplating how to remove the lines, I had an idea. What would happen if I reversed a blade over this coat? Hmmm. At that point, I figured I didn’t have much to lose.
I tried out the technique on an obscure spot on the dog’s body. I reversed a #7F blade then stepped back to check my work. I realized it was going to be way too short. I bumped up to a longer #4F blade. When I tried again – it was perfect. It was the length of a #7 blade. And even better, it was baby butt smooth. Eureka!
Over the years, I’d figured out how to get all coat types super smooth, but this Cocker type coat had always given me trouble. Once I mastered that coat type, coat tracking was a thing of the past for me.
So how do you get coat super smooth without any tracks?
There is not one simple answer but there are lots of techniques and trouble-shooting options. Here are a few tricks that I discovered with years of practice.
9 Ways to Eliminate Track Marks
- You need super sharp blades. The sharper the blade, the faster and smoother the cut.
- Get a powerful set of clippers. They don’t necessarily have to be large and clunky. They do need to have enough power, speed, and torque to glide effortlessly through a thick coat.
- Use consistent speed when clipping through the coat. As you guide the clippers through the coat, you need to run the clipper consistently over the pet’s body.
- Card thick and dense coats before AND after. Dead undercoat clogs clipper blades. Removing as much dead undercoat prior to clipping and then again after the clipping will greatly reduce lines.
- Always follow the lay of the coat either clipping with the grain or against the coat growth. Cross coat cutting typically creates track lines. Focus on working with the natural lay of the coat.
- Reverse blade clipping. When the coat growth pattern is distinctive, reverse clipping can be beneficial to remove or eliminate clipper tracks. Instead of working with the coat growth, work directly against it. Reverse clipping cuts the coat closer than working with the grain. Always bump the blade up two lengths longer – a #4F cuts the length of a #7F with the grain.
- Maintain a consistent degree of tip on the blade as you clip. Every clipper blade works most efficiently when the heel of the blade is tipped up slightly. The shorter the clipping action, the higher the degree of tip.
- Keep consistent pressure against the skin as you clip. Typically, the weight of the clipper is the correct pressure to apply. Keep a supple wrist as you guide the clipper over the pet’s body.
- Fine detailed thinners work as erasers on stubborn lines. When all else fails, you can buffer clipper lines with thinning shears, knocking off just the high points of the tracks.
Every coat type is a little bit different. Some coats barely track at all. Others are almost impossible to get smooth. Learning how to minimize tracking takes time and practice. Mastering a smooth clipper cut in the least amount of time takes focus and attention to details.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to mastering clean perfect clipper work. Groomers who have mastered a track free simple “All Trim,” on a regular small to medium-sized can groom a pet in one hour or less.
If you struggle with this problem, my book, Notes from the Grooming Table, has a very detailed section about clipper work in the front of the book. My Learn2GroomDogs.com streaming video platform also has some great videos about efficient clipper work in the Core Video Category. Make sure to check out those two educational resources. If you work with a team of stylists, someone within your group might be able to coach and mentor you. You can also look for local clinics or workshops where you can work with a seasoned professional.
What are the tricks you’ve used to eliminate tracking? Jump on the Learn2GroomDogs.com Facebook page and tell us about it.