Why Do My Sharp Scissors Snag the Hair When I Slide Cut Dry Hair?
Many stylists use a technique where they slide their scissors through the hair. Some will keep their scissors in an open position and others will slowly close their scissors as they move through the hair. This is known as slide cutting or slice cutting (see photo to the left).
Many customers who use this technique on dry hair have asked, "why do my sharp scissors snag the hair when I slide cut dry hair?" Although this technique is very common, slide cutting should ONLY be done on wet hair!
Slide cutting with sharp scissors will snag and pull the dry hair, cause premature dulling of your scissors, and possibly result in "frizzy" hair. When you slide cut dry hair, some of the hair is being cut but some of the hair is being shredded and damaged.
You can compare slide cutting to cutting a carrot
If the scissors are sharp, like Hikari scissors and other high end brands, you will feel the scissor tug or snag the hair as it shreds the surface of the hair. The tugging and snagging is very uncomfortable for the customer and is damaging to their hair. You are shredding the surface of the hair like the skin of the carrot.
However, if you were to take a butter knife and cut the carrot at an angle, it would just slide off the carrot and not shred off the skin of the carrot. This is similar to using a cheap or dull scissor, it simply slides off the hair and you don't feel the tugging or snagging that you would with a sharp scissor.
Because cheap or dull scissors don't snag the hair, many stylists think their cheaper scissors slide cut better than their more expensive sharp scissors. As mentioned, sharp scissors will shred the hair cuticle and cause damage to the hair structure.
Damaged hair structure
In this picture, you can see white flakes, or a dust like substance as a result of slide cutting on dry hair.
Although, slide cutting on wet hair is more efficient than slide cutting on dry hair, neither are recommended!
What are some alternatives to slide cutting?
Using a texturizer, like the Hikari Trendy 741 will help to create a razor-like finish without damaging the hair. It is great for blending, sculpting and shaping the hair and will not leave a line of demarcation. Other options for lightweight removal are the Angel 776 and 772. They are similar to the Trendy but even sharper, smoother and more powerful! Both the Angel 776 and 772 are designed with unique precision cutting teeth that allow you to pull through the hair in the closed position. All of these tools are great alternatives for creating a beautiful soft taper, or razor-like finish with no damage!!!