Yana Tammah, the co-owner of SSTAGIONI Hair Studio in Hollywood, is a celebrity stylist, makeup artist, and jewelry designer. Originally from Russia, Tammah travels frequently to Europe as artist and creative director for a variety of beauty and fashion brands. While visiting her salon in Los Angeles, she introduced us to her favorite way to cut hair—with hot scissors.
Tammah uses the Jaguar Thermocut hot hairdressing scissors and she says that this method of cutting is very popular in Europe. Also that while it’s not a common practice, it’s a very old one.
“There is a legend about Cleoptra, that she had her hair cut with hot blades,” Tammah says. “I have a lot of clients who find me and come to me specifically for the hot scissors because they love the way it makes their hair look and feel.”
While you use the shears as you would a conventional shear, one of the blades is electrically-heated (the shears feature a long cord that is plugged into an electric outlet). The effect of the heat, according to Tammah, is to seal the cut end of the hair, creating a blunt, weighted end that makes hair look thicker and healthier.
“It’s the same idea as when you cut the end of a rope; the cut end will unravel and fray a bit. That is what hair looks like after a cut, too. But with hot scissors, the ends are sealed, which helps the hair retain moisture so it reduces split ends.” Temperature of the shears can be adjusted for hair density and type and Tammah only uses them on dry hair.
A Google search for “hot scissor haircuts” will take you to salons in Dubai, Dublin, London, and New York where it is being done. It will also introduce you to skeptics who aren’t hot for it, some hot haircut advocates who are on fire about it and some spinoffs, like “candle cuts” in which hair is twisted into sections and held away from the head, while a candle flame travels along the twist and singes off any hair frizzing out. Tammah and her life-work partner, Jay R, even cut hair, live on television, using fire. This method, however, was done strictly as a promotional piece, Tammah says. Don’t try this at home…
Photo courtesy of Yana Tammah