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Ask An Expert: Can Thinning Scissors and Razors Damage My Hair?


Ever wonder how razors and thinning scissors impacts your hair? Jason Lee, of Jason Lee Salon in Toronto, answers your best hair questions.

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Question for the hairstylist:

Jason, why do razors and/or thinning scissors make hair so fuzzy? Can this be damaging? 

Jason Lee’s answer:

Using a razor or thinning shears on a client should be done with great care, experience and a well thought-out plan on the hairdresser’s behalf. Unfortunately, not every stylist out there understands the damage that can be done when using tools like these. Let’s first break it down for those of you  who may not have experienced the possible thrash of a razor or texturizing shears against your innocent and unassuming hair.

Related: Ask the Expert: How many times can you bleach your hair?

Some hairdressers out there will use a razor to cut hair instead of, or in addition to, using scissors because it can create a very soft and light appearance to the client’s hair. If done correctly, the haircut can be phenomenal for the individual and, in fact, many of the top hairstylists use razors to cut their clients’ hair with great success.

If you have a very experienced stylist who knows your hair, then they’ll most likely know how to use a razor and there is nothing to be afraid of because prior to cutting. The stylist will determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the razor technique. Generally speaking, it’s hair types that are very curly, dry, thin or frizzy where the hair can end up looking frizzier or fuzzier after the use of a razor because it can almost shred the hair which causes even more fuzz! In these cases, using a razor on your hair can be similar to using one on a silk blouse. I would suggest that you don’t do it!

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There is also the thinning or texturizing scissor. This tool is mainly used for taking bulk out of hair; however, it also helps with creating detail to soften the hairstyle. Thinning scissors or shears don’t create as much havoc as a razor can; however, an inexperienced stylist can still do damage if not used properly. In this case, people with wavy or curly hair can use texturizing shears, but your natural wave pattern will be altered. This disruption of your wave pattern may be exactly what your stylist is aiming for but, good or bad, you should know that your curl will be changed on some level.

Razoring, thinning or texturizing are all techniques used in hairstyling to achieve the style that you and your hairdresser are hopefully trying to achieve together. My advice to you is never allow a stylist to go into your hair with any of these tools until you feel completely comfortable with their abilities. Also, you should never feel badly asking a stylist what the tools are and ensure that they are truly confident when explaining to you why they’ve chosen these specific tools to work with. Remember, it’s your hair and the last thing you’ll want to do is grow out overly texturized hair for the next year. Don’t be afraid to politely say ‘no thank you’ to an inexperienced or overly confident stylist before they go razor-happy on you if you know it’s not the right thing for you.

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