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Styling Like a Pro: How to Thin Hair With Thinning Shears

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Professional hairstylists have a plethora of tools in their arsenal that most people don’t even know exist. If you want to straighten your mane, they’ll use a flat iron. Want to trim particularly bulky hair? A hair clipper is the ultimate godsend. And if your goal is to enhance the shape, texture, and overall look of your new haircut, then all you need is a pair of thinning shears.

Unfortunately, there’s a significant margin of error with instruments like these because cutting your own hair can be a tricky business to manage. That doesn’t mean picking up the skill is impossible. With a bit of practice and some expert guidance, you can easily get rid of excess weight, add the perfect amount of texture, and make your hairstyle look professionally groomed without leaving your home! This step-by-step guide will help you with the entire process of thinning your hair using the right kind of shears.

Table of Contents

  • What are thinning shears?
  • How to thin hair with thinning shears
  • What to keep in mind when using thinning shears

What are thinning shears?

Thinning shears look exactly like a pair of scissors, but with a key difference – they have comb-like teeth on one side with tiny grooves that are spaced out evenly. This side helps you delineate the portion of your hair that needs to be textured. You won’t have to alternate between the shears and a comb, which will help speed up the process while making it much more seamless to use on yourself.

The purpose of thinning shears is primarily to remove excess weight from your hair. Texturizing scissors will probably get the job done better if you want to create volume or add movement to a hairstyle. For a tool like thinning shears, it’s easy to snip the right amount of hair from the ends, allowing you to soften, blend, and cut down on bulk till the results are exactly how you imagined.

How to thin hair with thinning shears

Making changes to your haircut and style at home in any capacity can be tricky if you don’t have much experience in the arena. However, as long as you aren’t afraid of the trial and error process, you can create the look of your dreams in the comfort of your home. Just make sure to practice the necessary precautions so that you don’t accidentally chop off too much or harm yourself in some way. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to thin hair with thinning shears:

1. Figure out exactly what you want to do.

Do you want to blend and texturize? Get rid of bulk? Or just give your hair a finishing touch? The reason you need to start by figuring out what you’d like to accomplish is that there are three types of thinning shear dedicated to different purposes. You can tell them apart by the density of their teeth. If you want to blend multiple sections of the hair and soften blunt edges, you need a fine-toothed shear with a higher number of teeth. On the other hand, if your aim is to take care of bulks, wider teeth is the way to go.

2. If you’re using thinning shears for blending...
  • Dry your hair after cutting.
  • Use your index and middle fingers to portion out the hair you want to blend. You can also use a comb.
  • Make gradual cuts upwards by placing the flat, toothless edge of the shear at the bottom.
  • Hold, cut, and repeat until the different sections meet.

3. If you’re using the shear for texturing...
  • Comb your hair straight until there are no tangles in the way. If you have curls, it’s a good idea to straighten it for this process just to give you better access.
  • Grab the portion of the hair that you wish to thin between your index and middle fingers. Again, you can use a comb if you’re more comfortable with that.
  • Place the shears one or two inches over your fingers or comb, facing the tip down in the direction of hair growth. The more weight you want to remove, the higher up you should position your shears from the ends.
  • Glide the shears through to the ends, imitating the fashion in which you comb or brush.
  • Repeat these steps till you’ve achieved the right texture and all positions are evened out.

Things to keep in mind when using thinning shears

1. Never start a haircut with thinning shears.

The tool is not intended to build the shape of your hair or even to structure the style. It should be used only when the cutting process is complete to enhance and perfect the shape you’ve created.

2. Be extra careful with thick or curly hair.

Curly hair has a mind of its own. Thinning it for ease of styling can actually end up achieving the opposite and result in more bulk and frizz. You can still use thinning shears, but you’ll have to be more delicate and make sure to work on the ends to give your hair softer edges.

3. Don’t rely too much on the tool.

Overuse of thinning shears will keep your hair from growing optimally. It will also make the hair feel thinner and more brittle, resulting in loss of shape as well as hair fall. This is not a problem for people with long hair, but those with short hair that needs to be cut frequently should bear this in mind.

Now that you know how to thin your hair with thinning shears, perfecting your dream look like a total pro is easier than ever! Just remember to practice caution, give yourself enough room to grow, and before you know it, you’ll be gliding and texturizing with your eyes closed (though, you know, please don’t).

Sources:

Radhika Bhatia

I'm a content writer, copywriter, and blogger with a background in marketing, planning, and eCommerce. I specialize in beauty writing, including skincare, cosmetics, wellness, aesthetics, and health. Classically trained and idea-savvy, I love living in the present.

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