You've spent years and years perfecting your craft and hundreds of dollars investing in yourself and your tools. Making sure you are maintaining your shears properly is as important as which shears you buy! You wouldn't buy a Ferrari and not have it serviced and tuned regularly would you? As a hair stylist our shears are our most important tool! We must keep them looking and feeling their best!
Let's talk about keeping our shears safe, and looking after them the best we can to ensure they have a long life. We need to be careful with our shears when we are cutting hair, but also when we aren't . Storing your shears is an important part of prolonging their life span.
It is recommended that you store your shears in a protective case. A scissor case is designed to hold your scissors tight and secure. All of our shears come with their own scissor case, to ensure you keep your shears safe. They have sleeves for each shear, which will make sure your shears stay closed inside the case. Why closed you may ask? Well one obvious reason is so you don't cut anything but keeping them closed is important for their well being too. When shears are placed down with their blades open the sharp edge of the blade is more exposed. This means that they are more likely to get banged up, resulting in nicks and dents on the blade edge. A scissor case will also help protect your shears from certain chemicals, like hair dyes and bleach. These chemicals are easily found in a salon and accidents can happen!
When placing your shears down between clients you must also take care on how and where they are placed. Making sure they are closed will help prevent damage. Placing them on hard surfaces can often result in damage to your shears.
We need to also stress the importance of only using hair cutting shears for... you guess it.. Hair cutting! Shears are not designed to cut paper, string or anything else really. Using your shears on anything besides hair will contribute to damaging them and also causing them to become misaligned. This can really mess up your shears... and your client's hair! So let someone else find a pair of scissors to open all those boxes !
We recommend checking out a Scissor mat as well. Scissor mats are designed to give you a safe place to put your shears between cuts. They are designed to keep moisture away from your shears and also prevent bumps and bruises. Our scissor mats are made from rubber to keep shears from slipping and falling off your station onto the floor.
If you find a scissor mat doesn't suit your needs we recommend trying out a scissor holster. A scissor holster is designed to keep your shears safe and on your person, so there is less chance of them falling off your station or accidentally getting knocked around. Keeping your scissors with you also helps to prevent clients accidentally bumping into them, or a colleague moving them and placing them down wrong. Anything can happen in a busy salon or barber shop!
Let's talk about keeping them clean and oiled. Regular cleaning of your shears will ensure your blades stay nice and sharp.
When do you clean your shears? You should at least be wiping excess hair and moisture from your shears between haircuts. We recommend you use a cotton cloth ( or one of our handy microfibre cloths ) to wipe your blades clean. This will help to remove any hair that may be stuck on the blades. To sterilize your scissors you may use a small drop of rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, on a cloth to wipe the blades. This will help keep them clean and dry. Too much moisture is bad for our shears and rubbing alcohol is more drying and will help prevent corrosion. The alcohol also helps to prevent any sort of cross contamination. It is not recommended to use barbicide. Barbicide can corrode the steel and ruin your scissors. If you're not shampooing a client before cutting their hair you will often find there is product, dirt or oil built up in their hair. All of these can contribute to dulling your blades quicker, which is why you must clean and maintain them. The alcohol also helps to prevent any sort of cross contamination. It is not recommended to use barbicide. Barbicide can corrode the stainless steel and ruin your scissors.
Now you need to oil your shears. All our shears come with shear oil, which you should be using at least once a day. At the end of the day, after cleaning your shears now is the time to oil them. Simply open your shears and place a few drops of oil at the pivot point. The pivot point is the point in your shears where the two blades meet and are held together by a screw. Gently open and close your scissors to help move the oil around and remove any left over hair fragments. Wipe your shears again to remove any excess oil. Daily cleaning and oiling of your shears will help keep them in their best shape possible!
Checking your scissor tension often will help keep them sharper longer and believe us .. your clients happier! When your scissors do not have the proper tension they can often catch the hair, or bend it, which can be a nuisance for us and uncomfortable for our client.
As we mentioned before our shears have two blades that meet at a screw. This can be a screw or sometimes it looks more like a knob. A knob means you can simply turn it for tension adjustment. However if your shears have a screw, included in our kits is a tension adjuster.
If you feel your clients hair is bending and folding when you are cutting it is definitely time to check the tension. To check the tension simply hold your shears from the handle with the finger hole. Lift the thumb handle to 90 degrees and let go. If it stays open or above a 45 degree angle, your shears are too tight. If it closes, your shears are too loose. The blade should stop at approximately a 20-25 degree angle. If they are too tight, gently turn the screw ( with the adjuster) to the left, making sure not to loosen them too much. Same thing goes for if they are too loose. Simply turn the adjuster slowly to the right to ensure you do not over tighten them. If you have swivel shears, make sure you check your swivel thumb's tension as well.
When you start off in a salon you will most likely find that your colleagues all use a sharpening service. In some instances these professional sharpening services will come out to the salon and help keep everyone's shears in tip top shape. You may find it best to ship your shears back to the manufacturer for sharpening. Whichever you choose, make sure you are using a reputable, professional scissor sharpener or bladesmith. Having your shear sharpened poorly can take years off of them.
There is quite a heated debate over how often you should have your shears sharpened. The general rule is every 6-12 months. However, if you are mostly cutting hair all day long, or are cutting in barber shops you may want to have them sharpened more often. Barbers often find they will need to have their haircutting shears maintained more often as barbering can be quite hard on your shears. A good quality pair of shears should be able to be sharpened at least 10 times in their life span. Be weary of scissors that say they will stay sharp forever, just remember nothing lasts forever! And you want to make sure your blades are sharp and help you give the best cuts you can.
Of course this is all affected by the quality of your shears. If you use a cheaper pair of shears you may find they start catching the hair quicker and you need them sharpened more often. If you have invested quite a bit of money in your shears, they should keep their sharp edge longer. It also depends on what edge you have your scissors. If you have a convex edge blade your shears will be super sharp! They are a bit more fragile and may dull quicker, so this type of edge will be higher maintenance. If you have a beveled edge you may find they are not as super sharp but do not need to be sharpened as often. We recommend a semi- convex blade, nice and sharp but also durable!
And then of course there is every hair dressers worst nightmare.... dropping your shears. Hair cutting shears are quite sensitive and even a little drop can cause damage. It is important that you consult a professional blade smith to help fix any nick or dents that may occur.
how to keep those beautiful, expensive shears looking and feeling the best. We hope these tips will help you keep your shears happy and healthy for many years to come.