Hairdressing Scissor Care and Maintenance Guide

Man holding a pair of scissors that need to be sharpened

After buying your new pair of hairdressing or barber Shears, you need to know how to maintain, balance, tighten and how to take care of your scissors. 

7 Things You Need To Know About Scissor Care & Maintenance

Understanding the intricacies of maintaining and caring for your hairdressing and barber scissors takes time and practice.

Here we have the summary 2 minute read on how to care for and maintain scissors.

  1. Use your preferred tension adjusters to maintain the scissor tightness. Loose scissors tend to bend and fold hair while cutting. Scissors that are too tight will wear down the blade faster.
  2. Store your scissors in a dry environment away. If you are located close to the beach or ocean, protect your scissors by keeping them sealed in a plastic case.
  3. After each haircut you should clean your scissors. Avoid leaving hair, dirt, or water in between the blades for long periods of time. 
  4. Clean your scissors with a sheep-skin or fabric clothes.
  5. Use your Japan Scissor' oil pen to ensure the scissors are cutting smoothly without tense friction against the blades.
  6. For the best results, spread the oil over the scissors with the oil pen brush.
  7. When you notice your blades starting to become dull or blunt, refer to your local scissor sharpening professional to have your blades re-sharpened.

The biggest question around the maintenance of your scissors can be answered in the above bullet points.

To care for your scissors, always ensure that they are clean, dry and the shear blades are oiled.

For thinning scissors maintenance, remove the hair in between the teeth after cutting. If you are having difficult removing dirty or hair in between the teeth, you can use a tooth-pick or toothbrush to clean, then wash, and re-oil. 

To avoid corrosion and damage to the metal, keep these dry and sealed in a protective pouch. Hairdressing and barber shops near the beach are at risk to corrosion damage on their scissors. To avoid these, seal the dry shears in a plastic pouch, sandwich or freezer bag.

How Often Do I Need To Care and Maintain My Scissors?

Whether you are adjusting the tension, learning how to balance scissors or oiling the blade, its important to know how often it is required.

Here is our summary on how often and when you need to care for your scissors.

 Scissor sharpening  Every two to Three months for professional hairdressers and barbers.
Full Scissor Oiling  Oil your shears once a month. Oil the shears by wiping away any hair or dirt, you can also use alcohol cleaner, then slowly oiling the blade and gears.
Light Scissor Oil Oil every two to three days for professionals cutting everyday. 
Cleaning Scissors Clean your scissors once a week. Use alcohol wipes to clean the handles, blade, screw and gears to get rid of any dirt, stains or hair. Use a brush to get clean the hard to reach areas.
Tension Adjustment  Once a month, depending on your scissor screw. Ensure the two blades are tight by adjusting the tension each month.


How To Tighten and Adjust Scissor Tension

Having tight scissors keeps your cuts sharp and protects your blades from being damaged while cutting.

Scissors have the screws and gears to ensure the two blades are kept together during the cutting motions. Understanding the perfect tension allows you to retighten effectively. 

To adjust your tension on the hairdressing scissors, you can follow these three steps.

  1. Keep your scissors closed and hold them tightly in your hand.
  2. Take the tension adjuster key, or if it is a hand-tension-adjuster, just start slowy turning clockwise to tighten.
  3. Once satisfied, you can hold the scissors by one finger loop on the handle and if they stay closed, then they are tight enoguh. If the shear blades open up, then you need to continue tightening them.

Top 10 Best Tips To Maintaining and Caring For Scissors

What are the most common ways to avoid damaging or breaking your hairdressing scissors?

  1. An obvious one, but avoid dropping your scissors on the floor or any other hard surfaces. Damaging your scissors by dropping them often causes the blades to misaligned
  2. Keep the scissors dry. You can get stains, rust and general corrosive damage to the scissors if they are kept wet
  3. Don't over-tighten the scissors. Blades can be worn down or broken if the scissors are too tight.
  4. If you notice the hair folding or bending while cutting, the tension adjustor is too loose. Avoid this as it can wear down the gears inside the scissors.
  5. Refer to trained professionals when sharpening and repairing yoru scissors. Inexperienced sharpeners often break your scissors.
  6. You can sharpen our own scissors if you are confident enough. There are many manual ways to sharpen scissors, like you would a knife. But the best results are from a grind blade machine.
  7. If you hear your scissors making a "clacking"" or "clunky" noise, then you made need to check the alignment of the blades and the tension adjuster.
  8. Experimenting with the tension adjustment of the scissors until you are able to cut the hair in nice clean smooth motions is ideal. Each pair and gear is different, and even when receiving a new pair of hairdressing scissors, you may need to adjust the tension.
  9. The scissor repairs that are certified and experienced with sharpening machines are your best choice. If you have a premium pair of hairdressers, and you want to get ten or twenty years lifespan out of them, then make sure to use a professional repair and sharpening service.
  10. Rust and corrosive damage can happen to you scissors without you noticing! Use a light brush to clean between the blades each month. For a thorough scissor after-clean, use alcohol wipes or Isopropyl.

The best way to clean dirty or stained scissors is with alcohol based cleaning liquids. You can use Isopropyl alcohol made especially to clean scissors and knives. This alcohol cleaning method removes any dirt, hair oil, etc.  

How Often Should Scissors Be Sharpened?

There is no such thing as a self-sharpening pair of scissors, so how often should you sharpen your hairdressing or barber shears?

  • Your hairdressing and barber scissors need to be serviced at least once a year to avoid permanent damage.
  • If you cut hair with your scissors everyday, then we recommend a professional sharpening and servicing more than once a year.
  • Both hair cutting and thinning scissors need to be sharper every two to four months by professionals for the best performance. 
  • Cheaper scissors made from stainless steel require sharpening more often.
  • Higher quality Japanese scissors require sharpening less often if they are well cleaned and regularly oiled.

Hairdressing and barber sharpening services point out the obvious that cutting more hair means the scissors will go blunt faster, so you need to watch when the scissors stop cutting sharply.

It is hard to know how often you need to sharpen your scissors, as only the hairdresser or barber will know when.

Japanese hair scissors use premium Cobalt, 440C and VG10 steel that require sharpening less often.

If you buy a cheap pair from Priceline or Chemist Warehouse, you will find these going blunt within one to two months.

These cheaper scissors require sharpening a lot more often and will eventually cost you more than the overall price of a Japanese hairdressing shear.

So save yourself the high cost of sharpening too often with a premium shear.

The average cost of sharpening scissors is $50-$100, and a cheaper $100 pair of Shears made from basic steel requires sharpening four to six times a year. At a minimum, you will eventually pair $200-300 a year to maintain their performance. 

Now an expensive pair of Yasaka Shears costs up to $400, but if you clean, oil and main these well, they only require sharpening once or twice a year. This saves you $100-200 a year. Well worth the investment for a pair that doesn't require sharpening often.

Read about:  Australia's Best Scissor Sharpening Service In Each City

When should you visit a scissor sharpener?

Here we talk about all the factors to that decide how often you will need to sharpen your hair scissors. Depending on the quality, maintenance and everyday use, your scissors can be sharpened once a month or once a year!

This incorporates cleaning and oiling, alongside right strain and change. Different components are the hair surface, dry versus wet, number of cuts performed throughout some stretch of time and nature of the scissors.

This is one of the most posed inquiries. At any rate once every year is a decent rule.  A ton is basically founded on consideration and upkeep. Day by day care and upkeep should be performed.

This incorporates cleaning and oiling, alongside right strain and change. Different variables are the hair surface, dry versus wet, number of cuts performed throughout some undefined time frame and nature of the scissors.

Better scissors require honing less frequently

For dependable sharpness, search for cutting and diminishing shears that:

  • Higher quality steel is more expensive to buy, but they hold a sharper edge for longer
  • The cheap hair scissors from KMART, TARGET, AMAZON, etc. Will become blunt fast and also cause damage to your hair
  • Premium scissor steel from Germany or Japan are Hitachi ATS 314 or VG-10 steel
  • Have hand-produced, hand-honed, tempered Japanese arched sharp edge

The hardness of steel uses a Rockwell HRC hardness; where the expensive steel is around 52 HRC and the cheaper steel is around 44 HRC.

Scissors from the Japanese 440c steel (estimated 48-52 HRC) and VG-10 are some if the most popular for professions.

How are you using your scissors?

Everyone uses hair scissors differently, and they way you use them is a big deciding factor to how often you should sharpen your scissors.

Your scissors should remain sharper if you are following:

  • You are cutting damp and clean hair. Avoid rougher dry and dirty hair.
  • Cutting more than ten times a day, 5 days a week, and you will need to sharpen your scissors often!

Also, avoid cutting hair extensions, or treated hair that has chemicals, liquids, conditioner or gels that are left in.

Scissors you care for end up lasting longer!

Like most things in life, the more you care and maintain your scissors, the less often you will need to sharpen them.

To avoid sharpening your scissors often, make sure to care for them with the following:

  • They are well oiled (scissor or knife oil) routinely and cleaned.
  • Avoid leaving your scissors moist or wet.
  • The cutting surfaces don't get scratched or scratched. Avoid physical damage.
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