Wet vs. Dry Cutting - Which Shears Are the Best?

July 06, 2021

Choosing a perfect set of scissors is a tough challenge. There are so many factors to consider, brands to check out, and prices to compare! And it doesn't get any easier, especially if you think about all those different hair types and cutting techniques you'll have to master. And then there's another thing to keep in mind - which shears are you going to use for wet cutting, and which ones for dry cutting? Is it all the same?

So many questions, so few answers! But don't worry, we're about to set the record straight and help you pick the best shears for dry cutting. So, if you want to learn more about scissors for cutting wet and dry hair, keep on reading.

Dry Cutting vs. Wet Cutting - What's the Difference?

Simply put, dry cutting is when you're cutting your client's hair that's fully dry. That's when you can truly see a different spectrum of all hair types, including their length, volume, and texture. On the other hand, wet cutting involves cutting wet hair, or hair that's still a bit damp. No surprise there! However, you need to remember that cutting wet or dry hair will result in very different haircuts.

Remember that dry cutting is for precision cuts and strong lines, correcting and refining shapes, and adjusting the length. It's risky because any mistake will be visible right away, and it will be more difficult to fix. Wet cutting, on the other hand, is perfect for seamless layering. However, it requires more attention to detail, because you won't see the true shape and length of hair.

Choosing the Best Dry Cutting Scissors

Now that's out of the way, let's take a quick look at your options! There are many different types of hair cutting scissors that every professional stylist should have in their inventory. You already know that you won't be able to cut your client's hair with just one pair of scissors, so what are some models you should consider buying? Does it mean that any shear will do? Absolutely not! You still have an important decision to make, but don't worry. We're here to tell you exactly what you need to remember before picking a pair of scissors to cut hair, wet or dry. Let's get into it!


Here, you have two choices. You can buy short or long scissors, or you can mix and match models according to your preferences. So which ones should you choose? Let's find out:

Short scissors measure between 4.5 and 6 inches. They're perfect for cutting hair in technical sections (such as bobs or graduated hairstyles), the overhand technique, cuts close to your client's body, and other techniques that involve precision and point cutting. They're lightweight and easy to handle, allowing you to work quickly and efficiently. You also won't have to worry about accidentally injuring your clients.

Long scissors are between 6 and 7 inches, although some measure up to about 8 inches. The majority of models usually measure 6.5 or 7 inches. Even though the differences are seemingly minimal, we can assure you that depending on the size of your hand and your grip, you're going to feel every inch after several hours of cutting and styling hair in a salon.

Obviously, longer shears take more hair per cut, which, in turn, allows you to save some time and proceed quickly with your work. They come in handy if you want to line up your hair sections - you can use their additional length as a guide. You can also use them to achieve a softer look that matches the head shape and make smooth adjustments when cutting curves. However, you need to remember that in the haircutting world, one size never fits all. That's why you should have different types (and lengths) of scissors in your professional inventory.


You must be precise when cutting dry hair, otherwise, you risk making mistakes that will be difficult to fix. So, which part of your dry cutting scissors has the biggest impact on how a haircut will turn out? The blade, of course! Generally, you have three options:

  • Convex blades.They're perfect for true professionals who know how to handle expert products. Convex blades are narrow and extremely sharp, making them the best choice for detailed, precise cuts.
  • Beveled edge blades.The oldest and the least expensive in the bunch. They perform well when they're made of high-quality materials but if you buy a cheap product, they're unlikely to meet your expectations.
  • Semi-convex blades. They combine the features of the other two types. They don't perform as well as the real convex blades, but they're sharper and narrower than beveled blades.


Handle design is yet another element that can make or break your shear experience (and, by default, can ultimately ruin your client's haircut). It all boils down to your preferences and skills - different handle types will feel different in your hand, which will have an impact on how a haircut turns out. Generally, you can choose from the four different scissor handle types:

  • Classic.This design is probably the most popular. People who are used to holding their shears with their middle fingers swear by this design and use shears with a classic handle for many cutting techniques. However, classic shears don't promote the healthiest, most natural grip when cutting hair. As such, they're certainly not the most ergonomic option you can find on the market.
  • Swivel.Many hairdressers have a love-hate relationship with this type, but even more consider it their absolute must-have! Swivel shears are ergonomic and comfortable. Their design can help you ease the pain and strain of your hair cutting routine. Swivel scissors allow you to adjust the position of your thumb, wrist, elbow, and shoulder so you can use your natural range of motion. They're perfect for many different hair cutting techniques, including point cutting, precision cutting, and slicing.
  • Offset. This design is quite popular among hairdressers, especially those who hold their scissors with their ring fingers. Offset shears let you adjust your hand to a more natural, flexible position and reduce the risk of a wrist injury. However, they may require you to raise your elbow. If you happen to do it too often, you risk having issues with shoulder pain.
  • Crane (increased offset).This design is not that common, but it certainly has its fair share of hairdressers who swear by it. The angle in the arch allows you to adjust the position of your body as you cut hair. If you often deal with neck and shoulder pain, crane scissors might be the right choice for you!


We know, we know! Sometimes the price on some models makes you wonder, "Why on earth are they so expensive?" Well, if you buy them on reputable sites like Scissor Tech, you can be sure that you'll be getting professional tools of the highest quality, produced by brands with sometimes decades-long history and manufacturing tradition. Whether you'll use them for wet cutting or dry cutting, you can be sure that they will perform well in every situation. Ultimately, it's better to learn from (and on) the best and purchase high-quality tools from the get-go.

One Pair or the Whole Kit?

Last but not least, you need to think about whether you need just one pair of scissors, or is it better to buy a kit. Keep in mind that high-quality scissors are pricey, so you might be tempted to pick just one model and call it a day. This approach is good if you already have a solid hair cutting inventory and you just need a specific model to complete your collection.

On the other hand, if you're at the beginning of your hair cutting and styling journey, it's better to purchase several different shear models at once. Why? You'll have different pairs of scissors that you'll definitely use, and you'll pay for them less than you would if you were to buy all of them separately. Either way, the choice is yours!

Cutting Wet Hair with Dry Cutting Scissors

Now for the big question: can you cut wet hair and dry hair with the same pair of scissors? The answer is yes! High-quality shears will never fail you, and they will perform just as well when cutting both wet and dry hair.

However, you should also remember to keep your dry cutting scissors in perfect condition. If you use them to cut wet hair first- fine! But keep in mind there are several good practices when it comes to handling the tools you use for work.

First, you should clean them after each use. If you want to cut dry hair with them, you can, but make sure there's no chemical residue or dirt on the handle and blades. Then, you need to make sure they're sharp. Cutting hair with dull blades will do them more harm than good - bent and split ends? Pulled hair? We don't want that in our salon, and neither do our clients! Also, remember to put your shears in a protective case and store them safely. And don't ever - ever! drop them on the floor. It's a huge no-no, but we bet you already know that!

Our Brand

Here at Scissor Tech, we know that the secret behind every beautiful haircut lies in the skills of a hairstylist and their tools. While honing your skills is entirely up to you, we'll gladly provide you with the best shears for dry cutting you can find! The scissors we have in our offer are from reputable brands, such as Matsui, Yasaka, or Joewell. These names are world-famous for their top-notch quality and cutting-edge design.

Hopefully, now you know everything there is to know about cutting hair dry vs. wet. Now what's left is buying the best shears for this task! But, if you still happen to have any doubts, feel free to reach out to us. We'll gladly answer your questions and help you find the best pair of dry cutting shears in your career! 

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