Thinning scissors, also called thinning shears, are an important tool for barbers and hairstylists around the world. Although they are similar to a traditional pair of scissors, they differ by their shape and use. They have two blades, just like regular scissors, but the blades are very jagged, like a comb. Some more specialized scissors, referred to as blending scissors or shears, have one jagged blade and one normal scissor blade.
These scissors are not used to perform haircuts, but instead are used to remove volume from thick and unruly or extremely curly hair. They are also used to help create texture or blend layers in straighter hairstyles so they look less choppy and more natural. The scissors help “thin out” or add texture to hairstyles by only allowing part of the hair to be cut in the blades, while the rest falls in the gaps.
Professional beauty supply stores sell thinning scissors, and there are a wide variety of prices that are based on the quality of the product. Many models are made of stainless steel and sometimes have another metal, such as cobalt, mixed with it to help strengthen them. In addition, many of the highest quality scissors are coated in titanium to increase the sharpness and life of the blades. Different models should also be chosen by how much hair the hairstylist would like to remove from a client, since ones with more teeth will remove the least amount of hair and, conversely, the scissors with the least teeth will remove the most.
When stylists or barbers use thinning shears, they usually section off the hair and pass through it with the scissors at least two times. If the hair is extra thick or curly, they may make a third pass. The goal is to have the hair weigh the same on each side of the head after weight is removed.
For stylists and their customers, it is important to remember that thinning scissors should never be used near the roots or ends of the hair because the scissors will not adequately remove volume. It will wreck the ends of long hair or create uneven spikes that will show through the rest of the hair when used close to the roots. It is also important to remember that too much hair should never be removed with these scissors, as this may cause too much volume loss, resulting in a stringy looking hairstyle. Hair experts often recommend not thinning hair in this way more than three times per year.