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How To Know If Your Scissors Need To Be Sharpened?

August 08, 2022

Ever wondered the right way to determine if your hair scissors are sharp enough or due to be sharpened? Well for sure there is and sometimes they are very obvious and other times they are not.

Hair scissors tend to work at their full potential for you and the client when they are at their sharpest and are well maintained. Sharpening your scissors is not just a yearly thing, sometimes you will need to keep up that professional sharpening service twice a year to really maintain those scissor blades.

Today we will go through all those obvious and not so obvious signs to know if those hair scissors need sharpening. 

Scissors feel dull and not sharp

This may be an obvious one to some as sometimes you can just feel by the way your hair scissor blades cut or simply open and shut, that they are dull scissors that need sharpening. If you can't recognize your scissors are dull then that's totally fine too because the sure signs are there to tell.

Dull scissors will feel heavier to cut with but there's a way to check if you scissors and sharpened correctly or need sharpening. This trick we call the "Tissue Trick", it's as simple as grabbing a tissue and cutting the tissue. If your scissors grab, bend or tear the tissue then they are not sharp enough. If you cut through the tissue with ease and it slices the tissue like butter.. then you scissors are perfectly sharp.

Hands become fatigued while cutting hair

Hands can become tired and fatigued when cutting hair with blunt or dull shears. 

It's so important to know that cutting hair with fatigue is not your only option when being a hairstylist. So many hair stylists will just think it's the gift of the gab and with cutting hair comes pain, you couldn't be more off the mark if you tried.

Apart from investing in the correct ergonomic hair scissors, having blunt hair shears is one of the top causes of over tired and fatigued hands.

So next time you feel fatigued while cutting hair, ask yourself.. "Are my hair cutting scissors sharp enough?"

Scissors blades can become noisy

Noisy scissors? Is there such a thing? Well yes there is and we will explain how.

Do you remember that feeling of new scissors or even freshly sharpened scissors and opening and closing them, thinking "wow" these feel smooth. Well smooth scissors also are silent ones.

Blunt scissors can become noisy and yes sometimes that may be because the tension is loose and fixing that will fix the sound. A blunt scissor may have nicks through the blade and not open as smoothly as it used to, which means that it causes noise while cutting and while opening and closing the blade.

Causing split ends

Really blunt scissors or not professional hair cutting scissors can really damage the hair. Blunt scissors can pull on the hair causing it to break and if your scissors are causing more split ends rather than removing them, then that's a sure sign they need a good sharpening.

Pulling, pushing or grabbing on the hair

Now your scissors may feel sharp to you but every now and then they start the pull, push or grab on the hair. Firstly we always advise to check your tension first and if your tension is set correctly then that problem should stop. If the problem doesn't stop then this is another sign that you scissors are blunt and need to be booked in immediately for a sharpening.

You could also experience the scissors folding hair, if this happens then your tension is too loose or the scissors are certainly not sharp enough to be cutting hair.

Not closing smoothly

This is very similar to your scissors being noisy. As mentioned before if you find that your scissors are not closing smoothly then this could be that there are nicks or imperfections in the blades. 

A nick in your blade will feel like a crunching sound or like you're cutting a grain of sand. These imperfections normally occur if you have accidently dropped your scissors. If this is the case then a nick can be sharpened out. 

If an imperfection is left on your blade for too long then you can cause further damage to the shear and run the risk of a sharpener not being able to sharpen that nick out.

Always use a professional hair scissors sharpener

Using a Professional hairdressing blade sharpener is what we recommend you do for all your hairdressing scissors and we will explain why.

Normal sharpeners that sharpen knives for example use different sharpening tools and techniques to a hairdressing specialized sharpener. Sharpening tools for knives are a lot more harsh and by using these types of sharpeners, you run the risk of your scissors being damaged or not sharpened properly.

Another type of sharpening that sends chills down our spine when spoken of is "Self Sharpening”. Firstly not only is this very dangerous when using self sharpening tools like a sharpening stone or techniques using Aluminum foil (mind blowing) it's just risky. We think if you invest in a good quality pair of scissors you don't want to damage them by not getting them professionally sharpened.


So by now you will hopefully agree that it's so important to keep those hair scissors sharp. We can't stress to you enough how important it is to find a reputable and professional sharpener in your area to service your shears for your hair cutting shears. 

A sharp pair of scissors is important but cleaning and oiling those sharp scissors are equally as important too.

So let's cut hair the right and the most enjoyable way!

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