Left-Handed Shears

Are left-Handed Shears really that necessary?

It is a fact that we live in a world built for the right-handed. Everyday tools and appliances are usually designed to be operated with the right hand. So, lefties have been forced to adapt and learn how to use these items with their right hand.

However, there are many many things designed especially for the left-handed, all you need to do is to look for the “right” alternative. Even for professional stylists it can be surprising to know that there are true left-handed shears that aim to make their jobs easier.

While many left-handed stylists have learned how to cut hair using flipped right-handed shears, the truth is that prolonged use of them might cause harm to the wrist and arm since you usually need to cut hair in a position that isn’t natural or comfortable.

If you’re feeling left out, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are several options of left-handed shears so you can choose the option that feels most comfortable for you. Keep in mind that taking care of yourself and your body can be even more important than giving your clients the results they expect. Overworking your body by not having the right tools can cause serious and even permanent damage.

Left-handed shears: real inclusion for stylists

Did you know that a survey revealed that the number of left-handed stylists is less than 10%? This means that the percentage is really low, so not many manufacturers consider this section of the population when making accessories. This leads to over 65% of left-handed stylists being trained to work with their right and or to use a flipped shear to cut with their dominant hand.

Since there aren’t many stylists that have actually learned to use left-handed shears, the list of alternatives isn’t very wide. A sad but not shocking fact is that some companies only produce a small number of left-handed shears, and to save cost, they charge extra for them. It is absolutely unfair to charge extra for a tool that should exist without prejudice.

Consequences of not using left-handed shears

There’s a common consequence that affects left-handed stylists that use a flipped right-handed shear to cut hair: strain injuries from repetitive motion. The reason is that with right-handed shear the blade for your thumb is the front blade, this means that to open and close the shear you need to create some friction against the back blade to avoid pushing or folding the hair.

How do you do it? By pulling the thumb blade back as you do every cut. This repetitive movement creates a lot of pressure on your thumb tendon and might lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or some other symptoms of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) such as:

  • Stiffness

  • Weakness

  • Throbbing

  • Pain or tenderness

  • Numbness

  • Cramps

Keep in mind that these injuries can affect not only your hands and thumbs, but elbows, forearms, neck and shoulders.

How using left-handed shears can benefit you

Left-handed shears were designed specifically to work with your body and make it easier for you to perform repetitive motions without the risk of getting injured. Ergonomically designed left-handed shears with a forward set thumb position helps to keep your elbow down while cutting hair. As a result, no more neck and shoulder pain for you after a long day of work.

When using the correct shears based on your dominant hand, you can move the thumb blade to the back of the shear; this means that you will work by pushing instead of pulling to cut. This helps you reduce the pressure on your thumb tendon and enables cutting in different positions while keeping your elbow lowered in a natural position that reduces tension and pain in your shoulder and neck.

How to know if you’re using left-handed shears

Since not many stylists are used to working with left-handed shears, it is key to make sure you use them correctly. To verify if you’re using true left-handed shears you just need to look at the position of your thumb blade. With a true left-handed shear, the thumb blade is positioned at the back while you open and close the shear. If, on the other hand, the thumb blade is at the front, it is a right-handed shear being flipped.