Stylist scissors or hair cutting scissors are extremely sharp scissors used for cutting hair. The highest quality and most expensive stylist scissors are made of forged steel while lesser quality types are made of steel cast in molds. A good pair of stylist scissors should stay sharp for a long time and last for many years with proper care.
Hair stylists choose their scissors based on the preferred blade length and the type of hair cutting they will be used for. Short blades are used for cutting that requires a lot of precision, such as areas around the ears or very close to the skin. Any blade longer than 5.5 inches (13.9 cm) is considered a long blade. Long blade stylist scissors are more useful for cutting thick hair, bobs, and for any cutting method that involves using the scissors over the comb.
There are three types of stylist scissors handles: opposing grips, offset grips, and crane grips. Scissors with opposing grips have handles of the same length and are usually preferred by stylists who cut with their thumb and middle finger. Offset grips have a handles of different lengths, with a thumb handle that is shorter than the finger handle and are best suited to cutting with the thumb and ring finger. Crane grips also have a longer finger handle, but the thumb handle is angled to decrease the strain on the stylist’s wrist and shoulder.
A comfortable grip is important for preventing repetitive stress disorders. Additionally, stylists have a choice of thumb grips to avoid strain. Some thumb grips are shaped to help hold the thumb in place while cutting, while others can be removed for personalized adjustment. More modern stylist scissors have rotating thumb grips which have a comfortable open-handed design that helps reduce strain on the hand and wrist.
A high-quality pair of stylist scissors can cost more than $500 US Dollars, so good maintenance is important to keep them in good working order for a long time. The blades should be held together with a removable screw so they can be taken apart for sharpening. The screw and blades need to be oiled regularly to prevent rust and ensure good movement. The scissors should be thoroughly dried when not in use, and disinfected in a liquid that will not damage the steel. Stylist scissors should be stored in a case to prevent damage and accidental cuts.