Unit of competency details

SIHHHCS303A - Apply graduated haircut structures (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 19/Aug/2013
(View details for release 1) Replaced20/Jul/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SHBHCUT003 - Create graduated haircut structuresNot Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. • Title changed. • Incorporates relevant skills and knowledge from deleted units: o SIHHCCS302A Perform a full client consultation o SIHHCCS303A Respond to service related and technical problems. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to WRHHC303A - Apply graduated haircut structuresUpdated and equivalent to WRHHC303A Previously contained the following prerequisites: • WRHCS201A Prepare clients for salon services 19/Jul/2011

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

The release details of this endorsed unit of competency are set out in the table below. The latest information is at the top.




Editorial corrections. Competency field added.


Initial release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to design and apply graduated haircut structures.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to hairdressers in salon environments who plan and then select and apply tools and equipment, to create graduated haircut structures and after-haircut finishing techniques.

A person undertaking this role applies discretion and judgement and accepts responsibility for outcomes of own work.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


SIHHHCS301A Design haircut structures

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Plan graduated haircut structures.

1.1. Produce the haircut plan  to represent the haircut structure.

1.2. Select appropriate tools  and graduation techniques  to achieve planned haircut finish.

2. Apply graduation techniques.

2.1. Lift and distribute hair to establish form and design line on the skin, according to the haircut plan.

2.2. Adjust position of client s  head and neck for desired degree of graduation.

2.3. Maintain evenly wet or dry hair and apply even tension.

2.4. Maintain clean sections and partings, with appropriate lift and distribution throughout the service, according to the haircut plan.

2.5. Apply hands and cutting tool parallel to horizontal and diagonal parting lines and non-parallel to vertical parting lines.

2.6. Position cutting hand with the palm toward and away, according to operator comfort, length of hair, line being cut and the area of the head.

3. Select and apply finishing techniques.

3.1. Select the appropriate finishing tools and equipment .

3.2. Apply appropriate finishing techniques  for graduated haircut structures.

3.3. Dispose of waste according to salon procedures.

3.4. Clean or dispose of equipment according to health regulations and salon procedures .

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • technical skills to:
  • develop a haircut plan
  • section hair
  • apply even tension when manipulating haircutting tools and combs
  • maintain appropriate lift and distribution
  • manipulate cutting hand, scissors and comb
  • manipulate finishing tools and equipment
  • numeracy skills to:
  • calculate exterior and interior lengths in the haircut structure
  • interpret angles and lines in the haircut structure
  • literacy skills to interpret and follow salon procedures

Required knowledge  

  • natural distribution and growth patterns of hair
  • relationship between the quality of hair and the graduation technique selected
  • degrees of lift and distribution of hair to create graduation:
  • natural
  • 90 degree angle to base parting
  • shifted
  • lifting (low, medium and high)
  • relationship between sectioning and parting patterns and the finished result
  • relationship between head position and the finished result
  • soft and hard weight lines or weight areas
  • relationship between angle of fingers, angle of scissors and amount of pressure when applying pressure graduation
  • shape, structure and texture of graduation
  • horizontal and diagonal design lines
  • stationary, mobile and combination guidelines
  • salon procedures, including:
  • compliance with state or territory and local government health regulations relevant to the service
  • environmental protection practices, such as waste minimisation, waste disposal and water efficiency

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • selecting tools and graduation techniques appropriate to the planned graduated finish
  • applying the cutting hand, and holding the cutting tools, to create graduated designs
  • parting the hair with clean sections and partings throughout the haircut
  • applying hands and haircutting tools parallel and non-parallel to base partings to achieve planned graduation
  • positioning the head and neck and making any necessary adjustments during service to achieve the appropriate degree of graduation
  • maintaining the hair evenly wet or dry and applying even tension
  • achieving planned degree or degrees of graduation
  • applying finishing techniques for graduated haircuts.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a salon or a simulated salon environment that includes a range of work situations such as client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the salon
  • an adjustable client chair
  • clean client gown or wrap
  • haircutting tools and equipment
  • a range of clients for haircuts with graduated structures
  • finishing tools and equipment
  • relevant documentation including:
  • cutting plans
  • salon procedures.

For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of the learner performing a range of tasks in an actual or simulated work environment, over sufficient time to demonstrate their handling of a range of contingencies. Tasks include:
  • developing plans for graduated haircut structures
  • applying graduated haircut techniques
  • applying finishing techniques to graduated haircuts
  • written or verbal questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test knowledge which include:
  • elements and principles of design
  • geometric principles related to angles and shapes
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party reports of on-the-job performance by the learner.

Guidance information for assessment 

A unit of competency describes an individual skill but people rarely perform one skill at a time. Many skills are combined on a day-to-day basis in the workplace as part of work processes. This does not mean that each skill described by a unit of competency is pre-requisite to another they are related skills.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, salon and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SIHHIND201A Maintain and organise tools equipment and work areas
  • SIHHOHS201A Apply salon safety procedures

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Haircut plan  must include:

  • straight and curved, soft and hard interior and exterior design lines
  • starting points, sectioning and parting patterns
  • degrees of lift for each section where lifted graduation is planned
  • distribution of hair for each section where graduation is planned
  • illustrated stationary or mobile guide lines for graduated sections of haircut
  • a structural graphic (profile) for the haircut plan illustrated by drawing lines at 90 degrees to the curve of the head
  • a simple line drawing representing the finished haircut design.

Appropriate tools  may include:

  • combs
  • haircutting scissors
  • texturising scissors
  • razors
  • chisels
  • clippers.

Graduation techniques  may include:

  • blunt cutting
  • notching
  • razor bevelling or arching
  • pressure graduation.

Client  may include:

  • women
  • men
  • children
  • people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Finishing tools and equipment  may include:

  • blow dryer
  • Denman style brushes
  • vent style brushes
  • round brushes
  • thermal irons.

Finishing techniques  may include:

  • blow drying with brushes
  • setting and comb up
  • thermal setting and straightening.

Salon procedures  must include:

  • procedures that comply with state or territory and local government health regulations relevant to the service
  • occupational health and safety
  • environmental protection practices, such as waste disposal.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field


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