Benefits Of A Swivel Shear

November 27, 2022

The hairdressing world is ever changing and evolving! How good is it that we live in the age of the swivel shear. These shears were designed to make your daily lives behind the chair easier and safer for your body. They can be tricky to understand at first, but we promise, your body and career will thank us later!

What is the swivel shear

Swivel shears are the most ergonomically designed hair cutting shears on the market. Like all of our cutting shears they are made with the finest Japanese steel, so the blades are sharp and durable.

A swivel shear has an offset handle with a swivel thumb ring. This thumb ring can move 360 degrees around, basically, wherever you want it to go. Swivel shears are designed to keep your thumb in its most natural, pain free position. As you change cutting positions, so does your thumb, removing stress from the tendons in your thumb and wrist.

Why you need these shears

If you have been behind the chair for quite sometime now you may have begun to notice a few aches and pains in your body. Cutting hair is an amazing job but too often we forget about protecting our most valuable assets, ours hands and wrists. The constant motions we make while cutting hair can lead to many different repetitive motion injuries.

By now you've most likely heard of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is painful condition, it is caused by compression of the median nerve. Your wrist is made of a narrow passageway called The Carpal Tunnel. In this " tunnel" is the carpal bones, median nerve and flexor tendons. Flexor tendons are tendons that help to bend our fingers and thumb. And boy do we use them! When we are cutting hair all day long these tendons can easily become inflamed and swollen. Once they swell they begin to press on the median nerve. Once the median nerve is compressed we will begin to feel finger pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in our hands.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome can get worse over time. There are different types of stretches and exercises you can do daily to help, as well as braces that can be worn at night. However, a severe case of carpel tunnel can end with surgery. This is why early prevention is key, especially if you want to be hair cutting for awhile!

There are other types of repetitive motion injuries that are prevalent in the hair cutting world. Due to the way we hold our tools and using our arms all day long, we may often experience injury to our elbow and shoulder as well. Swivel shears are also designed to help keep our elbow and shoulder in a better position. By moving the thumb hole we can bring our elbow down to our side when we cut. These updated cutting positions can help to relieve over use and misuse of our shoulder and elbow, thus helping to prevent strain on our muscles.

Over use of our arms can often lead to other fatigue related injury such as tendonitis. Using these tendons over and over causes them to swell or become irritated. Over use of our tendons can lead to pain, swelling, weakness and decreased range of motion. The best cure for tendonitis is rest, or you can start using the correct shears for early prevention.

We need to be able to remove stress from our body so we can have a long, successful, pain free career.

Swivel Scissors to the Rescue!

Now that you have learned about a few of the negative effects hairdressing may have on our body, it is time to learn how we can best prevent these injuries. It all begins with our shears.

Classic handle shears are handles that have the thumb ring and finger ring in one line. This places your thumb back from it's natural position. Using scissors like this all day can place a lot of strain on our thumb tendon. Imagine opening and closing your shears all day long, while repetitively using your thumb tendon that is out of its natural range. Over time this misuse of your thumb will really begin to cause problems. The classic handle was developed a long time ago, before there was much known about the injuries we develop over time as hair dressers. 

The swivel scissors have been created to keep your thumb in its most neutral position, keeping your tendon from being stretched in to uncomfortable positions. When your thumb is closest to its natural position you can keep your wrist straight, preventing repetitive strain to your wrist and carpel tunnel. The swivel shear keeps your hand in its most ergonomically correct cutting position.

Now that your thumb is in its right place, lets talk about the rotating thumb ring. The thumb rotates leaving room for you to move smoothly through different angles of a haircut . Many stylists find this confusing at first, however once you get the hang of it your precision cutting will become even better. Being able to rotate the thumb ring around prevents you from ever holding your shears at awkward angles. Not only is this great for your hands and wrists, but its also great for your haircuts! By moving the thumb and preventing awkward angles, we are able to move quicker, smoother and more efficiently through our haircuts. This means there is less room for error when cutting hair. So not only are you able to achieve different angles with ease, you can do pain free!

A prime example of the benefit of swivel shears is slide cutting to create a face frame. Now if you're right handed you will find doing this is easiest on the right side of the hair cut. You take the section, elevate it and slide cut down the hair, creating an angle.. or a face frame. However, when you get to the left side things can get a bit tricky. To create the same effect you will have to angle your shears back, which compresses your wrist and also makes for quite an uncomfortable position. Not only is it uncomfortable but it also can become uneven because you will not have as much control over your scissor.

This is where the swivel shears will save the day! Being able to freely move your thumb will help you find a more comfortable angle. Because you are more comfortable and most likely not compressing your wrist, you will also find it easier to slide through the hair. When everything is easier you will find your angle's are more symmetrical and your cuts... Perfect!

Double swivel shears

Once you get the hang of the swivel shears there is no stopping you! Next you may choose to try the double swivel shears.

Double swivel shears have similar benefits as a regular swivel shear. The swivel thumb can not only move around 360 degrees but also up and down 360 degrees. This helps add to the range of motion allowing you to move even more freely. While we believe swivel scissors are an amazing invention, we recommend mastering the swivel before trying the double, after all how much swivel, is too much swivel.

Now that you have learned all about the swivel shear, it is time to put your new found knowledge to the test. Try out our Matsui Ultimate Swivelshere and begin your journey to less pain and better cuts!

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