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It?s a detail you overlook. Manila?s top hairstylists argue for their choice
REGULAR scissors, thinning shears or razor?

If you?re like the rest of us, you would?ve had your fair share of horrific things done to your hair. At one point, you?ve probably been told your split ends were caused by that slapdash stylist who used?gasp!?a razor to slice your hair.

Again, if you?re like us, you?ve probably come across a stylist who refuses to use anything other than his regular scissors, painstakingly trimming sections of your hair to give it the finishing touch. Thinning shears or a razor, he says, would be like using garden shears on your glorious mane.

Then again, you cringe on your chair throughout the haircutting process; it?s likely you?ve never had the heart to question your stylist?s choice of tools. Like, how dare you, right?

Let us save you the trouble.

Manila?s top celebrity hairstylists clarify, once and for all, this misconception about razors and thinning shears doing more damage to your hair than regular haircutting shears. They could be damaging, but not more than regular scissors.

Here?s why:

Henri Calayag

Creative director, Henri Calayag Studio, Greenbelt Drive, Makati City, tel. 7991495, 09209181880

Hairstylist for 31 years

Celebrity clients: Dawn Zulueta, Charlene Gonzales, Sam Eduque, Tina Ocampo, Celine Lopez

I use all three. Thinning shears and razors are typically for finishing and details. And if you know how, you can even use them for an entire haircut. The latter two will yield bad results only if the application is wrong.

Thinning shears have been around since the 1950s. You just need to know how to use them. It all boils down to your knowledge and experience.

As for razors, change the blade with every client. You?ll get split ends only if you use an old blade. Those with colored or lightened hair think they have split ends because you cut across the cuticle and they may look like split ends, but they?re not.

Lourd Ramos

Creative director, Creations by Lourd Ramos Salon, Glorietta 5, Makati City, tel. 8467867; senior stylist, Emphasis Salon, Rockwell, Makati City

Hairstylist for 10 years

Celebrity clients: Donita Rose, Phoemela Baranda, Kim Chiu

I use all three. Thinning shears are only for very thick hair or for finishing details. The finer teeth are for so-called papering or barbering. There?s a technique to using them, say 180-degree angle for barbering, and 40 to 90 degrees for texturing. They need to be very sharp, though. The quality of the blade and scissors affects the overall result of your haircut, whether you get damaged hair or not. You need to sharpen your shears once a month or at least twice a quarter.

Chiyo Tagami

Creative director, Sei Salon, 6/F Republic Glass Bldg., Salcedo corner Aguirre Sts., Legaspi Village; tel. 8120943

Hairstylist for 20 years

Celebrity clients: Gretchen Barretto, Lucy Torres-Gomez

I use all. As a stylist, you need to invest in high-quality shears. I get mine only in Japan where they?re handmade. They?re very expensive, but you need good scissors for a good haircut. I have a lot of them because I use a pair of scissors only three times, then I bring them to Japan every year to be sharpened. Unfortunately I haven?t found one here that I can trust to sharpen my tools. Razors and thinning shears are no problem if you know how to use them. I need them for finishing because I like a soft, natural look. There are no blunt lines for me. I use razors only around the neckline.

Ricky Reyes

Owner of Ricky Reyes salon chain; Philippine salon industry institution

Hairstylist for 40-plus years

It all depends on the cut. Sometimes when I visit the salons and there are customers waiting, I volunteer. We seldom use razors now. But thinning shears we do, for bulky hair, because it?s the easiest alternative to rebonding. Regular and thinning shears are the same; neither causes split ends or hair damage per se. They?re all the same, but with specific uses. If the ?slicing? is right, you?re okay. We use thinning shears mostly on the nape area to reduce bulkiness. In the end, split ends are caused by improper hair care?wrong drying, wrong brushing, not brushing enough, and if the hair has grown too long that the natural oils don?t reach the tip of the hair shaft. Instead of blaming the shears that cut your hair, get a regular scalp treatment, especially when you?ve reached the age of 30. Right brushing and scalp treatment will stimulate the production of natural oils. This isn?t hogwash; it?s science!

Teng Roma

Creative director, Emphasis Salon, Makati City, tel. 4030117

Hairstylist for 30 years

Celebrity clients: Prefers not to name them, but sources say they include Manila?s high society, including the Zobels and Vicki Belo

I use them all. But the rule is, new client, new feathering blades (razor). You don?t wait for it to go blunt. Dispose of it after one use. It doesn?t matter if you?re using regular or thinning scissors. If the blade is blunt, you make several attempts to chomp at the hair before you can successfully cut it. Then it?s damaged. What I know to be damaging also is when stylists use shears to ?slice? the hair. That, for me, is what does it.

Louis Kee

Creative director, Louis Phillip Kee Salon, Greenhills and Fort Bonifacio, tel. 8564848, 7214848

Hairstylist for 30-plus years

Celebrity clients: Francine Prieto, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, TJ Trinidad

In most instances, I use regular scissors with different blade designs like beveled, convex or straight to achieve the style I want. I don?t really use the razor very often unless the hairstyle requires absolute texturized, extreme and soft wispy effects. A good thinning technique can make really thick hair look its best. Thinning shears and razors can damage hair only if they?ve lost their sharpness. Unfortunately, many hairstylists do not sharpen their scissors or thinning shears or replace the blades of the razor. And when the hair is thinned out, it gets fractured and damaged, creating tremendous split ends inside and outside of the hair. Thinning shears are no more damaging than cutting scissors if they are not sharpened, and you will know when these tools pull at your hair; this is a sure sign that the stylist is using an unsharpened tool. Unsharpened scissors, thinning scissors and razors could be painful during the styling stage. So we have to make sure our tools are always sharp. We frequently replace blades after about five cuts when using the razor. Excellent scissors can cost almost P300,000.

Jude Hipolito

Creative director, Univers Kaizen and Univers Phyto Salons, Heaven on the Fifth, Rustan?s Makati, tel. 8935007

Hairstylist for 15-plus years

Celebrity clients: Prefers not to name them

I?m a Vidal Sassoon graduate, therefore, I am technically trained to cut hair with precision using just scissors and a comb. In some cases where I want a specific effect, I use a razor or thinning shears. This is quite rare, though. What is important to know is that one must have the proper cutting foundation and mastery of tools, whatever tools he chooses to use. Most haircutters damage hair because the techniques they use are not correct.