Put Down Those Basic Scissors: What You Need To Know About Using Shears For Haircuts

If you are an aspiring cosmetologist or someone who wants to take a few beauty courses to learn how to give great haircuts to your family, one of your primary tools will be a good pair of shears. Using just any pair of scissors can damage healthy hair. If you are just starting out on your hair care education journey, the following guide will help you understand the importance of high quality shears for cutting the hair of your clients or family members.

Differences Between Shears and Scissors

At first glance, the pair of scissors you keep in a drawer at home for use around the house and hair cutting shears may look very similar. But there key differences between the two cutting tools.

First of all, shears are specifically designed for cutting hair. They are much sharper than regular scissors and have blade edges that provide a clean cut. When you compare hair strands cut by scissors versus shears under a microscope, you will see the differences. Scissors leave a jagged edge that is prone to split ends and breakage while shears leave a precise, smooth cut.

Shears also have a more ergonomic fit for hands. Cosmetologists may spend several hours a day cutting hair so they need for their tools to be comfortable. Different types of handle grips are available for shears so you can choose a tool that best fits the shape of your fingers. A great pair of shears will help you avoid repetitive motion injuries as you work.

Do not let anyone use your shears for cutting paper, fabric, or anything else. Using them for any other purpose will dull and possibly damage the blades. If you invested in a high-end pair of shears, then the last thing you want is to have them damaged with the synthetic or cotton fibers of paper and fabric.

Types of Shears

When you want to perform more than a standard trim, you will need to purchase specialized shears. If you want to thin out very thick hair during a cut, you should purchase thinning shears. Also known as texturizing shears, these tools have teeth along the blade to help thin out hair.

For more control and balance during precision cuts, choose a pair of Yoko shears. These shears have a sharp point for their slim blades and comfortable thumb rings to give you more control.

If you are are left-handed, you should also look for shears to accommodate your dominant hand.


No matter what type of shears you add to your arsenal of hair tools, you need to take care of them properly. Always clean your shears after use and before you place them back into their protective sleeve or case. You should also oil your shears weekly with clipper blade oil.

And last but not least, make sure to have a professional sharpener service your shears about once a year to keep the blades sharp and balanced.