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How to Tension and Care for your scissors

June 12, 2017

Do you know how to tension and care for your scissors?

You’ve invested a lot of hard-earned money on the tools of your trade – your hairdressing scissors. Now you need to take good care of them so that they last as long as you do. Do you know how to tension and care for your scissors?

Hairdressing Scissors

How to Tension Your Scissors

Step One: ensure scissors are clean and oiled. Hold scissors vertically by the thumb loop and lift finger loop into a horizontal position. Jiggle the two blades slightly against each other.

Step Two: let go of the finger loop. The blade should fall slightly and close halfway up the other blade.

If the blade falls completely closed, your tension is too loose. If the blade doesn’t move at all, your tension is too tight. You can adjust by using the tensioning key provided. Simply take it one click at a time, and repeat the steps.

Why is the correct tension so important?

Correct tension of your scissors will ensure you get the best use out of your scissors. If the tension is too loose it will cause your scissors to fold and bend the hair and if it’s too tight it will cause premature wear of the blade edges and user fatigue. Never adjust the tension on your scissors while the blades are open. This will eliminate the possibility of nicks to the blades.

A pair of perfectly balanced scissors is truly a hair professional’s best friend!

How to Care For Your Scissors

New scissors need to be allowed a few days to bed and wear into each other. Avoid heavy thumb pressure during this time, or cutting thick sections.

Clean your scissors between every haircut. When the blades of scissors are covered with hair, moisture and chemicals, corrosion can occur. Regular cleaning will help keep the blades sharp longer. If there is product or foreign objects stuck on your scissors, use hot water and dry thoroughly with a towel before continuing with the cleaning process.

Use a soft cloth to wipe your scissors clean.

Oil your scissors at the end of each day. A coating of oil will protect the scissor by helping to keep moisture out; it will also keep the scissors feeling smooth. Use only scissor oil for lubrication.

Clipper oil is not recommended because it could be detrimental to the rubber/nylon parts of the pivot, tends to attract dirt, and could actually shorten the life of your scissors.

Ensure scissors are clean and dry. Open the scissors fully and place a small drop of oil on each blade at the balance face which is just above the centre screw. Open and close scissors gently so the oil spreads over the balancing face.

Store your scissors in a safe place when not in use. Secure and store them in a stand or a case where they stay safe and dry when not in use. Never toss your scissors into the drawer unprotected. Do not leave scissors wet or dirty overnight and this will cause rust and corrosion to occur.

Sharpening will either extend their life...or shorten it! Most scissors require sharpening every three to six months. Always take your scissorsto a reputable sharpener who is trained to work on haircutting scissors. An inexperienced sharpener or one without the right equipment could destroy your scissors.

If in doubt don’t cut. Never complete a cut if the section of hair offers resistance. This is one of the most important rules in caring for your shears, and it is also the most common reason for damage to hair scissors. Struggling through a cut means the shears being used are too light for the task, and forcing the blades to cut can severely damage edges. Cut smaller sections instead.

Repair your scissors if necessary. Replace missing or worn parts as soon as possible. Missing bumpers can cause finger cuts. Improper alignment can cause serious damage to your professional hairdressing shears. It can also lead to sore hands and other work related problems.

Watch out for corrosion. Another factor to consider is the corrosion of the blades. It is often misconstrued that because the blades are stainless steel, nothing can damage them. Some hair tint liquids, hair perm chemicals, and even harsh chlorine from water can cause small pitting of the blades.  If your scissors are wiped with a cleaning cloth when finished, your expensive equipment will stay in great condition much longer.

Some Simple Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for Your Scissors



  • Use a soft clean cloth and thoroughly wipe your scissors after every haircut
  • Clean, dry and lubricate your scissors at the end of each working day.
  • Check your scissors for correct tension adjustment at least once per day
  • Check your blade edges for damage once per month.
  • Handle your scissor with love and only use them for cutting clean hair.
  • Store and transport your scissors in the protective case provided.


  • Don’t use your scissors if the blades are nicked, this will cause further damage.
  • Don’t store your scissors when dirty
  • Don’t throw your scissors in a drawer when not in use as this may damage the blade edges.
  • Don’t forget to clean and oil your scissors if they come into contact with any sterilization liquid, perm or colour solution as it may damage and cause corrosion to your scissors
  • Don’t cut anything except hair with them.
  • Don’t drop or toss your scissors when putting them down.
  • Don’t lend your scissors out. Other people have different hands to you - someone else using your scissors with a hard hand will alter the scissors balance and make them feel different after one haircut!
  • Don’t "pressure cut" (torque the blades together). This means squeezing harder with your thumb when the scissors start to go dull. It will cause excess wear on the scissors if you do so.

Your scissors are designed to last 3-7 years. If you are getting any less you should be looking for a reason why! Caring for them properly means that you’ll only get the very best from your scissors.

How To Prolong The Life of Your Hairdressing Scissors

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