For guys who like to do their hair cutting and styling at home, a good pair of hair cutting scissors can be a good investment. However, professional scissors also need a little bit of maintenance, including oiling and sharpening to ensure that every cut the scissors make is sharp and sleek. A dull pair of scissors will often result in jagged ends and may give the illusion that the strands have split ends. Here are a few tips on how to sharpen hair scissors at home.
How to Sharpen Hair Scissors
Use Aluminum/Tin Foil
Aluminum foil is a cheap and easy tool for sharpening hair scissors. This is a great tool if you do not have a whetstone or you do not want the mess that comes with sharpening scissors using any other method. All it takes is a piece of aluminum foil that you can fold so that it resembles a paper fan.
Make sure that the foil is a little bit thick so that there is a slight resistance when you cut it using the scissors. With the folded aluminum foil placed horizontally, cut through the foil from one end until you reach the other end. You can test if there has been any change in sharpness by cutting through cloth or a piece of felt.
Alcohol is good for removing any gunk or debris from the blades, which makes the blades stay sharp for longer periods. You can dip a cotton ball in alcohol and run this over the blade to remove any product or gunk.
Sharpen Scissors with an Ordinary Whetstone
A regular whetstone is a good tool for sharpening your scissors. You can soak the stone overnight covered in oil before you use it the next day. The oil helps in the sharpening process and can be rinsed off once the sharpening is done. You can slide the stone over the blade, from the pivot to the tip ten times or until the blade is sharp. Move to the other blade after you finish with the first blade. Once both blades have been sharpened, open and close the blades in succession to dislodge any metal shavings. Wipe down with a towel.
Use Professional Sharpening Tools
Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
There are professional sharpening tools that can be used to sharpen hairdressing scissors. A good option is the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker which is designed to sharpen anything that has a blade. It includes 2 sets of high alumina ceramic stones that can sharpen the blades just by running them through the stones. Deburring is effortless since you can run the sharpened blade over the white stone to remove any shavings with ease.
You may need to use different techniques depending on the kind of hair cutting shears you are sharpening. For example, for thinning shears, you only sharpen one blade and you use the flat side of the white stone to sharpen by running the blade from the pivot to the tip through the stone. With pinking shears, you lay the flat surface along the gray stone and run from the pivot to the tip.
Test using paper and sharpen with the white stone to polish and refine the sharpness of the blade before you test using a piece of silk or felt. For shears with a thin angle, such as a pair of professional barber’s shears, it is important to lay the blade until you find the right angle and start running the blade from the pivot to the tip. This way you do not distort the angle, which could distort the cutting edge and render the shears duller than you started with. Remove any burrs by running the whole of the blade perpendicularly to the stone.
A great thing about the product is that it comes with a plastic base and lid, and the stones can be fitted back into the case after each use. The triangular shape of the stones makes this sharpener ideal for sharpening different types of hair cutting shears. If you have different hair cutting shears at home and want to keep them in good shape the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker is a great option. This is also a multi-purpose tool so any other tool that needs to be sharpened such as woodworking or shaving tools will benefit from this product.