If you've recently started your training as a hairdresser, you've probably already discovered how important—and personal!—a hairdresser's own pair of scissors can be. As you progress through your training, it's important to get your own pair rather than relying on ones provided by your school; there will probably come a point in the course where the teachers and trainers ask all students to get their own scissors, but of course it's a good idea to get ahead of the game and pick yours up early.
Hairdressers can become extremely attached to their scissors, with some keeping the same pair all throughout their career and being reluctant to allow anyone else to touch or use them. They come at all price points from $20 to $1000+, so what you spend on them is up to you. It's important to invest in the highest-quality pair you can possibly afford, and to put a great deal of effort into caring for and maintaining them once you've got them—so here's what you're going to need to do.
- Keep them sharp. You should have your scissors professionally sharpened every 3-6 months. Don't be tempted to try and sharpen them yourself--there are plenty of professional hairdresser's sharpening services, and they're the only way to go.
- Make sure they're protected. Storing your scissors in a pouch whenever you're not using them will help keep them clean, shiny and in perfect condition. Don't carry them anywhere in a bag without covering them first--your risk of damaging the blades or joints is far too high. Try as hard as you can not to drop them; treat them gently and with respect.
- Never misuse them. Your hairdressing scissors are just for hair--they should never, ever be used to cut thread or paper or anything other than hair. The blades will dull too quickly, and will never sharpen up quite well enough again.
- Don't forget your daily maintenance. Hairdressing scissors need to be cleaned at lubricated at the end of every working day to keep them in the best condition possible. Never leave them with old hair stuck inside them for longer than you absolutely have to! You should also check the tension on a daily basis. If they're too tight, the blades will grind together and wear out too quickly; if they're not tight enough, you'll have less control over them and may find that they end up with nicks from slipping loose.
- Ensure they're a good fit. Finger holes that are the wrong size for your hands can cause you pain and give you less control over the cut. Pick up a pair of finger guards to rectify the problem.
Your first pair of scissors can feel like a big responsibility—but they're also a rite of passage. All they need to keep them in tip-top condition is a little TLC and a few rules, and even a mid-range pair will serve you well.