6 Signs Your Hair Cutting Shears Need Sharpening

Sharp hair cutting shears are an essential tool of the trade for stylists, barbers and hairdressers. They can help you to grow a client base and a reputation that could take you on to great things. However, if you want your shears to work for you on an ongoing basis then you need to know how to take care of them – and key to that is knowing what the signs are that your hair cutting shears need sharpening.


  1. The shears just aren’t cutting right. If you’ve been cutting with these shears for a while and suddenly they just don’t feel right, then it’s time to see what’s wrong.  First wipe the blades and pivots and apply some oil. Then adjust the tension. If they still don’t perform like they should, it might be time to get them sharpened.
  2. If you’re blunt or straight cutting you’re finding that hair is pushing away. This is usually something that is attributable to shears that need sharpening. Shears that are sharp won’t push hair when you’re cutting.
  3. If you’re slide cutting the hair is pulling and grabbing. This can make a haircut a very unpleasant experience for your clients and is usually because shears are dull or haven’t been sharpened properly for slide cutting.
  4. It takes only a few haircuts for the shears to dull again. Bad sharpening the last time around is often responsible for this kind of issue. After a sharpening, your shear should last nearly as long as it originally did before it needs service again. If it dulled quickly after you first bought it, it may be poorly made and not worth spending even more on sharpening.  If on the other hand it lasted a long time when you first got it but only a short time after it was sharpened, then you probably did not have it sharpened properly. If it could hold and edge when new, with the right sharpening, it will last just as long after sharpening.
  5. Cutting the hair feels “crunchy.” The cause of this is often a nick or nicks in the blades.  You should sharpen any scissor with a nick as soon as you know it’s there.  If you have then serviced and they feel crunchy, it is a sign that whoever did the service did not do it properly.
  6. You’re finding it difficult to cut with your shears or getting strain in your fingers or wrists. When hair cutting shear blades start to dull it makes the cutting itself feel much more laborious – getting the blades sharpened is the answer to avoiding this kind of strain.

As soon as you spot any of these signs it makes sense to send your shears off to be sharpened. A certified sharpener like Sensei provides a comprehensive service, from resolving issues with blades through to restoring blades to their factory condition.