Tips for Buying and Maintaining Salon Tools

Pro-beauty educator Sam Villa shares top tips for buying and maintaining tools.
Pro-beauty educator Sam Villa shares top tips for buying and maintaining tools.

Time to get schooled on one of your most tried-and-true tools: shears.

Since they are a big purchase and a major investment in a stylist’s tool kit, you should assess many factors when determining which pair to choose. Here are a few aspects to consider when purchasing shears, as well as how to best maintain them.

Four Factors to Consider When Purchasing Shears

  • Make sure they are the correct size. Measure the length of the blade against your middle finger, and the overall length of the shears against the extended palm of your hand; if they’re too small or large, they will feel awkward. The most important element is the handle—it must feel comfortable.
  • Check out the warranty information to see what kind of security it provides. Look for a lifetime warranty that covers defects in material and workmanship, plus replacement parts.
  • After a purchase, make sure to register your shears to expedite warranty services and safeguard the investment.
  • Find out how to sharpen shears—many companies will only honor a warranty program if shears have been serviced by them or a designated servicing partner.

Three Tips for Cleaning and Oiling Shears

  • Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball to remove product and residue, minding the edges of the blade to avoid injury.
  • Hold shears with tips pointing down with the blades open at a 45º angle, put a couple drops of shear or clipper oil at the pivot point, open and close the shears, and let them sit overnight.
  • In the morning, hold shears in a downward position and open and close multiple times while the oil flushes out the hair built up in the pivot point. Then, wipe the shears clean.

One Note on Adjusting Tension

  • Hold the shears vertically with the tips pointing up, then lift the thumb handle while holding the finger side with the other hand and let go of the thumb. The blade should stay open at a 45º angle. If it starts to close, turn the tension screw/knob to the right one or two clicks to tighten; continue doing until the blades stay open at a 45º angle.
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