Expert Advice

8 Tips for Picking the Perfect Shears

Lauren Quick | October 13, 2015 | 8:27 AM
Photography & hair: Luis Alvarez // Haircolor: Deena Nicely // Makeup: Wanda Alvarez

Shear Beauty

Shears are an integral part of your health and success as a stylist. Picking the perfect pair is not a time to try to save a buck or make an unresearched impulse-buy; you’ll be using these every day, multiple times a day, so make sure you take these tips from Fuel Hair to heart.


  1. One-size-fits-all shears don't exist.

    Every stylist has a different set of needs; look for a pair that fits you and your cutting style.

  2. The two most important factors when selecting shears are comfort and control. 
    Choose a handle type and finger rest that feel good. Size isn’t everything—your control is determined by blade length.

  3. A sword edge is great for precision-cutting.

    The blade will push away hair quickly, but it’s slightly less forgiving. It’s perfect for cleaning around ears, perimeter-cutting and strong precision cuts.

  4. Clamshell edges give a softer finish.
    The rounded edge will draw in hair for a more feathered end result ideal for channel-cutting.

  5. Proceed with caution with a straight handle.
    You’ll need to bend your wrist a bit to use this one. Some stylists prefer it, but others complain of repetitive wrist strain.

  6. Offset handles will provide maximum comfort.
    The slightly angled handle will leave your wrist in a more natural position.

  7. Invest in at least three sets of shears.
    You’ll need one pair for everyday cutting, a blending shear and a longer shear with sword blade for perimeter cutting and barbering. Consider a traditional thinner in addition, but modern blenders usually work just  fine for that.

  8. Shears are an investment.
    There isn’t a set amount to spend on shears, but invest however much you need to ensure you’re delivering the best service possible for your clients and maximize comfort for yourself. Safeguard your wrist strength by doing your research before selecting a pair.


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