LOOK SHARP | Pocketmags.com
Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

5 mins


Scissors are among hairdressers’ most important tools, so there are a number of to consider before investing in a pair

Whether you are at the beginning of your hairdressing career, or are a seasoned professional, a good pair of scissors should never be bought on impulse.

”My scissors are like my magic wand so I take my time when I'm choosing a new pair as they need to fit my hand like a pair of gloves,” says Sharon Delaney, owner of Next Generation Hair in Banbridge, Co Down. “I would usually begin by contacting some scissors brands that I work with. For me, building professional relationships with companies is important as they get to know what kind of scissors I like and can bring me some different styles to try out and advise me about. My go-to scissors are a 7 inch slimline, lightweight pair. I am an extremely fast cutter so they suit my style – because they are so light, I can move quite quickly.”

“It’s important to try out various brands, shapes, sizes and designs because everyone has different preferences,” says Sean Taaffe, owner of Sean Taaffe Hair & Beauty, which has three salons in Co Kerry. “I personally prefer a 5.5 inch scissors. It’s a good idea to get the feel of the scissors before making your purchase. If they are too heavy or too light, they can make life in the salon more difficult. A lot of brands will allow you to try the scissors before making a purchase, which is a good idea. I need to hold the scissors and get a feel for them before buying, so choosing a pair from an online catalogue wouldn’t work for me.”

“Different styles will suit different hand shapes and it’s crucial to get it right,” advises Melissa Timperley, owner of Melissa Timperley Salons in Manchester in the UK. “You’ve got to get the basics right if you want to create work to be proud of.”

“Your scissors are an extension of your hands, so the most important thing is that they feel like they are part of you,” notes Marcello Moccia from Room 97 Creative in Wakefield in the UK. “But you also need to take into consideration the type of work you do. Obviously, cutting precise lines requires a different pair from when you are texturising, so it’s likely you’ll need both.”

All-round advantage

It can be good to start your career with a good all-rounder. “I believe a pair of 5.5 inch scissors are great for lines, layering and graduation,” says Jake Unger, head of education at HOB Academy in London in the UK. “Personally, I love a 4.5 inch for short and intricate areas of the head and around the shoulder area.”

“For newly graduated stylists, I think a good all-rounder is a great option,” says Taaffe. “It's likely that you will drop them a few times so buying a very expensive pair might not be the best idea. All my team start off with our own-brand 5.5 inch scissors, which have narrow blades. Some stick with them, while others go on to invest in a higher spec pair after a year or two.”

“The type of scissors you use depends on your experience,” says Robert Kirby, owner of Robert Kirby London in the UK. “I would recommend a 5.5 inch for my assistants as these are light and good for anyone who is getting used to holding and using scissors. As you grow in experience, you can then try different ones and find the pair that suits you.”

“It's hard to know at the beginning of your career what your cutting style is going to be, so starting off with simple, classic scissors is advisable,” says Delaney. “You should opt for something that is the right size and weight for you, and that you are comfortable using. When you feel more confident and discover your style, you can then move on to something a bit more personal.”

Pairs of spares

It’s always best to have a few pairs of scissors in your kitbag, as without them, you can’t do your job. “It’s essential to have cutting scissors and thinning scissors in your kitbag,” stresses Unger.

‘It's hard to know at the beginning of your career what your cutting style is going to be, so starting off with simple, classic scissors is advisable’

And it’s equally important to have a back-up. “Having a spare pair of your everyday scissors in your kitbag is crucial in case you drop them, or they get misplaced,” says Moccia. “Nobody wants to be turning away clients.”

When it comes to achieving different hairstyles, the type of scissors used can make a big difference, which is why Kirby has six pairs in his kitbag. “I have a pair for different techniques, including scissor-overcomb, precision cutting and textured hair.”

“I always have three pairs – one for working on dry hair, one for general use and another for cutting baselines,” says Taaffe. “I use exceptionally sharp scissors for all baselines.”

“I've been hairdressing for 26 years, so I've used lots of scissors and I always keep spare pairs in my kitbag in case my usual ones are being serviced or if I drop them,” says Delaney. “As well as spares, I have a variety of styles – my straight blade scissors are my all-rounder that I use on a daily basis, but I also have curved, thinning and texturising scissors for more difficult cuts as they help with blending or detailing.”

Out with the old

So how do you know when to replace your scissors? “It’s time to replace them when they start to bend the hair as you cut, or when it takes a couple of cuts to create a clean line,” explains Timperley. To help prevent this, maintenance is key. “I get them sharpened about three times a year and use oil to keep them cutting smoothly,” she notes. “Checking the tension daily to ensure that the blades are properly aligned is another way of maintaining your scissors.”

“When the hair starts to be pushed away when you are cutting, or you have to use more pressure or force, it’s time to either send them away to be sharpened or get a new pair,”advises Taaffe.

Ultimately, buying a pair of scissors is very personal and each pair is different. “Once you hold them, you just know if they’re right for you,” says Kirby.

“A few good pairs of scissors are an investment you will never regret,” adds Delaney. 

This article appears in the THE 2024 SHOW ISSUE Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

Click here to view the article in the magazine.
To view other articles in this issue Click here.
If you would like to view other issues of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland, you can see the full archive here.

This article appears in the THE 2024 SHOW ISSUE Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland