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How Can Offset Scissors Help Prevent Wrist Pain

May 03, 2018

There are a lot of things that come with being a successful hairstylist. Unfortunately, one of them is wrist pain.

Many hairdressers tend to neglect or overlook this minor injury which often led to decreased output and in some cases, a forced early retirement.

We are not kidding about the health risks that come with the long use of scissors. Repetitive movements of the wrist, elbow and shoulder have been known to develop into incapacitating injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The good news is, over the years, many manufacturers have devoted themselves to producing ergonomically beneficial designs that help to prevent these things from happening. However, due to lack of information, some stylists continue to settle with traditional shear handles, exposing themselves to permanent health problems.

Today, we’re going to discuss a specific type of ergonomic shear - the offset scissors.

How are offset scissors different from the traditional ones?

Here’s an example of professional shears with classic handles, otherwise known as the straight-handled shears. Notice how the handles are of the same length.

While there’s no question as to the quality of these scissors, as well as the sharpness of its blade, the issue here is how it positions your fingers. It may not look like a big deal, but believe us, it has created a lot of problems in the past.

When cutting hair, you would normally insert your thumb and ring finger into the handles. Since the thumb isn’t physiologically designed to come into contact with the ring finger, you would be creating an unnatural movement as you work the shears. Notice how awkward it is to use your ring finger to pick up a coin on the floor? Precisely our point. The thumb is usually more comfortable if used along with the pointer finger. Anything else would increase tension on the base of the hand and the wrist.

Now, observe the design of scissors with offset handles. See how the thumb handle is slightly shorter than the other one? This may seem like a small difference but it actually creates a large impact on your overall health.

This reduces the over-extension of the thumb when opening or closing the scissors. As a result, we avoid any unnatural positions, thus preventing strains on the wrist.

The design also allows you to cut with a more open hand, compared to your typical shears.

Another type of offset handle, or a more advanced version of it, is what producers call thefull offset or thecrane design. Check out this crane design scissors from Jaguar.

As you can see, the handles are still offset but the thumb ring is significantly shorter, positioning it under the ring finger. It’s offset to allow the hand to open without overly extending the thumb, but angled to allow a downward, relaxed elbow position. Ergonomically speaking, this is the best design to reduces tension not just in the wrist, but also the shoulder and elbow which are the main problem points when cutting hair.

How this affects your career?

Aside from health benefits, the use of offset scissors also assures you of a long-running career. No matter how talented you are, if you continue to ignore the effects of wrist pain, the injury will eventually affect your performance.

We all know that pain creates discomfort which limits our ability to perform our jobs well. It decreases productivity and increases the amount of time required to finish a specific task.

If you’re serious about your career as a hairstylist, then you should really start using scissor with more ergonomic designs.

Scissor Tech Australia provides you with the best ergonomic scissors in the market. We have offset and crane-handled shears in different designs, sizes, and colours to cater to all your needs and preferences.

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