The Choppy Look – Russian Hairstylist Uses Sharp Hatchet Instead of Scissors

If you thought your hairstylist was a little rough, you’ve probably never seen Russian hairdresser Daniil Istomin work. He taught himself to cut hair with a sharp hatchet instead of scissors, and while the process is allegedly very effective, it’s also about as brutal as you can imagine.

Like many other hairstylists, Daniil wanted to come up with an idea to set himself apart from the competition. Inspired by old stories about how rugged men once shaved their beards, he started experimenting with a very sharp axe about two years ago, and steadily improved his hair-cutting skills. He worked on mannequins at first, and as he built up his confidence, he started asking women if they’d  let him chop their head hair off. Some of them, the “crazy ones, as Daniil calls them, actually agreed.

Photo: video screengrab

“The axe makes everything easier, because with one stroke you can cut as much hair as with ten scissors strokes,” Istomin told Russian news agency RIA Novosti, adding that the blade of the axe needs to be exceptionally sharp to nail the fine details of a haircut.

Daniil Istomin has been showcasing his bizarre hair-cutting skills at hairdressing events and talent shows, for about a year, but he recently made international headlines after one of his performances was picked up by Right This Minute, a popular television program featuring all kinds of viral videos. He was soon contacted by Ruptly, which then released a video of Daniil chopping a woman’s hair on a chopping block. Now everyone’s talking about him.

Photo: video screengrab

Istomin revealed that he had becomed bored with traditional hairdressing, and had tried his hand at several tricks before picking up the axe, including cutting hair while blindfolded and wielding two pairs of scissors simultaneously. But as soon as he started chopping with the hatchet, he knew that he was on to something special.

Daniil mostly showcases his unique skills during choreographed events, where the paid models are instructed on what is about to happen beforehand, because most of his regular customers are reluctant to let him chop off their hair with a hatchet. After watching him work, I can say I understand how they feel.


Daniil Istomin is not the first hairdresser to adopt an unconventional hair cutting tool. In the past we’ve written about hairstylists using samurai swords, hot tongs and even live flames to cut hair.


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