Choosing the Right Pair of Shears
Just as a handyman or repair person carries around a bag with all the important tools commonly needed for their job, so should a stylist have the right pair of shears that allows him or her to create a variety of different haircuts and work with a number of different hair types. The exact specifications of the shears a stylist has on hand often depends somewhat on their area of specialization. A stylist who cuts children’s hair probably needs different shears than one who works with seniors.
Here are some things to consider as you begin your search for the perfect pair of styling shears.
Choosing a Material
Them most common material for styling shears is stainless steel. This metal resists corrosion and holds a sharp edge fairly readily. While there are a number of shears made of space age materials like titanium available, these are often significantly more expensive than common steel. Some stylists prefer them, but stainless steel shears generally offer the best bang for your buck in terms of quality.
Choosing a Size
Shears vary in size from very large to quite small. Choosing the right one for you is partially a matter of preference and partially a matter of personal preference and partially a matter of the type of styling you want to do. Larger shears are generally used for barbering, which involves making long cuts over the top of the comb. Smaller shears are used for detail work like adding in layers or trimming bangs.
The Hardness Rating
The harder the blade of a pair of shears the more readily it will hold an edge and the more easily it gets through hair. However, the steel used in hair cutting shears tends to be on the soft side, which makes the steel more resistant to rust – definitely a good thing since shears need to be washed regularly. Look for shears with a hardness rating between 48 and 62 on the Rockwell hardness scale.
Ergonomics refers to how the handle of the shears fits and feels in your hand. Since you’re going to be spending a good portion of your working day with the shears in your hand, getting the wrong pair is more than just an annoyance. Over time, shears that are uncomfortable to hold can lead to carpal tunnel, tendonitis and other hand and wrist problems. Try several different handle types to find the pair that is most comfortable for you, and don’t hesitate to swap out your existing shears for a new pair if you begin to notice pain or discomfort.
To ensure that your shears have a long life, clean them daily and dry them afterwards. Sharpen your shears regularly, either learning how to do it yourself or finding a trusted professional.
The right pair of shears doesn’t have to be expensive. Some brands offer high quality shears for a very affordable price. Try several different brands until you find the one that works best for your needs.