If you are a hairstylist or a barber, your hair cutting scissors, or shears, are your tools of the trade. They are probably one of the most important investments you need to make for your career. So what things do you look for in choosing great scissors? There are many features to consider when choosing a pair that is right for you, and a pretty wide price range among each of these features. The most important factors to remember are the size or length of the scissors, the material they are made of, and the overall design.
The first thing you'll probably notice when shopping for shears is the surprisingly large variety of sizes they come in. Most professional hair stylists and barbers have more than one pair, as different sizes of blades make it easier to utilize different hair-cutting techniques.
Experimenting with different lengths of scissors is probably the best way to find a pair that suits you, but most standard scissors are about six inches long. Some people prefer longer or shorter to use by default, but again its all about experimenting and finding what works best for you.
The material that your scissors are made out of is probably the most important factor of all. Obviously certain metals are more expensive than others. But more importantly, certain metals stay sharper for longer. Many hairstylists and barbers pay to have their shears sharpened multiple times a year regardless, but this isn't usually a cheap service. You definitely want to make sure its something that you don't have to do more often than every six months or so.
Japanese steel is a well-known and very popular metal used in making shears. It is sturdy enough but not usually outrageously expensive-- overall, allowing for quality, but affordable hair cutting scissors. There are other types of steel that are also commonly used, but range in price.
Another important thing to consider when selecting the most functional pair of shears for your job is the design. Sometimes the design is solely for aesthetic purposes, but sometimes certain features can be beneficial to how they function.
A swiveling thumb hole is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason: it can reduce tension on your wrist, which in turn reduces your chances of getting carpel tunnel syndrome; unfortunately, carpel tunnel syndrome is a huge problem among people who cut hair. Choosing a tool that will lessen your chances of having this problem is certainly something to consider.