Any stylist knows there are two things that make them truly great: training and tools. Scissors are the most important investment any stylist can make and a nimble pair of well-designed scissors is the fundamental basis for happy clients and creativity.
Salon was recently invited to tour the Shigeru Industrial Manufacturing facility in Japan, makers of some of the world’s best scissors, and learned a whole lot about the what goes into making a superior pair of shears.
“Sharpness and longevity are the most important points,” says Shigeru Fujita, chairman of Shigeru Industries. “This means superior metals, a high-quality pivot and stylist comfort.”
Fujita points out that stylists need to know how well a pair of scissors cuts through wet or dry hair and the balance of power versus technical ability of the shear. “Scissors are like any machine—you need to adapt your tools to what you want to accomplish.”
Shears must-haves list:
Metal: Look for shears born from “powdered steel,” a blend of elements that maximizes strength, lifetime and sharpness.
Pivot: Pivots work thousands of times everyday so look for ball bearings, locking parts that prevent movement and low profiles to keep out of hair.
Balance: Shears should feel “just right” in your hand. A test is to hold the sheer in a natural cutting position for 15 seconds and see if your feel any strain on the top of your hand or in the inside of your wrist. Test as many as you can until you hit the sweet spot.
Cost: There is no such thing as a cheap pair of great scissors. Your comfort and ability to design the styles you want will depend on how much you invest.
Finger rests: Look for a finger rest that’s counter-sunk into the handle. It’ll prevent hair from getting snagged in the small space between the threads and handle.
Shears Care Tips
Magnets: Avoid hanging your shears on magnets. The metal becomes magnetic and bits of metal build in the pivot and cling to the cutting edge, dulling the blade.
Sharpening: Send your shears to the very best maintenance person you can find. Low-cost and budget sharpeners can wreck your most important tool.
See a slideshow of how shears are made below!