Types of Barber’s Shears

Hair cutting scissors are the most basic and essential tool for every barber. This is regardless of whether they are a professional or simply an amateur. Apart from the regular hair cutting shears, there are a few other types of barber shears. These are used for different hair cutting techniques. Since these scissors are a hairstylist’s artistic tool, they must be different to achieve different ends. For example, there are different shears for cutting, thinning, texturizing, and styling.

The quality and result of a haircut depend on more than the quality of the barber’s scissors. It also depends on how well the shears match the hair type, hair texture, and the purpose of haircut. An especially creative and complex haircut may require various types of shears. Even the simplest and the most basic haircut demands tools which can provide an accurate and clean cut. To put it bluntly, the use of inappropriate or poor-quality hair shears usually results in a defective haircut. This is because dull blades or other faults greatly impact the quality of the haircut. Improper tools can even damage the hair, causing split ends. It is worth investing in more expensive, appropriate shears rather than lose clients because of an imperfect haircut.

Types of Hair Scissors

When shopping for hair scissors, you can find ones that are for cutting, thinning, texturizing, styling, or even left-handed versions. It is clear that there are a lot of scissors out there, but which are which and what are they used for? Let’s find out!

It is easy to understand the difference between all of these scissors at a glance. They differ quite a lot in appearance and each is designed to perform a specific task. Some are perfect for basic haircuts while others add special effects to a haircut. Hairdressers choose their shears based on several criteria. These criteria include, for example, the style which they are specialized in and the way they usually hold the scissors. Needless to say, the price of hair cutting scissors can range from quite low to surprisingly high.

It should be mentioned that professional barbers usually have all the types of hair cutting shears they may need. But you can also get along using just with the basic set of hairdressers scissors.

Hair Cutting Shears

cutting shears

Regular shears, also known as hair cutting shears, are used for most haircuts. These shears are universal, perfect for both salons and households. These scissors have a handle with holes for the thumb and index finger and two blades which meet during cutting. The styles and designs of hair cutting shears may vary, but they usually have a simple, traditional design. They often have rubber finger inserts to adjust the size as well as finger rest for comfort. Most hair cutting scissors are about 4.5 to 6.5 in. (11 to 16 cm) long.

Thinning Scissors

thinning scissors

Another type of hairstylist tool is thinning scissors. These are sometimes called texturizing or chunking shears, but they are not the same. Texturizing shears are mainly meant for styling hair rather than thinning it.

The base of thinning scissors is similar to that of regular hair cutting shears with loops for the index finger and thumb. However, their blades vary greatly. The top blade has teeth which remove only some hair with each cut, to thin the hair without changing the haircut itself. It should be mentioned that hair thinning scissors are only used for sections of hair that tend to get thicker when compared to the rest of the head. That means, for example, the back of the head.

Razor Shears

Razor shears

Razor shears are another tool for texturizing. Razor shears have one loop for the index finger and a single blade for texturizing. For that reason, razor shears are not used like other shears. There is no cutting motion. Instead, to use razor shears, the barber holds the hair in one hand and the single blade in the other hand. They then use the razor to create small texturized cuts which give the hair natural texture.

Differences Between Hair Cutting Scissors

Cutting and thinning shears may differ from each other in many ways.

For example, blades can be beveled or convex. Beveled blades have one serrated edge. They are perfectly suited for layered and tapered cuts. Convex blades have razor-sharp edges which promise smooth, precise, and flawless haircuts. These are ideal for slide cutting.

Blades differ from each other in length as well. Short blades are usually shorter than 5.5 inches (14 cm) and are useful for detailed cuts such as around the ears. Long blades are generally longer than 5.5 inches (14 cm). These are perfect for cutting thick hair and for slide cutting.

beveled and convex edges

Haircutting scissors also differ in their grips. These can be opposing, offset, or crane. Opposing grips feature handles which are equal in length and symmetrical to the center screw. Offset grips have a long finger handle and a shorter thumb handle. Crane grips offer an angled thumb handle and a long finger handle.


The handles may also be different. Standard thumb scissors have removable or reversible finger rests. These can be attached to one grip or another. Cutaway thumb scissors do not have a finger rest but still provide excellent comfort. Anatomic thumb scissors ensure freedom of movement and great radial movement thanks to their curved design. Rotating thumb scissors are a new advancement in the hairdressing industry. These have an open hand grip design which stabilizes the thumb, thus improving comfort and reducing wrist and hand strain.

  • Sophia Reply

    When I first started I would buy Walmart shears but now that I have 9 years of doing this. I use Kenchii shears and they are great.

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