What are hair cutting scissors?

January 26, 2022

Any hair professional knows you can’t just pick up a regular pair of kitchen scissors and create a hair masterpiece. We’re sure you’ve seen how many #HairCutFails there are posted on social media. Haircutting is an art. And hair cutting scissors are your best tool. So they deserve the same respect as professional paint brushes. After all, Da Vinci didn’t pick up a toddler’s paintbrush to paint the Mona Lisa. 

Whether you’re new to the hairdressing profession or just need a quick reminder, we’re going to dive into professional hair cutting scissors and their proper uses. 

Hair cutting scissor types

There are many different types of scissors to choose from. Each scissor is designed for a different purpose or to provide additional comfort. To perform techniques with precision, it’s best practice to have multiple types of scissors in your toolkit. So what are some of the best scissor types to have at the ready?

Short blades vs. Long blades 

Short blade scissors are ideal for hairdressers with smaller hands. They’re more lightweight and easy to control. Short-bladed scissors usually have between 4- to 5.5- inch blades. 

Long-bladed scissors are commonly referred to as barber scissors. They usually range between 6- to 7-inches long. These scissors are great for covering larger surface areas and making long, precise cuts. 


Blending vs. thinning scissors

Blending and thinning scissors are similar, but not the same. Depending on the style you want to achieve, you can use either tool to reduce bulk, create soft lines, and add texture.  

Blending shears feature one solid blade and one with teeth, which makes them superior for creating a smooth finish. Thinning shears, on the other hand, have teeth on both blades, which makes them perfect for reducing thickness evenly. 

Then there are wide-tooth thinning scissors (or chunking shears) that are designed to remove larger sections of hair and produce an ultra-textured look. 

And don’t forget texturizing shears! They have more space between their teeth than thinning shears – so they remove more hair at once. Use them to create shape and movement in your cut. 

Swivel and offset scissors 

For hairdressers who are concerned about hand and wrist pain, swivel scissors are a must-have. They’re designed with a thumb ring that can adjust to accommodate your natural hand position. This reduces pain and discomfort from spending long hairs cutting hair. 

Similarly, offset scissors are designed for your thumb to rest in a more natural position. The additional comfort reduces strain on your hand and wrist. Swivel or offset? It all comes down to comfort – the choice is up to you!


True left-handed scissors can be hard to find. We carry a wide selection ofleft-handed shears from trusted brands. High-quality left-handed scissors enable barbers and hairdressers to squeeze the scissors shut naturally – without bending or crimping the hair. The blades are reversed, which allows you to see the cutting edge of the hair. 

Haircutting techniques  

Now that we’ve discussed the different kinds of scissors, let’s talk about the various types of haircutting techniques.  

Thinning and texturizing

We’ve already covered the types of shears you’ll need to perform these styles: thinning shears, blending shears, and texturizing shears. As you probably already know, clients with thick or coarse hair often want to have their hair thinned. If your client wants to take some bulk off, it’s often best to reach for your thinning shears rather than your hair razor. That’s because your shears – if you’ve taken proper care of them – will cause less damage to your client’s hair.


Scissor over comb

Need to cut short hair close to your client’s head? This classic technique will come in handy. Choose long scissors and place your comb close to the client’s hairline to lift their hair. Then go in with your shears to produce a soft, natural look. 

Point cutting

Point cutting thins out the bulk of the hair and blends layers. Using a straight set of scissors – the kind with thumb rings that align on top of each other – to produce a seamless cut without causing hand and wrist discomfort. 

Straight-line cutting

Blunt haircuts require steady fingers to get the job done. Choose short scissors with offset handles for the best control. Not sure what an offset handle looks like? We’ll cover that next.   

Scissor handles 

There are three main types of scissor handles. Each shape has its unique benefits and uses. 

Crane shears are great if you’re looking for something ergonomic. Designed with a straight blade and a thumb ring that angles downward, they help to reduce hand fatigue. 

As the name suggests,offset scissors have slightly angled handles so the top and bottom rings aren’t symmetrical. Many hair professionals find this design more comfortable than classic shears because they allow you to adjust your hand movements easily. 

Classic or straight scissors have stacked upper and lower rings. The handle is flat and level. When you’re using them, your finger and thumb will line up with one another. They’re not the most ergonomic for every style, but the vertical blades are great for deep point cutting techniques. 

Gain confidence with professional scissors  

When it comes to shears, there’s a lot to consider . . . the blades, the handles, the techniques, and the list goes on. But one thing’s for sure: you can’t go wrong when you opt for quality. And now that you have a deeper understanding of the different types of scissors and their uses, you can shop with confidence. We only carry the best professional scissors and shears. Expand your toolkit today!

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