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Salon Shears: Design on the Edge
A stylist’s best friend is a collection of specialized shears. Continue reading to learn how these razor-sharp tools help create flattering new looks.
Training and education are invaluable for stylists, but the right tools are also essential. Professional-grade salon shears are sharpened to sever hair precisely and almost effortlessly. The material of the shears matters, too: blades are typically stainless-steel blended with additional alloys and elements to optimize function and minimize wear. For example, carbon hardens the steel, chromium protects against corrosion, and molybdenum protects against dulling. High-end salon shears can even include cobalt or titanium in the blades, adding durability with little extra weight.
Even if it’s made from the finest alloys, one pair of scissors is rarely enough for any hairstylist or person who makes a lot of paper snowflakes. Amber Rosema—a freelance beauty designer with Amber Rose Styles in Chicago—has four pairs of salon shears at her styling station at virtually all times. “I’ll usually change shears about twice in a general cut,” she says. This allows her to thin or texturize tresses by switching to one of her two pairs of specialized shears. Her other two pairs of trimming shears each sport convex blades—thin, razor-like edges that cleanly slice through strands—as opposed to beveled blades, which grip the strands before cutting them. Beveled shears are generally recommended for beginners, but the stylist’s level of comfort matters more than any other factor—Rosema says she, for one, prefers convex shears because she originally trained with that style.
Alloy composition and blade orientation are important, but Rosema says that when picking out new shears, “the first thing I notice is how they feel and how they fit in my hand.” Different grips can ease the strain on the stylist’s busy fingers. Finger inserts give a snug fit and increased control to the stylist’s hands, and designs with offset handles, swivels, or bent thumbholes don’t require the wrist to move so much, reducing the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.