When should you sharpen your shears?

More than anything related to scissor care, stylists seem to be unsure about when to sharpen their shears.  As beauty shear manufacturers and sharpeners for over 25 years, we hope to be able to provide a helpful guide as to when you should sharpen your shears.  

It may be time to get your shears sharpened if you experience the following:

Hair will push or pull

While cutting, have you ever felt like you had to chase the section of hair you're trying to cut? This is often the result of a worn, blunt edge.  If you have ever felt a snag, or experienced the hair being grabbed by the scissor, there is probably a nick in the blade.  The nick prevents the two cutting edges from coming together to perform a clean cut.

Hair will fold 

If you have ever tried cutting and the hair seems to fold over the blade the edges are not riding together properly.  At Inochi, we hand hone the shear's ride line to prevent this from happening.
The result is a clean, buttery cut.

Appearance of split ends

Having to apply more pressure when cutting

Louder than normal cutting noise or a crunchy feeling when cutting


An Inochi professional shear sharpening should last approximately 400-600 haircuts, or around 3 to 4 months.  This guideline applies to stylists who primarily cut clean, washed hair.  Please note, not all shear sharpening is equal.  If the correct techniques are not employed, the longevity of the sharpening will be much shorter as well as the overall life of your shear.

Here are some additional factors that may shorten the length of time between sharpenings:

  • Low Quality Shear Material will lose its edge quicker.  For example, a shear manufactured with 440A steel will not be as durable as an Inochi shear made with Cobalt or VG10 alloys.
  • Using a slide/slither cutting or stroke technique may require more frequent sharpening compared to a shear used for blunt cutting.
  • Cutting dry hair affects shear edges more quickly than cutting wet hair. (Cutting your client's hair after drying is a necessary part of many cuts.  Your shears are a tool to execute your creativity.  Make sure you're using quality scissors that will hold up longer when cutting dry hair.  Check out our line of forged steel beauty Shears.)
  • Unwashed hair will dull scissors faster than clean, washed hair.


Will sharpening my shears more often shorten my shear's life span?

There are some factors to consider, but in short, the answer is no.  When sharpened correctly, the life of the scissor can actually be lengthened while averting other problems.  For example, if you are using a shear that has a small nick, the nick can grow larger if not fixed.  Once the nick extends past the ride line, the scissor can not be restored to like new condition.  The goal for Inochi, when sharpening, is to hone the shear while removing as little material as possible.


What are the negative effects of using dull shears?


Using dull or damaged shears will give your client a bad cut – unclean lines, a crushed finish, split ends, etc.  Furthermore, shears that are sharpened less frequently often need to have more metal removed by the sharpener all at once, than do shears which are sharpened more often.  Most importantly, using a sharp shear is the safest option.  Damaged or dull shears will force you to compensate by using heavier hand pressure and making more cuts resulting in a greater chance of cutting yourself or your client.  Overworking your hand, wrist, arm and shoulder can eventually lead to repetitive motion illness.


You should sharpen them as often as needed.  They should cut smoothly and quietly every cut.  The blades of your shear should do almost all of the cutting work – not your hands.


Good and healthy cutting to you,



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