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How Do I Choose the Best Thinning Scissors?

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  • Written By: Andrea Cross
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 01 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Thinning scissors are a great way to reduce the volume of thick or curly hair, making it sleeker and more manageable. They can also be used to blend layers and add texture to edgier styles. Commonly used in salons, thinning shears can also be bought for use at home. When choosing a pair of scissors, take into consideration purpose, material, and feel.

Scissors used for thinning are similar in appearance to ordinary hair scissors, with the exception of the blades. Thinning scissors have blades that, instead of being a single, uninterrupted straight blade, consist of rows of teeth. One or both blades of the shears may contain these teeth. This toothed construction results in only a portion of the hair being cut.

Choose a style of thinning scissors that is designed for a particular purpose. General-purpose ones are available, but these will not always let you achieve the desired result. Basically, the less teeth there are on the blades, the more hair will be cut. For removing bulk from hair, you therefore want to choose scissors that have few teeth because these allow you to remove larger sections of hair. These shears are also good for creating edgier styles.

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A greater number of teeth results in finer amounts of hair being removed per cut. If you want to remove smaller amounts when, for example, thinning the ends of the hair, the bangs, or blending in layers, then these scissors are a better choice. This type of shears usually has double rows of teeth, so keep this in mind when choosing. Often, the packaging on the scissors gives a percentage rating indicating how much hair in a section will be removed during each pass.

Some materials are also better than others for cutting hair. You will want to choose blades that are harder because these hold their edge better and require less frequent sharpening. Look for thinning scissors with higher levels of carbon, manganese, and molybdenum as these materials add hardness to the metal. Blades that contain chromium also help to resist corrosion more efficiently.

Hold the scissors in your hand, and see if they feel comfortable. You can also choose a pair that has a tension adjuster, which allows you to change the amount of resistance produced by the blades, like the gears on a bicycle. If you have trouble finding a pair that is comfortable, you can purchase plastic inserts that allow you to adjust the fit.

After looking, if you are still confused about which thinning scissors to choose, ask at a salon. Stylists are able to give you practical advice and show you some examples. They may also have insider knowledge on quality and technique. As with many products, you get what you pay for, so read independent product reviews carefully. If you are going to be using the scissors frequently, it may be worth investing a little more.

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