A Guide to choosing the best Professional Hairdressing Scissors for you
Scissors are an important consideration for any professional hairdresser; they can influence your career success by delivering consistently good outcomes for your clients, and correct scissor grip can increase career longevity by avoiding conditions caused by strain.
Reviews on various professional hairdressing scissors can function as a guide to what is considered 'good', but it’s also important to consider your personal preferences regarding comfort, skill level, budget, and cutting style. Read on for the key variations in a pair of professional hairdressing scissors and what you should know before you start shopping.
The best hairdressing scissors are ergonomic, allowing the user to relax their hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Improper scissor grip can lead to persistent problems such as Repetitive Strain Injury and Carpel Tunnel. The holes of the scissors shouldn’t go past the knuckles, but if they do, consider using finger sizers so that the holes and rests fit snuggly. Every OBU pair of professional hairdressing scissors come with finger sizers to ensure a better fit.
There are three main types of scissor handles: classic, offset, and swivel.
Classic scissors have a straight handle which is the same length top and bottom, so that the rings line up one directly below the other. These scissors are held with the middle finger and thumb, which is the least ergonomic arm alignment as the user has to raise their elbow when point cutting. Users also have to keep their wrist at an uncomfortable angle when cutting against the skin because the top of the scissors can obstruct a straight cut. Traditionally the most popular type of handle, innovation has meant that this type of handle has become less popular. For training purposes, many apprentice level scissors have this type of handle.
Offset handle scissors are held with the ring finger and thumb. The thumb hole is shorter, to reduce overextension of the thumb, and the ring finger is pushed back allowing the user to lower their elbow while cutting. The scissors themselves are angled to avoid obstruction when cutting against the skin, so the users’ hands can remain in a more relaxed position. With better ergonomics and lower risk of injury, offset handles are the most popular type of handle when considering premium scissors.
Swivel handles allow the thumb to remain stationary while the ring finger guides the blade. The ring finger and thumb are not as close together with this type of handle which reduces the pressure on the carpel tunnel nerve. The swivel handle does take some getting used to, but it allows for a more natural movement, while relaxing the elbow and shoulder. Allows a level of flexibility in how you hold the scissor which can be good for some users, but challenging for others. Ensuring adequate tension in the swivel handle is key - to ensure you have the right levels of rigidity vs flexibility.
It’s useful to have multiple pairs of hairdressing scissors with different blade lengths for different styles of cut, but as a general rule, an all-purpose pair of scissors should be as long as your extended palm. OBU has a range of balanced blades ranging from 5.5” and 6” through to 7” which are more commonly used for men's cuts.
A short blade is good for precision cutting techniques that use small sections of hair, such as at the nape of the neck, and cutting in the palm of the hand. However, a short blade is less stable on the knuckles and not good for slice cutting.
A long blade can cut safely over the knuckles and is good for specialised and textured haircuts. These scissors require less hand movement when point cutting because they can reach through the hair, which results in a smooth cut and minimal hand strain. The Sage 7" is a great long blade scissor. Perfect for scissor over-comb work, men’s cutting, ladies cutting, chipping, straight line cutting and texturising.
Convex blades have inward sloping edges that come together at a fine point to smoothly slide through hair. These are the sharpest blades, which are great for slice cutting, and can be used on dry or wet hair. The convex edge is a feature of Japanese hairdressing scissors like those available at OBU. Each pair of precision blades are hand crafted and take weeks to manufacture as they go through quality checks and refinement processes.
A bevelled edged blade works like a guillotine with two flat, straight blades that cut the hair by trapping it between the blades. Often these types of scissors are also serrated to grip the hair, and keep it stationary for a straight cut, making them a good choice for barbers. These scissors are also preferred by hairdressing students; they’re durable and prevent slippage, but they’re not good for slice cutting. The bevelled blade is generally a feature of German made scissors and need to be sharpened more often than a convex blade.
Other Things to Consider
The purchase of professional hairdressing scissors is a long-term commitment, and customer support is an essential consideration.
Whatever you choose, make sure that the company behind your scissors backs their product and also allows you to touch and feel your professional hairdressing scissors. OBU Scissors have a comprehensive returns program, to ensure complete satisfaction with each purchase. Manufacturer’s warranties, such as OBU’s lifetime quality guarantee, will also ensure peace of mind with every purchase.