January 15, 2014

Tips for Picking the Best Shears

If you want to be a successful hair stylist, there are two things you need to invest in – a good cosmetology school and a quality pair of shears. Talk to any stylist out there and they’ll tell you that investing in good quality shears pays for itself.

A good pair of shears means better cuts for your clients. Better cuts for your clients means more clients in your chair. More clients in your chair means more money in your pocket!

But how do you know which shears to purchase? There are thousands of different shears on the market right now, all of them claiming to be the best, which can make it very tricky. Shears can also be expensive, ranging in price from $50 to $500, so choosing the wrong pair can be a costly mistake.

Here are some tips for picking the perfect pair of shears:

• Stainless Steel – A good quality pair of shears is made from quality stainless steel. There are basically two types of stainless steel used for making shears – 440 and 420 (or J2). 420 Steel is very soft and very rust resistant. 440 Steel comes in three grades – A, B, and C. 440 C is considered the strongest steel and is also the most expensive.

• Hardness Rating – The harder the steel, the easier it is for the blade to be sharpened to an edge. The sharper the edge on the blade, the more precise the cut. The Rockwell Scale determines the hardness of the steel, which for shears typically falls between 48 and 62. The higher the number, the harder the steel. However, keep in mind that harder steel happens to be more brittle. It will lose its edge quickly and also nick more easily.

• Ergonomics – When you’re shopping for a new pair of shears, the most important thing to consider is how the shears feel in your hand. The wrong shears can result in carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and many other hand and arm problems. There are a variety of handle positions you can choose from (crane handle, bent thumb, swivel thumb), but you won’t know which one is right for you until you try them on.

• Maintaining Your Shears – Dull shears will bend the hair, causing ragged edges and split ends. Your shears should be sharpened one to two times a year. They’ll actually last longer when they are sharpened regularly. In addition to sharpening them, they should also be cleaned, lubricated, and balanced daily.

Salon Success Academy is a cosmetology school with six convenient locations throughout the Inland Empire of California. We offer hands-on training in our high end salon, flexible class schedules, and financial aid assistance to students who qualify. Fill out our form or call 877-987-HAIR to learn more about our cosmetology program!


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