About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hand Scissoring

I have been working on this post for a few days now.

I have to say....I am no expert on Hand Scissoring.

I mean, I am pretty good at making my hand scissored dogs look nice, but I am sure if one of the top scissor groomers looked at my videos they would either cringe, or laugh their butts off.
There is no rhyme or reason to my scissoring.
I am all over the place when I scissor.

I have watched competition groomers scissor, and am always in all at the way they only move their thumb when scissoring.

I am really good at doing the thumb exercise that I was taught in school.

Hold your hand still, with fingers together, then move your thumb back and fourth like you are scissoring without moving the rest of your fingers. (This will help strengthen your thumb for scissoring)
Do this exercise with your fingers closed, open, and bent like you were holding scissors.
Your goal is to only move your thumb while keeping the rest of your fingers still.

I am very good at doing this exercise.
The only problem is, when I am actually scissoring I still move my other fingers a little. :/
Maybe it is because I am left handed, but I scissor with my right hand. (couldn't find left handed scissors when I was in grooming school)

I have actually been doing that exercise with my left hand lately, because I am planning on buying a pair of scissors that I was shown at Hershey last year.
 They can be use both right handed and left handed.
I am planning on teaching myself to scissor with my left hand.
After all of these years. :p
I have always wondered if I would scissor faster using the hand I naturally use.

Okay, back to this post.

Last week I videoed myself scissoring two different coats.






This little one was the first dog I scissored for this post.

I picked this dog because of the difficulty with scissoring this type of coat.





The coat has a slight wave, but is mostly a drop coat.

This dog had some matting in the tuck up area and in the hips, so the hair was a little thinned out in those areas.

The owners wanted about 1/2 an inch off.





I always start scissoring with the back foot.

Don't ask my why.

I like to scissor the feet first and work my way up the leg.








I like to comb the hair up, even on drop coated breeds.









Then I start to scissor.








Then I comb again.









Comb, scissor, comb, scissor.....




 If you are not sure how much to scissor off at first, just take a little bit at a time.

Comb the hair up again and scissor more if needed.

You can always scissor more off, but you can't put the hair back on if you cut too much.










Always be prepared to freeze, encase the dog sidesteps towards you, so that you don't scissor a chunk of hair out.








I also use my comb to pluck the hair up on the back.








For hair that is too heavy, or silky to stand up, I use my comb to hold the hair up while I scissor.





I move up the back and sides of the dog.

For nice, smooth results you want to keep your scissors from bouncing up and down as you scissor.

You want to keep the scissors as steady as possible as you move over the coat.







To get the inside of  the legs, lift the leg that you are not scissoring to get to the inside of the leg you want to scissor.

Comb the hair up and scissor.









To check if my scissoring is even, I comb the hair up, down and pluck it up to see if it is even no matter how the hair lays.





I videoed myself scissoring this side of this dog.

I have posted the video to youtube.

Here is the link:









I also did a video on scissoring this Poodle.








As with the Maltese, I start scissoring the back foot first.










Comb up the leg...








...then start scissoring.







My best advice for getting a nice scissor cut is that the coat must be clean, blow dried, and mat free.

You can not get a nice even cut on a dog that has been kennel dried, or that you can't get a comb through easily.







You will notice if you watch the videos, that I scissor in all directions.








I scissor in whatever direction gives me the results that I want, or is comfortable for the dog.







Here is the link for the video of me scissoring one side of this Poodle.









Sorry that the videos are a little long.
Once I realized that describing, in words, how to scissor is difficult, I thought that the videos would be much better to show how I scissor.

Once again I'll warn you that I am no expert scissorerererer. ;)
But, I get the job done.
Maybe if you watch  the videos, they would help you to pick up some tips.

I was scissoring slowly so that everything I did could be seen.
Maybe a little too slowly, because I had to speed up the video in some places in order to show the whole one side being scissored.

I hope the videos help some groomers.
If you have any questions about what you see, just ask in the comments. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF



10 comments:

  1. My hat's off to you on that Maltese.. wow.. really rotten coat (or lack there of) to scissor! It looked great!

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  2. since this post is about scissoring for some odd reason where i live the groomers around here hold there scissors wrong they use there middle finger and thumb it drives me NUTS! They think its the right way they dont get whats wrong with it. I wish groomers were held up to a standard like with learning new things cause there is so many that think they know everything i dont believe that you can know everything theres always learning. Gook luck scissoring.

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    Replies
    1. LOL that is how I have held my scissors for the past 30+ years right or wrong and there is no way in he** I would ever be able to change it and it seems to serve me well. I consider myself an exellent scissorer. I think being held up to a standard of learning new things is a personal choice that makes us stand out as better groomers if we do it. I go to trade shows and learn new things all the time, I just use the *wrong* finger in my scissors.

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    2. Hi Pink,
      My daughter holds her scissors differently also. It drives me crazy, but she does great scissor work.
      I hold my scissors the 'right' way, but according to a scissoring class I took one time I don't scissor correctly. Go figure. I think that the only thing it hurts with my scissoring is my speed.
      Lisa, MFF

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  3. Thankyou for that! The videos are great. I just had a dog with thin flimsy flowy hair it was so hard to scissor evenly, it came out very uneven :0( I wish I would've seen this post sooner!
    -D

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  4. Thanks D,
    Those coats are really frustrating. The worst part is that you can get them looking okay on the table but then they shake, or you pick them up. Don't even start me on the static electricity. :)


    Hi Anonymous,
    I have seen different groomers hold their scissors in several different ways. I can't even describe the way I saw one groomer holding her scissors at a competition. The thing that really amazed me was that she was doing a great job scissoring that way. :/

    Thanks -D,
    I am glad that I could help. :)

    Lisa, MFF

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  5. Great scissoring you have done Miss I saw all your photos of scissoring feel that doing better way and if I talk about your way to use the scissors then its not a problem but now a days you can buy left handed scissors too easily from market comfortable ,stylish and smooth for both hand with adjustable screw so you can "click here for styling shears
    "

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  6. Today i had a 3 month old puppy, poodle mix. Owners wanted more than an inch left. Your post has inspired me to hand scissor him. He looked like a sheep or a cloud in the end :) thank you again for writing the blog and posting the videos, Lisa!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Insomnia,
      I am so glad that I could help!
      Lisa, MFF

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  7. I personally don't feel there is a wrong way to hold scissors as long as you get the job done correctly. So many are stuck on hand position but people hold a pencil differently and still can write nicely!

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