Shear Maintenance Myths Exposed: What Not to Do

When it comes to maintaining your professional hair cutting shears, there’s no shortage of advice floating around. Unfortunately, not all of it is accurate. In fact, some common maintenance tips can do more harm than good. Let’s debunk these myths and set the record straight on what not to do when taking care of your shears.

Myth 1: “You Should Always Sharpen Your Shears Yourself”

While it might seem cost-effective to sharpen your shears at home, this can lead to uneven edges and significant damage. Professional sharpening services use specialized equipment and techniques to ensure your shears are sharpened correctly. DIY sharpening often results in inconsistent blade angles and can shorten the lifespan of your shears. Unless you have received proper training in sharpening techniques and have access to the right tools, it’s best to leave this task to the professionals.

Myth 2: “Dish Soap is Fine for Cleaning Shears”

Using dish soap or other household cleaners can strip the protective coating from your shears and cause corrosion over time. These products are not designed for the delicate metal of professional shears and can leave residues that attract dirt and debris. Instead, use cleaning solutions specifically formulated for hair cutting tools. These products are gentle on the metal and effectively remove hair and product buildup without causing damage.

Myth 3: “Any Cloth Will Do for Drying Shears”

Drying your shears with just any cloth can leave lint and fibers in the pivot area, causing them to become dull or jammed. Microfiber cloths are ideal because they don’t leave residue and are gentle on the metal. Using rough or abrasive materials can scratch the surface of your shears, compromising their cutting ability. Always dry your shears with a soft, lint-free cloth to maintain their pristine condition.

Myth 4: “Oil is Optional”

Some stylists believe oiling shears is unnecessary, but regular oiling is crucial for maintaining smooth operation and preventing rust. The pivot area of your shears needs lubrication to reduce friction and wear. Neglecting this simple step can lead to increased resistance while cutting, which not only tires your hands but also wears out your shears faster. Use a drop of high-quality shear oil on the pivot area regularly to keep your shears in top condition.

Myth 5: “Dropping Shears Isn’t a Big Deal”

Dropping your shears can cause significant damage, even if they appear fine on the surface. The blades can become misaligned, leading to poor cutting performance and increased wear. In some cases, the impact can create micro-dents or chips on the blades, making them uneven and less effective. Always handle your shears with care and avoid dropping them at all costs. If they do get dropped, have them inspected by a professional to ensure they are still in good working condition.

Myth 6: “You Don’t Need to Adjust Tension Often”

Ignoring the tension screw can lead to either overly tight or too loose blades, both of which affect cutting efficiency and shear health. Blades that are too tight can cause excessive wear and make cutting difficult, while blades that are too loose can result in hair folding or bending instead of cutting cleanly. Regularly checking and adjusting the tension ensures your shears perform optimally and last longer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct tension settings for your specific shears.

Myth 7: “Rust Spots Can Be Ignored”

Rust is a sign of damage and neglect. Ignoring rust spots will lead to further corrosion and weakened shears. Rust can spread quickly, compromising the integrity of the metal and making your shears unsafe to use. If you notice any rust, address it immediately with appropriate rust-removing products designed for hair cutting tools. Regularly cleaning and drying your shears after each use can help prevent rust from forming in the first place.

Myth 8: “Using Shears on Dry Hair Only is Fine”

While using shears on dry hair is common, it’s essential to clean them thoroughly afterward. Hair fragments and product residues can accumulate and cause dullness over time. Even if you only use your shears on clean, dry hair, microscopic particles can still build up on the blades. Always clean your shears after each use, regardless of the hair’s condition, to ensure they remain sharp and effective.

Myth 9: “All Shears are the Same”

Believing that all shears are the same and treating them uniformly can lead to improper maintenance. Each pair of shears may have specific care instructions based on its material and design. For example, some shears may require more frequent sharpening or specific types of oil. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for best results, and don’t assume that what works for one pair of shears will work for another.

Myth 10: “Storing Shears Anywhere is Okay”

Throwing your shears in a drawer or leaving them on a countertop can expose them to damage. They can get knocked around, leading to misalignment or nicks in the blades. Proper storage in a designated case or pouch protects them from knocks and moisture, preserving their condition. Invest in a quality shear case that provides a secure, cushioned environment for your shears when they’re not in use. This simple step can significantly extend the life of your tools and keep them performing at their best.

Steering clear of these common myths and misconceptions will help keep your professional hair cutting shears in excellent condition, ensuring optimal performance. Proper maintenance is essential for extending the life of your tools and maintaining the quality of your cuts.