How often should I have my hair cutting shears sharpened, and how do I keep them in good working condition?

Sharpening information: 
Your hair cutting shears should be sharpened every 500 - 700 haircuts. For some that seems like a lot of haircuts, for others it is not many at all. Some manufactures recommend that shears are sharpened once a year. If you work at a Supercuts, Hair Cuttery, Great Clips, or a similar type of salon and do over 20 haircuts a day, you will be doing 400 haircuts a month and 4,800 cuts in a year. In such a case, sharpening your shears once a year just won’t do.

One of the first signs of dull scissors is hair slide - as you close the blades together to perform your cut, the hair will slide forward towards the tips of the blades.  Most professional Hair Stylists generally sharpen their hair cutting scissors every 2 - 4 months depending on the frequency of use and, most importantly, on how well the hair scissors and shears have been cared for on a daily basis.

You may find that your hair scissors and shears don’t seem to nick or damage quite as easily when they have become dull. The reason for this is that the cutting edge has been worn down and is not very sharp – therefore, in addition to not cutting very well, they seem to be more damage resistant.

When your hair cutting shears are newly sharpened, the new cutting edge is extremely sharp and very thin. The shears are, of course, more prone to damage after they have just been sharpened, but it is very important to exercise great care of your scissors and shears at all times to help prolong the life of the cutting edge.

Daily care:
Do not cut wig or manikin hair with your good scissors. Even if the hair is real human hair, it has been treated with a preservative chemical which will cause a premature dulling of the cutting blades.

Clean and oil your hair scissors on a regular basis (around the screw head and between the blades once a day). Do not toss your hair scissors onto your work station or throw or store them in your station drawers – and, of course, avoid dropping them. Careless placement of your shears will result in damage to the tips, nicks, and other impairments. Use a specially designed professional hair shear’s case to store your hair cutting shears.

Clean and wipe your hair scissors after every hair cut and oil on a regular basis (around the screw head and between the blades once a day). Beware of blade erosion. Many stylists believe because the blades are stainless steel, nothing can damage them. Hair dyes, perm chemicals, and even harsh chlorine from swimming pool water can cause small pitting of the blades.  If your scissors are wiped with a shears cleaning cloth when finished, they will stay in great condition much longer.

Always close your hair shears when not in use. This will prevent nicks or damage to the blade and possibly prevent serious personal injury from grabbing the razor sharp area of the open scissors blades. 

Check the tension of your shears periodically. If the tension is too tight, the blades will grind against each other as they cut, if too loose, and the blades will fold and bend hair instead of cutting. The tension being out of adjustment may also cause nicks. 
Replace missing or worn parts as soon as possible. Missing bumpers can cause finger cuts. Improper alignment can cause serious damage to your professional hairdressing shears. It can also lead to sore hands and other work related problems.

What can cause premature dulling?

    • Improper Storage
    • Improper Care and Maintenance
    • Dirty Hair
    • Damaged Hair
    • Coarse Hair
    • Treated Hair
    • Chlorinated Hair
    • Product or Chemical in Hair
    • Dropping

Be careful of anyone who tells you that if you buy a high quality shear you will never have to sharpen it. 
There is no such thing as a shear that you never have to sharpen.

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