5 Rules To Follow When Choosing Hair Cutting Shears

Posted on: 17 May 2017


Investing in quality hair shears is one of the most important decisions you'll make as a hairdresser. Whether you're about to start your education, your career as a stylist, or you're just getting back in the game after taking some time off, here are some really simple rules to follow when choosing shears for your business or salon.

Don't Go for the Cheapest Pair

Money will probably be limited if you're just starting out as a stylist. But just as a doctor shouldn't choose the least expensive surgical tools, you also should avoid the cheapest pair of shears you can find. The good news is that you don't have to spend an arm and a leg either. Your success depends on offering quality cuts and styles, so you want your tools to reflect how much you care about the client. Therefore, select shears that will last a long time without needing constant sharpening as well as ones that won't send the client back to your chair for a re-do.

Cheap shears made of inferior metal have a shorter life span and don't hold their edge very well. You should choose a quality metal, like stainless steel or cobalt. Also keep in mind you'll have to sharpen your shears about every 400-500 haircuts. Cobalt shears may need this attention less frequently, making the higher investment worthwhile.

Invest in At Least Two Pairs

All stylists should own several pairs of shears for multiple reasons. First of all, having shears with varying blade lengths will come in handy. The shorter shears are commonly used on the interior hair while longer blades are good for tackling the frame. But the length will ultimately depend on the size of your hand. So smaller hands are generally more comfortable with smaller shears.

You also might break or lose a pair, so having backup is critical in order to avoid the need of borrowing someone else's.

Choose Your Preferred Edge

Shears come with a convex or beveled edge, and it's important to learn which one works best for you. Most stylists agree that a convex edge gives a better cut simply because it feeds the hair through the blade a little better than a beveled edge does. Beveled edges work well for slowly cutting small sections of dry hair. But if you want ultimate precision and a smooth cutting experience, choose a convex edge.

Go for Comfort

When it comes to finding shears that will offer the maximum in comfort, you should focus your attention on the handle of the scissor. This means trying out multiple pairs to see how they feel in your hand as you're cutting.

The even handle is a straight scissor with both sides looking pretty symmetric. But they tend to place more strain on the hand, back, and shoulders.

The next option is the shear with an angled or offset handle, and these tend to be more ergonomic. The angle of the finger holes should help prevent horizontal thumb pressure and allow your ring finger to be in a relaxed position. These are more common than even-handle shears.

A third option is the crane handle, which is similar to the angled shear with one of the handles being straight and the other angled down.

It's best to try out all three in order to learn which one feels best in your grip.

Get Left-Handed Shears When Necessary

Don't let anyone tell you that right-handed shears are perfectly fine for left-handed people. You may find them usable for a while, but down the road you'll feel the effects of the tension from having to apply more pressure when you cut. Left-handed shears differ from the right-handed ones in the location of the sharp edge of the blade, providing a more comfortable scissor motion and a smoother cut.