It's that time again! It seems like just yesterday you were sending your favorite pair of shears off to be sharpened, but you're starting to feel as if they are dull. It is time to call your favorite blade smith. We are here to help break down what you need to do to maintain your shears and what your blade smith will do to guarantee your shears are feeling their best !
First let's talk about how to determine when it is time to call your trusted sharpener.
You do not want to wait too long. Cutting hair with shears that are damaged or dull is not only bad for the shear, but can be quite uncomfortable for your client as well. You may find your shears are pushing, pulling or bending hair. This means you will have to work twice as hard to achieve the same results as you would a sharp scissor. You may find at the end of your day your hands are more fatigued or your wrists experience more strain. It may be time for a shear service.
If you have dropped your hair cutting shears, or feel as if they're a bit sticky when you open and close them you may have damaged the cutting edges. This is definitely the time to put those hair cutting scissors away and call your trusted blade smith!
We recommend that most hair stylists sharpen their shears at least once every 12 months. This varies though on the stylists. If you are a barber or hair stylist who focuses just on hair cuts, you will most likely find your scissors need sharpening 2-3 times a year. If you find your days at the salon are filled with mostly colors and quick trims, you may only need them sharpened once a year. A quality pair of shears should hold a sharp edge well and with proper care, feel nice and sharp for at least 3-6 months.
it is important to perform a little shear maintenance! Now we know you're on top of your daily cleaning of your haircutting shears, so let's review real quick what to do.
Every day, after each client you will have to make sure you clean your blades. Simply use a soft cloth to wipe your two blades, and remove any hair. You can use a couple drops of isopropyl alcohol a.k.a rubbing alcohol, on a cotton ball to help sterilise and avoid corrosion. You will also be removing any sticky residue from the blades. Regular cleaning of your haircutting shears will help your blades stay sharp longer!
After cleaning your blades time to oil them. Oiling your shears should be done at least once a day. Put a small drop of shear oil where the blades meet, at the pivot point. Open and close your shears to loosen any hair fragments that may be left over. Too much oil can corrode your blades so make sure to the wipe them, with a cleaning cloth, to remove any excess oil.
If your shears are feeling dull make sure to check they have the right tension first. To check tension open your shears all they way with the thumb ring. With the blades open, hold the thumb ring and then drop it. See where the thumb ring stops. If the thumb ring stays above a 45 degree angle, they're too tight. If the ring drops below a 20 degree angle they're too loose. Tension adjustment is very important for the optimal performance of your shears.
You must also remember to properly store your shears after a long day. Make sure to keep them in a protective case to avoid any bumps or bruises! Keeping them safely tucked away will make sure you do not accidentally drop them or knock them. It will also keep them from being damaged by any environmental factors, like water, color or products. Proper use is also very important! Using your shears for cutting anything besides hair can misalign them!
Ok.. so you have checked your shears and they still feel off. Now its time to call your professional sharpening service!
Whether your shear sharpener comes to the salon, or you send your shears to them please make sure you are using a professionally trained blade smith. Especially one who specializes in haircutting scissors!
First your blade smith will take apart your shears. They will closely inspect the blades for any nicks or dents on the cutting edge. They will then give them a good clean! Removing any styling aid residue, corrosion and rust.
Your sharpener will then use their very expensive and intricate scissor sharpening machine. These machines allow even the smallest adjustment to be made to the angle of the cutting edge. They will first hollow grind the edge and then reestablish the cutting edge.
After establishing the edges they will then check and balance your shears. This is to make sure they are properly aligned.
Once they're balanced they will then buff and polish your shears. They may use a leather strap or machine to do this.
Then they will reassemble your hair cutting shears. Once they're back together they will check the tips of the shear to make sure they are sharp and aligned properly.
Your blade smith will then adjust the tension, check your shears and give them a little shear oil.
To check your shears they will use a wet tissue. Cutting in to the tissue with the shear. If the scissor cuts right through and leaves a perfect clean cut ... they're ready to go! If they pull or rip the tissue, something is wrong. This is also a great way for you to check your shears when they are returned to you.
When your haircutting shears have been returned to you make sure to check them. If you're happy with them, get to cutting! You may find after a few cuts they feel off again. Simply clean the blades, oil and adjust them.. and they should be good to go !
Nothing is quite as satisfying as the feeling of fresh sharpened scissors! So if you continue to take great care of your shears, keeping them in tip top shape and have them serviced properly, that amazing sharp edge will continue to last. Ensuring they always feel brand new !