Left-handed and Right-handed ShearsQ: I'm left-handed and I use right-handed shears. The beauty school I graduated from told me it did not make a difference and the salon I work at now tells me it's wrong. What would you say? Please answer back as I'm very confused.
A: Well, in a sense, both your school and the salon are correct. Many salon professionals are specifically indoctrinated that the shears make the stylist. They believe with all intensity that the scissors make all the difference in the world in being able to create terrific hairstyles. And it is true that they make specifically designed shears for left-handed people.
The thing is that in beauty schools we are taught that the specific movements of working the shears to cut the hair should never require any effort on our part in working the shears. The blades should always be so sharp as to cut through the hair slice with ease. When this is the case, there is no reason to manipulate the blades with pressure application in specific ways in order to cut the hair.
The bottom line is do you feel that your use of standard shears is inhibiting your performance. If you find yourself having to compensate because the shears aren't cutting the hair as smoothly as you think they should (even if you know your blades are sharp) then perhaps you should look into getting a pair of left-handed shears. Otherwise, I wouldn't give it another thought. Just chalk the salon workers' remarks to their likely prejudice regarding specific shears.
I went through my own advisements from salon professionals when I came out of school about my shears. I was told that the best shears were such and such brand. After investigating all the various recommended brands (and noting the $500-1000 price ranges), I opted to do my own investigation and spoke with my professors about what they recommended. For the last several years I have been using Feather Switchblade shears, which have the benefit of being economical (at an initial investment of US $70.00) and convenient, since you don't need to purchase multiple pairs in order to have a back-up pair while one pair is being sharpened. The Feather Switchblade shears have replaceable blades (US $10.00 for replacement blades) and I always keep a spare replacement pack of blades on hand. This lets me always have by shears sharp and ready for action.
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