Why you should sharpen your hair scissors

hairdressing scissors sharpening

Knowing when it's time to sharpen your scissors can make all the difference in getting the look you want when cutting hair, it could be the key that unlocks great hairstyles and debuts fantastic ones.  

Keeping haircutting scissors sharp is an important part of any hairdresser's business. Dull scissors, when used, can cause split ends and fatigue, making it harder to get the best results when cutting every time. Fortunately, sharpening your scissors is easy and can make a big difference to their performance. Let's take a look at everything you need to know about sharpening haircutting scissors.  

Do hairdressing scissors need to be sharpened? and how often? 

The answer to the first question: yes, and in fact it is recommended that if you cut six to eight wet-hair-clients a day using Japanese steel and convex-edged scissors, they should be checked every six months. If you cut the same number of client’s hair, but with dry hair, they should be checked every four months. However, we recommend keeping up with maintenance every six months or as soon as damage occurs on either the blades or the full scissor. 

How do I know if they need sharpening or checking? 

You need to keep an eye out for these signs during your time giving haircuts. If after checking that the scissor tension is correct, if any of the following problems listed below start to occur, it's a sign that something is not going as well as it should be:  

  • Pulling of the hair 
  • They don't cut 
  • They do not balance 
  • Hair bent at the ends 
  • Tired and sore hands 

Checking if the hairdressing scissors need sharpening 

We have already mentioned that to prolong the life of your scissors you need to sharpen them and check them every once in a while. During the testing, when checking if they need sharpening, you should bear in mind that sharp scissors will cut and slice both dry or wet, on the contrary blunt scissors will tear or bend the paper. So, the best way to check if they need to be sharpened, you should:   

  • Take a single sheet of toilet paper 
  • Separate the two halves 
  • Take one of the halves and wet it.  
  • Hold it with one hand and try to cut it. 

It's not a good idea to cut paper with scissors because they get blunt, but if you're trying this option, it's because you're already worried about sharpness, so it's best to make the decision to send it in for service.  

hairdressing scissors sharpening

What angle are hair scissors sharpened at? 

The three most common angles for hair scissors are 15, 18 and 21 degrees and each angle has its own advantages: scissors sharpened at 15 degrees are best for precision cuts, 18 degrees are ideal for general use and 21 degrees can easily cut thicker hair. 

The most important thing is to have your scissors sharpened regularly by a professional to make sure they perform at their best.  

How we do it at our brand Leaf scissors  

To keep your scissors in perfect condition, send them to our recommended sharpening and maintenance partner: Prosharp Sharpening Service. They will dismantle, clean, inspect and check for defects and damage. The scissors will then be sharpened and polished by hand using a combination of modern and traditional methods. The best equipment, professional abrasives and polishing compounds are used throughout this process. The blades are then readjusted and, if necessary, parts are replaced. They will be reassembled, greased, balanced and checked to ensure they are in perfect working order before being sent back to you for safe use. 

How do you keep your scissors sharp? 

It is inevitable that your scissors will dull with regular use, we will give you some key advice to ensure their cutting quality between sharpening, as you prolong this process you will prolong the life of your tool.  


Keep your scissors clean: This means wiping the scissors with a cloth between each cut, and a thorough cleaning on a regular basis. 

Store your scissors, preferably in a protective case, with the blades closed to avoid scratches. 

Lubricate the pivots of the scissors daily with oil. This will prevent hair or dirt from getting caught in the screw. 

Now that we've gone through all the basics, we hope you have a better understanding of why it's important for hairdressers to keep their scissors in good condition, what kind of maintenance needs to be done and whether you choose to take them to a specialist center or do it yourself. 

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