Shears are an essential tool in any hair stylist’s belt. But someone who is not a professional stylist may not realize that there are several different types of shears for hair. A trained barber knows which one to reach for and when.
What Are The Types Of Shears For Hair And Their Best Uses?
- Short-Blade Shears
- Long-Blade Shears
- Texturizing Shears
- Chunking Shears
- Thinning Shears
1. Short-Blade Shears
Short-blade shears are appropriately named for the length of the blades, which can range anywhere from 4 inches to 5.5 inches. These small, lightweight shears are easy to use and maneuver, especially during long styling sessions.
Short-blade shears are well-rounded in terms of hair textures. They work best for professional stylists with small hands who have difficulty handling bulky shears.
Short-blade shears, though small, can be used on any type of hair including both thin and thick variations.
2. Long-Blade Shears
Long-blade shears are typically very similar to short-blade shears, except they have longer blades. You can expect a pair of long-blade shears to be between 6 and 7.5 inches long.
Long-blade shears usually weigh more than short-blade shears, so it’s not as easy to move them smoothly through long styling sessions. However, they work well for professionals who use them over the comb technique.
The long, straight edge of a long-blade shear is ideal for hairstyles that need long, blunt cuts. The long blades help ensure an even cut in a single motion, rather than several choppy cuts.
Stylists can use long-blade shears on any hair, including luxurious Hollywood waves.
3. Texturizing Shears
While many types of hair shears have long, smooth blades, texturizing shears stand out because of their additional set of sharp teeth. Most texturizing shears have around 24 teeth, which helps add texture and volume through blunt cuts.
Similar to thinning shears, listed below, texturizing shears easily thin out thick hair. However, they also add volume and fun textures to the style at the same time.
While texturizing shears are great for thick hair, they are not an ideal choice for someone with curly Shakira hair.
4. Chunking Shears
Significant hair projects that require a lot of hair removal do well with chunking shears. Like texturizing shears, chunking shears have teeth added to their blades.
But chunking shears usually only have 10 or 20 teeth that are farther spaced out along the blade. These gaps allow the shears to cut off more hair at once and in chunks, per the tool’s name.
Although these shears look dramatically different from the everyday scissors found in the craft or kitchen aisles, they’re actually one of the most commonly used tools at the salon.
Chunking shears work well on all hair types and are perfect for dramatic looks. When used properly, they can help save a stylist time instead of going over an area again with texturizing scissors.
5. Thinning Shears
Like texturizing shears, thinning shears have a set of thin, sharp teeth on one blade – anywhere from 25 to 50 of them. The teeth on thinning shears not only outnumber those on texturizing and chunking shears, but they’re also much thinner in size.
Thinning shears are used for several reasons. They offer a great solution to those with very thick hair, as stylists can help remove tiny amounts of hair at once to thin out the bulk.
Thinning shears are also perfect for blending during a cut. Their many thin teeth can help fade blunt scissor marks for a natural and seamless blend.
These scissors work well for heavy, bulky hair and can even help blend on thin hair, but it’s not a good idea to try them on naturally curly styles.
Types of shears for hair don’t stop at the style of the blade. In fact, there are often several variations of each type of shear – each of which includes its own handle design.
Hair shears can have various types of handles, but one of the most popular kinds is the offset handle. An offset handle puts the two handles in different positions, making the thumb handle slightly shorter than the other one.
Many barbers and stylists appreciate the offset handle because it allows them to maintain a more natural hand position. The open hand position it creates can help minimize overextension and hand fatigue.
The crane-style handle is another professional favorite. Very similar to the offset style, a crane-style shear has offset handles that help stylists better position their thumbs.
Crane-style handles are a little more dramatic than traditional offset handles. The grip is very ergonomic and can even help improve elbow positioning and elevation. It’s a great choice for stylists who value overall posture, stability, and control.
Contrary to the offset handle, a straight handle lines the two handles up equally so that they are the same length. The straight handle is a classic design that has been around for years and years.
Stylists who prefer to cut using their thumb and middle handle often choose this style of handle. The lengths allow them to hold the shears comfortably, while an offset handle may not give them enough room.
The swivel handle is a more modern invention that truly tackles the issue of hairstylist fatigue. Swivel shears look fairly traditional until you check out the thumb handle.
The thumb handle features a specially attached ring that swivels in circles. What this ring does is it allows a stylist’s thumb to move freely. It accommodates natural hand movements, which can help alleviate tension and discomfort during extensive cuts and long days at the salon.
Just like any type of shear can have a unique handle, so can it have a specialized blade such as the ones listed below.
Beveled Edge Blade
The beveled edge blade is one of the most common types of blades for hair shears. These blades are thicker than other styles, so they require a little more force when using them.
However, they are incredibly durable and last for several years at a time. They don’t offer much in the way of precision in some cases, but they are very versatile and reliable.
Convex Edge Blade
Convex edge blades are incredibly sharp and very smooth. They are critical in achieving intricate, precise cuts. Because they are made to be so sharp, stylists don’t have to use as much force as they would with other blades.
The downside to convex blades is that they require more maintenance and can be more expensive than others. But it’s worth it to have one handy for precision work.
Semi-Convex Edge Blade
Semi-convex edge blades serve as the bridge between beveled edges and convex edges. Though not quite as precise and sharp as a convex edge, these shears are narrow and include a beveled edge.
Can You Use Kitchen Scissors to Cut Hair?
Physically, yes – you can use kitchen scissors to cut hair. The blade is certainly sharp enough to slice through pieces of hair. The real question is whether or not you should use kitchen scissors to cut hair.
The answer: absolutely not.
Unlike hair shears, kitchen scissors are not designed to cut hair. Even the sharpest, most expensive pair of kitchen scissors can leave your ends frayed, split, and damaged.
What Are the Best Shears for Curly Hair?
It’s best to use short-blade or long-blade shears when trimming and styling naturally curly hair. Chunking shears also work well to cut curly hair when going from very long to very short styles.
It is also critical to ensure that the shear blade is very sharp when cutting curly hair. A sharp blade will keep curls intact without splitting or damaging the ends.
How Do I Choose the Right Texturizing Shears?
The best way to choose the right texturizing shear is to decide how much hair you want to remove. The fewer teeth a pair of shears has, the more hair it will remove.
Though standard texturizing shears have around 24 teeth, some have more, and some have fewer. Ones with 30 teeth will remove approximately 20 percent of hair, while ones with ten will remove up to 70 percent of hair like chunking shears.
What is a Texturizing Haircut?
A texturizing haircut adds both movement and flare to a style. It can help boost the appearance of volume and interest in flat, thin, or dull hairstyles. Rather than leaving you with a blunt, straight cut, a texturizing haircut will soften the ends and add ripples and layers.
How Do I Know My Own Hair Texture?
It’s best to know both your hair texture and its elasticity.
Hair texture refers to its thickness. Your hair is either fine, medium, or thick. Elasticity, on the other hand, deals more with what your hair looks like. Your hair can be straight, wavy, or curly.
You can figure out your hair texture by pulling your hair into an elastic band. If it takes you five or more rounds to get a tight ponytail, then you have fine hair. If you can’t pull it around more than twice, you have thick hair.