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How To Use Thinning Scissors

by James Adams May 26, 2021 7 min read

How To Use Thinning Scissors - Japan Scissors USA

Both men and women hairdressers love to use thinning scissors. This article is not about explaining the pleasure of using thinning scissors. Instead, I will talk about how you can use them at school, at home, and even at a barbershop or salon. 

There are three important things for you to consider when using a thinning scissor. 

  1. The kind of hair you are about to thin
  2. The right type of thinning scissor you would be using
  3. And how to hold and use the scissor properly

In short, this article is all about how to hold and use thinning scissors at home. And how to use these scissors on men and women. So, without wasting further time, let’s jump straight into that. 

Want to skip ahead? Browse our collection of the best thinning scissors in the USA!

Three Step Guide To Effectively Using Thinning Shears On Hair!

Step 1: What kind of hair are you about to thin?

Scissors that are thinning out long brown thick hair

Thinning scissors aim to remove sections of hair. As such, it helps to:

  • Blend hair between shorter and longer sections
  • Remove excess hair from thicker sections 
  • Soften hairlines

Begin with haircutting scissors and use thinning scissors at the end to improve the final hairstyle. 

When the hair is strong and thick, you have to use thinning scissors. As a result, it takes off some extra weight. But if the hair is thin, you need thinning scissors to blend different sections of hair.

Want to know more about thinning scissors? Learn what makes Thinning Scissors so special in the hair industry here!

Step 2: What kind of thinning scissors would you use?

Hair thinning scissors in a salon

While there are many kinds of thinning scissors, you can use, each of them has different functions depending on the number of teeth.

The three kinds of thinning scissors are:

  • 6 to 12 and 30 to 40 teeth – Remove huge chunks
  • 14 to 20 teeth – Blending and finishing 
  • 20 to 30 teeth – Blending and texturizing

So, it is seen that blending and finishing, and blending and texturizing thinning scissors have more teeth. Also, they have v-shaped edges and minimal spaces between teeth. As such, they give hair the perfect lighter look and more blending areas.

When you have thick and dense hair, the chomper thinners come in handy. They can remove chunks of hair to give a light look and feel.

However, thinning scissors with over 24 teeth are the most common type. Furthermore, they blend sections of hair for both men and women with ease.

Learn more about the different kinds of hair scissors here.

Step 3: What is the best way to hold thinning scissors and use them?

USA & American style for holding hair scissors

In this section, you will find out the best way to hold and use your thinning scissors. So, let’s get started.

How do hairstylists hold their scissors? Click here to read how hairdressers hold their shears!

Step 3.1: Holding the thinning scissors in the right way

An image showing how to hold your hair thinning shears, and where to place your fingers

Follow these simple steps to hold thinning hair scissors.

  1. Put your thumb in the larger hole
  2. Place your ring finger in the smaller hole
  3. The pinky finger rests on the pointed hook
  4. The index and middle finger rests on the handle 
  5. Next, open and close the scissor blades with your thumb 

However, the best way to hold the thinning scissors is an easy one. And, it is called the Traditional Western Grip. It is the same as most hairdressers do while holding their scissors

Moreover, you should keep the blade with the teeth in an upward direction.

Step 3.2: Using the thinning scissors properly

How to use thinning scissors on hair properly

Using a thinning scissor is very easy. Grab a small section of hair between your middle and index finger. Next, thin the hair between your fingers by opening and closing the blades. Also, you can use a comb and thin the section of hair coming out of the comb’s teeth.

Use thinning scissors at the end of a haircut. This is because they allow the excess hair to remove, blend, and texturize. 

Most people blend two sections of hair with different lengths by using thinning scissors. However, if you find certain areas of thick hair, you can use a thinning scissor for a lighter look.

How use your thinning scissors to blend hair

You can use your thinning scissors to blend hair together. Blending hair with thinning shears allows you to remove some weight and soften the hard lines between different layers of hair.

  1. After completing the haircut, dry the hair and hold the thinning scissors in your hand.
  2. Make use of a comb or your middle and index finger between two sections of hair you are about to blend.
  3. Gently open the scissor blades and, making a smooth transition, close the blades with the hair between.
  4. Next, repeat the process at the mid-section, where two different hair sections meet.

Using thinning scissors to remove dense, thick hair along with texturizing 

Thinning out and texturizing thick hair with thinning shears

Thinning shears can be used to shape your hairstyle. Depending on the type of haircut, you can either remove thick and dense areas of hair, or your can texturize and shape your hairstyle.

  1. You can begin the procedure either at the beginning or in the end. However, make sure that the hair is combed smoothly and straight. Also, ensure there is no tangled section of hair or knots.
  2. Grab the section of hair you are about to thin. And, you can either use a comb or use your middle and index finger instead.
  3. Open the scissor blades by holding the tool in your dominant hand. Place the scissors about one or two inches above the comb or fingers. That way, you are thinning a bit away from the section of hair you have grabbed. 
  4. Repeat the steps across the other sections of hair.

Tips for using thinning scissors at home

 Thinning out thick hair with scissors at home

It is a good idea to use thinning scissors at home if you are planning to maintain your hair at home or would want to give someone else a nice haircut. 

But if you are a beginner, we recommend you thin less hair than you want. That’s because removing too many of them would make it hard to repair the damage caused. 

So, the easiest way to use thinning scissors at home is to blend two sections of hair. However, thinning your hair is complex. Ask someone to help you or use a mirror. 

Tips for using thinning scissors on women’s hair

Popular YouTuber and hairstylist Dannah Rey present a fantastic video tutorial on how you can use thinning scissors to remove chunks on long hair.


Tips for using thinning scissors on men’s hair

Another YouTuber and hairdresser, Pose, presents a great video explaining the use of thinning scissors on shorter hair.

Conclusion: How to use thinning scissors

Available in different teeth setups, thinning scissors are a handy and versatile haircutting tool. With thinning shears, you can cut between 40 to 70% of your hair. And, it takes one to two cuts.

Thinning scissors can add a natural blend to all kinds of haircuts. Furthermore, they add an extra level of texture to the hair. As such, it improves the overall look and makes your haircut a masterpiece. 

Looking for the best cutting and thinning hair scissor sets? Click here to view the whole collection. 

A brief discussion with an expert about thinning scissors

Cleo, a hairdresser, thinning out her client's hair

We have a short interaction with Cleo, who owns a salon in California, about the best thinning scissors for hairstylists. Here is what she said:

“I know from my experience that it is a bit difficult to find a great thinning scissor compared to ordinary hair cutting scissors.” She said after a brief pause. “When I learned more about them in terms of quality, I found out that Jaguar, Yasaka, and Juntetsu as the best options available on the market. And, it is because of the high-quality steel and Prism teeth they use. You can buy a good pair of hair scissors at $150 and become satisfied. But if you are looking for the smoothest cuts, a pair of thinning scissors is your best choice. And, you can buy them at $200, or a little more than that.”

Tips for choosing how many teeth on your thinning scissors

Teeth on a pair of thinning scissors

If you have visited our website for some time, you might have seen many hair thinning scissors with a variety in teeth numbers. In general, 25 or more than that are good for blending and texturizing. On the other hand, 15 or less than that are very good at removing chunks.

When you are taking care of thick hair, scissors with fewer teeth and wider gaps make your job a lot easier.

For curly hair, chunk removers are the best. As the name suggests, these scissors can take out huge chunks of hair at once. They can take about 40 to 80% of hair.

Ordinary scissors are not capable of doing that. However, there is something important you should know. Chunk scissors are difficult to use, and if you misuse them accidentally, they leave holes in the haircut. 

Now that you have got an idea about thinning scissors, let’s understand how to use them effectively. 

Summary of the three easy steps to using hair thinning scissors

1. Comb/brush the hair

It is important to comb or brush the hair before using thinning scissors. As a result, the hair becomes untangled and smooth. Moreover, it is good to use a thinning shear on dry hair. Wet hair sticks together and makes it hard for you to determine how much you need to remove hair. If you are working on curly hair, try to straighten before using thinning scissors.

2. Hair between blade and teeth

Take the scissor in your hand and open the blade. Now, place the portion of hair between the cutting blade and teeth. Moreover, be sure to keep the scissor about 3 inches from the scalp and fingers. Keep the scissor away from the tips or roots of your client’s hair.

3. Make angle and cut a little

After you place the hair between the thinning scissors:

  1. Make a 45-degree angle by holding the scissor blades.
  2. Remove extra bulk by making little cuts.
  3. With every cut, comb the hair.

As such, you can keep track of your progress by making sure that you haven’t removed too much hair. 

This article was researched and referenced from the best sources:

James Adams
James Adams

James is an experienced hairdressing and barbering enthusiast. He has experience in the Japanese and North American scissor market and strives to bring information on haircutting shears in one place. Writing for Japan Scissors USA, he focuses on Japanese hairdressing scissor brands, models, and the manufacturing process, so you can make the best choice in scissors the first time round.

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