Choosing Professional Hair Scissors Guide: Blades, Handle and Steel!

Ask any barber/hairdresser about their shears and they’ll tell you for hours. Hairdressing scissors can be used in many ways and provide many effects for a single haircut.

Scissors are available in many sizes, brands, styles, and blade types.

Good scissors are a good investment that can last a lifetime, provided you take great care of them and treat them like family members. You need to find the scissors that work best for you.

Choosing a professional pair of hairdressing scissors means that you need the best steel,handle, and haircutting blade for you.

We don’t want you to get lost in all the different brands and makes of scissors. This guide will show you how to choose your best pair of scissors.

How scissors are made

All hair cutting tools are made from stainless-steel, which is manufactured in Japan, Korea. Germany, Taiwan. China. India. Japanese steel is considered to be the best, while Indian or Pakistani steels have lower standards.

It is important for you to realize that stainless steel can stain and that special care needs to be taken to prevent stains.

Hand-forged scissors have a better edge than stamped and cast ones. They will have a sharper edge and less drag than the cheap ones.

All scissors are equipped with uniform hollow-grinding (CONCAVE), which is found on the inner edge of the blade. 

The thicker and more expensive scissors have a beveled edge which will cause it to deteriorate more quickly. Today, most scissors are made with a convex blade. This makes it easier to style.

What scissors are right for you?

You should measure the length against your middle finger, and the total length against your palm when choosing the best cutting scissors.

Most scissors measure between 4.5” and 8”. Where hairdressers typically use 5.5” and 6.0” inches, and barbers use 6.5” or 7.0”.

Left-handed stylists tend to place more tension when cutting with right-handed scissors. It is therefore important for left-handed people to use the correct tools. The sharp edge of the top-blade on the left-hand side will be visible to left-handed scissors.

Make sure the holes in scissor handles don’t get sloppy or loose. This could cause extra pressure to your hand. Plastic inserts can be used to reduce the size of your finger holes.

Many brands today design ergonomic scissors. This reduces pressure on the arms and hands, reducing the likelihood of you getting pain from sitting behind the chair for long periods.

There are three types of ergonomic style options: double swivels and swivels.

There are many sizes of scissors. The smaller sizes of scissors (between 4.5’’ & 5.5’) create a more precise cut when cutting hair. For techniques such as scissor-over comb, longer scissors (6’” and above) work better. 

This is due to the amount of time it takes to complete the scissor-over-comb technique. It may be faster but smaller scissors can do the same job.

Sometimes they are slower, but more precise and refined. Barbers/hairdressers should have a variety in lengths of scissors to be able create any type of haircut. 

For the best results, use smaller scissors to shape the top, and larger scissors to blend the scissor-over comb.

You should feel your scissors in your hands. This will reduce hand fatigue and decrease the risk of developing RSI. 

Many hairdressers have multiple pairs of scissors to do different types of haircutting jobs.

Don’t buy expensive scissors if you are new to barbering or hairdressing. You’ll need to replace them quickly as your skills and style evolve.

What size of hair scissors would be best for me?

Some stylists prefer to use short scissors while others prefer longer. It all depends on what type of cutting you are doing. 

Measure the length of the scissor from the tip of its blade to the end at the longest finger hole. The finger rest is not included.

Place a pair or scissors in your palm. The finger hole should touch the base of your thumb. The tip of the blade should touch the end of your middle finger.

Which type of blade works best for hair cutting?

There are generally two types of hair-cutting scissor blades: convex or bevelled edge. Which one you choose will depend on your current career status, personal preference, and how much you have to spend.

Hair scissors with a Bevelled Edge

They are made of a combination of metals, making them light-weight. This design is used by most European scissors. It has micro serrations on either one or both of the blades.

Because they prevent hair from sliding down the blade, micro-serrated blades can be very helpful when learning how to cut hair. 

These blades are great for slow detail or dry cutting, but cannot be used to cut the hair as they will cause hair jamming. The best blades for slicing are those with polished edges. They can also be used to perform almost all other types of cutting.

Hair scissors with a Convex Blade

Convex blades, also known as “Japanese Style”, are the most sharpened type of blade. They have an arazor-like edge and are often referred to as “Japanese Style”. 

Convex-edged scissors have a hollow ground inside that gives them a smooth cutting action.

These scissors can be used for any type of cutting, but they are particularly good for slicing due to their razor-sharp edge. These are best for experienced hairdressers.

Convex blades made from solid stainless are slightly heavier than those with bevelled edges.

Convex-bladed scissors cost more than bevelled-edge because the manufacturing process is very similar to making Samurai swords.

Which type of scissor handle works best?

While there are some advantages to each handle design, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with it. 

The shape of your hands and your cutting style will affect how stylists design your handle.

These are the main types of handles:

  • Classic opposing handle: The basic design of the handle is Level or Even. They are symmetrical and appear quite straight.
  • Offset handle: The offset handle–one hand is longer than the other, which allows for a more open position and allows the elbow and arm to be lower when cutting. This is usually more comfortable.
  • Crane handle: similar in design to the offset, but the top handle is much more straight. This allows for a lower elbow position.

Which is right? Left handed or right handed shears

Many stylists who are left-handed start their careers using right-handed scissors. They are often told that they will soon get used to it. 

The left-handed scissors have a reversed blade which makes cutting easier and less painful for left-handers.

Always use the right scissor configuration to suit your dominant hand. It can be difficult to switch if you are left-handed but have been using a scissor that is right-handed.

Are there any cobalt- or molybdenum-based scissors I should use?

High-end scissors often have steel blades that have been strengthened with other materials. Handles are often made of softer steel.

Cobalt can be used as an additive. Molybdenum, in addition to increasing the strength, also increases flexibility.

Which type of screw system is the best?

A lot of scissors use a standard or flat screw system for tension adjustment. However, you will need a screwdriver. Many people prefer an adjustable screw because it allows them to adjust the tension by turning the small screw manually.

To check your scissor tension, open the scissors fully and let one blade fall freely to fully close. If the tension is correct, the blade should be free to drop towards fully closed.

How often do my scissors need to be sharpened?

It all depends on how often they are used, how frequently you use them, how well you take care of them, and the type of blade that you are using. All scissors should be serviced at the very least once a year, although some people do it every three to six months.

You should be careful about who sharpens your scissors. Convex blades can only be sharpened by professionals with the right training and equipment. You could end up with scissors that look very different from their original state if you have a lot of sharpeners.

What kind of scissors should I use to slicing?

Convex blades can be the best for slicing. However, you may also use better quality bevelled edges scissors. The better the quality, the easier it will be to slicing and chipping.

What are the best thinning scissors?

Yes. While you don’t need to use them for every haircut, they are an important part of your toolkit.

What are texturising scissors and how do they work?

Texturiser is a hair-thinner that can be used to cut the hair and add texture. There are many types of hair thinners on the market. A basic thinner will only remove a small amount of hair, but it will not create a significant style unless you use it creatively.

What should I do for routine maintenance?

Barber and hairdressing scissors are precision tools that need to be cleaned and oiled regularly, if at all possible. Clipper oil is not recommended for use. Instead, use a mineral-based oil that is formulated to lubricate the scissors. Keep them in a leather bag if you can.