If you like to cut your own hair, if you are an amateur hairdresser or if you are an actual professional hairdresser, chances are that you’ll need to know how to sharpen hair scissors. Most people go through their entire life without sharpening hair cutting scissors once, and that’s fine most of the time if they are not really using them. Things like garden scissors and kitchen scissors can also be sharpened very rarely unless you’re using them very extensively.
Hair shear sharpening is important, however, if you want to achieve good or even just decent results when cutting hair. The difference between a perfectly sharp pair of scissors and ones that are “just ok” can be noticed even if you’re a novice – the cutting requires more effort, it’s less precise, shaping up edges doesn’t always look well, and so on.
So, sharpening hair cutting scissors at home – how should you go about it? First, we’d be amiss if we don’t recommend that you just take your scissors to a professional. We’re not saying that this is the best option, we’re just mentioning it as a good option. If you don’t want to bother sharpening your scissors, hair salon scissor sharpening is a thing.
If you’re up to the task, however, here are several methods and tips:
How to sharpen hair scissors with a knife sharpener?
We can talk about hair scissors all we want, we can describe the many different types, shapes, and sizes of hair scissors, the different materials they are made out of, and the different purposes they serve. But at the end of the day, any pair of scissors is essentially just two weird knives attached to one another with a screw. So, it stands to reason that hair scissors can be sharpened with a knife sharpener.
All you need to do is disassemble the scissors by unscrewing them and sharpen each individual half separately. There are many different types of knife sharpeners, but they are all pretty simple to use – just carefully drag the cutting edge of the knife (or the hair scissors half, in this case) through the sharpening stones or pieces of the knife sharpener 10 to 20 times until its sharp. Then repeat the process with the other half of the scissors, wipe both of them clean with a piece of cloth, and reattach them together.
How to sharpen hair scissors with sandpaper?
Sandpaper is a very easy tool to use when you want to sharpen your hair scissors. Just buy a strip of sandpaper any hardware store, fold it so that rough sides face outwards, and cut through it with the scissors. Use the entire length of the scissors – the purpose is to sharpen them not just to cut the sandpaper. Cut through the sandpaper at least 10 to 20 times, wipe the scissors clean, and that should be it.
Most sandpaper you’ll find in hardware stores has 150 – 200 grit which is fine for fine sharpening of hair scissors. If your scissors are extra dull (which you should never let them become), then more coarse sandpaper with a more significant grit can be used instead.
How to sharpen hair scissors with aluminum foil?
The process of sharpening your hair scissors with aluminum foil is exactly the same as it is with sandpaper. Just get a piece of aluminum foil, fold it several times (the more times you fold it, the more effective it will be), and start cutting through it with your scissors. Again – use the full length of the scissors so that all parts of their edges get sharpened. Cut 10 to 20 times through the aluminum foil, wipe the scissors clean, and you should be able to see and tell the difference.
As with sandpaper, this is mostly meant for light sharpening of scissors that aren’t completely dulled. These two methods are perfect for keeping your scissors in order but are not ideal if you have an awfully dull pair of scissors that you want to make brand new.
How to sharpen hair scissors with a sharpening stone?
A sharpening stone or a whetstone can be used for hair cutting scissors as effectively as it’s used for any other cutting instrument. You can get such a stone from most hardware stores. All you need to do is prep the stone by lubricating it with either water or honing oil. After that, disassemble the two halves of the scissors and carefully start sharpening them separately on the sharpening stone.
Simply place the cutting edges of each half on the whetstone and start dragging them up and down on the stone’s surface 10 to 20 times. If you’re unsure of whether you’ll do it right and you don’t want to damage your scissors, you can always practice on an old pair of garden or kitchen scissors first.
Once you’re done you can use the softer part of the whetstone to fine sharpen the scissors’ edges. Alternatively, you can use sandpaper or aluminum foil to do that as well. After you’re done, reattach the scissors and remove some of the burrs from their edges by cutting some paper. Then, just wipe them clean with a piece of cloth and you should be done.
How to sharpen hair scissors with professional sharpening tools?
Last but not least, keep in mind that you can also look for some commercial sharpening tools both online and in stores. These can come in various different types, each with its own set of instructions. We’re only mentioning that so you’re aware of that option. As with any other commercial products, some are better than others so, if you’re going to buy such tools make sure they are of good enough quality. If you’re going to buy sub-quality sharpening tools you may as well use a whetstone and sandpaper.