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Types of Hair Cutting Scissors

Types of Hair Cutting Scissors

Hair cutting scissors, barber scissors or haircutting shears are specifically designed for cutting hair. Using these specialized scissors during haircuts is crucial to ensure an optimal outcome and promote hair health. 

Unlike other salon equipment, stylists and barbers often maintain their set of scissors instead of relying on collaborative tools accessible to everyone. 

The significance of using the right pair of scissors cannot be overstated, as it can mean the difference between a good cut with ease and comfort or a blunt cut that’s uncomfortable for the barber. 

As the primary tool for barbers, the quality, design, weight, and length of a barber scissor can significantly impact the outcome of a haircut.

For those new to the world of hairdressing, the multitude of available scissors can be overwhelming. Straight scissors are the most fundamental type, available in two styles: straight or offset. Straight scissors have finger and thumb holes arranged in a straight line, while offset scissors have the thumb hole positioned closer to the screw. 

Thinning scissors add texture and eliminate excess weight from hair while texturizing shears create layers and add texture. Chunking scissors feature wider teeth to remove hair quickly, and curved scissors are ideal for precise cutting. 

Also, left-handed scissors have reversed blades to ensure effortless cutting and a cleaner finish. Understanding the purpose of each scissor type is crucial to selecting the most appropriate one for your needs.

Types of Hair Cutting Scissors

Let’s dive deeper into the types of hair-cutting scissors.

Straight Scissors

  • Straight scissors, also called ‘level set’, feature a classic design with finger and thumb holes set in a straight, level line.
  • For most hair techniques, cutters with 4 to 5.5-inch blades are ideal. 
  • For blunt-cutting techniques that rely on straight-cutting lines, we recommend using hair scissors 6 to 7 inches long. 

Thinning Scissors:

  • Thinning scissors are a versatile tool to help you achieve various haircutting goals. By selectively removing excess weight and adding texture to your hair, they can create soft, flowing lines that blend seamlessly between different sections of your cut.
  • Thinning scissors typically come in a standard size of six inches with 30-40 teeth, although sizes can vary, and as a result, the number of teeth may also differ. However, to achieve the best results, it’s crucial to ensure that the teeth are evenly spaced, regardless of the size of the scissors. 
  • When shopping for a quality pair of thinning scissors, it’s essential to select a set with the appropriate number of teeth – not too many or too few. 

Texturizing Scissors

  • Texturizing shears are specialized cutting tools designed to create layers, add texture, and thin hair with precision. They are particularly effective for achieving a defined, textured look and are especially useful for tackling thick or curly hair. 
  • The key feature for texturizing shears to consider is the teeth on the blades. These specialized shears typically feature one straight blade and one with multiple teeth, and the number and size of the teeth will determine the amount of texture the shears create. 
  • By varying the spacing and size of the teeth, you can achieve a range of texturizing effects, from subtle to bold. 
  • When selecting texturizing shears, choose a pair with the right teeth configuration to suit your desired results. 

Chunking Scissors

  • Chunking or notching shears typically have between 5 and 9 teeth and are specially designed to create a spiky, textured look known as “spiked” or “fractured” hair. 
  • These shears are perfect for adding depth and dimension to short hairstyles, creating a dramatic, edgy look that will turn heads.
  • This type of shear typically features between 7 to 15 teeth spaced wider apart than traditional shears. This wider setting allows you to remove excess hair weight quickly and effortlessly, resulting in a bolder and more defined cut. However, it’s essential to exercise caution when using these shears, mainly if you’re not accustomed to working with them. 

Curved Scissors

  • Curved hairdressing scissors are a must-have tool for cutting and styling hair with precision and finesse. Unlike straight-blade shears, these specialized scissors feature curved blades that can be incredibly useful in certain situations. 
  • Their precise design allows meticulous detailing and smooth, sharp cuts without bending or damaging the hair strands.
  • Along with their unique curved shape, these scissors may also feature blades with convex edges. This design allows for a clean, precise cut without bending or snagging the hair strands, resulting in a smooth, polished finish. 
  • With convex blades, you can rest assured that you can handle stragglers and uneven cuts.

Left-Handed Scissors

  • Left-handed scissors are a game-changer for lefties. These scissors have their blades reversed, with the top blade always on the left side, allowing an unobstructed view of the cutting line. This feature ensures clean and precise cuts every time. 
  • Additionally, the reversed blade placement allows lefties to squeeze their hand naturally and push the blades together, avoiding hair bending and giving them greater control over their cuts.
  • When you open left-handed scissors, the blade on the left-hand side automatically goes to the top, while the blade on the right sits on the bottom. 
  • This special design ensures that left-handed stylists can cut with ease and confidence without the frustration of awkward hand positions or compromised cutting lines. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing Haircutting Scissors

Hair Type

Selecting the appropriate haircutting scissors for various hair types necessitates careful consideration of blade type, length, and sharpness. Opt for straight blades for straight hair, serrated blades for curly and textured hair, longer blades for thick hair, and shorter blades for fine hair.

Cutting Style

Having the appropriate tools for the job is crucial, as each type of scissors is created for a specific cutting style. Achieving the desired outcome is simplified when equipped with the correct scissors. 

Precision cutting requires short-blade scissors, while for scissor-over-comb cutting, you need long-blade hair cutting scissors, and adding texture and removing weight requires thinning scissors.

Blade Type and Length

When selecting a blade for your shears, there are two types: bevelled edge or convex edge. Bevelled-edge blades have a honed cutting edge that slopes to an angle about a millimetre from the blade’s edge, allowing for easier cutting than a flat edge.

Convex blades are designed with a shallow arc to the back side of the blades and are sharpened to a fine point, resulting in a thin and smooth cutting edge. However, they are more expensive, delicate, and require higher sharpening costs compared to bevelled blades. 

Convex blades are typically heavier as they are made from stainless steel. On the other hand, bevelled blades are lightweight, cheaper, and require lower maintenance costs. However, they may deliver a different level of smoothness than convex blades.

Comfort and Grip

When selecting the perfect pair of scissors, prioritizing your comfort is essential. Uncomfortable scissors can cause unnecessary strain on your hands, leading to increased fatigue and putting you at risk of developing debilitating conditions such as Repetitive Strain Injury or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


When searching for hairdressing shears, an important aspect to consider is your budget. Haircutting shears come at different prices, from basic and affordable to luxurious and expensive. Your budget will determine which option suits you best.

Quality haircutting shears are available at a reasonable price point, and most hairdressers and barbers require multiple pairs of shears for different cutting techniques. Therefore, weighing the options and selecting the shears that provide the best value for your money is vital.

Tips for Maintaining Hair Cutting Scissors

Regular Cleaning and Oiling

To maintain the performance of your scissors throughout the workday, it is crucial to wipe them down with a soft, clean cloth after every haircut. This practice helps to reduce the build-up of chemicals and hair that may impact the scissors’ performance.

Daily cleaning and oiling of your scissors will also help enhance their performance and extend their cutting life.

Proper Storage

Proper storage of your haircutting shears is also essential to maintain their performance and handling and extend their useful life. Ensure that the storage case is located in a dry area. 

Proper storage will help ensure that your haircutting shears remain protected and dry and continue to function at their best.

Sharpening and Honing

If your haircutting shears have lost their sharpness, it’s crucial to entrust them to a professional shear sharpener or sharpening company for servicing.

By opting for professional sharpening, you can ensure that your haircutting shears are sharpened accurately and precisely, utilizing specialized tools and techniques that won’t harm the integrity of your scissors.

Professional Maintenance

After thoroughly cleaning, drying, sanitizing, and oiling your scissors, proper storage is essential to maintain their performance and handling. The shears should have a compartment to prevent the blades from knocking against each other and becoming damaged.

A protective case with a soft, absorbent lining will help keep the shears protected from moisture and environmental factors.

Following these steps, you can keep your scissors clean and sanitized, reducing the risk of potential hazards while cutting hair.


Choosing the right scissors for your haircutting needs is key to achieving a flawless and professional-looking hairstyle. There’s a tool for every technique, from straight scissors for basic cutting to thinning and texturizing shears for adding texture to chunking and curved scissors for quick and detailed cuts. 

And let’s not forget about left-handed scissors, a game changer for those who struggle with traditional right-handed ones.

But investing in quality scissors is only the first step. To keep your scissors in top-notch condition, proper maintenance is a must. Careful handling, regular cleaning, drying and disinfection, and regular sharpening are all essential steps to keep your scissors performing at their best.

Don’t skimp on the maintenance of your tools, and they’ll pay off in spades in the long run. Happy cutting!



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