In the cosmetology industry we have one all-important tool we rely on for success…our shears! It’s like having a really good pair of running shoes if you are a marathon runner. There is no way your feet will last on a $20 pair of running shoes. Investing in your tools is important for your career. Here are some tips on caring for your shears that will help ensure you go the distance as a cosmetologist.
Why Oil and Clean Daily?
Daily oiling and cleaning will enhance performance and extend the cutting life of your shears. Regular cleaning and lubrication protects against rust and deterioration from chemical and moisture contact in the salon environment, reduces friction from blade movement, and prolongs sharpness.
Yep…oiling and cleaning is hugely important. Here is how to clean and oil up your shears. Wipe your blades with a soft, dry cloth to remove moisture and fragments of hair. Place a drop of oil between the blades daily and store in a dry place.
Most important: Use the shears to cut hair ONLY!
Why check the tension?
It is important to check the correct tension prior to the first use of your shear. If the tension is too loose, it will allow your shears to fold the hair. If it is too tight, it will cause unnecessary wear and user fatigue. (AKA-tendonitis or carpal tunnel)
Testing shear tension: Hold the shears with the tips pointed upward. Lift one handle up so the blade is in a ninety-degree angle. Then release and the let the blade fall closed. If the blade falls completely closed the tension is too loose. If the blades stay open, the tension is way too tight. Ideally, it should close about two thirds of the way for proper cutting tension.
Rule of Thumb: Sharpen your shears every 700 cuts. This is a good gauge as to when you should get your shears sharpened. However, there are ALWAYS exceptions. Sharpen the shears if:
- the shear is pushing, bending or folding the hair.
- feels like it is pinching and pulling the hair.
- the shears sound like it is ‘crunching’ or ‘scrapping’ the hair.
- there is a nick or gouge in the blade.
When the time does come for re-sharpening, the process must be done carefully through a professional sharpening service center. Ask your salon for recommendations, consult with the local beauty supply store or contact your shears manufacture.