WTG vs ATG – Wavebuilder


We get a lot of questions about the difference between a WTG hair cut and an ATG hair cut. This article outlines the key differentiators and the best way to style each.

WTG is an acronym for With the Grain. With the grain simply means in the direction your hair is trained to grow, aka your wave pattern that you have worked so hard to get trained. This means cutting your hair from the crown outward going along with the tide of your waves.

ATG is an acronym for Against the Grain. It is the exact opposite of WTG. Against the grain means exactly what it sounds like. It is going against the direction of your pattern. Instead of going with the tide it is defying the flow of it. This means cutting your hair backwards toward your crown area.

You’re thinking why would someone get an ATG hair cut -- it seems to be the worst thing you can do. When in reality ATG can also be your best friend. Sometimes cutting WTG can be very tricky. You have to make sure you're cutting each side with the same exact amount of pressure to get a good even haircut. The crown area is the most tricky with cutting WTG because the hair is going in many directions, which if done improperly can leave you with a plug or a bald spot looking area. But on the other side of the coin an ATG cut ensures that the cutting is even--by going backward it cuts the ends of the hair.

The most important thing you need to remember is making sure you use a guard twice that of a WTG. For example, if you ordinarily get (1/4 inches-6mm) #2 guard WTG cut, when going ATG you would get a (1/2 inches-13mm) #4 guard ATG.