The Science Behind Hair Cutting: Understanding the Cutting Mechanism of Scissors

The Science Behind Hair Cutting: Understanding the Cutting Mechanism of Scissors


The science behind hair cutting involves understanding the cutting mechanism of scissors, which is influenced by the scissor's design, blade edge, and the properties of human hair. Here's an overview of the cutting process:

  1. Scissor Design:
    • Hairdressing scissors consist of two blades that meet at a pivot point. When the scissors are closed, the blades come together to create a cutting edge.
  2. Blade Edge:
    • The cutting edge of hairdressing scissors can be beveled, convex, or serrated (texturizing scissors). Each type of edge affects the cutting performance and sharpness of the scissors.
  3. Scissor Tension:
    • The tension of the pivot screw affects the scissors' opening and closing resistance. Proper tension allows for smooth and precise cutting action.
  4. Human Hair Structure:
    • Human hair is composed of a protein called keratin. It has a complex structure with three layers: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla.
  5. Cutting Process:
    • When the scissor blades come into contact with the hair, the sharp edges penetrate the cuticle, which is the outer protective layer of the hair shaft.
  6. Shearing Action:
    • As the blades close, the hair is cut by a shearing action. The sharpness of the blades enables them to slide past each other, effectively slicing the hair.
  7. Cutting Angle:
    • The cutting angle refers to the angle at which the scissor blades meet while cutting. A sharper cutting angle results in cleaner cuts, while a wider angle may create texturized or layered effects.
  8. Hair Alignment:
    • The hair must be properly aligned within the scissors' blades for an even and precise cut. Professional hairstylists use combing techniques to ensure proper alignment.
  9. Hair Texture:
    • Different hair textures, such as straight, wavy, curly, or coarse, can influence the cutting process. The sharpness of the scissor blades, as well as the cutting technique used, can affect the final result.
  10. Proper Maintenance:
    • Regular scissor maintenance, including cleaning, lubrication, and sharpening, is crucial for optimal cutting performance.

Understanding the science behind hair cutting allows hairstylists to make informed decisions about scissor selection, cutting techniques, and achieving desired results for various hair types. Professional hairstylists combine their knowledge of scissor mechanics and hair structure to create precise and tailored haircuts for their clients.

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