Unlike household scissors, haircutting shears must be cared for in order to maintain their cutting ability. Shears that are not cared for properly will become dull, and they will not cut hair effectively. The result will be a less-than-perfect haircut. Every professional stylist knows the importance of caring for their shears, and here a few of their secrets.
1. Never cut paper with haircutting shears. Shears that are designed for cutting hair should be used to cut nothing else. High-quality haircutting shears are designed not only to be exceptionally sharp, but also to “grab” the hair, allowing for a more precise cut. Cutting paper and other materials can quickly lead to dulling of the cutting edge.
2. Oil the shears regularly. There are two area where shears need to be oiled. The first area are the blades. Oiling the blades reduces metal-on-metal friction, which can lead to dulling. In order to oil the blades, place a drop of oil on the inside of each blade and then wipe the length of the blade with a soft cloth. The other area which needs to be oiled is the blade junction, or where the two blades meet near the screw that hold them together. This will not only help reduce friction, but will make for smoother cutting.
3. Proper tension. The screw that holds the blades together can be loosened or tightened in order to adjust the tension. If the tension is too loose, the hair will bend rather than cut when the blades are closed. If the tension is too tight, it will be hard to open and close the blades, and cutting may lead to premature dulling of the blades.
4. Store your shears in a case or a leather pouch. This will help prevent damage to the blades if the shears are dropped. In most cases, dropping haircutting shears onto a hard floor can severely affect their performance.
5. Only have a professional sharpener service your shears. The method of sharpening may be different depending on the type of metal the shears are made out of. For instance, German-made shears of cobalt steel have to be sharpened differently than Japanese-made shears of stainless steel. If you have an expensive pair of shears, don’t take any chances by trying to save a few dollars and sharpening them yourself. To do so may result in permanent damage to the shears.
These five tips will help you properly care for your haircutting shears. With proper care and maintenance, your haircutting shears can last a lifetime.