2023, 2022 & 2021 Reader’s Choice Awardee in Best Shears Beauty Launchpad Magazine. Read more
thin out hair
Hattori Hanzo Shears

How To Thin Hair With Thinning Shears – Beginner to Expert Guide

Read Article

Ready to learn how to thin hair with thinning shears? Thinning shears are a hairstyling essential equipment in every hairstylist’s arsenal. Give the hairstylist a cutting shear and a texturizing shear – consider the toolkit 70% complete. Thinning shears, texturizing shears, and blending shears are three different names with the same basic function – to reduce volume. The different names are often a source of confusion for beginner hairstylists. Hanzo brings you a beginner to advanced expert guide covering everything there is to be about thinning shears.  

Thinning shears are a versatile piece of equipment that helps enhance texture and depth for specific hair sections. This expert guide provides insights into mastering the art of using thinning scissors like an absolute PRO!

The key steps include careful sectioning, holding the hair between fingers and a comb, and cutting perpendicular to the hair’s length. Techniques like point cutting, slide cutting, and others can be employed for various effects. When self-cutting, it’s advised to be gentle and trim small amounts at a time. Thinning shears are particularly effective for cutting bangs, where separation, straight combing, and vertical cutting create a desired look. 

It’s essential to recognize the distinct roles of blending and thinning shears. Blending shears are formerly suitable for scissor over comb and bob haircuts, while thinning shears are ideal for achieving texture and volume.

What are Thinning Shears?

thinning out thick hair

Thinning shears are specialized scissors used in hairstyling to reduce the thickness of hair. They have a serrated edge and a unique design that removes some hair while leaving the rest untouched, creating a textured/layered effect. Thinning shears are versatile tools, capable of adding depth and blending different sections of hair seamlessly. They are particularly useful for managing thick hair, allowing for a more natural and even look. When used correctly, thinning shears contribute to achieving various hairstyling techniques, such as point cutting, slide cutting, and twist cutting etc. 

Design of Thinning Shears 

thinning shears

Thinning shears boast a specialized design crafted for precise hairstyling. With a distinctive serrated or notched edge on one blade, complemented by a straight counterpart, these scissors selectively remove strands. Available in single-bladed and double-bladed designs, they cater to diverse hairstyling needs. Thinning shears’ thoughtful design makes them indispensable tools for achieving various textures and hairstyling techniques.

How to Hold Thinning Shears?

Beginner hairstylists make the mistake of holding the thinning shears the same way as cutting shears. Holding the shears the right way can help reduce wrist fatigue which is the number one reason behind Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Finding the right angle for holding the thinning shears will ensure that you don’t get fatigued while giving your client a makeover.

The ideal angle to hold shears is at 45 degree as this angle allows for excellent blending as well as texturizing. A 45 degree angle will ensure that the serrated edge of the blade is pointing towards the ends of the hair. If done right, the texturizing shears will help prevent split ends and hair damage. If NOT done right, hair can get damaged. 

Not all fingers are equal and individual preference might vary. It is always a good idea to practice and adjust based on the desired outcome and your personal comfort.

How To Thin Hair Using Thinning Shears?

how to thin out hair with thinning shears

Let’s learn how to use thinning shears properly. The first step is to SECTION hair properly into some manageable sections. This allows the hairstylist to prevent overthinking and help ensure an even cut. Sectioning clips can be utilized for this step. Next is to properly grip the hair. Take one section using the non-dominant hand, and comb over it too. Combing is a pro tip which helps to reduce frizz and smoothen the hair. 

Now comes the most important step, using the thinning shears. Position your shears perpendicular to the hair at a 45-degree angle, ensuring the serrated edge faces the hair ends. Take controlled snips through the section, moving gradually to remove bulk and create texture. Avoid abrupt cuts for a softer, blended result. The purpose is to move along the length of the hair – only cutting a little at a time. Comb through regularly to assess and refine the texture, maintaining an even and natural appearance. 

For hairstyling professionals seeking a comprehensive guide, Hanzo provides an in-depth resource. Explore our article on How to Use Thinning Shears – Complete Guide.

Why Only to Use Thinning Shears for Thinning Hair?

how to thin out hair with thinning scissors

Thinning Shears are the best kind of shears when only thinning is desired. Other shear types do exist which can be used with thinning combined with other benefits such as adding texture. Hairstylists can think of thinning shears as a specialist tool for specifically thinning. Here is a brief comparison of what these different shears can do and when to use which.

  1. Thinning Shears Thinning shears are designed to remove bulk and reduce the density of hair. They have a serrated edge on one blade and a straight edge on the other, allowing them to cut some hair strands while leaving others uncut.

Effect: Thinning shears create a softer, more gradual transition between cut and uncut hair.

2. Texturizing Shears  Texturizing shears are used to add texture and movement to the hair. They have wider teeth and remove less hair with each cut compared to thinning shears. Ideal for creating a layered appearance. 

Effect: Texturizing shears are effective in breaking up solid lines and enhancing the natural movement of the hair.

3. Blending ShearsBlending shears are designed to seamlessly blend different lengths of hair together, creating an even transition. 

Effect: Blending shears help create a harmonious flow in the hairstyle, ensuring that the lengths of hair blend seamlessly for a well-integrated look.

On Which Hair Types Should Thinning Shears be Used?

Thinning shears can be used for all hair types. Using thinning shears on curly or wavy hair can be quite challenging but expert stylists can pull this off as well. Hair is how to use thinning hair shears on different hair types:

  • Thick or Dense Hair: Use of thick/dense hair for removing bulk. 
  • Coarse Hair: Use of coarse hair for adding movement. 
  • Curly or Wavy Hair: Use of curly/wavy hair for removing excess weight for enhanced texture. 
  • Straight Hair: Use of straight hair to prevent a flat look, creating subtle layers.
  • Layered Styles: Use on layered hair for a natural, seamless appearance.

thin out short hair

Why Investing in High Quality Thinning Shears is Worth it?

Investing on top-notch thinning shears is a smart move for hairstylists who want spot-on precision and tools that go the distance. These shears are crafted out of high quality materials and are products of killer craftsmanship. They not only save you money in the long run but also keep your hands comfortable due to the enhanced ergonomics. Lastly, good quality materials will ensure lesser damage done to the hair – lesser split ends for the clients! 

With great power comes great responsibility. A  top quality shear would require some princess treatment. Learn how to take care of your thinning shears

shears and cutting techniques

When to Avoid Using Thinning Shears?

Avoid using thinning shears on very fine or thin hair to prevent an overly sparse look. They may not be suitable for very short or blunt styles, as they can create uneven textures and disrupt clean lines. Additionally, thinning shears may further damage already compromised hair, and specific layering techniques may call for traditional scissors for precision. Beginner hairstylists should avoid over-texturizing because it can have negative consequences and can’t be reversed. 

If you’re on the hunt for the best thinning shears for amazing thinned out haircuts, check Hanzo’s shear collection.

Related Artciles