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The scissors are the most basic and important tool used in performing a finished men’s haircut. There are many different types and sizes of scissors to choose from. In the following guide you will learn the importance of each scissor and how it is used properly. There is no substitute for being able to perform a finished haircut with all scissors. It will put you at a whole different level in the eyes of your clients and co-workers.

[highlight]LEARNING OBJECTIVES[/highlight]

  • Identify the two different types of scissors
  • Demonstrate how to hold the scissor correctly
  • Demonstrate how disinfect and oil your scissors

[highlight]How to hold scissor correctly:[/highlight]

  1. Insert thumb just below the nail and just above the knuckle.
  2. Insert the ring finger to halfway between the knuckles. Apply pressure with your middle finger and forefinger and rest your pinky on the lever or on top of the finger hole.
  3. Keep your hand still and open and close the scissor with just your thumb. Keeping your hand still and just moving your thumb applies the necessary pressure to the cutting blade so the scissor can cut properly.
  4. Keep your hand a short distance in front of you and your elbow up in the air. This will allow you to open and close the scissor properly. Once you drop your elbow you won’t be able to open the scissor without moving both blades.

[highlight]Different Types and Sizes of Scissors: Straight Scissors and Thinning Scissors[/highlight]

  • The straight scissor is what you will use the majority of your haircutting. It is recommended to have two sizes of these scissors.
  • You will use your smaller scissor for picking the hair up and cutting over your fingers (scissor over fingers technique). You will also use the smaller scissor for cutting the hairline around the ear and on the back of the neck (blade on skin technique). It is easier to control a smaller scissor for this detailed work. It is also safer. You are less likely to cut your finger or the customer with a smaller scissor.
  • When you are cutting hair over the comb a larger scissor is more efficient. It covers a larger area meaning fewer sections. You are less likely to wind up with scissor marks and imperfections in your haircut when you are taking fewer sections. A larger scissor also tends to be heavier which will assist in cutting wet and/or thicker hair easier.
  • A thinning scissor is designed for removing bulk from thick hair, texturizing hair for today’s modern styles, tapering, blending, and cutting length.
  • Two different types of thinning shears are necessary for men’s haircutting. The 40-44 tooth thinning scissor is the most popular thinning scissor in men’s haircutting. It is ideal for blending and tapering as well as texturizing hair. The wide tooth thinning scissor generally has 28 teeth and is for texturizing extremely thick hair and giving texture to today’s modern looks.

[highlight]Cleaning and Lubricating [/highlight]

  • After every use make sure to clean of the previous customer’s hair and/or dry off scissor to prevent rusting.
  • Dip scissor in disinfectant and blot with towel to dry off in between uses.
  • Make sure you only blot with towel to prevent premature dulling of the blades.
  • After every few uses put a drop of oil on your scissors below the pivot area to keep the blades opening and closing smoothly.

[highlight]REVIEW QUESTIONS[/highlight]

  1. What are the two different types of scissors?
  2. What are the different size regular scissors used for?
  3. What are the two different sizes of thinning scissors?
  4. What are thinning scissors used for?
  5. What needs to be done to the scissors in between haircuts?
  6. How do you lubricate the scissors?
  7. What is the best way to clean the scissors at the end of the day?

[highlight]AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY:[/highlight]
Take pride in your scissor work. Practice holding the scissors and opening and closing them until it becomes second nature. As stated above the scissor work is the foundation for all barbering techniques and haircuts.