Aside from opening a salon and advanced education, managing a shear collection is one of the biggest investments a hairdresser will probably make.

While investing in higher-end materials can help shears hold a finer edge for longer, Sam Villa, co-founder of Sam Villa and global artistic director for Redken 5th Avenue,  says routine maintenance can highly prolong the cutting life of any shear.

Here, Villa shares five tips for protecting shears.

  1. Wipe off: After each hair cut, Villa recommends wiping off any excess hair from the blades with a soft towel.
  2. Oil: Villa says to add a few drops of shear oil to the inner pivot area and then open and close the shear several times. This helps clean excess debris from the pivot area. Then, carefully wipe away the excess oil and debris. Clipper oil can also be used, but it’s just a little thicker, so use it sparingly.
  3. Check tension: Hold the thumb side of the shear in one hand, lift the finger side with the other until the blades are fully open then let go. The blades should stay open and not close. If the blades closes partially and there is a spring leaf spring tension system, tighten the screw one click at a time until there is minimum tension to keep them open. If too tight, Villa says to turn the screw or tension knob counter-clockwise one click at a time. If it is a Click Set Streamline Tension System, conduct the same exercise using the screw key that usually comes with the shear. A shear with loose tension will cause hair to bend. A simple adjustment will solve the problem 99% of the time Villa says.
  4. Store properly: Place shears in a safe location inside the station or shear case with the blades closed. A shear that falls off a station is better off falling with the blades closed to reduce the chance of getting a nic.
  5. Utilize the manufacturer shear service provider: Villa says to always connect with the shear service partner. They are highly-trained to specifically service the shear of the brand. A lot of manufacturers will void the warranty of a shear if another company services it. Read and save all the information that comes with the shear, including the purchase receipt, to better track the product and purchase. Villa warns to never take apart shears. Leave that to a professional.