The way you hold your scissors is the mark of a true professional. And sometimes even the best-of-the-best need a quick form check. Proper scissor grip can alleviate strain on your hands and wrists. And it can help you master the intricate cuts that keep your clients coming back for years. And if you marry a professional grip with the best tools? You’ll send your credibility and comfort skyrocketing.
Whether you’re brand new to the hairdressing game or a seasoned pro, we’re going to go through the risks and rewards of maintaining a proper scissor grip throughout your career.
Your hands are your money. They’re the key to a thriving career. Proper grip – and the rightergonomic shears – can help you enjoy a long, flourishing career as a hairdresser.
Too often, however, improper scissor grip threatens the longevity of hairdressing careers. Stylists end up developingrepetitive strain injuries from holding their wrists in awkward or uncomfortable positions for prolonged periods.
But improper grip doesn’t just hurt your hands. It hurts your styles! The wrong grip can prevent you from perfecting intricate cuts, which can lead to not-so-satisfied clients. Holding your scissors like a pro can ensure your clients love their new look (and keep coming back for more!).
Okay, you get it: grip is important! Not only for safety and comfort but also for client retention. So, how exactly should you hold your shears? We’ll get there. But first, you have to ensure you’ve got the right size shears on hand . . .
Before you can even start thinking about proper grip and hand position, you need to have the right size scissors.
The first step is checking the finger rings. Your thumb and ring finger should fit into the rings comfortably. Rings that are too small create an obvious problem. But, if the rings are too big, you risk dropping your scissors (that’s never fun – and not good for your shears, either!). Even if you don’t end up dropping your shears, finger rings that are too large will prevent you from executing the precise cuts your clients want. That’s why most of our scissors come with plastic inserts to create the perfect fit for your fingers.
Some hairdressers and barbers choose long or short scissors according to personal preference. But you’ll also want to consider the types of cuts you’ll be making. If you’re a hairdressing superstar who does a variety of cuts, it’s best to get ashear set so you’re ready for any style request.
When you’re looking for the right length for you, place the scissors on the palm of your hand. The finger ring should touch the base of your thumb and the tip of the blade should rest in the last section of your middle finger.
Then you simply use a ruler to measure the correct size. Once you know the right size for your hands, you can start to hunt for you new shears! And there you go – professional shears for your newly professional grip.
Now, take your properly sized scissors in your hand. Before you put your fingers through the rings, make sure the scissors are facing the right direction. The ring for your ring finger – the one with the tang (aka finger rest) – should be on top. The thumb ring should point towards the floor.
Place your ring finger into the top handle and your thumb into the bottom handle. Your remaining fingers should gently rest on the outside of the finger ring. This grip might feel awkward at first. Relax your hand and gently open and shut the scissors – only your thumb should move Once you get used to it, it should be an easy motion.
If it still feels uncomfortable after some practice, you may need different scissors to match your hair cutting style. For example, with offset shears you don’t need to bend your wrist as much, which could increase your comfort. Don’t give up. Once you have the perfect style of scissors and maintain the proper grip, you’ll be the in-demand hairdresser.
As a hairdresser, you’re kind of like a professional athlete. Hear us out: athletes work hard to master their technique, break bad habits, and rise to the top of their game. You take your work just as seriously. And the longer you’ve been working on a skill – like proper grip – the more natural it will feel.
Mastering the proper scissor holding technique is one small thing you can do to set yourself up for success. Not only will you be able to give clients their dream hair, but you’ll also have renewed confidence knowing you're keeping your hands safe. It’s a simple skill. But when you pair it with professional scissors, you’ll be unstoppable.