Can Hair Scissors Be Ambidextrous? Left-Handed vs. Right-Handed Shears

January 27, 2022 4 min read

Can Hair Scissors Be Ambidextrous? Left-Handed vs. Right-Handed Shears | Scissor Hub Australia

It's a question that has been asked for years - can hair scissors be ambidextrous?

The answer is yes, but the difference between left and right-handed shears is very important. 

Hair scissors are made to be used in one hand only, and the difference between left and right-handed scissors is with the blades.

When you open a pair of right-handed hair scissors, the blade on the right side goes up, and the blade on the left side goes down. 

It doesn't matter if you turn the scissors over; when you open them, the blade on the right will still be at the top. 

The left-handed scissors is that when you open them, the blade on the left-hand side goes up.

The reason scissors are designed to be used in one hand is that they work best that way. Using both left and right hands makes it harder to get a precise cut, and you're more likely to make mistakes.

That's why hair scissors are generally made for left or right-handed hairdressers & barbers.

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What is the difference between Right and Left Handed Hair Scissors?

The blades of right-handed scissors are set to ensure that they are always at the top no matter which way they are held.

This implies that the cutting motion performed by the left hand pushes the blades closer to provide a smooth cut for the entire long length.

As a result, a right-handed person can clearly see how the cut line is made.

The primary reason left-handed hair scissors aren't effective with hands that are not right is the way you hold hair scissors places tension on your blades and forces them to be pushed against one another.

The wrong handgrip forces the blades to separate, creating an opening in the blades, which impedes their cutting capability.

If you hold a pair of hair scissors with the wrong hand, you'll observe how the cutting blade has been placed so that you can't discern exactly where you're cutting, and it's not on the right side.

Can Left Handed Hairdressers Use Right Handed Hair Shears?

A pair of left handed scissors

Did you know that less than 10 per cent of hairstylists are left-handed? 

Of those left-handed hairdressers, 60% of them either employ the right side of their hand for cutting hair or were taught to use a right-handed flipped shear to cut left-handed hair.

Most hairdressing schools will not care if a left-handed hairdresser practices with a pair of right-handed scissors as long as the scissors are cutting and the student learns how to perform specific haircutting techniques.

When Do You Know Its Time For Lefty Stylists To Use Left Handed Scissors?

The most common reason that left-handed individuals make the switch to lefty scissors is when:

  • You feel stress, the pressure of pain in your index finger, middle finger, or wrist.
  • You are having difficulty controlling the opening and closing of the scissor blades.
  • Your scissors are sharpened, but they are not cutting hair as well as they should be.
  • You find that you have a weird grip or are not properly using the finger rest on the scissor handle.

There are plenty of different reasons why a right blade won't work well for lefty hairdressers, but it's up to you to decide when to make the change.

If your scissors are made for your non-dominant hand, then we recommend purchasing a pair of right-handed shears for right-handed stylists or lefty shears for left-handed stylists.

Are There Ambidextrous Hair Scissors That Work In Both Hands?

True Ambidextrous scissors can be made when the blades have double-edges, and the other handle is turned completely around to make the blades' backs transform into the cutting edges.

There are now ambidextrous hair scissors on the market that can be used in either hand. So if you're left-handed but prefer to use right-handed scissors or vice versa, you can now do so without any problems.

Ambidextrous hair scissors usually have two different blade shapes for each hand. This way, the scissors can be used by both right and left-handed people without any problems.

Summary: Do Hair Scissors Work In Both Dominant and Non-Dominant Hands?

Professional hairdressing scissors are generally made to work for left-handed or right-handed hairdressers.

It is common to find left-handed hairstylists using right-handed shears to cut hair. Still, you may find them at risk of neck & shoulder pain, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), and difficulty performing advanced haircutting techniques.

There is a reason why left-handed shears are available for hairdressers and barbers, and the primary reason is for their workplace safety.

When it comes to hair the deciding on using a lefty or righty scissor, the most important thing is that you think that the shears made for your non-dominant hand may hinder your performance. 

If you are finding yourself adjusting because the shears don't cut the hair as easily as you would like them to (even if you are aware that the cutting blades have sharp edges) it might be time to think about purchasing an asymmetrical pair of shears.

In other words, I wouldn't think about it again. You can chalk up the salon employees remarks down to their possible predisposition to particular shears.


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