Stylists Swear These Are the 14 Best Hair Shears, Whether You're a Novice Cutter or a Pro (2024)

Once upon a time, we would have shuddered at the thought of an at-home haircut. But nowadays, it doesn’t feel so foreign (global pandemic, we see you). However, if you’re going down the DIY path, whether you're a novice cutter or a pro, it’s important to have the right tools, namely a pair of quality hair shears.

At-home haircuts are a slippery slope, but totally possible,” according to stylist and Raw salon owner Anthony Nader, “if you take the approach that less is more and use the best shears for the job.”

We agree this can be tricky territory if you’ve never cut your hair at home, which is why we’ve done the hard work for you and found the best professional hair-cutting shears on the market for all hair types, skill sets, and style preferences. To land on these pro-approved shears, we conducted hours of research, evaluating our options based on their sharpness, material, and how long-lasting they were. Our team then combined these results with customer reviews and top-rated picks recommended by stylists Nader, Karen Miller, and Edward Tricomi, the co-founder of Warren Tricomi Salons, to create this vetted list—and ahead, we're sharing which ones outperformed their competition.

Our Top Picks

What We Like: Great for adding texture, comes with a sleek case and other accessories, and super sharp.

What We Don't Like: Reviewers note that they can get blunt quickly.

Fancy yourself a bit of a semi-pro at-home hairdresser? Invest in a great pair of shears like these from Matsui. They’re made from Aichei Japanese Steel and come with finger inserts to get your best fit. Plus, the fine point means you can feather or add texture to the hair.

Size: 5.5, 6, 7" | Style: Right or left hand | Materials: Cobalt-infused steel

What We Like: Durable enough to last over twenty years, removable finger rest, and they effortlessly glide through hair.

What We Don't Like: Only one handle position.

Fun fact: Tim Burton was inspired to write Edward Scissorhands after getting his hair cut by master stylist Edward Tricomi—so who better to weigh in on the best shears for an at-home dusting than the man himself? Tricomi is partial to Joewell’s super lightweight scissors, which he calls the ‘Porsche’ of hair shears because they are small at about five inches long and not heavy in your hands.

Size: 5, 5.5" | Materials: Japanese Stainless Alloy Steel

What We Like: Includes comb and adjustable screw, helps create versatile cuts, and comfortable to hold.

What We Don't Like: Could be sharper.

It's kind of hard to believe this shear-and-comb kit comes in at about the same cost as a lox bagel, but such is the wonder of affordable beauty. Made from high-quality steel and with an adjustable screw for customized tension, these work well on all hair types and styles, from crops to long layers.

Size: 6.5" | Materials: Stainless steel

What We Like: Great for precision cuts, easy to trim bangs, and comfortable to grip.

What We Don't Like: Could be sharper.

With a plastic handle and stainless steel blades, these shears from Tweezerman are simple and user-friendly. According to online reviews, they last forever as well (up to 25 years per an Amazon customer).

Size: 5.5" | Materials: Stainless steel

What We Like: Ergonomic design, very sharp, and won't rust.

What We Don't Like: Must be washed before first use.

These handy shears allow you to easily change the tension setting to suit your hair type and style preference. They also come coated in a thin layer of oil to ensure the blades are fresh, so be sure to wash them thoroughly before use.

Size: 6.5" | Materials: Stainless steel

What We Like: V-shaped tip to capture and remove more hair, ideal for scissor over comb work, and radial tooth pattern eliminates bluntness.

What We Don't Like: May need tightening with adjustment key from time to time.

When it comes to bulk hair removal or blending strong layers, Miller reaches for Sam Villa’s reversible shears. “What I like about them is their ability to make achieving a good haircut easy,” she shares, while another review praised their ability to make quick work when thinning or texturizing.

Size: 6.5" | Style: Right or left hand | Materials: Stainless steel

What We Like: Comfortable to grip, won't slip, and very sharp.

What We Don't Like: Metal can get scratches over time.

No one wants crampy, uncomfortable fingers when snipping away. Enter the ULG Hair Cutting Scissors. The ergonomic shape is designed to facilitate easy movement with an inner silicone finger grip to prevent slipping.

Size: 6.5" | Materials: Stainless steel

What We Like: Comprehensive kit, great value, includes adjustable screw and other accessories.

What We Don't Like: Scissors could be sharper.

Feeling confident? Try expanding your DIY haircutting repertoire to include this 10-piece kit from Sirabe. Complete with thinning scissors, regular shears, clips, a comb, and a cape, you’ll have everything on hand to give yourself (or someone else) a professional-ish job from the comforts of home.

Size: 6.7" | Materials: Stainless steel

What We Like: Easy to adjust, great for precision cuts, and comfortable to grip.

What We Don't Like: Must be washed before first use.

These handy shears allow you to easily change the tension setting to suit your hair type and style preference. They also come coated in a thin layer of oil to ensure the blades are fresh, so be sure to wash them thoroughly before use.

Size: 5.75" | Materials: Steel

What We Like: Fun design, tempered with precise blades, and great for beginners.

What We Don't Like: Could be sharper.

Handmade from steel, these colored shears are not only fun to look at but work a treat on all hair types. High quality and comfortable to use, Nader says they’re everything you need to touch up split ends, layers, or bangs. One Amazon customer mentioned that should you ever find the joint jams up, try adding a drop of baby oil.

Size: 6" | Materials: Steel

What We Like: Ideal for quick trims, includes clips, comb, and a cape, and good value.

What We Don't Like: Comb could be better.

If you’re looking for a shorter blade for more specialized work, this kit from Diane is a great option. Sharp, easy to use, and comfortable to grip, they work well on crops and bobs. The inclusion of clips and a comb is a nice touch, too.

Size: 7.5" | Materials: Steel

What We Like: Comfortable to grip, ice-tempered blades don’t get dull, and they offer free returns.

What We Don't Like: Occasionally pulls the hair while cutting.

Jaguar gets that not everyone cuts hair the same way, so they offer an offset left-handed variation of their stylish thinning shears. Thirty-eight thinning teeth with fine V-teeth serration ensure smooth, precise cuts every time.

Size: 5.25" | Materials: Stainless steel

What We Like: Comes with a case, comfortable to grip, and inexpensive.

What We Don't Like: Scissors must be closed gently, and could be sharper.

These sleek black shears are high quality and a great choice for beginners. With a long, razor-sharp cutting edge, they move freely and have a comfortable handle for a clean cut at home.

Size: 6.6" | Materials: Alloy and stainless steel

What We Like: Lifetime warranty, comfortable to grip, works equally well wet or dry, and range of sizes available.

What We Don't Like: Somewhat heavy.

Okay, these are really not cheap, but if you’re happy going your own way in the hair department and want the tools to match, these HH8 shears are gold glass. They feature a permanent finger rest, tension control, even balance, and a screw-in bumper for a precise cut every single time. While a splurge, they come with a lifetime warranty as well.

Size: 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5" | Materials: Cobalt and molybdenum alloys

Where We Stand

Overall, our top pick for best hair shears is the Matsui Matte Black Aichei Mountain Offset Shear for its sharpness, longevity, and the fact you can tweak the finger grips to suit you. We also love the more budget-friendly Coolala Stainless Steel Hair Cutting Scissors 6.5" because they hit a sweet spot between quality, ease of use, and affordability.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best shears on the market, evaluating their key features in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We also consulted experts for their opinions. We then used this research to choose the best picks to inform this article.

What to Look for When Buying Professional Hair Shears

  • Material: When looking to buy hair shears, stainless steel is by far the best material to go for as it retains a sharp edge, won’t rust, and will last forever. Many of our picks were stainless steel, including the ULG Professional Hair Scissors and the Sam Villa Signature Series Reversible Blending Shears.
  • Length: While this is more important for professional stylists than at-home stylists, you can still consider the length of your shear. First of all, choose something that aligns with the size of your hands. If they’re bigger (and your fingers are longer), go for a longer shear and vice versa. Your hairstyle matters as well. Longer shears are better at cutting curves and long layers, whereas shorter shears are great for ends, bangs, short choppy styles, and crops.

FAQ

  • How do you clean professional hair shears?

    Nader suggests using a cloth soaked with rubbing alcohol to clean your shears in between each use, but oiling your shears is just as important so they don’t rust. “Once a month, open the shears as wide as possible and place one to two drops of oil in the pivot area,” instructs Miller. Twice a month if you use them every day. (Our Equinox Hair Cutting Scissors pick even comes oiled to ensure premium sharpness upon first use.)

  • Should you sharpen hair shears?


    Maybe you don’t want to. Tricomi, for example, says he is not a fan of sharpening his shears, and instead, when they start to dull, he moves on to a new pair. “I’ve learned that if you have someone sharpen them, it tends to fully change the shear, making it unable to slide along the hair,” he explains.

    On the flip side, Miller can understand not wanting to part with a pricey pair of shears. “If you spend a good amount of money on shears, you can definitely have them maintained with a proper sharpening,” she says. While she doesn’t recommend doing that yourself per se, she does cosign sending them to a specialist. In New York City, she takes hers to ShearWorld for a tune-up.

Why Trust Byrdie

Emily Algar is an experienced freelance journalist who covers all things beauty. She has written for various publications such as Allure, Who What Wear, MyDomaine, and, of course, Byrdie.

Byrdie contributor Kelli Acciardo has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry and regularly gets haircuts from celebrity stylists who school her on the many different types of shears on the market.

For this story, Team Byrdie interviewed three experts to gather more insights about what to keep in mind when buying professional hair shears. Those experts include:

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any professional hair shears from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Stylists Swear These Are the 14 Best Hair Shears, Whether You're a Novice Cutter or a Pro (2024)
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