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What is the correct maintenance of hair shears?

June 23, 2022

Your hairdressing scissors should be one of your prized possessions in your hairdressing tool kit, this is because you may have invested a lot of money in them. 

How does that old saying go? "You invest time and money" Well, we know you have invested the money, so now you should invest your time into maintaining your hair cutting shears correctly.

Now what is that correct way to maintain those hair cutting scissors? Well there's a lot to it but once you learn the right way, this will become second nature for you. So let's get into this topic, so we can open your mind to really learning how to properly maintain your hairdressing scissors.

Cleaning your hair cutting shears carefully

You may be puzzled to know there is a correct way to clean your hair shears correctly, but this may be one of your most important steps. We hear of so many different ways that hairdressers will choose to clean their shears and some are a little bit frightening to hear. We wont start off with the negatives though and get straight into the correct steps to take while cleaning your hair scissors.

  1. At the end of every haircut you should use your cleaning cloth to wipe off any water, loose hair, dirt and chemicals for the scissors. This is because the steel can start to corrode over time from water, chemicals, hair colour, perms and hair products. 
  2. Once you have wiped away any dirt or hair, the next step throughout the day at least is to sterilize your hair shears. 

Some people believe that soaking their hair shears in Barbicide is sterilizing the scissors. Although they may not be wrong in the fact that it will sterilize your hair cutting scissors, what they may not know is that soaking your hair shears in any liquid at all is the fastest way to cause corrosion to any type of stainless steel. So naturally we will advise you not to NEVER soak your hair cutting scissors, but instead you can use the solution to wipe over the shears, or you rubbing alcohol to do the same.

Before placing the scissors back down on your trolley or getting them ready to oil, ensure all water is dried off the steel.

Properly cleaning your hair cutting scissors is so important and regular cleaning is a must to prolong the life of your shears. 

Oiling your hair scissors

With cleaning your scissors comes oiling too and the both should always be done together. Why do we oil our scissors? Well that's simple.. Any type of pivot point in metal needs to stay lubricated to turn, or in this case to cut smoothly.

  • At least twice a week you should be using a few drops of oil on your hair scissors, both inside edges of the blades and close to the pivot point.
  • Once you have applied  the oil, work in the oil by opening and closing the scissors 10-20 times. This will push out any hair that could be caught under the blade's pivot point, so once you have finished working the dirt out wipe any excess oil from the blade. Starting the wipe from the pivot point to the blade's edge point.

You should only be using specified professional hairdressing scissor oil and not clipper oil or any other type of oil you may have. Professional hairdressing scissors oil contains all the correct ingredients to care and treat your blades rather than harsh chemicals that can wear down the blade over time.

Booking them in for a Professional Sharpening Service

We want to emphasize that finding a Professional Sharpening service in your area that specializes in hairdressing scissors is the only way to get your scissors sharpened.

Scissors should be sharpened at least twice a year and this depends on how often you use your scissors and the type of scissors too. Some hairdressing scissors have a steel that can stay sharper for longer, but most will need maintaining at least twice a year.

Now going back to why a professional and specialized hairdressing scissors sharpening service is the only service you should use to sharpen your haircutting scissors. Hairdressing scissor steel is more delicate than say you chef knives steel. If you're sending your scissors to get sharpened by any type of sharpener, then the tools compared to a hairdressing scissor sharpener would be more harsh and you run the risk of your hair cutting scissors getting broken or damaged. Also a hairdressing sharpener has specific skills that are required to pull apart and properly sharpen your blades.

One thing that scares us is that some hairstyles have been advised that they can self sharpen their scissors with a Sharpening Stone, Aluminum foil or any other type of way you may have heard. Not only is it dangerous to self sharpen your haircutting scissors, but it's also risky because you can damage them. An incorrect sharpen can throw off the whole balance of cutting. To correctly sharpen is a skill only a professional sharpener can master with the correct tools and experience.

How to Tension you hair cutting scissors correctly

Having the correct tension in your haircutting scissors is super important to maximize your cutting experience.

If your tension is too loose this can cause the blade to bend the hair instead of cutting which can cause frustrations and mistakes in your cutting. If your tension is too tight this can pull on or pull out your clients hair, also the tension being too tight can result in hand fatigue.

If you're interested in seeing a visual demonstration on "how to tension your shears" then follow this link to YouTube and watch and see.

Having a safe home for you hair scissors

Having a safe place you store your scissors while they are not in use is always a great idea and we will explain why. 

The first obvious reason is that if you drop your scissors then you can cause nicks in the blade or quite frighteningly break the scissors. To avoid any damages to your hair cutting scissors why not store them safely in a Scissor Case? With a hairdressing scissors case you can secure and clip in the scissors so they don't move at all if you dropped the case.

Scissors cases are not water proof so this leads us into our next tip. Store your scissors case in a water tight area away from any water bottles or wet areas. If you keep your scissors in a draw then store your water bottle far away and in a different place to your scissors.

Water is the enemy to your scissors when left on the steel for long periods of time, remember that.


So there you have it, This is the best advice we could really have given you on the correct maintenance of your hairdressing scissors. Good quality shears deserve the proper maintenance, this way the scissors performance is at its best all the time for you, as it was designed to be.

A Hair Stylist is sometimes only as good as their tools, which means if their tools are failing them, then their skills will too. If you have ever tried cutting with a rusty and blunt pair of shears then you will understand what we mean.

So start prolonging the life of your shears by maintaining them correctly and have fun doing it.

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