What’s the big difference between hair cutting scissors vs regular scissors

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There are many reasons why you would wonder whether you can use regular scissors over specialised hair cutting scissors.

It could be that this is the first time you’ve grown a beard and it’s gone a bit wild and needs a trim, or you’ve lost your beard/hair scissors and are looking for an immediate replacement.

Whatever the reason I’ll cover my thoughts on using hair & beard cutting scissors vs regular scissors.

I use these beard scissors myself and I recommend them, the reason I recommend these hair scissors is because they cut through my beard like a hot knife through butter, there’s no pulling, just nice clean cuts

We’ll go through the pros and cons of regular scissors vs hair cutting scissors and while we are at it, we’ll answer the most common questions we’ve heard about cutting your beard with alternatives.

Can you use regular scissors to cut hair or beards?

kitchen scissors vs barber scissors 1024

I mean, does it matter what scissors you use to cut your beard or your hair?

Well yes, you won’t end up with the results that you are looking for if you go ahead and cut your beard with any old kitchen scissors.

If for some reason you don’t have any hair cutting scissors, then the next best thing would be to use fabric scissors, these are exceptionally sharp and will do an alright job of trimming your beard.

That said you may be increasing your chances of splits ends.

Can regular or dull scissors cause split ends?

Professional scissors are much sharper than regular scissors and that’s important when it comes to cutting hair whether it’s on the top of your hair or on your face.

A sharp pair of scissors will cut through your hair, whereas craft or kitchen scissors, well they aren’t designed to cut hair and the result will be a frayed cut which will promote split ends, the scissors because they aren’t sharp are more likely to pull hairs rather than cut them.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the barber or hairdressers seat and they are cutting away and your get a sharp pain in your scalp as their scissors have pulled on a strand or two of hair, it’s not pleasant and completely removes the relaxing experience of the hair and beard trim, you’re then waiting for that next painful moment.

Can you use regular scissors to cut split ends?

What if you already have split ends, can you use regular scissors to cut away the split ends?

Yeah you could, if you were in a bind and needed to get rid of those splits ends, but the result will be that after a while your hair or beard will develop more split ends.

The best course of action is to go to a hairdresser or barber and have them fix your split ends. Or to use your own pair of beard and hair cutting scissors.

What about sewing scissors to cut hair, they’re sharp right?

I’ve been there, you mustache is looking a bit wild, well today for example mine is in desperate need or a neaten up.

You’ve lost your mustache scissors and time is short you rush around looking for any scissors, you come across some sewing scissors, their small, sharp they’ll do right?

In a bind yes they will, they are sharper than your typical kitchen scissors but they aren’t ideal so if you are in a bind yes sewing scissors can cut hair, but only in a bind.

You need to make sure to purchase a set of top quality beard and mustache scissors.

Is it bad to cut your hair or beard with paper scissors?

blue handled paper scissors vs barber scissors

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there is a bit of a pattern emerging with our answers, yeah, it’s bad to cut your hair or beard with paper scissors, like kitchen scissors these tend not to be as sharp as you need for clean cuts to your hair.

So you’ll risk the scissors pulling and also risk getting split ends.

In an emergency I can understand having to use them but I recommend purchasing a top quality set of beard scissors.

Are all beard and hair cutting scissors created equally?

I wish they were, a while back I was due to travel the next day, I had packed my go to beard scissors in the suitcase.

My wife had informed me that there was no way I was going to this function with my beard and mustache looking as wild as they did.

Now I had a spare pair of scissors, they came as a gift one Christmas, my in-laws had bought me a beard grooming kit and this kit included a set of beard scissors.

I don’t know how much this kit cost, but I am very certain the cost of the kit was at most ⅓ of what I had paid for my beard scissors.

As a result I had low expectations of the scissors, and so, my wife went to town as she always does, cutting more off than I would have liked, but each cut wasn’t clean, I’m used to feeling like the scissors are cutting through my beard like a hot knife through butter.

This time however I could hear each strand as it was cut, occasionally a hair would get caught and would be pulled, this wasn’t fun and it happened while my wife was trimming my mustache.

There were tears… it’s like when you pull out a nose hair… it’s just ain’t cricket

My beard also suffered in the coming days from split ends and it seemed more wiry but this wildness could have been because of the change in environment.

The split ends however were entirely the scissors fault.

So long story short, no, when it comes to beard or hair scissors you want to buy quality, you want those top quality metals that hold their edge and create clean cuts.

Otherwise it’ll be split end central and potentially many more teary beard trims.

Are shears scissors?

Shears vs scissors are shears the same as scissors?

The answer is no.

Typically shears tend to be six inches long, but that’s not a hard and fast rule, shears tend to have one normal finger hole, and one which can accommodate multiple fingers, this is so you can apply more force when cutting through something.

Scissors tend to have fingers holes which are the same size and are sharp enough to cut through whatever they have been designed to cut through.

Do split ends stop hair growth?

The answer is no, there are many reasons for split ends, such as using the wrong scissors to trim your beard, to environmental effects.

Split ends will affect how your hair will grow, but they won’t prevent growth.

It will potentially limit the length your beard can grow to as split ends will weaken the overall strength of the strand of hair.

What are hair cutting shears used for?

There aren’t really any hair cutting shears, the term shears is known to be used interchangeably with scissors.

If you see “hair cutting shears” what that usually means is barber scissors, hair cutting scissors, beard scissors, mustache scissors etc.

That said, they are used exactly for what you would think, keeping your hair, beard and mustache trimmed and styled.

How often should I trim my hair or beard to make it grow faster?

This tends to be a dirty little secret! A lot of people don’t realise that if you want your hair or beard to continue to grow you need to encourage it by trimming it at the right time.

You may be thinking that “hey I cut my beard every 2 weeks and it grows at a rapid pace” true it does, just like mine does, but if you were to leave your beard to continue to grow, it would get to a point where it slows down.

This is where you want to time your cuts to keep that growth at the optimal pace.

So how often should you trim your hair or beard? Every 3-4 months or 12-16 weeks for your hair, and from my experience every 1-2 months for your beard.

This allows you to remove the damaged hairs, and help promote the healthy hairs to continue growing.

Keep your hair scissors sharp by sharpening them

After regular use your scissors will start to lose their sharp edge, now having spoken to many hairdressers and barber they tend to buy a new set of professional beard scissors, their reasons for doing so is that a sharpened edge doesn’t cut the same, as a fresh pair of scissors.

This could be that the person sharpening the scissors has done it incorrectly, but as the majority of the barbers and hairdressers stated that they sent their scissors away I would be inclined to think that the person sharpening the scissors knows what they are doing.

It could well be that also the person sharpening the scissors has retained the scissors typical 45 degree angle when sharpening, the real problem is the “fit” where the two scissors come together, they won’t wear the same and they won’t be sharpened the same.

In my opinion that may be the cause, but for household use sharpening your own scissors is a very economical way to do things, i can say that I’ve had my beard scissors for 2 years and they still cut as well as they did during my first use of them.

If you want to sharpen your own beard or hair scissors you can follow this video, as I mentioned above the angle you are typically looking for is a 45 degree angle.

So what are the differences between barber and regular scissors?

  • The level of sharpness of blades
  • The quality of the steel used to create the scissors typically German or Japanese steel
  • The steel quality also effects how long the scissors remain sharp
  • The angle of the scissor blade is designed to cut hair not paper etc

Hopefully we’ve answered all your questions and shown you the differences between beard scissors and regular scissors such as kitchen scissors.
If you need help in finding the right pair of beard or hair scissors then we’ve put together a guide, that should help you, the pair I use personally are these.

Last update on 2020-08-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Hey, I'm the author of Sprucely Gent. When I grew a beard advice there wasn't much advice out there, so through trial and error and speaking to barbers I've battled all beard related issues. Now i'm hear to share my experience with you, so that you don't make the mistakes I made!

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