December 9, 2022
Shear Maintenance Tips: Keeping Your Tools Sharp
Haircutting shears (also called haircutting scissors) are one of the most important tools barbers and cosmetologists have. Without high-quality shears, a hair stylist would not be able to do their job properly. While haircutting shears may look like regular scissors to most observers, the fact is that they are specifically designed for haircutting and can be quite expensive. This makes proper cleaning and maintenance of haircutting shears essential in order to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
Proper cleaning and maintenance is not only essential to protect your haircutting shears, but it is also required by many states to maintain proper hygiene. It is then important that every hairstylist knows how to properly care for their shears. If you are a new/aspiring barber or cosmetologist, here are a few maintenance tips to help you keep your shears in good condition.
Handle Your Shears Carefully
Because your shears are a significant investment and play such a critical role in your work as a hairstylist, it is important that you handle them with care. Taking proper precautions when using your shears will help ensure that they stay sharp and last for years to come. You should then be careful when handling your shears and try to avoid throwing them down hard on the counter or accidentally dropping them on the floor. Such force could cause damage to the alignment of your shears’ blades, and it could dull or damage their cutting surface. If your shears get damaged or nicked when dropped, they will need to be serviced, repaired, or even replaced, so it is critical that you treat them with care.
It is also important that you do not use your shears for anything other than cutting hair. Haircutting shears are specifically designed to be used on hair, and using them for other purposes such as opening envelopes or cutting wrapping paper could cause damage to their blades. It is important to remember that haircutting shears are a delicate tool that should only be used by trained professionals and need to be handled with care.
Clean Them Regularly
In addition to handling them with care, cleaning your shears regularly is another way to help ensure that they stay sharp and in good condition. While every barbershop and salon will have its own cleaning requirements, you should ideally be cleaning and sanitizing your shears after every haircut. While some salons may try to take shortcuts and simply sanitize shears between uses, properly cleaning your shears after each cut is the best way to ensure their longevity.
This should include cleaning your shears with warm soapy water and sanitizing them with rubbing alcohol or a shear sanitizer solution. You should then wipe the blades dry with a cotton cloth moving away from the cutting edge. Cleaning your shears regularly is critical not only for sanitary purposes, but this also prevents the buildup of oils that can dull and even deteriorate the surface of your shears.
Lubricate Your Shears Weekly
As part of your regular shear maintenance and cleaning, you should also make sure that you lubricate/oil your shears at least once a week. Oiling your shears regularly will help prevent your shears from getting rusty or stiff, which will ensure that they are smooth and easy to use, allowing for better control. Oiling your shears will also help flush out lodged hair from inside of the scissors that regular cleanings may have missed.
To oil your shears, place a few drops of shear lubricant around the pivot screw. Next, open and close the blades gently a few times to help distribute the lubricant. You can then wipe off the extra oil and store your shears in a case or pouch. It is best to lubricate your shears at the end of the day when they won’t be used again for a few hours.
Store Them Properly
After cleaning, sanitizing, or oiling your shears, taking the time to store them properly is essential in order to protect them and ensure their longevity. Before storing your shears at the end of the day, you will want to make sure that they are completely dry so that they do not become rusty. You will want to make sure that you store your shears in a protective case or pouch with a soft, absorbent lining that will help protect them from moisture, dust, and environmental factors. Make sure that whatever case you keep your shears in holds them tight and secure, as you don’t want them to bounce around inside their case and become misaligned. Similarly, you want to make sure that your shear case is secured if you carry it around in a bag with your other tools, as you don’t want your shears knocking into other tools and becoming damaging. Being mindful of how you store your shears will help ensure that the blades stay sharp and in good condition.
Sharpen Them Regularly
You will want to keep your shears sharp in order to ensure that you do not have any issues cutting hair. Yet, how will you know when it is time to have your shears sharpened? There isn’t really a set interval for sharpening haircutting shears, as how quickly your shears dull will depend on a variety of factors including the material your shears are made of and the type of hair you are cutting. Dry or chemically-treated hair will dull your shears more rapidly, which could affect your maintenance schedule.
You will know that it is time to have your shears sharpened if they seem dull, or if they start to pull hair instead of cutting easily. Try not to sharpen your shears any more than necessary, as sharpening them too frequently can cause damage over time. When it comes time for your shears to be sharpened, make sure that you have them sharpened and serviced by a professional sharpening company, as this will ensure that proper techniques are used that won’t damage the blades.
As a budding cosmetologist, it is important that you know how to care for your shears to ensure they last as long as possible. If you are considering becoming a barber or cosmetologist and are unsure where to start, schedule a tour today to get started on your beauty journey.