Scissors vs. Razors

In this column, one hairdresser argues that both tools can be used throughout one haircut. She observes that the razor is a “misunderstood” tool, since many stylists lack training with it and therefore don’t use it or use it poorly.

“I love the sound of the razor on hair. Scissors so sloppy. No control.” – Sue


s-l1000Here’s how razors are used, according to the Livestrong site: “Razor cutting involves holding the instrument lightly in the hand and removing hair with delicate movements of the fingers and wrist. The angle at which the razor is held against the hair determines how much hair is removed with each movement.”

According to this blog, using a razor leaves hair “with a lighter, tapered end. It is also used to remove weight from hair, increase movement and volume, and add choppiness to a style.”

Another hairstylist agrees that with a razor cut, “the ends of the hair taper off to a thinner peak.” She also answered the question of when to use a razor over scissors: “If a client likes her hair to be messy or just jagged on the ends, or the hair is ultra thick and coarse and you need solid but soft edges, that would be a good time to pick up the razor. Razoring the ends will produce more softness and movement, it brings out waves and curls.”

This page argues: “The hairstyles achieved with razor cuts tend to be smoother and softer looking. In many ways the look is more organic, without clearly defined layering or weight lines.”

Watch this video for a one-minute example of how to cut hair using a razor.


“Don’t even use razors. Just scissors. How you s’pose to function?” – Meg


71alhixjqdl-_sl1500_The same hairstylist states, “The scissors with produce a blunter or chunkier look towards the ends.”

The Livestrong site states that the proper technique for using shears “involves holding the shears in the dominant hand with the thumb and ring finger through the holes on the handle. The pinky finger rests on the finger rest, and the thumb moves the cutting blade to remove hair.”

According to the blog mentioned previously: “[Shears are] what our scissors really are called. It sounds snobby, because it is. A good pair of styling shears costs anywhere from $150 to $1,000+. Tack on a sharpening fee of about $35 every few months, and you start to understand why a stylist simply cannot cut hair with an ordinary pair of scissors.”

Watch this video for a one-minute example of how to cut hair using scissors.

Scissor cut (left) vs. razor cut (right)



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