Why Are Hair Scissors So Expensive

Why Are High-End Hair Scissors So Expensively Priced?

A visit to the hair salon almost always involves the stylist pulling out their shiny, impressive-looking shears to trim and style your hair. But have you ever looked at the price tag on those professional hair scissors? The number can be staggering, with top models easily costing $500, $1000, or even over $2000.

Why on earth would anyone pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a pair of scissors? What makes high-end hair shears so incredibly expensive?

As a professional hair stylist myself, I can tell you these scissors are worth every penny. The level of quality and performance simply can’t be matched by cheap hardware store scissors. But what exactly accounts for the shocking price difference?

In this article, I’ll break down the key reasons why high-end hair scissors come with such an exorbitant cost. Once you understand the time, care, and expertise invested into their production, the price begins to make more sense.

It All Starts With the Steel

scissors steel

The steel is arguably the most important component of hair shears. Just as you wouldn’t skimp on purchasing quality steel for knives in your kitchen, your hair cutting tools require metal that’s able to hold up under frequent use.

Professional shears begin with high-carbon steel alloyed with metals like manganese, chromium, tungsten, and vanadium. This blend creates a hard yet flexible metal. It maintains its sharp precision edge through repeated cutting, time after time. The steel alone can account for up to 70% of the total cost.

Low-end scissors rely on softer, inferior metals like stainless steel. They’ll dull quickly with use. And good luck trying to re-sharpen them to anywhere close to their original state.

I cringe when I see stylists trying to cut hair with the cheap scissors included in those “starter kits”. Using lousy tools like this will destroy your end results, not to mention your reputation among clients.

Artistry and Hand-Craftsmanship Doesn’t Come Cheap


Shaping and sharpening the blades is an art form requiring great skill and care. Expert artisans carefully grind each pair of shears into the optimal curved blade needed for smooth, effortless cutting. The edges must line up perfectly in what’s known as “blade flushness”. Even microscopic irregularities here can snag hair.

The sharpening process is equally meticulous, with the beveled edges honed for maximum thinness and sharpness. Tolerances are tested down to mere microns. Keep in mind this delicate sharpening must be maintained over years of use with proper honing. These small details make all the difference.

Cheap manufacturing and lax quality control may straighten out imperfections to create sharper points. But this leaves tiny crevices where hair can catch. Run your fingers along the edges of budget scissors to detect these flaws immediately.

Simply put—precision costs money. There are no shortcuts to durable, flawless performance.

Handles Designed for All-Day Comfort

Standard scissors pinch and strain hands after prolonged use. Sweaty fingers losing grip is no way to work.

Pro shears boast ergonomic handle designs to avoid fatigue and discomfort even after hours of snipping away. Different grip styles accommodate various cutting techniques.

Popular handle materials include contoured hardwoods like Japanese white oak, lightweight anodized aluminum, and carbon fiber. More exotic versions may incorporate abalone shell or even ancient mammoth ivory accents. This beauty carries functionality, providing a non-slip surface.

Lavish materials like these do raise costs, but also elevate the shears into a work of art.

The Importance of Weight and Balance

manufacture the scissors

Balance points and weight distribution may seem like subtle details, but they make all the difference in how the scissors feel in your hand. Improper weighting leads to hand strain and inaccurate cuts.

Quality shears have slender, hollow-ground blades to reduce mass at the cutting edge. This prevents unwanted weight far from the fulcrum. The entire tool should feel like an extension of your hand.

Adjustable pivot screws allow custom tuning of balance and drag resistance. If the blades are too loose, they won’t cut cleanly. And excessive tension leads to weaknesses over time.

The ability to fine-tune performance and “break in” the scissors to suit your needs is well worth paying extra.

Invest in Your Livelihood

For full-time stylists, their scissors are arguably the most important tools of the entire trade. This is what puts food on the table and pays the bills.

So when it comes time to buy new shears, it makes sense to invest in your livelihood rather than pinching pennies. You wouldn’t expect a surgeon to operate using cheap scalpels, right? Why should your tools be any less than the absolute best available?

Highest-tier shears may have a scary price tag initially. But used properly and cared for, they can easily last 10+ years, paying for themselves many times over. New stylists just starting out would do well to save up for a high-quality first pair.

Customization for the Perfect Fit

Off-the-rack clothing never fits quite right until tailored specifically for you. The same applies to hair shears.

That’s why the very best scissors are built customized to the stylist. Handle lengths, finger rests, and dimensions are all configured specifically around hand size and grip. This ensures maximum comfort and control.

Some brands even allow choosing the precise degree of swivel tension and blade curve based on cutting style. Getting options like this requires buying from a top-tier bespoke manufacturer. But the costs involved with customization do pay off.

The Prestige Factor

For many stylists, their shears are a matter of pride and status. Sporting a premium pair conveys an image of success and excellence to clients.

Stylists who care about craftsmanship and performance will pay for the very best tools available. So there’s an element of prestige involved when flaunting beautifully crafted, wickedly sharp shears.

When your scissors easily run $500+ as a standard starting point, that extra bling and visual appeal becomes part of the value. And stylist who have risen to the pinnacle of their career deserve to reward themselves with an ultimate luxury pair.

Staying on the Cutting Edge of Technology

cutting edge laser

With each passing year, competition among premium scissors brands pushes innovation further. Space-age manufacturing methods were once found only in the aerospace and Formula 1 racing industries.

Now you’ll see many of these same technologies utilized to build ever-better shears:

– Precision CNC machining
– 3D metal printing
– Finite element analysis
– Friction-reducing coatings
– High-tech ergonomic designs

Brands boast patents covering proprietary steel alloys, new techniques for optimizing edge angles, and other improvements. While many of these advances may seem incremental individually, together they represent meaningful progress.

Of course, developing and licensing these innovations adds to the sticker price. But staying on the cutting edge is what keeps top stylists at the forefront of the industry.

Brand Reputation Matters

Photographers want Canon or Nikon cameras. Musicians covet a Gibson or Fender guitar.

It’s the same story for veteran hairstylists seeking out shears—you buy based on reputation and trust in the brand. Companies like Matsuzaki, Hanzo, and Jaguar have built their names over generations. Their scissors simply must perform up to expectations.

Lesser-known upstarts may offer similar specs at lower prices. But pedigree provides peace of mind that your investment will hold up under pressure. When your career depends on the tools in your hands, proven reliability means more than saving a few bucks.

A Luxury Designed to Be Handed Down

Unlike flimsy drugstore scissors with plastic handles and rickety joints, quality shears are built to be passed down for generations. The sturdy steel and timeless craftsmanship ensure decades of service with proper care.

Many veteran stylists first learned on their parents’ or mentors’ shears from the 1970s and earlier. With regular sharpening and maintenance, you should easily use a premium pair for your entire career. Later on, gift them to an up-and-comer just as your predecessors did for you.

Viewing high-end shears as family heirlooms makes the princely sums feel more justified. And they pay tribute to the artistic legacy of your craft.

But Are the REALLY Worth the Costs?

how much does it cost

At the end of the day, professional hair shears represent serious investments, sometimes equivalent to a decent used car. So it’s reasonable to question if they truly deliver enough extra value compared to budget options.

In my experience, the answer is a definitive yes—IF you rely on these scissors day in, day out as a professional. Excellence requires the proper tools.

However, for a hobbyist doing the occasional at-home trim, premium shears would likely be overkill. And students just starting training absolutely do NOT need to buy the most expensive pair right off the bat. Wait until your skills develop before upgrading.

Here are a few signs it may be time to upgrade your shears:

– Regular sharpening no longer restores the original sharpness
– Your wrists, hands, or fingers ache after prolonged cutting
– Snagging or pulling occurs even on straight, easy cuts
– Blades seem to dull within just weeks or months
– You need to exert noticeable force to make cuts

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, then yes—it’s worth investing in a better quality pair. For flawless performance year after year, the costs are fully justified.

How to Shop Smart for Expensive Scissors

Now that you know why properly crafted hair shears don’t come cheap, here are some tips for shopping wisely:

Hand test – Try out the scissors before buying if possible to ensure optimal comfort and handling.
Stick with reputable brands – Known names like Hikari, Joewell, and Jaguar are safer bets for quality.
Compare steel grades – Look for strong yet flexible alloys like High Speed Steel (HSS) or Cobalt-mixed.
Consider your needs – Think about hair types, techniques, grip style, hand size etc. Let the seller advise on ideal options.
Know your budget – Prices span a wide spectrum, so have a dollar amount in mind before falling in love with a model.
Consult stylists – Get input from colleagues who have used the same brand or specific shears. Word-of-mouth matters.
Read consumer reviews – Key in on feedback related to durability, edge retention, and precision.
Understand the warranty – Length of coverage varies greatly so know what defects or issues are covered.
Factor in maintenance costs – Sharpening and repairs down the road do add to the overall investment.
Buy local if possible – The expertise and service of a specialty shop can be invaluable.

While very high-end shears are undoubtedly pricey, they represent valuable tools-of-the-trade for serious stylists who want the best. Forego the cheap knockoffs and focus your search on reputable brands known for quality steel, expert construction, and longevity.

With the right pair of scissors in your hands, you’ll achieve perfect cuts for years to come while staying at the forefront of hair care innovation. And one day, you can proudly pass down your shears to inspire future generations of stylists.


Why do some hair scissors cost over $1000?

The most premium hair shears use rare, high-performance steel alloys that are painstakingly forged and sharpened by master craftsmen. The exquisite artistry and extreme cutting ability justify the sky-high costs.

What is the benefit of more expensive shears?

Higher-end shears stay sharp for far longer and require less sharpening maintenance. They cut with little effort and minimize hand fatigue. Most importantly, they provide precision that simply isn’t possible with budget scissors.

How often should you replace professional shears?

With proper care and regular sharpening, premium shears should last 5-10 years or longer. Full-time stylists may need to replace cheaper shears every 2-3 years as the blades wear out.

Is it better to buy full shear sets or individual shears?

Most pros recommend starting with a basic 3-piece set (cutting, thinning, texturizing shears). This allows you to invest in quality. Then supplement with other specialty shears as desired.

What should I look for when buying shears?

Focus on blade quality, ergonomic handles, lightweight balance, and smooth swivel tension. Also ensure they are comfortable in your hand. Reputation of brand and country of origin can signify quality.

What are the best professional shear brands?

Some of the top names are Matsuzaki, Joewell, Jaguar, Kamisori, and Hattori Hanzo. Ask fellow stylists for recommendations on which brands they prefer. Stay away from unknown brands.

Should I have my shears professionally sharpened?

Yes. Sharpening shears requires expertise to maintain optimal blade angles. Most pros recommend professional sharpening 1-2 times per year to keep shears in peak cutting condition.

How can I make professional shears last longer?

Avoid dropping them, letting them rust, or using them on anything other than hair. Clean after each use, oil the pivot screw monthly, and store in a secure case. Proper handling and care will ensure decades of use.

Investing in quality professional hair shears is absolutely worth the upfront costs for serious stylists who depend on their tools each day. With so many options available, focus on trusted brand names, materials, and precision craftsmanship to get the best shears for your budget.

Why are hairdressing scissors so expensive?

A: Hairdressing scissors are generally more expensive compared to regular scissors due to the use of higher quality materials and the precision manufacturing process involved in creating them. Professional hair cutting shears are made with the best materials to ensure durability and a longer period of use.

What are the types of shears available for hairdressing?

A: There are various types of shears available for hairdressing, including regular hair cutting scissors, thinning scissors, and barber shears. Each type serves a specific purpose in hair cutting and styling.

What sets high-quality hairdressing shears apart from cheap shears?

A: High-quality hairdressing shears are made with precision and from the best materials, such as stainless steel or Japanese steel. They are designed to offer professional hairdressers the best tools for their trade, ensuring clean and precise cuts without damaging the hair.

Why do professional hair cutting shears cost more than regular scissors?

A: Professional hair cutting shears are made with specialized technology and top-quality materials. They undergo a meticulous manufacturing process to ensure they meet the requirements of professional hairdressers. The higher price reflects the value and performance of these shears.

Do expensive hair shears deliver better results?

A: Yes, expensive hair shears are often crafted with higher precision and better materials, which can result in better cutting performance. However, it also depends on the skill of the hairdresser. Even with the best hairdressing shears, they do not magically work without the expertise and technique of a professional.

Are hairdressing scissors made with stainless steel?

A: Yes, many professional hairdressing scissors are made with stainless steel, including the highest quality Japanese steel. Stainless steel is chosen for its durability, resistance to rusting, and overall quality.

Why do hairdressing shears need to be sharpened?

A: Hairdressing shears, like any other cutting tool, will become dull over time with regular use. Sharpening the shears helps to maintain their cutting performance and ensure clean and precise cuts. It is essential for professional hairdressers to keep their shears sharp for optimal results.

Can I use regular scissors for cutting hair?

A: It is not recommended to use regular scissors for cutting hair, especially if you are looking for professional results. Regular scissors do not have the same quality and precision as hair cutting shears, and they may end up damaging the hair or causing uneven cuts. It is best to use the appropriate tools for hair cutting.

Why do hairdressing scissors rust easily?

A: Hairdressing shears made with poor quality materials or lack proper maintenance can be more prone to rusting. Using high-quality materials, like stainless steel, and regularly cleaning and lubricating the shears can help prevent rusting and ensure their longevity.

Why are hairdressing shears considered professional tools?

A: Hairdressing shears are considered professional tools because they are specifically designed for hair cutting and styling. They are made with quality materials and undergo a rigorous manufacturing process to meet the standards and demands of professional hairdressers.

So In Conclusion Why Are Hair Scissors So Expensive And What Are Your Options?

While high-end professional hair shears come with jaw-dropping price tags, they really can be worth every penny for stylists who rely on their tools daily. The difference in cutting performance is night and day compared to cheap, dull scissors.

However, not every hair professional needs to use the most expensive shears available. Here are some good rules of thumb:

  • Students in training should buy mid-range shears until their skills progress.
  • Part-time and home hair cutters can get by with $50-150 shears.
  • Invest in premium $500+ shears once your career is established.
  • Upgrade old shears once they no longer hold an edge after repeated sharpening.

The right shears ultimately come down to your individual budget and needs. While you shouldn’t buy the cheapest scissors around, you also don’t need to buy a $2000 pair starting out. Prioritize value and proven quality above all else.

With proper care and maintenance, a good set of professional hair shears should serve any stylist well for many years. They are investments in your artistry and continued success.

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