Your Ultimate Guide to Hairdressing Scissors: Types, Uses, and Care
Your Ultimate Guide to Hairdressing Scissors: Types, Uses, and Care
As a hairdresser, your scissors are an extension of you. This vital tool, often clutched in your hand for the majority of your professional life, needs to fit just like a glove. But what makes a good pair of hairdressing scissors? How do you choose the right pair for you? And how should you care for them to ensure they serve you well? This guide will answer these questions and more, helping you understand the world of hairdressing scissors.
WHAT MAKES HAIRDRESSING SCISSORS DIFFERENT?
Hairdressing scissors, or shears, are specialized tools used by professionals to cut and style hair. Unlike regular household scissors, they are designed with unique features such as adjust
able tension screws, sharper blades, and varying lengths to enable precision cutting. They often have an ergonomic design to ensure comfort and prevent strain during long hours of use.
IMPORTANCE OF HAIRDRESSING SCISSORS:
The significance of using the correct scissors cannot be overstated. Hairdressing scissors play a pivotal role in achieving desired styles and maintaining the health of your clients' hair. Precision, accuracy, and a smooth finish, all hallmarks of a professional haircut, are achievable only with the right tools.
TYPES OF HAIRDRESSING SCISSORS:
Straight shears are the most common type of hairdressing scissors. Their versatility makes them suitable for most general hair cutting, including blunt cuts and layering. They come in various sizes, each suited to different tasks and hand sizes.
Thinning shears are designed with a serrated blade to remove weight from the hair without altering its length, perfect for adding texture and reducing bulk in thick hair.
Texturizing shears, similar to thinning shears but with wider teeth, help add volume and dimension to hairstyles. They are perfect for creating soft, seamless layers and blending.
Razors are used to achieve a more dramatic and edgy look. They help create movement and texture but require a steady hand and expert training for safe and effective use.
Detaching shears are designed to remove weight and bulk from heavy hair. They are excellent for managing thick hair types, allowing for more manageable and stylized cuts.
WHEN TO USE EACH TYPE OF HAIRDRESSING SCISSORS:
The type of scissors you choose depends on the hair type, the desired style, and the cutting technique. For instance, straight shears are great for precise, clean cuts, while thinning or texturizing shears are ideal for adding texture or removing bulk. Razors can be used for edgier styles or to add movement, and detaching shears are handy for managing very thick hair.
BLADE EDGE TYPES
Blades can come with many different edge types. More complex edges can be much sharper, though their complexity means they can only be introduced with higher end steels.
Most people will be familiar with the bevel edge blade type. This is the standard, pointed edge where the blade goes on a diagonal 45 degree slant towards the point. This type of edge is easy to create and maintain meaning it will require less sharpening, and sharpening is likely to be cheaper than other edge styles. Cutting and slicing with bevel edge blades is the weakest.
Semi convext style blades are much sharper than bevel edge style. This is because of their more complex shape, which results in better slicing and cutting results. Unfortunately this does come with the complexity of manufacturing and requirement for higher quality steel to be used meaning costs are much higher on this type of blade. Sharpening is also usually much more frequently necessary with these blades as the sharper point is likely to blunt faster
Full convex blade edge are the ultimate scissor blade type. Just like with semi convex, this blade type introduces an even higher standard of cutting however blade complexity and the frequency at which the blade requires sharpening is amplified just as much.
FINDING QUALITY - THE ROCKWELL SCALE & WHAT IT MEANS
When it comes to selecting high-quality hairdressing scissors, understanding the Rockwell scale and its significance can help you make an informed choice. The Rockwell scale is a measurement system used to determine the hardness of materials, particularly metals such as steel. In the context of hairdressing scissors, the Rockwell scale plays a crucial role in assessing the durability, sharpness, and overall cutting performance of the scissors.
The Rockwell scale measures the indentation hardness of a material, which is its ability to resist permanent deformation when a load is applied. The higher the Rockwell hardness value, the harder the material. Hairdressing scissors are typically made from different grades of stainless steel, and the Rockwell hardness value indicates the hardness of the steel used in their construction.
Hairdressing scissors with a higher Rockwell hardness (typically ranging between 55 to 62 HRC) are often favored for professional use. This is because harder steel tends to retain its sharpness for a longer duration, resulting in improved cutting performance. When scissors have a higher Rockwell hardness, they require less frequent sharpening, allowing hairstylists to maintain cleaner and more precise haircuts over an extended period.
However, it's important to strike a balance when considering Rockwell hardness. While harder steel may offer superior sharpness retention, it can also be more brittle and susceptible to damage if mishandled or dropped. Therefore, it's crucial to handle high Rockwell hardness scissors with care to ensure their longevity and performance.
When choosing hairdressing scissors, it's recommended to look for manufacturers or brands that disclose the Rockwell hardness value of their scissors. Scissors with a Rockwell hardness within the professional range (55 to 62 HRC) are generally considered to be of high quality and suitable for professional use.
UNDERSTANDING SCISSOR SHAPES - EMPHASISING COMFORT AND ERGONOMICS
Also known as straight scissors, classic scissors have the same shape for both the upper and lower blades. The rings align precisely, with one ring sitting directly on top of the other. Classic scissors offer a traditional design that suits a wide range of cutting styles. They are straightforward to handle and provide a balanced feel. Many hairstylists appreciate the simplicity and versatility of classic scissors, however the poor ergonomics of these scissors can cause injuries if used too often. Nevertheless, many hairdressers prefer this shape and will stick with this shape scissor. Our recommendation? If you aren't already using classic scissors, use one of the other scissor shapes.
Offset scissors have an angled handle area, creating a slight offset between the blades and the finger holes. This design allows for a more natural hand position and better alignment of the hand and wrist. The handle shank and thumb ring are often shortened, providing added comfort and reducing strain on the hand and fingers. Many hairstylists find offset scissors more ergonomic, especially if they prefer holding the scissors with their ring finger. The angled handle allows for easier angling and control while cutting.
Crane scissors feature a more pronounced angled handle design. The upper blade is completely straight, while the handle shank and thumb ring are sharply angled downwards. This design encourages a more open hand position and helps reduce strain on the hand and wrist. Crane scissors are highly regarded for their ergonomic benefits, particularly for professionals who spend long hours cutting hair. The angled handle allows for a more relaxed grip, promoting a natural and comfortable cutting motion.
EXPLORING PRICING - FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE FOR YOUR BUDGET
Price plays a significant role when it comes to choosing the perfect hairdressing scissors. From budget-friendly options to high-end professional tools, understanding the pricing landscape and the factors influencing it is crucial. In the following discussion, we will delve into the different price categories available for hairdressing scissors, examining the features and considerations associated with each range. By exploring the pricing options, you'll gain valuable insights to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and meets your hairstyling needs.
When it comes to hairdressing scissors, prices can vary significantly, ranging from as low as £20 to well over £1000. The price of scissors is influenced by several factors, including the quality of the metal, handle type, scissor type, warranty, and unique patterns or designs they may feature. Understanding the price range and what factors affect it can help you make an informed decision within your budget.
ENTRY-LEVEL SCISSORS (£20-£70):
Entry-level hairdressing scissors in the price range of £20 to £70 are usually straight scissors made from materials that may be slightly less hard compared to their pricier counterparts. While these scissors may require more frequent sharpening, they often offer a good balance between durability and affordability. They are suitable for beginners or those on a tighter budget, as they provide a solid foundation for basic hair cutting tasks.
MID-RANGE SCISSORS (£70-£150):
In the mid-range price category of £70 to £150, you'll find hairdressing scissors that offer higher quality materials and additional features. These scissors are more likely to be made from harder and more durable steel, ensuring longer sharpness retention and better cutting performance. They often come with features such as an offset handle design, removable finger rest, and ergonomic grips for added comfort during prolonged use. This can be especially beneficial for hairdressers who spend many hours working with scissors, as the ergonomic design helps reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
PREMIUM SCISSORS (£150+):
At the premium end of the pricing spectrum, hairdressing scissors can even reach prices of £1000 or more. These scissors are crafted from the finest quality materials, such as high-grade Japanese or Damascus steel, which offer exceptional hardness and sharpness retention. They often incorporate advanced technologies, unique patterns, and may even feature a crane handle design. The crane handle provides optimal ergonomics, reducing strain on the hand and wrist, making them particularly suitable for professionals who rely on scissors for many hours each day.
When considering the price of hairdressing scissors, it's important to strike a balance between your budget and the features and quality you require. While entry-level scissors can serve their purpose for beginners or occasional use, mid-range scissors offer better durability and cutting performance. Premium scissors, with their high-quality materials and advanced features, provide a professional-grade tool that promotes ergonomic comfort and precision.
Remember, the price is just one aspect to consider when purchasing hairdressing scissors. It's important to assess the overall value, including the specific needs of your hairstyling work, frequency of use, and long-term investment potential. By finding the right balance within your budget, you can acquire hairdressing scissors that meet your requirements, deliver the performance you desire, and prioritize your comfort and well-being throughout long hours of use.
SCISSOR MAINTENANCE - ENSURING LONGEVITY AND PERFORMANCE
Proper maintenance is crucial for preserving the longevity and performance of your hairdressing scissors. By following a few essential maintenance practices, you can ensure that your scissors remain in optimal condition. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
When not in use, it's essential to store your scissors in a safe place. Consider using a protective case or sheath to prevent damage, such as accidental drops or exposure to other tools. Avoid storing scissors in areas where they can easily fall or get knocked around. For mobile hairdressers, it is important to use a carry case for your scissors, to prevent the scissors from moving around in your bag when travelling. Proper storage helps maintain the integrity and sharpness of the blades, protecting your investment and saving you money in the long run.
HANDLING WITH CARE
Hairdressing scissors, especially high-quality ones, are precision tools that require careful handling. Handle your scissors with care to avoid accidental drops or mishandling that can cause damage. Always hold the scissors by the finger and thumb rings, ensuring a secure grip while cutting. Avoid using excessive force or twisting motions that can strain the blades. Taking precautions to prevent accidental damage will prolong the lifespan of your scissors.
REGULAR SCREW ADJUSTMENT
The tension screw on your scissors plays a crucial role in maintaining their cutting performance. Over time, the screw can loosen with use, affecting the scissor's movement and alignment between the blades. It's important to regularly check and tighten the scissor screw to the appropriate tension. Using a suitable screwdriver, adjust the screw tension to ensure smooth movement and alignment. Avoid overtightening, as this may lead to increased wear and tear. Regular screw adjustment helps ensure optimal cutting performance and precision, as well as allowing the scissors to last longer.
Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is essential for both the longevity of your scissors and the well-being of your clients. After each use, use a soft cloth or towel to wipe away any hair, debris, or product residue from the blades and handles. Additionally, consider periodically cleaning your scissors with a barbicide solution to prevent bacteria buildup that can be harmful to both the scissors and your clients. Follow the instructions provided with the barbicide solution for safe and effective cleaning. Proper cleaning ensures that your scissors are always ready for use and helps prevent cross-contamination.
To maintain the sharpness and integrity of your scissors, it's important to use them only for their intended purpose. Hairdressing scissors are designed specifically for cutting hair and should not be used for tasks outside of hair cutting. Avoid using your scissors to open packages, cut materials other than hair, or as makeshift tools. Misusing scissors can lead to premature dulling or damage to the blades. By using your scissors appropriately, you can extend their lifespan and ensure optimal cutting performance. Misuse of scissors is also likely to void any manufacturer warranty that would normally be included with the product.
As scissors naturally dull over time with regular use, it's important to have them sharpened by a professional. Professional sharpening helps restore the sharpness and precision of the blades, ensuring consistent cutting performance. Consult a reputable scissor sharpening business or contact the manufacturer for guidance on the proper sharpening method for your specific scissors. It's recommended to have your scissors professionally sharpened when you notice a decrease in cutting effectiveness or when they start to snag or fold hair. Professional sharpening not only extends the lifespan of your scissors but also enhances the quality of your haircuts.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS - PERSONALIZATION, ALLERGIES, AND WARRANTIES
When selecting hairdressing scissors, there are additional factors beyond price and functionality that may influence your decision. These considerations include nickel allergies, manufacturer warranties, and the colors and style of the scissors.
Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain metals, particularly nickel. Nickel is commonly found in stainless steel, which is a prevalent material used in hairdressing scissors. If you have a known nickel allergy, it's important to look for scissors that are explicitly labeled as nickel-free or hypoallergenic. These scissors are made from alternative materials that reduce the risk of skin irritation or allergic reactions. Prioritizing scissors that cater to nickel allergies ensures a comfortable and safe working environment for both hairstylists and clients. It can be a good idea to keep a pair of nickel-free scissors in your salon or carry case, to allow you to work on any potential clients who have allergies to nickel.
Another important consideration is the warranty offered by the scissor manufacturer. A warranty provides assurance and peace of mind, as it guarantees that the manufacturer stands behind the quality and craftsmanship of their product. Warranties can vary in terms of duration and coverage, so it's essential to review the details. Some manufacturers offer lifetime warranties, while others provide warranties for a specific period of time. Understanding the warranty terms helps protect your investment and allows for potential repairs or replacements in case of manufacturing defects. Many warranties have stipulations attached, such as the requirement for scissors to be stored and transported in a suitable carry case or the requirement that scissors are sharpened with the manufacturer.
COLOURS AND STYLE
Hairdressing scissors are available in various colors and styles, allowing for personalization and matching the vibe of a salon. While colors and styles can add a touch of individuality and aesthetic appeal, it's important to note that customization options may come at an additional cost. Scissors with unique colors or decorative elements may be pricier compared to standard designs. However, investing in scissors that align with your salon's branding or personal style can create a cohesive and professional image. It's crucial to strike a balance between style preferences and the functionality and quality of the scissors.
When considering these other factors, it's important to remember that they are supplementary to the essential qualities of hairdressing scissors, such as sharpness, comfort, and durability. Prioritize the functionality and quality of the scissors first and then consider additional features, personalization options, and potential allergens. By carefully weighing these factors, you can select hairdressing scissors that not only meet your technical requirements but also align with your individual preferences and create a visually appealing salon environment.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Q: What are the best hairdressing scissors?
A: The best scissors are the ones that feel right in your hands and suit the type of work you do. It's essential to try different types to find the one that fits you best.
Q: How do I know what size hairdressing scissors to buy?
A: A good starting point is to measure the blade from the base of your hand to the end of your index finger. This will give you a baseline for what length to go for, however you may find comfort in a slightly different sized pair of scissors. The most popular blade size is 5.5", with 6" blades growing in popularity. 6.5" scissors tend to be used for primarily barbering whilst 7" scissors are usually slightly too big for most people, though of course preference prevails.
Q: How do I care for my hairdressing scissors?
A: Regular maintenance is key. Sharpen them periodically, oil them to keep them cutting smoothly, check the tension daily, clean them regularly to remove hair debris, and store them in a kit roll to prevent damage.
Q: Where can I buy hairdressing scissors?
A: You can buy high-quality hairdressing scissors at Hairdressing Supplies Lincoln, where we offer a range of professional scissors to cater to your individual needs.
Investing in a pair of high-quality hairdressing scissors is an essential step for any hair professional. Remember, the right pair is like an extension of your hand, influencing the precision and quality of your work. Be it straight shears for precise lines, thinning shears for texturizing, or razors for edgier styles, understanding their unique uses can greatly enhance your creativity and effectiveness.
Caring for your scissors is just as crucial, with regular cleaning, oiling, and tension checking being vital to maintaining their performance. And when it's time for a new pair, or if you're looking to expand your toolkit, Hairdressing Supplies Lincoln is here for you.
As hair professionals, we know that scissors aren't just tools; they're partners in our craft. That's why we offer a diverse range of top-quality scissors to help you create the best work you can be proud of. So, choose wisely, care regularly, and remember, when it comes to hairdressing scissors, quality matters.