A Beginner Hairstylist's Guide To Purchasing And Caring For Your First Pair Of Shears

After years of studying and hard work, you've finally got your beauticians license and are ready to begin your career as a hair stylist. After finding your dream job, or starting your own salon, you need to purchase the right equipment. Shopping for a few pairs of quality shears can be overwhelming because there are so many different models and manufacturers to choose from. In addition to buying the right pair of shears for your needs and budget, it is critical to learn how to care for them properly, which will protect your investment. Here are a few beginner's tips to help you shop and care for your first pair of professional shears:

Purchasing Your First Pair of Shears

From the local beauty supply store to the multitude of online sellers, there are thousands of different shears to choose from. If you're feeling overwhelmed, the best strategy is to learn how to spot a quality pair of shears, and how to avoid blowing the budget on a pair that won't last.

Here are a few simple tips to help you purchase a pair of hair shears that will remain sharp and strong for years, without blowing your modest budget:

  • Metals – Shears are made from a variety of different metals, ores and alloys. Each element provides the shears with a different quality. Look for sheers that feature chromium and molybdenum, at a minimum. More expensive shears will feature higher quality ores and alloys, such as cobalt and titanium.
  • Hand-forged versus cast or stamped – If you can afford them, choose shears that are hand-forged. These are the strongest shears because they are crafted by hand. Cast or stamped shears are good for beginners with a smaller budget, but they will require more care.
  • Grip – There are several different handles available. The handles are designed to help you find a pair that is comfortable, which will prevent a variety of potential issues and injures in the future, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Look for quality – Finally, hold the shears in your hand and look for signs of a good quality. For example, quality shears will have blades that meet at the tip, and have a small gap. The shears should also feel good in your hands, and not appear chipped or cracked on the edges.

Finally, the best way to find the right shears for you is to handle them. The handle should fit your fingers and you should be able to hold and manipulate them comfortably.

Caring for Your Shears

Now that you've found the best shears for your needs and budget, it's time to care for them properly. Here are a few tips to help ensure your shears stay sharp and strong for several years:

  • Daily cleaning – It's vital to clean your shears after every use. To do this, begin by cleaning the shears in the morning with soapy water and drying them thoroughly. Wipe down the shears with a clean cloth after each use and sanitize them at the end of the day with rubbing alcohol.
  • Lubricating your shears – Lubricating your sheers weekly will help prevent wear and corrosion. Stylist Sam Villa recommends first cleaning the shears with rubbing alcohol before applying a few drops of clear lubricating oil on the pivot screws. Open and close the shears several times. Let the lubricant sit on the shears overnight. Finally, open and close the shears several times before finally wiping down the blades with a clean cloth.
  • Proper storage – Store your clean and sanitized shears in a protective case. The case should be lined to avoid chipping the blades.

When your shears are dull, don't try to sharpen yourself and instead, contact a professional for assistance. Sharpening the shears, yourself could cause you to damage the blades and you could injure yourself.

Purchasing your first pair of professional shears is an exciting moment. Make sure to shop around for the right shears, and once you've purchased them, care for the instrument correctly.