Many new stylists and even some experienced stylists are under the common misconception that the length of their shears should be determined by the size of their hand. In reality, this is not the case. (There are many with larger hands who simply prefer short shears, as well as those with small hands who cut all day with a 7” shear.) Instead, stylists must consider the variety of different styling techniques they will employ in order to carry out their work. Haircutting shears are measured in inches with the entire length of the shears calculated from the ‘point end’ all the way to the back of the finger ring.
Different sized shears are used to perform different styling techniques. For example, a short shear is much better suited for detailed precision cutting, while a longer scissor is preferred for powerful cutting. The standard size most hairdressers use is between 5” and 6”. This falls neatly into the middle ground between some of the shortest scissors on the market at 4.5” (Sam Villa Shears start at 5.5”) and the some of the longest longest at 7” like our Dry Cutting Shear. (which you can use on wet hair just as well)
Ideally, if it's manageable for you, it is best to have a shorter shear like a 5.5”, for precision cutting between your fingers and a longer shear for the techniques listed below.
*One-length Cutting (Such as bobs)*
When cutting a “bob-line” the hair is combed down against the neckline. Here a longer blade will allow the stylist to make fewer cuts to connect the line all the way across. This allows for a cleaner line and will significantly reduce the time this effect will take you to create.
:* 7" Dry Cutting Shear and Signature Series Reversible Blender (for a softer line)
*Cutting on the Skin (hairline)*
As with ‘bob line’ cutting, when cutting on the skin longer shears will allow a stylist to cut longer sections and get cleaner looks more easily. It is also worth mentioning that a forward set thumb handle also helps when cutting on the skin as it lifts the hand away from the body due to its innovative design.
:* 6" Signature Series Swivel Shear
*Scissor Over Comb*
Here the comb will pick up a wider section of hair than your fingers. By using a longer blade you will be able to cut the hair cleanly without it falling out of the comb. This benefits the stylist as it requires less effort and most importantly less time.
Another benefit of a longer blade on shear over comb is that the weight of the blade allows the shear to do the work as well.
:* 7" Dry Cutting Shear and Signature Series Reversible Blender
If you attempt a slide cut with a shorter blade, your hand will move through the section you have just cut due to it being in close proximity to the blades. Because of this it is necessary to comb it again to see what you have accomplished. This hassle and time consuming practice can easily be eliminated with longer blades as it will allow you to slide your blades into the hair without having to move the hair with your hand.
:* 6" Essential Series Shear (hair is less likely to get caught in the tension system of the Essential)
*Cutting Around the Face*
With short scissor blades your hand will no doubt be in your clients face and in some cases can leave the finger rest of some shears dangerously close to the individual’s eye. A longer blade here will allow you to cut your clients hair with your hand a comfortable distance back from their face. The benefits of this are that you can see what you are doing better and the client has a more comfortable experience. Plus you are able to leave the hand and wrist in a neutral position while cutting in many different angles.
:* 6.25" Signature Series Shear
Watch the video of Sam Villa discussing shear length: HERE