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Hair Shears & Scissors Care

The hair shears you have purchased are one of the most important tools you own. Without a doubt they are probably one of the most expensive items that you work with, and with proper care, they will give you many years of use. Here are a few basic rules for proper hair cutting shears care and maintenance:

  • Do not store your scissors in a bag or box. The tips can be damaged, nicks can occur, as well as other physical damage. Use a specially designed professional hair shears case, a fabric tool roll, a wallet, or an acrylic stand in which to store your shears.
  • Clean and oil your hair scissors on a regular basis (around the screw head and between the blades once a day). Do not use just any oil. Select one provided by your shear manufacturer or your sharpening service. They will provide the correct type of oil and a needle-nosed oil bottle that will allow you to put the oil where needed.
  • After cleaning your hair cutting scissors, allow them to dry in a rack or other device. This will allow air to circulate and dry the shears completely before placing them into your storage container.
  • Always close your hair shears when not in use. This will prevent nicks or damage to the blade and possibly prevent serious personal injury from grabbing the razor sharp area of the open scissors blades. If your shears become damaged, have them sharpened immediately or stop using them until they can be sharpened. Continued use of damaged shears can and will likely cause extensive repair work before they are serviceable once again.

Never complete a cut if the section of hair offers resistance. This is one of the most important rules in caring for your shears, and it is also the most common reason for damage to hair scissors. Struggling through a cut means the shears being used are too light for the task, and forcing the blades to cut can severely damage edges. Cut smaller sections instead.

Replace missing or worn parts as soon as possible. Missing bumpers can cause finger cuts. Improper alignment can cause serious damage to your professional hairdressing shears. It can also lead to sore hands and other work related problems.

Check the tension of your shears periodically. If it’s too tight, the blades will grind against each other as they cut, too loose and the blades will fold and bend hair instead of cutting. This may also cause nicks. To check the tension, with your left hand hold the shears by the ring without the finger rest, point facing up. With your right hand hold the ring with the finger rest, and open the shears so that it forms a cross. Release the ring in your right hand. It should drop only slightly, if it falls more than slightly, it’s too loose; if it doesn’t move at all, it’s too tight. Adjust the tension accordingly with a tension adjuster or by turning the tension adjustment knob. Never adjust the tension on your scissors while the blades are open. This will eliminate the possibility of nicks to the blades.

Hair cutting shears lose their sharpness gradually. This will cause the need for additional pressure with your hands to make cuts. This is a condition that happens gradually and sometimes is not noticed immediately. Not only can this cause damage to the blades and edges, but it will also increase the probability of hand soreness and potential carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

Typically, hair scissors should be sharpened at a minimum of every 1000 hair cuttings; however, frequency of shear sharpening depends on types of hair, whether you cut wet hair or dry hair, clean or dirty hair, and the proper storing and cleaning of your shears. Proper sharpening will make your hair shears last longer and help to prevent hand injuries.

Another factor to consider is the corrosion of the blades. It is often misconstrued that because the blades are stainless steel, nothing can damage them. Some hair tint liquids, hair perm chemicals, and even harsh chlorine from swimming pool water can cause small pitting of the blades.  If your scissors are wiped with a shears cleaning cloth when finished, your expensive equipment will stay in great condition much longer.