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What Length Hair Shear Should I Choose

December 07, 2022

When it comes to choosing scissors that are the most comfortable and practical for the type of hairdressing you will be doing, there are many factors you will need to consider.

Unless you know the reason behind why you will be choosing the size barber scissors or hairdressing scissors for you, then sometimes it can really come across as a guessing game.

There really are different sizes of hairdressing scissors and barber scissors for specific reasons and to cater to all different types of hairstylist's.

Sometimes you can catch yourself in a guessing game to figure out the best size for you. So instead of feeling like you're playing a game of chess and stargazing specific moves to ensure you win the game, let's instead explore the real reason to get that "length of hair shear" for you and then we can stop playing the games.

Knowledge is power and today that's what we are going to provide for you.

How to know the right length of shear for you

Knowing the right length of hair cutting scissors for you is sometimes as simple as going by the size of your hands.

Why does it go by the size of your hands? Well imagine wearing a pair of shoes that are too large or too small and walking around with them with the wrong size on, that would be extremely awkward. 

Well cutting with a pair of shears that are actually far too big or small for the size of your hands could have the same feeling as those incorrect sized shoes.

Now knowing the right size is to know how to measure your hand correctly to determine that for you.

  1. First you're going to want to have ready a ruler and an existing pair of hair cutting shears. 
  2. Place the scissors is your less dominant hand
  3. Measure the full hair shears against the tip of you palm to the tip of your middle finger (not including pinky rest)
  4. Measure the start of the blade against the start of your middle finger to check if the blade and middle finger are near the same size.

So as an example, if your finger measures 2 inches and the blade of your shear measures 2-3 inches then this is the perfect size for your hand.

So if you have a 5 Inch shear then the blade would be anywhere between 2-3 inches.

What are the most common sizes to use

Although there are many many different sizes available out there we wanted to break it down for you and give you what we have found to be the most common and safest sizes to go with.

When it comes to the most common sizes of hairdressing scissors you have 4, 4. 5, 5, 5.5 and 6 inches. With most hairdressers that 5 and 5.5 inches cover the most common out are the easiest out those sizes to work with. Half sizes also give you an easier gauge while shopping too. 

When we are talking about the most common sized barber hair shears sizes they would be 6, 6.5, 7 and 7.5. You will find that if a barber has small hands then they will use a 6 inch shear, but the most common size to use for a barber is 6.5 or 7 inches. 

Sometimes a barber will prefer a longer shear than 7 inches just over personal preference, but you would need to be experienced as the longer shears are more difficult to work with.

What level of hairdressing experience do you have

The reason this question is so important is because as a trainee of a senior hair stylist you will find that different levels of experience would require different types of lengths of professional hairdressing scissors.

For example a training hairstylist may have the most common sizes listed above or a hairdresser that is fully qualified but hasn't had the opportunity to explore different types and sizes of shears yet.

A hair stylist that specializes in cutting may have a range of sizes that they use throughout one haircut and this is not determined by if they would be a hairdresser or a barber.

You are seeing more and more salon hair stylists performing different hair cutting techniques with longer scissors like 6.5- 7 inches.

What type of cutting will you be doing

While we were on the topic of haircutting techniques we mentioned the type of cutting depends on the length of hairdressing scissors.

Well haircutting techniques that a salon stylist would do with traditionally barber hairdressing scissors would include blunt cutting and deep point cutting. 

Blunt cutting or even scissor over comb cutting is better done with longer scissors because you can cut more hair at one time ending in a crisper and cleaner cut.

Short scissors or narrow tipped scissors may be used by barbers or salon hairstylist's may use a smaller blade around hard to get to areas like around the ears of even kids and babies hair.

The difference between barber and hairdressing scissors

The difference between barber and hairdressing scissors is the size and length of the shears.

Apart from the length you will find that a barber shear will feel heavier due to the different types of steel they could be made from. Men's hair is naturally more coarse so a barber shear needs to be strong, robust and of course sharp.

Hairdressing scissors may appear lighter and to have a finer blade this is so the blade can maybe slide, cut or glide through longer hair much more easily than other shears.

When it comes to cutting hair, knowing the right size of hair cutting scissors for you will always be determined by two things, the size of your hands or the type of cutting you will be doing.

We hope that now you have a better understanding about what's best for you and we encourage you to go with your gut also and choose what is most comfortable for you.


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