Over the last two months of us sheltering in place, folks have been choosing to take matters — aka their hair — into their own hands. If you've been on the fence about trimming your own hair, but eager to prevent damage from split ends, the pros say you can totally do it yourself — you just need the right tools. We asked several professional hairstylists to share their best tips and tricks for cutting your hair at home. Naturally, they came up with some seriously smart suggestions, with one of the major standouts being having the right scissors or shears on hand. Turns out, not just any pair of cutters will do. Your tools of choice matter more than you would think.
"It's important to select a pair that fits your hand well and glides easily through the hair when cutting," explains hairstylist Gina Rivera, in regards to what you should be looking for when shopping for shears. "Some of the things that contribute to this are the material the shears are made from, the length, the handle design, and the thumb design."
Of course, cutting shears can get expensive, particularly if you're investing in a quality pair that will last for years — if not a lifetime. Hairstylist Adam Livermore says that the cost for a quality haircutting shear can go well into the thousands, but he wouldn't recommend the DIY home-haircutter make that investment.
Rather, he suggests looking for a medium-size (four- to six-inch blade) shear made of Japanese or German steel if you can afford it. "The Japanese made shears usually have a sharper convex edge, which is good for point-cutting or 'chipping' into things like your bangs, while German shears usually have an opposing handle, which will likely feel more natural in a non-hairdresser's hand as opposed to the offset handles that most pros use to avoid repetitive stress injuries," he says.
As far as cheaper options go, some high-quality stainless steel shears from the drugstore will get the job done, so long as they're the right size. "If you are an at-home novice looking for tools to cut your hair, I recommend getting a scissor that is four or five inches, as this will help to give more control on how much you cut," says New York City-based hairstylist Kali Ferrara.
Before getting started hairstylist, Merrell Hollis, suggests investing in a three-way self-grooming mirror. "The mirror has three panels for a 360-degree view of your head, which allows you to see exactly where you are cutting from three different angles," says Hollis.
Once you're ready to go, don't reach for the kitchen scissors. Instead, here are nine stylist-approved hair shears to help make your home cut look more pro.
Pacinos Signature Line Styling Shears
Hollis says that when shopping for professional tools like shears it important to hold them. "You want to make sure they feel comfortable in your hands," says Hollis. Pacinos Signature Line Styline Shears are his favorite. "I love the fact that these are lightweight, comfortable to hold, sharpen easily, and they are gold, which looks great in my barber kit."
Tweezerman Spirit 2000 Styling Shears
If you're looking for a solid starter pair, hairstylist Olivia Smalley says Tweezerman's Spirit 2000 Styling Shears are excellent because they're made of high-quality stainless steel and feature micro-serrated edges to give you better precision and control. The handle also has loops that are on the larger side, making them comfortable for most hand sizes.
"If you're just looking for a straight across blunt cut, these are the shears for you because they're designed for beginners," says Smalley.
Diane Tulip's 5 ¾" Shears
Designed specifically with at-home haircutting in mind, Diane Tulip's 5 ¾" Shears are made of Japanese steel, which the pros highly recommend looking for as it's higher-quality material for smoother cutting and long-lasting. This pair also features a durable beveled blade and an opposing handle design, which offers a better grip — a benefit that's especially helpful if you've never cut your own hair. "These would be great for kid cuts or trimming bangs because they're super sharp and give you good control," says Smalley.
Fromme Explore 5.75'' Shear
If you're one for details, then you may appreciate how Fromme makes its Explore 5.75" Shear. The Japanese steel beveled blade has the ability to cut on wet and dry hair, which Smalley says is "essential for an even cut." The handles are also semi-offset to give you a more natural grip when cutting.
Additionally, Chicago-based hairstylist Alex Brown says she's always been impressed with Fromme's high-quality products, including their shears. "These are the perfect length for an at-home haircut and make it easy to get the job done," says Brown.
Cricket Shear Xpressions
In addition to the Japanese stainless steel, removable finger rings, and the ergonomic offset handle, Cricket Shear Xpressions has a built-in silencer that keeps it from making that skin-crawling metal-rubbing-against-metal sound. "These are a great bang for your buck as they're high-quality but not too expensive," says Smalley. "I also love the fun colors."
Ninja Rose Gold Shears
If you're looking for a pair of scissors that are as stylish as they are effective, you can't go wrong with Ninja's Rose Gold Shears, which are also available in rainbow, aurora, and other fun colors. Made of superior Japanese stainless steel, these shears are razor-sharp, durable, and, therefore, likely to last in a pro's kit for years. This pair also features an offset handle that works by allowing your hand to acquire a natural and comfortable position — a factor that ultimately gives you better control while cutting.
Dovo Catch Cut Hair Shears
Developed in Solingen, Germany — aka "the city of blades" — Dovo's Catch Cut Hair Shears are meticulously hand-crafted. For instance, one aspect that sets this pair apart is that it's made of carbon steel, an extremely durable material that retains sharpness longer than traditional stainless steel. (Note: Much like other metals, you must dry them off properly after each use to prevent rust from forming.)
Additionally, they come with a removable finger rest for added comfort and control — that, and despite being so durable, they're incredibly lightweight and easy to maneuver. "These are great quality and ideal for anyone who wants to protect the integrity of their hair," says Smalley.
Hashir Professional 5.5" German Barber Hair Cutting Scissors
Hashir's Professional 5.5" German Barber Hair Cutting Scissors were made with DIY-ers and at-home pet groomers in mind. Made of strong stainless steel, they're long-lasting, super-sharp, and perfect for quick trims and touch- ups. Sharpness is key, as Hollis notes that dull shears can create split ends. Additionally, the handle features removable black finger rings for comfort and control and a thumb rest for extra support.
Hattori Hanzo HH8 Talon Shears
Hattori Hanzo's HH8 Talon Shears are the most expensive of the bunch and come recommended by Rivera, who is a big fan of the brand as a whole.
"Their shears are made from Japanese steel, which makes them extremely durable [and] some of them also have titanium, which is another very strong material aligning with durability," she says. "In addition, it's very lightweight and comfortable to use for long periods of time — plus, they have a lifetime guarantee."
Would we recommend a novice splurge on these? Absolutely not. But if you have some training under your belt and plan on cutting your own hair — or someone else's — at home often, it couldn't hurt to make the investment.
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