Many stylists have never really been given much in terms of education about the scissors they use every day in the salon. The goal of this article is to help stylists to understand the differences between different types of shears that create texture in the hair.
A Beautiful Blend
Thinning and Blending Shears, two names for the same thing really. We recommend using the term ‘blending shear’ since clients with thinning hair do not want to hear that you are using a” thinning” shear on them but nobody minds if you use a “blending” shear.
A Thinning or Blending shear has narrow teeth and narrow spaces between the teeth. It will remove weight in a way that does not create visible texture or volume. The cut and uncut hair will tend to blend together. They usually have between 30–45 teeth depending on the length of the blade.
The thinning shear is ideal for blending away scissor marks in the hair and removing weight without creating more volume. It can also be used to soften and remove bluntness from a cut. The main drawback of thinning shears is that they tend to leave a dotted line or cutting mark in the section where you cut. This is because they hold a small group of hairs together on each tooth and then cut them all at the same point in the section.
Stylists go to great lengths trying to minimize the cutting marks, by half closing and changing cutting angles. Blending shears can also pull the hair between the teeth with the sharp straight blade if you try to comb them out of a section, so you have to open them to take them out of the section.
Shears that create visible texture on the other hand, have wider teeth and wider spaces between the teeth. They will typically have anywhere from 5-20 teeth. The slightly wider teeth cut a more substantial piece of hair than a blending shear. This wider piece of short hair will be more visible compared to the uncut piece of longer hair. The short hair will lay under and support the uncut hair creating visible texture and potentially volume.
This type of shear can be used on most clients since the results are subtle but noticeable in terms of an increase in volume and decrease in bluntness. The drawback to this type of shear is they tend to cut notches or castle walls into the hair. Again, this is because each tooth holds a certain amount of hair. The held hair is cut off by each tooth at the same point in the section yielding a castle wall effect. This is why many stylists choose to point cut instead to create texture. This is because by point cutting in the same direction as the hair, it allows you to create negative space or texture in a way where you don’t see the point of origin of the negative space. There are problems with this, though. It is time consuming, and it is hard on your hand, making hundreds of extra cuts in each haircut. It also wears out the tips of your shears causing you to sharpen them much more often than would otherwise be necessary.
SENSEI created shears for slide cutting and that inspired the idea of applying the SoftSlide™ technology to texture shears. By causing the scissor to cut the hair while it is in motion on the blade, it becomes possible to make texture shears where each hair is cut to a different length. This eliminates the cutting marks made by the teeth that cut the hair while it is held in place.
The SENSEI Seamless Blender™ is a modern thinning/blending shear. It leaves no cutting marks at all and can be combed out with the blades closed with zero drag or pulling. Even though it might look like there are not enough teeth to get a fine cut, they do in fact provide a very fine blending effect. This is because even though the teeth are wider and fewer than a traditional thinning shear, the hair is cut while slideing across the teeth so much of it remains uncut. SENSEI starts with a wider tooth surface to allow for some of the hair to be cut as it slides across. It is nearly impossible to make a mistake with these blenders which makes them much more fun and effective to use.
The first shear above is a 14-Tooth for fine or medium density hair. The second shear is a 10-Tooth for higher density hair .
PointCut TextureTM shear Sensei’s texture shear that creates the look of point cutting, where you create separation in the section in a way, where the point of origin of the negative space is invisible. They can replace point cutting in many parts of the haircut. You still might choose to point cut in the fringe sections, where the detail of the texture you might want to control.
That said, in the interior of every cut, where you still want to eliminate bluntness but the sections are laying one atop the other so the detail of the texture is less important, use this shear to create natural looking texture in a fraction of the time and effort of point cutting.
Stylists using these modern tools report two main results. First, they save anywhere from 5-10 minutes per haircut, not to mention the wear and tear on their hands and shears. Secondly, they report clients calling 3 or 4 weeks after haircuts, to say, “What are you doing differently, my hair is growing out better than ever?” When you let this tool do most of the texturizing you have much less chance of accidently cutting a hard notch into the hair while point cutting, which is often the thing the client sees after a while and feels their haircut is starting to fall apart.
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