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The History of Styling Shears

The earliest scissors date back to ancient Egypt. They consisted of two bronze blades connected by a thin, curved bronze strip, making them an early version of spring scissors, which still exist today. The ancient Romans then created pivoted scissors, which featured two blades joined at a pivot, around 100 AD. In China, Japan, and Korea, ancient blade-making traditions were applied to make these pivoted scissors. For example, in 1663, the Hangzhou Zhang Xiaoquan Company in Hangzhou, China began manufacturing scissors and has been ever since. In 1761, Robert Hinchliffe of Sheffield, England became the first person to mass-produce scissors using steel. Over time, shears designed specifically for hair cutting and styling were developed. Notably, in 1908, the KAI Corporation began their blade-making business. Today, the company makes KASHO Shears, some of the best-loved styling shears used by hairstylists, barbers, and other modern hair professionals. It’s important to note that up until the middle of the 20th century, styling shears were generally made with 6 - 7 inch blades. Today, the term shears is still used to refer to scissors with these longer blades. But what about those shorter scissors you often see at the salon or barbershop? Those are generally referred to as hairdressing scissors. The shorter blades appeared after Vidal Sassoon introduced the concept of “Precision Cutting”, which focuses on cutting hair in small sections with hairdressing scissors featuring much smaller 4.5 – 5 inch blades. Both styling shears and haircutting scissors are still in use today and both are based on the pivoted scissors first developed by the Romans.

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