What’s the best kind of texturizing shears?
Sandra Yu, Rusk artistic director, rarely finishes a look without using texturizing tools. She met her first specialty shears in the 1990s when she saw Irvine Rusk on stage.
“He made it look easy to tear off hair,” she says. “A lot of stylists were shocked and curious, but most tried it and fell in love with the technique.”
Rusk was demonstrating what he called the “weaving blade,” a toothed shear constructed to chip and notch simultaneously. It was designed to remove weight.
“Weight is not good for fine hair and definitely not for thick hair,” Yu says. “Texturizing blades are used to remove the solid lines to allow movement and flow.”
Yu believes a well-rounded stylist should have at least two texturizing shears in her toolbox: one to thin the hair and one to add texture. She herself has three on hand at all times. “My Rusk Gamma Blades to thin out the hair, my Rusk Alpha Blade for chunky texture; the Rusk Beta Blade for thinning and texture together is my absolute favorite because I can do a whole cut with just this one shear.”
When buying a texturizing shear, get out of the box, says Yu, by testing it. “There’s a lot more than the blade to separate the good from the bad. A great shear will eliminate [unwanted] chipping and notching. Blades should be made with a 360-degree thumb swivel with ergonomic off-set handles to prevent carpel tunnel syndrome. Good blades come with educational support that will teach you how to use the blades properly. It’s surprising how many people use them the wrong way.”
Good texturizing shears start at $300, Yu says. Although most texturizing blades at that price point will stay sharp for a very long time, maintenance is still key. “The blades should be checked once a year for other wear and tear,” she says.