What is the difference in normal shears vs barber shears?

March 23, 2022

Welcome to one of the most unspoken about questions that needs some serious clearing up. What is the actual difference between normal hair shears and barber shears? Ask a standard hairdresser, most will say nothing, but if you ask a true barber they will tell you a story about just how different their shears are compared to a hairdresser's hair cutting shears. Of course both normal hair cutting scissors and barber scissors all cut hair but what actually is the difference between the two if they both cut hair how they should? Continue reading to find out the difference.

Normal Hair Cutting Scissors

When we say 'normal hair cutting scissors' we're not talking about regular scissors or kitchen scissors, we're talking about scissors that are specifically designed as haircutting scissors. So now that's cleared up let's get to the nitty gritty details of a 'normal haircutting shears .

Normal haircutting shears are typically designed with two blades that are extremely sharp, unique handle designs, finger holes, a finger rest and adjustable screws at the join of the blades. As mentioned these shears are designed to be extremely sharp scissors and to not be used as paper scissors or regular scissors, they are only to be used on hair. When not used on hair they can be very easily damaged which then cause the scissors to be blunt scissors and as some may know blunt scissors damage hair - which is not what your clients want.

Standard hair cutting scissors typically come with either long blades or short bladed scissors ranging in inches from 4.5 right up to 7 even 8 inches. However hairdressers tend to steer clear of anything longer than 6 or 6.5 inches, why you ask? Purely because they are just too long and most hairdressers feel that they don't have enough control of the scissors when cutting. Whereas anything under the 6inch is a much more controlled feel when cutting hair and hairdressers don't feel that they will run the risk of cutting too much hair with the shorter blades.

Barber Shears

Barber scissors - like hairdressing scissors aren't regular scissors they are high quality tools that need the description they deserve. So, barbering scissors can come in 2 different types of scissors. What types of scissors do you ask? First, is much like standard hairdressing shears however barbers commonly have longer blades rather than short bladed scissors. Anywhere from 6.5 inch all the way up to 8 inch is what barbers tend to use/have in their scissor case. It's not uncommon to find shorter length scissors because really it comes down to what the barber is comfortable with.

Second is of course the style of blades. Unlike the mentioned above some blades can actually come with a small serration on the edge of the blades. A serrated edge may sound scary but for barbers it allows them to cut through hair quicker with little to no slip factor. The serration actuallyholds/keeps the hair in place preventing hair slipping out of the blade and allows for a clean cut until the next section is taken/cut. Barbers beware - serrated edges are not for slide cutting hair, it will pull and hurt your client!

Thinners and texturizers

While yes we went over normal regular shears and barbering shears, we simply cannot forget about our thinning scissors and texturizing shears can we!? So firstly our thinning scissors and texturising shears are an absolute must in both hairdressers and barbers scissor cases and they should not be feared! They both are an essential pair of scissors to have at hand. However, we would recommend thinning shears more so over texturizing shears if you can only afford one over the other. As we're sure you already know you can very easily add texture with precise cutting from your normal straight blade sharp pair of scissors.

What is the difference?

So what is the actual difference? Although we have been through the differences between the two, there's no actual rule to say that you can't use a barber shear on a non barber haircut and vice versa! So the real difference isn't in the shear but it's actually in the techniques used and the situation they are being used in (for example on a male or female, short hair or long hair ect)

Now of course there are many scissor brands that supply regular shears and barbering shears but we urge you to do your research on all things cutting shears. Sure, all shears will cut hair but will they cut the hair right!? Or will they do the job you intend them to do? If you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed, reach out and give our friendly customer service team a message and we will be more than happy to help!

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