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Hairdressing Scissors Buying Guide

the good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good

scissors worth buying

The Bad

scissors to avoid

The Ugly

scissors to avoid
the basics

Scissor Length

hairdressing scissor length

Blade Material

hairdressing scissor materials

Handle Design

hairdressing scissor handle design

Texturising Scissors

texturising scissors comparison
ideal set of scissors

For Apprentice

ideal set of hairdressing scissors

For Professional

ideal set of hairdressing scissors

The Short

hairdressing - the short scissor

The Long

hairdressing - the long scissor

The Blending

hairdressing - the blending scissor

The Texturising

hairdressing - the texturising scissor
scissors worth buying

Recommended Scissor Qualities

We will only sell you scissors made in Japan or Korea from Japanese Steel. In our experience they are the only scissors that are worth buying.

» scissors made with Japanese steel
» scissors made in the Japanese traditional two piece manufacturing technique which means we can make the blade and the handle from different materials (not possible with cast scissors). This also makes it possible to “reset” the scissor in the case that they are dropped and bent out of alignment
» scissors made with clamshell convex edges which means they will cut clean straight lines and depending upon blade material will perform the open blade techniques
» scissors made with ergonomically designed handles improving posture, reducing the strain on your hands, shoulder, and back
All the scissors that we sell under the GG Brand meet all of the above criteria. All our scissors are made by our carefully selected partners in Japan and Korea.

scissors not worth buying

They're not bad, but they're not good either.

We will not sell you scissors made in Germany.

Why?
» they are invariably one piece cast scissors, an inexpensive but poor manufacturing technique
» they have 45° bevelled edges, often serrated, which is ok for barbering but nothing else
» the inside edge, the hollow grind, is too flat to give any torsional rigidity and the scissors will fold the hair particularly on longer scissors, hence the need for the serrated edge
» the scissors are designed to cut like a guillotine shearing the hair between the blades rather than cutting it

scissors to avoid

Scissors to Avoid!

Unlike most of our competitors we will not sell you scissors made in Pakistan; the Peoples Republic of China, (PRC); or the Republic of China, Taiwan, or any scissors made with Chinese steel.

Why?
» invariably these scissors are very poor quality
» the majority are one piece cast scissors, an inexpensive but poor manufacturing technique

Some of our competitors prefer not to disclose the origin of their scissors.
If you are considering purchasing one of our competitor’s scissors, ask them the country of origin of both the steel material and the scissor.
If you cannot get a satisfactory answer call us, we will tell you what they do not want you to know.

What length Scissor do I need, 5.5”or 6”?

The simply answer is 5.5” as the majority of cutting scissors that we sell are 5.5” because 80% of stylists are female and the 5.5” scissor ‘fits their hand’.

what size hairdressing scissor do i need

As a general rule longer scissors are more versatile, however, if this is your first scissor purchase you may like to ensure that the scissor ‘fits’ your hand. Borrow a scissor from a colleague and measure the length of the blade against the length of the inside of your index finger. When these are about the same, the scissor will feel nicely ‘balanced’ in your hand.

A senior stylist will have a range of scissors including a short and a long scissor that they will use for different cutting techniques, so consider whether you are replacing an existing scissor or complimenting your scissor portfolio. To find out more check out the section below the ideal set of scissors for senior stylists.

What are the differences in scissor blade materials, and does it matter?

Yes, it matters, blade material is among the most important considerations when purchasing a new hairdressing scissor. The higher the quality of the blade material, the longer it will stay sharper, and longer it will last.

Some of the advanced cutting techniques such as slicing can only be done using cobalt vanadium alloys, including VG10, V10, ATS314, V1 and GIN3. The higher quality steels allows us to finish the scissor with a finer edge which is required for slicing.

Below is a table of the most commonly found materials used to make hairdressing scissors, ordered from worst to best.

bladematerials-apprentice

Apprentice Stylists
420A & 440A are a good acceptable material for apprentice scissors. The blade material is hard enough to maintain a sharp edge, will last several years and can be sharpened.

bladematerials-intermediate

Intermediate Stylists
440C is the choice of blade material for good quality scissors and intermediate stylists.

bladematerials-professional

Professional Stylists
V1 & GIN3 are Cobalt Vanadium Alloys. A high quality blade material for professional stylists. Stays sharper longer and is ideal for slicing, point cutting & blunt cutting.

bladematerials-professional2

Professional Stylists
V10 (VG10) and ATS314 are Super Cobalt Vanadium Alloys, stays sharp for even longer, is ideal for slicing, point cutting & blunt cutting.

Handle design & different hairdressing cutting techniques

The choice of handle design depends to a large extent on your cutting style. GG brand scissors are made with ergonomically designed handles improving posture, reducing the strain on your hands, shoulder, and back.

We do not sell or recommend scissors with a straight (zero-offset) handle. If you suffer from shoulder or neck pain while hairdressing then we recommend a scissor with an offset or crane styled handle. If you suffer from RSI, wrist or hand pain then we recommend a swivel scissor.

Straight Handle

straight handle hairdressing scissor straight handle hairdressing scissor

» low cost,
» no ergonomic benefits.

Semi-Offset Handle

semi-offset handle hairdressing scissor semi-offset handle hairdressing scissor

» lowers shoulder & elbow,
» improves posture,
» reduces strain while cutting.

Offset & Crane Handle

offset handle hairdressing scissor offset handle hairdressing scissor

» flattens the wrist,
» lowers elbow and shoulder,
» reduces strain when point cutting towards you,
» straightens the wrist when slicing.

Swivel Thumb Handle

swivel handle hairdressing scissor swivel handle hairdressing scissor

Helps to alleviate the problems associated with RSI
» opens the palm,
» flattens the wrist,
» enables the stylist to rotate the wrist rather than flexing it.

Textusising Scissors

Texturising scissors, which are often called shears, are generally referenced by the number of teeth, since the length of the shear is largely irrelevant.

Blending Scissor

texturising scissor teeth

A scissor with many thin teeth is ideal for feathering & blending.

Texturising Scissor

texturising scissor teeth

A scissor with fewer and wider teeth is used to create broader texture, cutting close to the scalp, or as an alternative to chipping-in with a cutting scissor.

V-Shaped Tooth

texturising scissor v-toothed
texturising scissor v-toothed cut hair gap hair

Some texturising scissors have a ‘V’ tooth design, which when the tooth gets quite large, leave a ‘hair-gap-hair’ look across the line of cut.

Stepped Tooth

texturising scissor step-toothed
texturising scissor step-toothed cut

Our blending, thinning and texturising scissors have ‘stepped’ teeth which break the line vertically (across the cut) leaving a very soft finish. Similar to the way that a stylist would chip in at an angle. The gaps between the teeth break the line horizontally.

Your first set of scissors

The focus should be on a cutting scissor that ‘fits’ the size of your hand that is comfortable to use, and a blending scissor that is not too aggressive.

Cutting Scissor

first set of scissors - cutting

Blending Scissor

first set of scissors - blending

As an apprentice you will not be expected to style using the more sophisticated open blade techniques. Righty you will expect your scissors to last you as long as your apprenticeship and beyond.

Our apprentice cutting scissors are designed with a robust edge that is suitable for cutting the coarser ‘dolly head’ hair without damaging the scissor. It is designed to be sharpened in the event of damage or wear and will be a usable scissor at the end of your apprenticeship, albeit, that you may only use it on children or gentlemen that do not ‘go through the basin’. The scissor is also suitable for blunt cutting and will complement your senior’s scissor that you use for your open blade techniques.

The majority of apprentice cutting scissors that we sell are 5.5 inch because 80% of stylists are female and the 5.5 inch ‘fits their hand’.
Our apprentice blending scissors will do just that, blend, and can be used to thin although you may have to go in more than once.

An ideal set of scissors for senior stylists

Many stylists believe that they can do everything with one pair of scissors. Many do not understand the limitations of having one pair of scissors. By carefully selecting a range of scissors that are suitable for different techniques not only is the task more enjoyable and quicker but the end result is better quality cut.

Short Scissor

ideal set of hairdressing scissors

Long Scissor

ideal set of hairdressing scissors

Blending & Thinning

ideal set of hairdressing scissors

Texture & Layering

ideal set of hairdressing scissors

The mindset of having one scissor that ‘fits your hand’ and that can do everything is not necessarily the best approach, here’s why. Different scissors, and particularly different length scissors, are better suited to some cutting techniques than others.

If you follow our suggestion you will make your job easier and more enjoyable and be able to tackle any hairdressing style with just four pairs of scissors,

  » the short scissor
  » the long scissor
  » blending and thinning scissor
  » broader texture and layering scissor

The short scissor

Shorter scissors are better suited for precision cutting techniques, such as blunt cutting, cutting small sections or in the nape of the neck, and for stylists who like to cut on the inside of the fingers (palm side of the hand).

Blunt cutting

short scissor cutting techniques - blunt cutting

Cutting in the nape

short scissor cutting techniques - cutting in the nape

Cutting inside fingers

short scissor cutting techniques - cutting inside fingers

To do this technique well, the scissors should have fine tips. However, even on a short scissor, very fine tips will to tend to fold the hair, particularly if the scissor is poorly made or in need of sharpening.

This technique is not popular, mostly because it is too time consuming, and hence, we would suggest a 5.5 inch scissor would be suitable for most stylists, allowing some versatility in the scissor for other techniques.

Suggested GG brand scissors are; CTR55, CX55, CL55, CH55, and for lefties; CTL55, CKL55

NB. Short scissors are not suitable for open blade techniques. Slicing is done in the middle two-thirds of the blade, and with a shorter blade the stroke is too short. In addition with a scissor shorter than 6 inch your hand will be too close to the hair and you will find it difficult to get the optimum angle of between 30-35° to the hairline.

The long scissor

Longer scissors are better suited for open blade techniques such as slicing, point cutting, barbering, and for stylists who like cutting over the fingers.

Slice cutting

short scissor cutting techniques - slicing

Point cutting

short scissor cutting techniques - point cutting

Cutting over the fingers

short scissor cutting techniques - cutting over the fingers

A longer scissor will allow you to cut clean base and layer lines, and depending upon blade material, to slice with long controlled strokes. When chipping, you will get softer lines than with shorter scissors, which may need multiple ‘chips’ at the same section.

A 6 inch scissor will be suitable for most stylists as their ‘long scissor’ although you should also consider a 6.5 or 7 inch scissor.

Suggested GG brand scissors are; KV65, VK65/70

NB. Avoid scissors with serrated edges or tips. The serration is often applied to compensate for a poor quality scissor which, without the serration, will fold the hair.

The blending and thinning scissor

The ideal blending/thinning scissor should be able to remove length, volume, and steps without leaving horizontal lines. Cutting techniques include cutting over comb, cutting inside the fingers and freestyle. Some blending scissors have a ‘V’ tooth design, which when the tooth gets quite large, leave a ‘hair-gap-hair’ look across the line of cut.

Many thin teeth

blending scissor

Blending

blending scissor cutting techniques - blending

Thinning

blending scissor cutting techniques - thinning

Our blending and thinning scissors have ‘stepped’ teeth which break the line vertically (across the cut) leaving a very soft finish. Similar to the way that a stylist would chip in at an angle. The gaps between the teeth break the line horizontally.

Suggested GG brand scissors are; CA30T, CA26T

The CA26T scissor can be used for a complete men’s cut apart from taking length at the neck and around the ears. The CA26T will take length and texturise at the same time.

For ladies cuts the CA26T is also used to remove bulk, layering, softening a fringe, and removing weight down the hair line.

The GG brand CA30T and CA26T scissors also slide cut.

The broader texture and layering scissor

If you are doing all your cuts and styling with a solid blade it’s time to look at a texturing scissor that can save you time and improve your cutting.

Fewer wider teeth

texturising scissor

Layered look

texturising scissor cutting techniques - layered look

Spikey / choppy disconnected look

texturising scissor cutting techniques - spikey look

Your current approach may be to cut and style the hair, dry, and cut a second time with the solid blade to provide texture, chipping and point cutting.

Our broader tooth texturizing scissors will enable you to create soft layers and create texture. You can create texture by cutting ‘scissor over comb’, or layer horizontally by sliding the texturising scissor along the length of the hair. Vertical softness can be gained by taking a vertical section and cutting inside of the fingers at multiple points along the length of the section.

Suggested GG brand scissors are; CA14T, RV16T, RV14T

For thicker hair, or to give a more disconnected look, the square edge tooth scissor may be more appropriate.

Suggested GG brand scissors are; CV16T, CV14T

The GG brand texture and layering scissors also slide cut, although depending upon the style of cut you may not need to slice as the scissor will provide the required texture without slide cutting.

Left handed scissors

If you take a right handed scissor in your left hand you will notice that the blades are the wrong way around. Left handed scissors are mirror image of right handed scissors, correctly the fixed blade is toward the user and the moving blade is at the back.

The blades of hairdressing scissors are not straight but curved, when viewed along the line of the blade. In order to get a right handed scissor to cut a left handed stylist must twist the scissor forcing one blade against the other. To do this the stylist bends the thumb, instead of keeping the thumb straight and letting the scissor do the work.

If you are just starting out we have left handed apprentice kits which include left handed texturising scissors.

For seniors we have left handed scissors that range in size from 5.5 inch to 7 inch.

Suggested GG brand scissors are; The Red Pearl Range.

NB. If you are a left handed stylist who has been cutting with right handed scissors for a number of years you may need to ‘re-train’ to adjust your cutting technique. If you continue to cut with a bent thumb you will force the blades open and fold the hair. It is not the scissor at fault but your bad technique!

P.O. Box 3456, Dural, NSW 2158, Australia | 0439 400 974 | keith@greenwichgreen.com.au


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