Why Do Hair Scissors Have A Hook? - Japan Scissors

Why Do Hair Scissors Have A Hook?

If you’re the observant type, you might have noticed that the scissors at your favourite barbershop look a little different from the scissors you keep at home. Aside from a sleeker design and sharper blades, there’s also this little curve that’s jutting out of one of the finger holes.

Why do hair scissors have a hook?

You’ll be pleased to know such a little upgrade to a standard pair of scissors is actually a vital tool that stylists use to achieve the highest level of quality for your hair. And it all has to do with control.

First things first, that hook can be called by more proper names. The hook on a pair of hair scissors is usually called a ‘tang’ or a ‘finger brace.’ The latter title sheds some light as to its purpose.

The tang is used as a rest for the pinkie finger. Since it’s at the opposite end to the blade, this rest acts as an addition to the lever that allows for fine control over the movement of the scissors.

Together with the index, middle, and ring fingers, the pinkie on a tang keeps your still blade balanced, so you have an easier time cutting correctly. It adds stability to your grip so you can keep your hand in perfect form. This boost in control is crucial when cutting a lot of hair or making small touches to polish the style.

More pressure also means you have more cutting power, ensuring that your customer’s hair is actually trimmed when you make a cut.

As a tiny tip, a simple way to identify which side of the scissors is up is to find which finger hole has the tang – that’s the hole your ring finger should sit in.

To further explain how significant a finger brace is, let’s review the anatomy of your shears. We can consider a pair of scissors as a compound machine. Your blades are a pair of wedges attached to a central point that is called a pivot, while the handles are actually levers that can be moved to cut things by bringing the blades together.

The tang is an extension of the lever that allows you to exert better manual control by applying pressure over a broader length.

Lastly, since the tang provides a place for your pinkie to rest, you avoid part of the aching that’s associated with the hair styling profession. The muscles near your pinkie can relax a bit more, which does wonders to prevent repetitive motion injuries like a case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The tang is usually only used with the traditional, or Western grip, which is a refinement of the usual way of holding scissors.

While you can afford to be a little reckless while cutting out cardboard or packing tape, you need maximum control while handling hair scissors. That hook is there to help prevent you from making shaky cuts or accidentally wounding your client.

So why do hair scissors have a hook? Stability and safety. With a pinkie resting on the little lever, you’ll find that you can control your scissors better. And because your pinkie isn’t floating elsewhere, you reduce muscle stress and possible strains.


  • I’ve always wondered…but it wasn ’t until today (I cut my bangs with those scissors) that it finally got to me WHY that hook is there!


    Zoe Townsend

  • Can’t say I’ve ever wondered why some hair scissors have a hook. This isn’t necessarily a trivia question that’s going to pop up on “Jeopardy!” but it is something that’s interesting to know. Just one of those many little details in life that most people overlook but which serve a purpose for anyone cutting hair.


    Ryan Anthony

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