Important Factors in Selecting Your First Pair of Hair Shears

As any longtime stylist will tell you, there are few items more vital to your success in this field than proper hair shears. High-quality hair shears leave your clients with great cuts and make them happier, which in turn brings you most customers and builds your reputation as a stylist.

At Scissor Mall, we’re proud to offer a huge variety of designer hair shear products, from our point cutting shears like the Shisato Icon to numerous other types. If you’re a new cosmetology student looking to make your first foray into this field, selecting the right shears is one of the single most important tasks you’ll be faced with. Which important areas should you be considering? Let’s look at some basics.

factors selecting first hair shears

Material Type

The first area to consider is the material used to make the shears, and there’s a single material that’s considered the gold standard here: Stainless steel, which is a quality metal that allows for consistent sharpening and looks the part to boot.

There are two major types of stainless steel usually used within hair shear manufacturing:

  • 440 steel: Available in A, B and C grades, 440 steel is the toughest and most durable format, and tends to cost a bit more.

  • 420 steel: Also known as J2 steel, 420 steel is softer than 440 steel, but also has fantastic rust-resistance qualities.

Hardness Level

In addition to rust and similar considerations, you should be thinking about the hardness of the steel as you consider your shear purchase. The harder the steel you purchase, the easier it will be to sharpen the blade when the time comes.

Within the steel world, a measure called the Rockwell scale is what determines material hardness. Most pairs of hair shears generally fall between 48 and 62 on the Rockwell scale, with higher numbers signaling harder forms of steel. One caution here: While harder steel will be easier to sharpen, it may also be a bit more fragile.

Sharpening Concerns

Shears should be sharpened at least once or twice a year, but how often this needs to be done will depend on the precise shears you purchase. Other factors include cleaning, lubrication and balancing of the shears to ensure a proper cut.

Ergonomics and Feel

Finally, take the time to consider how a given pair of shears feels and works in your hand. Some stylists who purchase the wrong pair of shears deal with conditions like carpal tunnel, tendonitis and others related to overuse and poor positioning of the hands or arms. You should also consider handle position, for which there are several options: Bent thumb, swivel thumb, crane handle and others.

For more on tips for selecting your first pair of shears when entering the stylist field, or to learn about any of our hair cutting shears or scissors, visit Scissor Mall today.