When you enter your hair salon or barber shop and your stylist or barber whips out his or her number one tool, it is not the same as the Fiskars safety scissors you just bought your 5 year-old before his first day of school.
Hair cutting professionals use high quality hair cutting shears or professional hair scissors. For those interested in cutting hair at home to those who have been cutting hair for 20 years, it’s important to know about the quality and design of hair shears.
The reason for using these shears and not the cheapest craft scissors at the dollar store is clear: the better the scissors, the better the hair cut.
Professional hair shears should be made from a high quality metal that is free from nicks or cuts. It is important that the blades are sharp, and while they shouldn’t need sharpened after every use, a hair cutting professional should pay attention to how many cuts he or she can perform between each sharpening.
When the blades are dull or nicked, the shears seem to “chew” the hair rather than providing a clean and even cut with each snip of the scissors. Poor quality, unsharpened hair scissors break the ends of the hair rather than cut them.
In order to keep their hair shears in good shape, remember a few simple rules for scissor care.
Rule one: Always, always, always clean the shears after each use. Rinse them with soap and water to prevent bacteria and germ build-up.
Rule two: Sterilize the hair scissors with a non damaging formula. It is not necessary to sterilize the hair shears after each use, but before doing so, be sure that the formula is gentle enough to prevent harm.
Rule three: Store shears in a dry place. To avoid moisture, keep the scissors in a holster or in a place where they are sure to stay away from water or any wet environment.
Rule four: Don’t be afraid to oil hair shears if they are in constant use. Proper and occasional oiling can prevent rust and maintain proper movement in the shears.
And finally, rule five: Never, ever use hair shears on anything except for hair. These tools are called “hair shears” for a reason and using them on anything else can damage the blades and prevent them from doing their job.
The best shears depend on more than just the quality of the metal and blades. The design of the hair shears is important for comfort and to achieve the best results. In this regard, what is considered “best” is based primarily on what the user finds comfortable.
There are two very popular styles of scissors used to cut hair: the even handled shear and the offset handled shear. The even handled shear is an older design that is becoming less and less common. Each of the handles is side by side and is the same size.
The offset handle design was initially considered ergonomic or better for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injury. This is not true and most physical therapists recommend using a variety of tools to avoid holding hands in the same position for too long. The handles of the offset shears are uneven in that one is shorter than the other. Sometimes the finger holes are the same size and sometimes they are not.