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What Makes A Shear Right for You?

What Makes A Shear Right for You?

Many shear salespeople will come up with a list of shear characteristics that, unsurprisingly, makes the shear they sell exactly the perfect shear for the stylist. Fortunately for the stylist, the answer to the "what shear is best" question is relatively straightforward.

The best shear for any stylist is the one that:

  1. Is comfortable
  2. Is the right tool for the job
  3. Is free of manufacturing defects

I'll address each of these items in order.

Firstly, is the shear you're trying out comfortable? If the shears aren't comfortable when you try them out, they're unlikely to become more comfortable as you use them. Important in determining whether the shear is comfortable, the salesperson should allow you to actually demo the shear before you buy it. At Edgewise, for instance, we carry a fully assortment of Hikari and Keiki shears for our stylists to try our on their clients. This helps us ensure the correct fit and feel of all the shears we sell. Aircutting at a trade show doesn't show much, and looking at a picture of a shear online shows even less.

Second, is the shear the one the stylist actually needs? Many, many shears are selected because they have a colored coating, have a rhinestone-encrusted adjustment knob, come with a free flatiron and thinner, or have a fancy blade shape. Sadly, none of these necessarily help the stylist do their job better. When looking at a shear, keep in mind that it is a tool that is going to help you execute your vision. Critical in this are that the shear is made of a high-quality metal, is well-made, and is of a length and shape that will help you do better work for your clients every day. Don't be distracted by fancy shapes, fancy colors, fancy adjustment knobs, or freebies. The fancy colors and shapes don't make the shear work better, and the freebies are always built into the price of the shear.

Lastly, and most difficult, is the shear free of manufacturing defects? This is exceptionally difficult to determine, and the stylist either needs to be working with a vendor they trust, or the seller must have a liberal returns policy. Ideally, the stylist will be able to work with a salesperson, who's trusted, and who has a solid track record of supplying dependably high-quality shears to the people they work with. [Ask around to other local stylists, at local trade shows, or through online reviews to identify these companies and salespeople.] Even if the stylist is able to work with a trusted shear supplier, the company should have a liberal returns policy. Even top-quality new-out-of-the-box shears frequently have manufacturing defects of varying levels of concern. Quite simply, if the shear doesn't feel perfect, it should immediately be returned. I'm often surprised how often a shear that doesn't work correctly out of the box (it's crunchy, it folds hair, it pinches hair, etc.) isn't immediately returned to the vendor, and months later, the stylist is still struggling with the shears that  were never right in the first place.

While this list doesn't provide a single shear or line of shears for the stylist to select from, I hope this discussion provides a framework that stylists can use to help select shears across a wide spectrum of suppliers and shear styles. If you're a stylist in the Chicago area, contact Edgewise today to set up an appointment to demo our finest-quality shears.

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