Large Scissors vs. Small Scissors in Hairstyling – What’s the Difference?

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Written By cuttingshears

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Scissors are indispensable tools in the realm of hairstyling, and they come in various sizes and designs, each serving distinct purposes. Understanding the differences between large and small scissors is crucial for achieving the perfect haircut. Here, we delve deeper into how these scissor sizes impact hairstyling and the nuances that make them indispensable tools for hairstylists.

Does Scissors/Shear Size Matters?

The most apparent disparity between large and small scissors in hairstyling is their size. Large scissors, often referred to as shears, boast longer blades, typically ranging from 6 to 12 inches, while small scissors, also known as cutting or barber scissors, are equipped with shorter blades, generally between 3 to 6 inches. The size of the scissors is a pivotal factor in determining their suitability for specific hairstyling tasks.

Intended Use

Large Scissors (Shears):

Large scissors, or shears, are tailored for bulk hair removal and long, straight cuts. Hairstylists wield them for techniques such as blunt cutting, slicing, and point cutting, which necessitate shearing large sections of hair. Shears are ideally suited for reducing hair length and crafting uniform layers in a haircut.

Small Scissors (Cutting Scissors):

Small scissors are versatile tools that hairstylists employ for intricate, detailed work. They excel in precision cutting, texturizing, and adding texture to the hair. Small scissors are perfect for creating texture, softening the edges of a haircut, and crafting subtle layers or adding volume to the hair.

Blade Design

The blade design of large and small scissors is tailored to their specific hairstyling roles:

Large Scissors (Shears):

Large scissors, or shears, typically feature straight blades, enabling efficient cutting through larger hair sections. Some shears are equipped with serrated or texturizing edges, which aid in adding texture to the hair and removing excess bulk.

Small Scissors (Cutting Scissors):

Small scissors boast curved or pointed blades that empower hairstylists to make precise, controlled cuts. Their design is particularly beneficial for creating texture and detailed work in hairstyling.

Ergonomics Matter:

The ergonomics of scissors play an essential role in hairstyling:

Large Scissors (Shears):

Shears are thoughtfully designed with ergonomic handles to fit comfortably in the entire hand. This design is pivotal for hairstylists who wield them for extended periods, ensuring a secure grip while performing bulk hair cutting.

Small Scissors (Cutting Scissors):

Small scissors come with smaller, finer handles that facilitate a delicate and controlled grip, which is essential for detailed and precise hairstyling work.

Portability and Convenience:

Small scissors are notably more portable and easy to carry, making them ideal for hairstylists who frequently travel for their work. The compact size of small scissors allows hairstylists to create intricate styles on the go, ensuring that they maintain the same level of precision and quality in any setting. On the other hand, large shears are bulkier and less suitable for mobility. They are typically used in a salon setting where mobility is not a primary concern.

Innovations in Scissor Design:

large scissors vs small

In addition to the traditional large and small scissor categories, hairstylists now have access to a wide array of specialized scissors designed for specific tasks. For instance:

  • Thinning Shears: These specialized scissors are designed to remove excess bulk from the hair without affecting the overall length. They are often used for texturizing and creating a more natural look. Learn more about Thinning shears! 
  • Swivel Scissors: These feature a rotating thumb handle, reducing strain and improving control during haircuts. 
  • Left-Handed Scissors: These scissors are designed to accommodate left-handed hairstylists, providing the same level of precision and comfort.

Choosing the Right Scissors:

Selecting the appropriate scissors is crucial for hairstylists to achieve the desired results. The choice between large and small scissors depends on the specific task at hand and the level of precision and control required.

  • For Precision Cutting: Hairstylists often turn to small scissors, as their pointed or curved blades allow for intricate, controlled cuts. These are ideal for detailed work, texturizing, and adding subtle layers or texture to the hair.
  • For Bulk Hair Removal: Large shears, or shears, are indispensable for reducing hair length and crafting uniform layers. They efficiently handle cutting large sections of hair and are well-suited for tasks that require significant bulk removal.

 Taking care of your shears is an art – learn how to take care of hairstyling shears. 

Related: Learn About The Different Types of Shears And What They Do