Razor vs. Scissor Hair Cuts

Scissors give blunter lines than razors, for edgier effect.

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It's not an all-out battle between the razor and scissor camps, but some women definitely prefer one or the other. If you're afraid a razor cut will hurt, it can pinch a bit but shouldn't hurt. If you're not sure whether it's for you, think about the look you want and the texture of your tresses, then decide which tool will be better at getting the style you crave.


If you're doing the cutting, there are definite differences to holding and cutting with a razor or scissors. Many stylists don't learn how to use razors until they're competent and comfortable with scissors, making it a more advanced technique. While you use both tools with your dominant hand, you position your guide finger differently. For razors, you hold your fingers below the spot you want to cut, while for scissors you hold them above, then snip. Razors also have a safety precaution; even with the blade guard on, you could cut yourself.

Look and Feel

Although they sound sharper, razor cuts actually give you a softer look. Hair gets cut at an angle rather than straight-on with a razor, resulting in smoother, more blended layers. Scissors give more defined layering for a blunter, edgier look. There's no right or wrong, it's all about what you prefer.


When it comes to hair type, these tools aren't created equally. If your hair is over-processed from dyeing or perming, razor cuts will damage your already brittle mane. Likewise, razor cuts can make curly or kinky hair look more frizzy, so it's not a good choice for those coarser textures. If you've got straight, modestly wavy or fine hair, razors work well to add volume and movement.


You can perform a whole haircut using a razor, or go in with a razor to add texture after you've cut with scissors. Experiment with razoring at the end if you're not ready to do a whole cut or not sure how to razor cut your face style. If you need to add texture to a cut and don't want to use the razor, thinning shears allow you to take out some of the bulk and generate more natural layers.

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