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I know this is going to be an interesting discussion.

When i hear people use the word "shears" to describe something that they cut hair with, it makes me fucking CRINGE. It sounds so ugly. I know that people use the word because
1. that's what they were taught
2. they think they are being fancy
3. they think that they are using the right word
4. they aren't from America.

I've actually done some research on the subject, and here is what Wikipedia has to say about the word scissors:
"Scissors are hand-operated cutting instruments. They consist of a pair of metal blades, or tangs, connected in such a way that the sharpened edges slide against each other. Scissors are used for cutting various thin materials, such as papercardboardmetal foil, thin plasticclothrope and wire. Scissors can also be used to cut hair and food."

and here is what Wikipedia has to say about shears:
"Although often used interchangeably with "scissors", the term shears is reserved by those in the industry for scissors longer than 15 cm (5.9 in).[4] Others assert that scissors are symmetric whereas shears distinguish between the thumb hole and the finger hole.[5] Like scissors, shears combine slightly offset jaws to cut material through physical shear, and combine this with levers to apply a considerable small force. Shears are usually intended for cutting much heavier material than scissors."

Most dictionary definitions of the word SHEARS includes references to sheep and/or hedges.

Now, I realize that MOST hair cutting scissors are between 5.5-6" (what PMTS calls the "work horse") but some jerks like to use scissors as large as 7", so there's THAT argument.

Most people will say something like "potAto, poTAHto", but i think if we are taught to not use words like BLEACH, DYE, PLUCK, etc, maybe we should pay attention to other words as well. 

Just a thought.

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shears are for barnyard animals scissors are for bad ass haircutters
Bad Ass hair cutters....use 'Blades' where I come from!!! ;-)
Thought you were a 'razor' lover.
Since when does wikipedia decide everything for us?
You know that information could have come from just about anyone. At least the part you quoted. Later in the article things actually have references.
However, this is a fairly innocuous subject, the information sounds fairly legit, and I doubt anyone would purposefully include fallacious information on this particular entry.
Yes, I'm a jerk that uses scissors as large as 7". I also have a 5", and a 6" pair. Different sizes for different types of work. I'm not gonna whip out the 7" for some tight graduation work, and I'm not going to use my 5" for scissor over comb work. Could I do either with either? Sure, but that's no fun.

SO, technically two pairs of my scissors could be referred to as shears.

Really, I don't think either name has a particularly bad connotation. It's probably just the sound of the word that bothers you specifically. I suppose it is sort of harsh. However, the harshness does seem to be lessened greatly if said with an English accent!

We don't use "bleach" because it's technically not bleach, and because images of caustic burning fluid come to mind with that word. Dye and pluck.. not as bad, but I wouldn't use them either, and I'm really not even sure why.

Scissors, to me, sound like something you could use to cut anything. Shears, although they do have a slight barnyardiness about them, sound like they are used only to cut hair. Even if it is a sheeps.

I tend to only say scissors to my guests because I have used "shears" before and some seem confused as to what those are. For instance if I'm about to cut a guests hair and their hair is in that range where it could be cut with clippers or scissors, I would ask them "Do you prefer your hair to be cut with clippers or scissors?" not "Clippers or shears?" That has historically elicited some confused looks.
i understand your point about Wikipedia, but if youre going to use that in an argument then from now on youre not allowed to look up anything on that site. ever.

and i also understand the difference between using a 7" and a 5" pair of scissors. im not dumb.

im referring to what we call them.

youd be surprised how many people use words like BLEACH, etc. if its technically not a pair of shears, dont call them that. see where im going?
I promise. No wikipedia. EVER!

And I know you know the difference, I was just saying how I'm a jerk that uses 7" blades but I am also a jerk that uses 5" and 6" ones too.

And yes, if its technically not a pair of shears, you shouldn't call them that because..... Javier will kill you.
i dont kill people. scissors kill people.
If you can put more than 1 digit in a hole... it is a shear... if each hole in the handle is intended for just one digit... it is a scissor.
Beauty industry professionals cut with scissors. Anything else is just attempted pretentious marketing.
Longer bladed barber scissors are still scissors... no matter the length.

Hello, I think this conversation is SHEAR GENIUS..... O.k. That's supposed to be funny. Break the ice here.

While on the subject verbiage, I use Aveda, the "bleach" is called Enlightner, unfortunately when I use that term the clients look at me As if I am speakn a Spanish. When I say bleach they get it.
Just like when I use the more European term "Fringe" instead of that trifling BANG theory, again they don't get it.

I have had to really stop and think of the client as the layperson.

Scissors vs. Shears....... As least were not using hedge clippers!
You have raised a very Important point... we are communicating... dare I say, selling. Those of us who will be the most successfull are those of us who are the best communicators. Can we effectively sell our ideas? To customers? To management? To co-workers?

Anyone who has read my posts here on this site is well aware that I am a poor speller and worse typist. Few would claim not to understand what I have tried to say.

Interesting discussion! I guess everyone has an idea or opinion about which words sounds better for particular things. I for example, manufacture shears that are handcrafted in Kyoto Japan. Everytime I am at a trade show or speaking to someone who uses the word scissors, I have this vision in my head of my daughters plastic handle scissors that are full of Elmers Glue and can barely cut a piece of Newspaper..... It's truly funny how everyones minds work differently and I guess that is a positive thing or we would be living in a very dull world.
I have really nothing to add except...pretty cool to read. When my wife was going through school I used to give her grief over the whole shear v. scissor issue.
This is ridiculous and one of the many things I dislike about our industry. Words are used to help us communicate, they are not the end all be all. They are there to HELP. If a person says shears and you honestly get mad even though you know what they are saying then that is your fault.

Life is about understanding not judging. I can only imagine a client trying to describe something to you and not using the right words, do you tell them you have no clue what they are saying? do you correct every word that comes out of there mouth?

oh and btw i saw that photo of you cutting and you need to get your elbow up to match the angle of your fingers. It makes me cringe when I see people not holding there arms in the correct position.



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