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Difference Between A Scissor Cut Or A Hair Clipper Cut

March 28, 2023

When it comes to cutting hair we have many different tools of the trade! You can use your scissors, clippers, razors etc. Here's a little insight into when to choose a scissor cut over a clipper cut and vice versa ! 

Scissor cuts

Scissors are such a versatile tool. We use them for longer hair, shorter hair, blunt cuts, texturising and even just for a simple trim. They can be used to give a very straight, blunt effect or a soft, textured, natural finish. There are also many different cutting techniques one can do with scissors. For the purpose of this blog let's compare short hair scissors cuts to short hair clipper cuts as this will be mostly when you use your clippers.

A skilled hair stylist and/ or barber knows they can achieve a good short haircut with either scissors or clippers. If you are well versed in scissor over comb you can achieve that perfect blended look, with your scissors. Scissors do tend to give you more control. When doing scissor over comb you can cut hair where you want and create weight or remove weight easily where you see fit. This is great for building the shape of a hair cut. Of course if you're doing a mens haircut that is mid length scissors will be the best way to add texture and give style to this cut. Scissor cuts are also great from cutting different hair textures. Not all texture is suited to a clipper cut. If you have a client with very curly hair, a scissor cut may help shape the haircut.

A cut done with scissors will not only have a softer finish but it will have a softer grow out as well. Clippers cut the hair very straight and fast, which leaves a hard edge. This makes the grow out a bit more harsh and noticeable. Meaning if you're getting a clipper cut and you find after 3 weeks it has lost its shape, this is why. A scissor helps to soften those hard clipper lines and create a nicer grow out that will last a little longer. 


Clipper cut

Clippers are usually the star of the show at a barber shop. They are quick and efficient. With a clipper cut you can get a very close shave, or a buzz cut. This look will be sharper and more precise if done with clippers instead of scissors. When cutting hair with clippers you do tend to follow the roundness of the head this may leave you with some issues. If a client does not have a perfectly shaped head and you're giving them a buzz cut you may find that there are imperfections in your cut caused by the head shape. Clippers cut hair quickly. A clipper cut will most likely be quicker than a scissor cut. If you work in a very busy shop and need to have quick and precise cuts walking out the door, clippers are for you.

Hair clippers can be used on long hair as well. If you use them to create very straight sharp lines you will not be disappointed. You can also use your clippers to remove bulk from a haircut. By using your clippers in the direction the hair grows you will remove less length and more weight. Again these are great techniques to know if you're using clippers, however because it is a machine it is harder to control than scissors.

It is important to note that most hairdressers and barbers will use a combination of scissors and clippers. Whether it be to help blend your cut, or scissor cut the top of a haircut to remove length and add texture. It is important to be well versed in both scissor and clipper cuts!

If you have a client who likes a sharp clean cut every two weeks a clipper cut is for them! Barbers love to use clippers to give amazingly blended, crisp skin fades. This haircut is the perfect cut for using clippers. While you can achieve this look with scissors the end result will not be as sharp. It is also a lot harder to achieve very short ( anything less than a .5) with scissors. It can be done but it is a hard job!

Clippers or scissors....

You decide ! Well actually.. let your client decide ! Now that you know the main differences and the positives and negatives of both it really comes down to personal preference. This is where the importance of consultation comes into play. Do they want a more natural finish? Or a super clean cut with hard lines and sharp edges? Let your client decide which finished result they want, and then you work your magic ! 

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