I’ll be really honest here, when my mom used to take me to get my hair cut, stylists always came running with thinning shears. As a curly kid with mountains of hair most stylists didn’t know how to make my hair behave - which just made matters worse. Fast forward 20 years and now I’m the one with the shears in my hand. In the beginning of my career I was a bit scared to use them, then I decided to tackle this tool head first and I couldn’t be happier.
Thinning shears are equipped with a blade on one side and notches or “teeth” on the other - which allow you to cut out portions of the hair without a hard line.
When to use them? Thinning shears can be used on any hair type, however I most often reach for a pair when styling men’s hair. Thinning shears are perfect for shorter cuts, removing bulk and blending. I most often use thinning shears on dry hair during the texturizing portion of my cut. I find that it gives a more accurate account of what the shear is actually doing. Short hair directs longer hair, which is something to keep in mind - because in reality thinning shears can actually help build volume.
Types of hair to avoid? Use caution with curly or thick textured hair, they already have a mind of their own. Most stylists think that they are helping their curly/thick haired clients by “thinning” their hair so it will be easier to style, this can actually have the complete opposite effect. If used at the roots to mid shaft, it can actually add bulk and frizz on these hair types. By using thinning shears improperly, curly/thick hair is no longer weighted down by the strands next to it - hence frizz. You can still use thinning shears on these clients, but stick to the ends to create a softer edge, or carefully take out bulk throughout keeping in mind their styling preference.
The importance of investing in your thinning shears: I can not stress the importance of investing in quality tools; They make blowdrying faster, results smoother, and cuts crisper. Investing in a proper array of shears will assure better cuts and thus happier clients. The sharpness of the steel used in your shears affects the tools ability to cut the hair instead of bending it - when shears bend hair it leads to breakage and imprecise cuts.
Thinning shears come in an array of shapes and sizes. The space in between the notches or “teeth” can be used to create different styles; stay tuned to see the benefits of investing in different sizes and how you can creatively cut using these…