How to Sharpen Hair Scissors

Every seasoned hairstylist will tell you that the secret to a crisp, clean cut is a sharp pair of hair scissors. But not every stylist knows how to sharpen them. In this article, we will walk through all of the different ways you can sharpen hair scissors both at home and at work.

Saki Shears does not recommend trying to sharpen our hair shears yourself, however, if you have a inexpensive or cheap set of hair shears and want to give it a try, here are some tips. If you've been using inexpensive hair shears in the past and are ready to upgrade to a premium set of shears, we have written an article to assist you with choosing the right hair shears

How to Sharpen Hair Scissors at Home or Work

1.      Get Your Hair Scissors Professionally Sharpened

Allowing professionals to handle sharpening your hair scissors is the key to achieving the best results. Professional sharpening services generally run around $30 to $50 per pair and the results last about a year.

2.      Invest in Your Own Professional Sharpening Tools

You can purchase professional sharpening tools from any of your local hardware stores or online. Professional sharpening tools sharpen the blades by repeatedly grinding the edges. They are typically easy to use and you can find plenty of instructional videos available online. Professional sharpening tools are also safer to use as they lock the hair scissors in place, decreasing your chances of an accident.

3.      Use a Whetstone to Sharpen Hair Scissors

A whetstone is a fine-grained stone used for sharpening cutting tools such as hair scissors. Whetstones are meant to be soaked in either water or oil, depending on the type, and typically come with a tension key to help separate the scissor blades. Once the stone is soaked and your blades are separated, you slide the blade across the stone at an angle, repeating the process for about ten to fifteen minutes until the blades are sharpened. After sharpening, it’s important to clean, dry, oil, and join the blades back together. It’s that easy!

4.      Use Common Household Items

Surprisingly, you can use common household items to sharpen dull hair scissors. You can use a glass mason jar to open and close your hair scissors against in a slow, controlled motion until the blades are sharpened.

Another cost-effective solution is to use aluminum foil. The trick is to fold a sheet of tin foil a few times until you get a dense rectangular shape and cut through it. You will know your blades have been sharpened once you can get at least ten complete cutting motions through the foil sheet. Properly clean and sanitize the scissors after sharpening.

5.      Try Rubbing Alcohol to Sharpen Your Hair Scissors

Not only can rubbing alcohol help keep your hair scissors clean and sanitized, but it can also be used to sharpen the blades by removing build-up that collects on them throughout time. To sharpen your scissors with rubbing alcohol, you’ll want to pour some into a bowl, dip the scissors and use a soft rag or cloth to gently clean the blades. Repeat this process about ten times on each side of the blade. Be sure to thoroughly dry off the blades after sharpening them with alcohol.

Don't Want to Sharpen Your Hair Shears? Prefer to Buy a New Set?

Spending the time and money to sharpen a cheap set of hair shears is rarely worthwhile. If you have an inexpensive set of shears, you might be better off investing in a high-quality set of hair shears designed for professionals. You might want to consider the Saki Katana set of hair shears. The Katana set has been one of the most popular set of hair shears for the past five years. Crafted from premium 440C Japanese steel and coated with a beautiful black titanium finish; they are loved by barbers around the world. 

Don't sharpen your old hair shears - try the Saki Katana set instead

If you have decided that trying to sharpen your old hair shears, just isn't worth it, and you're ready for a professional set of shears; another popular option is the pink Saki Kohana set of hair shears. The stainless steel, triple-honed, convex edged blades provide smooth, flawless cutting and durability you can trust. This pretty in pink set is perfect for blunt, wet and/or dry cutting.

Pink hair shears Saki Kohana

Pink hair shears with convex blade

Sharpening Hair Thinning Scissors at Home

Sharpening hair thinning scissors is a little different. You can use any of the sharpening options listed above to sharpen the regular blade on hair thinning scissors. Do not use any sharpening tools on the blade that has the teeth. Instead, use the rubbing alcohol technique to carefully remove build-up.

Tips for Sharpening Hair Scissors

  • Every type of hair scissor needs regular sharpening
  • Hair scissors made of higher quality steel may require less frequent sharpening
  • Hair scissors made of cheaper steel will require more frequent sharpening
  • Having your hair scissors professionally sharpened is the best way to ensure they’re restored to their original condition, and in some cases, you can get them even sharper
  • Higher quality shears are better off being professionally sharpened so as to not damage them
  • Always remember to clean, sanitize, oil, dry and properly store your hair scissors to keep them in working condition for as long as possible. Read more about how to properly maintain your hair shears.

Prefer not to sharpen your blades every so often? Purchase hair scissors made from hard, quality steel. Saki Shears offers hair scissors for both professional cosmetologists and students. Made from Japanese steel, Saki Shears are designed for long-lasting use. Browse our line of hair scissors and read more articles like this one on our blog.

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“I love the interaction with the people sitting in my chair. And I love the little twinkle in their eye that said, “Wow, I feel really good! I look great!” That was–and still is–quite powerful to me. It’s an instant gratification! It doesn’t matter how badly their day has gone, in that moment they feel amazing. And the hairdresser has made them feel that way.”

Tabatha Coffey