View Full Version : hairdressers vs self trim, and how bad are my scissors?

August 30th, 2010, 07:10 PM
I haven't had my hair trimmed much since I stopped straightening, so there are still quite a few splits from the heat damage - I had very wispy fairy tale ends. I did give myself a little trim, so my hemline is a bit more blunt now. An S&D won't really help me, since most of the splits are in the ends of my hair.

Today I gave myself another trim, but this time when I bunched my hair together, the ends looked very split after cutting - like the ends of fibre optic cables!

I have some 20 hair scissors, never used for anything but hair (though they could have got some hair gel on, when my friend's boyfriend snipped his hair for a joke) - but they seem very blunt, to the point they do more harm than good and I haven't used them that much.

I'm at a loss as to what to do now - I don't really want another trim, not till it's grown a bit, but I'm scared I've caused myself a lot of splits. I could
- try to sharpen my scissors (I don't know where, other than online, which I'm not sure about),
- buy new ones (which for the price of sharpening, might be a good idea), or
- go to a hairdresser (eek).

Thing is, I want a U shape hem, and I'm not sure I can do that evenly on myself - but I don't know whether a hairdresser will give me what I want, or if their scissors will be sharp enough. I can't afford to go to an expensive hairdresser. I haven't had any BAD experiences with hairdressers, but I don't feel like what I get was what I imagined (though not because they didn't do what I asked). I could take my mum, draw what I want, and ask them to show me and my mum how much they cut off, and tell them I don't want a millimetre more, despite the damage but I'm still not sure.

Could anyone give me advice, whether my scissors could be so useless, or if I'm using them wrong / imagining it. Also, how sharp would hairdresser's scissors be? Arg I'm just very confused.

ps. sorry this is so long, I might edit this later to make this shorter and more coherent!

August 30th, 2010, 07:18 PM
What scissors do you have? I got the Tweezerman ones from Boots for £20 and they are excellent.

You can test if they are sharp by holding up a strand of cotton and seeing if they can cut through it cleanly in one go. I read this on another hair forum a few years ago.

You could wipe the blades on a towel of tshirt or something to clean off any residue that could be on them, and use a wet wipe if they are really gooey (you'd probably be able to see if there was that much gel on them though)

Hold them up to the light so you can see between the blades. If the gap changes when you wiggle the blades (no opening and closing, just wiggling) then the screw could be loose. Some styles can be tightened with just a screw driver.

Craft scissor and punch manufacturers always told us to tell customers to cut tin foil for a bit to sharpen the blades, but I'm not sure this would work for hair scissors.

As for the trimming, have you seen Feye's self trim method? I'll find the link for you. It gives be a good U every time.

I can't comment on a hairdressers because I've never been to one!

ETA: Here's Feye's method http://community.livejournal.com/feyeselftrim

August 30th, 2010, 07:28 PM
My student level hair scissors cost $500. Most professionals, even the ones who work at budget chain salons have very sharp scissors. There are many grades of hair scissors and you get what you pay for in most cases. You can get some decent scissors at Sally's but most "hair scissors" you'll find at places like Wal-Mart, Target, drug stores, etc. aren't going to be that great. Some people have great success with self-trimming, but there is a reason it takes time and training to cut hair. It's difficult to get it even, especially if you want a U shaped hemline.

Try trimming yourself, if the result isn't what you want look in to a budget friendly salon and very thoroughly explain what you want during the consultation. Make sure the stylist shows you how much is going to be cut before she cuts it. Tell her this before she even has her scissors in hand. Don't give her a measurement, physically show how much with your fingers. Everyone's inch or centimeter is different. If she isn't listening to you and cooperating, ask her politely to stop and to speak to the manager then ask for someone else.

August 30th, 2010, 07:52 PM
I'm also having this problem. I trimmed out my layers recently and looking at them they still have the 'white dots' at the end. I DO just have hair scissors from WalMart or Target or whatnot. They are about 7 years old, too.

I like the idea of cutting foil to sharpen them, but if that doesn't work, is there any other way to sharpen them? I really cannot justify buying hair scissors that are more than about $25-30. It's just not in my budget, sadly.

August 30th, 2010, 08:18 PM
I would suggest getting some new scissors. You could get a decent pair at Sally's without too much expense. Then I would get someone I know and trusted to just nip the ends if you dont feel like you can do it yourself. Be really explicit and show them exactly how much to trim.

August 31st, 2010, 02:06 AM
I've read how you are not supposed to cut yourself because your scissors are nuts but the hairdresser's are gold blah blah. yeah, I get it how sharp scissors create even cut etc etc but our hair wears out, even cut transforms into uneven within days - I can feel it when I get a cut at a salon - I wash my hair once, then again and feel this amazing sharp line of my hemline but the third time - nothing! the hemline is not even anymore. I'm using the simplest scissors around to do self trims and I don't get any excessive split ends so my personal experience shows how scissors actually play no role here. then again, it's not a scientific research or anything.

August 31st, 2010, 03:51 AM
I can't help much with the scissors, I'm afraid, but I thought of another possibility.

Maybe your hair is so damaged from straightening it starts splitting again even after you cut it? I sometimes have splits that I cut off only to see another white dot at the end I just cut. So I cut off another bit until the hair looks fine; I don't think it comes down to the scissors necessarily.

If that is the case, however, you won't see improvement until all the heat damage from the ends of your hair is gone :(