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June 23, 2019 7 min read

What should I look for in hair cutting and thinning scissors? Here we answer everything you need to know about what size, what style, what materials and which blades to choose for hairdressing scissors.

The size of scissors and Shears are measured in inches. The style of scissors includes different blades, handles and materials.
  • Scissors are measured in inches. The size is measured from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle.
  • Find out the perfect size for you by measuring your fingers and the palm of your hand. More information below.
  • Barbers typically use 6.5" inch and 7" inch for over the comb and other barber techniques
  • Hairdressers typically use 5.5" and 6" inches scissors for 80% of hairdressing techniques
  • Offset handle styles or more ergonomic. This reduces fatigue while cutting.
  • Convex edge blades are sharper and offer more precision while hair cutting
  • Japanese 440C, VG10 and German Steel are the best materials for hairdressing and barber scissors. Higher quality steel keeps your blades sharper for longer.

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Knowing how do you tell what size shears you need is the first step to choosing the best hairdressing scissors for you.
How to choose hair scissors is critical, whether or not you are new or a veteran to hairdressing. How are hair cutting scissors different? The blades are angled perfectly for cutting strands of hair. The handles are ergonomically designed for professional ongoing use.

What Size Haircutting Scissor Should You Buy?

Sizes of hair cutting scissors in Australia

Before you get started with shopping online for a new pair of hairdressing scissors, follow these steps to measure the right hair scissor size for you:

  • Get a ruler or an old pair of hairdressing scissors
  • Open your left hand and place it on the palm of your hand
  • Measure the full hair scissors or ruler against the palm of your hand
  • Put the tip of the blade or the ruler on the end of your middle finger
  • Measure the blade or ruler against your middle finger
You will be able to get an idea of the right size for you.

If the ruler covers your middle finger, and the result is 2." Inches, as an example, then a 5" scissor might be suitable for you.

The 5" scissor means the blade maybe 2" to 3" inches and the length of the full scissors, including the handle, will be 5".

You can easily still use a larger pair of hairdressing scissors.

If you have smaller hands, for ladies, then a 5" to 5.5" should be sufficient. 

If you have larger hands, for men, them a 6" to 6.5". It should be sufficient.

Which Scissor Handles Are The Best For Me?

Hairdressing Scissor Handles

Now let’s talk about your personal style with the scissors, such as the coating, polished and ergonomics with the straight (classic), offset (semi-offset and full offset) and crane offset handles.
The Classic Handles: The upper and lower blades are aligned on these classic handle hairdressing scissors and you can see how the rings line up with the one on top. These are very common and a more traditional style of scissors.

The Offset Handles: The offset and semi-offset handles are very common as they are slightly angled and have a shortened handle shank with the thumb ring, as these hairdressing scissors place your hand in a more relaxed and comfortable position while cutting.

The Crane Offset Handles: The Crane offset handle scissors are the most angled, and you will see the upper blade is completely straight in the above picture, the handle shank and thumb rings are angled sharply downwards. These crane hairdressing scissors are supposedly the most comfortable and ergonomic choice in the Australian and New Zealand hair industry today.

What style of cutting suits your hairdressing style?

Hairdressing scissors are a direct reflection of the style and way you cut in the salon. Investing in the right pair of scissors can be important, but understanding each part of the shear and the blade itself is important to know, as different scissors give different hair cuts.

The Hairdressing Scissor Blades:

If you are looking forbeginner scissorsfor practicing on mannequins, students and apprentice hairdressers and barbers, look for serrated scissors (micro serrated scissors) as they tend to grip the hair and create a simple straight hair cut. These hairdressing scissors cannot be used for slicing (slice cutting) or chopping.

If you are looking for professional-gradehairdressing and barber scissors hair scissors then the Convex edge blades are perfect for you as they have excellent edges that produce the smoothest and sharpest cuts that are perfect for slice cutting and chopping. The convex edge blade requires hardened steel which is usually found in Japanese hairdressing scissors, as the quality of Japanese Steel is superior.

The way you hold the scissors shows how you create cuts…

Mixing up the style of how you hold your hairdressing scissors with how you cut is important and understanding the type of scissors that align with your cutting styles and techniques is what makes you stand out in the salon or barbershop as the most experienced and talented hairdresser.

How you hold the scissors:

If you hold the hairdressing scissorsvertically(vertical) for cutting andstraight-line cutting, then the scissors need to be held absolutely vertical and so theoffset scissors are recommended due to their angle and ability to keep your hand in a natural and comfortable position while cutting.

ForBlunt Cutting (bobs and one length), then you will need the hairdressing scissors to sit flat to the neck of the client. Your hand and fingers need to be positioned so your fingers not in the way while cutting. For these styles of blunt and bobs hair cutting style, we highly recommend thecrane stylefull offset hairdressing scissors.

Now for theDeep Point Cutting style, you will need your elbow to be held up high so that the scissors are straight, and we recommend theclassic straighthairdressing scissors for this style of hair cutting.

Intricate precision work for clean lines around the edges of the client’s hairlines, you will need a fine or narrow tipped scissors with excellent edges for the most precise cuts.

Lastly, theScissors over comb style of cutting which is found in barbers and barbers, we recommend straight or offset hairdressing scissors around the 6”, 6.5” and 7” scissor length. The longer size of these 7” inchbarber scissorsallow for the best over the comb style of hairdressing.

When do I need to sharpen (Sharpening) my scissors?

The maintenance of your scissors ensures that the professional hair cuts that you give to your clients are still as sharp as always with the excellent edges on your hairdressing scissors being as sharp as ever.

It is a difficult question to answer, however, looking at how often professionals use their hairdressing scissors and what type of blade (convex or bevel edge scissors) will also change how often you need to sharpen your scissors.

All hairdressing scissors should be sharpened and serviced at least once a year to ensure they are well maintained, but ensure that the professional hairdressing scissor sharpening service you use is experienced, so as not to damage your tools.

Hairdressing scissors should also be maintained by the hairdresser and barber with oil and cleaning cloth to ensure they last as long as possible.

Best length for hair cutting scissors

The best length for hair cutting depends on the hairdressing and barbering techniques. The majority of hair cutting techniques require scissors with a length of 5.5" or 6" inches.

Barbering techniques such as Over The Comb require hair shear lengths between 6.5" and 7" inches.

Home hairdressing techniques for men and women only requires hair scissors with a length of 6" inches.

The best length of scissors for almost every hair cutting technique for men and women is 6" inches.

So what hairdressing scissors should I buy?

If you are looking for professional hairdressing scissors, take a look at the below recommendations.

Here are our wonderful recommendations for barber scissors:

Take a look at our beginner hairdressing scissor recommendations for apprentices, student hairdressers, and barbers:

Thank you all for taking the time to read up on how to choose, maintain and look after your hairdressing scissors so you get the best cuts and keep those excellent edges on for a long time.

Entry Level Scissors Compared To Professional Shears

At Japan Scissors we try to make the process of choosing new hairdressing scissors a lot easier with our collection of professional quality hair cutting shears, such asJuntetsu,Jaguar,YasakaandMina.

The importance of finding the right pair of scissors in style, size, quality and ergonomics will take your hairdressing experience to the next level within the hair cutting industry.

Finding the right pair of hairdressing scissors is like finding your soulmate…

To perform at your best in the hairdressing industry, you will need to find the right pair of scissors, and with this, you need to know what cutting styles and techniques you are interested in.

This will help determine what shape and size of scissors will align with your hair cutting techniques.

Hairdressing Scissors Sizes Example
With the above image you can get an idea of the different sizes of hairdressing scissors, as they tend to range from 4.5” inches to 7” inches, however, recently the 5.5” inch and 6” inch scissors are more common and widely used by hairdressers and barbers.

The 4.5” inch to 5.5” inch scissors tend to have more precision and create a precise shape when cutting hair.

The 6” inch to 7” inch longer hair scissors are used for over the comb techniques and simple trims, these longer(barber) scissorsare very popular for barbers.

When looking for the right hairdressing scissor size that suits both your style and your hand size, try measuring the blade against your middle finger and the total length against the palm of your hand to see if it fits.

Scissors between 4.5” inches to the larger 8” inches are suitable for many different techniques in hairdressing.

James Adams is an author for Japan Scissors. He focuses on writing informational content on Hairdressing scissors for beginners and professionals.

James Adams
James Adams

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