They are perhaps the most basic tool of hairdressing trade, but to a hairdresser choosing a pair of hairdressing scissors that’s “right” for you is always a big decision. In fact, many stylists have several pairs of scissors that are best suited to different types of cutting.
For new stylists we wouldn’t recommend spending lots of money on your first pair of scissors, as you will want to upgrade these fairly quickly as your skill develops.
To find out what size you require, place the scissor in the palm of your hand and make sure the finger hole is touching the base of the thumb. If the tip of the blade is in the last section of your middle finger, then this is a good size scissor for you. However some stylists prefer longer or shorter than this – to an extent, it depends on the type of cutting you’re doing. The length of a scissor is measured from the very tip of the blade to the end of the longest finger hole, it doesn’t include the finger rest.
Many left-handed stylists start their careers with right-handed hairdressing scissors and being told “you’ll get used to it”, which by and large they do. We would always recommend using the correct scissor configuration for your dominant hand though – the reversed blades in left-handed scissors make cutting more natural and reduces the strain and wrist pain from over extending your wrist.
Once you are an established stylist, it is important to invest your money wisely in a good quality pair of hairdressing scissors. A skilled scissor craftsman will have honed and balanced a pair of scissors to perfection, which teamed with regular maintenance will serve you faithfully for years! As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for!
It is important to find a pair of scissors that feels comfortable in your hand for a long period of time, this way you will reduce the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. There are many types of handle setting and different types of blades to choose from – but the most important question is “Do they feel comfortable?”
This very much depends on how often the scissors are used, what cutting they are used for, and how they are looked after. All scissors should at least be serviced every year, though regular users have theirs checked every 3-6 months. Scissors must be sharpened with specialist equipment – be careful who you send them to for a sharpen!
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