What Is the Difference Between Scissors and Shears?

If you’ve been reading hairstyling blogs for a while you may be wondering what’s the difference between scissors and shears. The two terms can seem like they’re used interchangeably, however, that’s not exactly the case. In fact, while many hairstyling blogs use the term shears, that’s almost always incorrect.

So, scissors vs shears, what’s the short answer here? Essentially, shears are extra-large scissors. Scissors’ blades are usually long 6 inches or less while shears go above 6 inches. Additionally, the handles of most shears are different too in order to accommodate the larger size of the blades.

And that’s actually it – shears are scissors but extra-large ones.

What is the difference between shears and scissors in terms of application?

So, why are shears often mentioned in hairstyling blogs and articles? Most of the time, it’s by mistake. The simple fact is that shears don’t belong in a hairstyling studio or around the hair at all.

And yet, people keep talking about hairstyling and hair cutting shears. Not only that but some hair cutting scissors are even called shears by their manufacturers. Still, as far as we’re concerned that’s a mistake – anything with blades shorter than 6 inches should be called scissors.

Especially if the two handles have identically sized holes and regardless of whether there’s a finger rest on one of the handles or not – those are still scissors.

Shears, on the other hand, can usually be used for the following:

  • Cutting fabrics for dresses and clothes.
  • Trimming grass, hedges, and other plants.
  • Larger shears are used for cutting metal sheets and wires in certain industries.
  • Cutting animal fleece for wool or even cutting cooked poultry are also things done with shears.

So, shears or scissors for hairstyling?

Definitely scissors. If your hairstylist is making the mistake of calling their scissors shears – or even if they are actually called that way by the manufacturer – just ignore them. They can call their scissors however they want, but if the blades are shorter than 6 inches – they’re still scissors.

And if your hairstylist decides to use actual large shears for your haircut – we’d ask a few questions first.

Categories All things shears
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