Unfortunately Students do not learn enough about ergonomics in their education
Both in the schools and from their employers. They are not taught about the finger and hand positions that should be used on a scissor.
This is a big problem and for this reason many hairdressers get Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and shoulder and neck injuries.
The Eyeglass handle is being considered to be a none correct ergonomic handle. This is not true. However, most of the Eyeglass handles ever made has been very simple in their design, being just plain round and furthermore most hairdressers are using these handles without using the specific ergonomic hand and finger positions when using them. If Eyeglass handles are used correct and with the 4 basic hand positions they are actually very ergonomic. Actually if Eyeglass handles are used correct the strain on the hand, shoulder and neck are minimum.
Please take a look at the video below and see how the fingers move naturally and in what direction. You can also test this on yourself: Stand up and let your arms hang down along your side and relax completely in hand and arm. Now bend your thumb in the natural direction that it wants to move in. Do not force it in any specific direction. Just let it move on its own. Bend it untill it touches the point on your hand that it naturally is moving towards. Now hold the thumb in that position and now take a look at where it touches. Yes – it will go directly to the palm at the root of your RING FINGER. That is the natural point.
Your hand and fingers is like a claw. If you bend all your fingers naturally they will all come together touching each other and forming a claw. But furthermore – the tip of your thumb and your ring finger is moving straight towards each other. If you try to bend only those two fingers they will reach each other naturally and the tips of the two fingers will touch each other straight on the tips. the other fingers naturally will tough the thumb on the side or “cornor” of the thumb. not straight on the tip. Only the ring finger will do this.
If Eyeglass handles are used in a correct ergonomic way, the wrist, arm and shoulder problems will be at a minimum. The wrist problem comes from bending the wrist again and again in a not natural way. This occur because hairdressers are not taught to use the right hand and finger postitions. The same goes for the shoulder problems. – Hairdressers are raising the arm up again and again in a not natural postition. If they learned to do most cutting right in front of their chest + the hand and finger ergonomics, + changing the position of the client and their own position, they would have very little problems.
Within our industry there is a tendency to tell hairdressers with these problems that they should just buy a scissor with Swivel handle and that will take care of the problem. For most hairdressers this will help some but far from enough. Many still get neck problems even though they use a swivel scissor, and with good reasons: The swivel scissor can releave some stress from the wrist but it does not remove the strain from the neck. The reason that the swivel can releave some stress is because the hairdresser is still holding wrong on the scissor but now the thumb ring is moving instead of using the right hand and finger position on the scissor. hand position no.2, shown below, will do the same as the swivel but even a lot more.
What is really needed in order for hairdressers to get rid of stress and strain on fingers, hands and the neck is the combination of 5 things:
1. Learn to do all cutting right in front of their chest
2. To use the right hand positions.
3. To change their own height if nesseesary. This can be done with a box to stand on.
4. To change the position of the client while cutting their hair.
5. To use the right body positions and postures.
It is very important to use the different hand positions when using the scissor so that there is no strain in fingers, hand, arm or neck. While doing this the body position and posture must also be changed so that your body is always in balance. Furthermore it is extremely important to change the position of the client when cutting the hair. The hairdresser should always be in a position where they are cutting right in front of their chest. If it is necessary that the client stand up in order for the hairdresser to be in the right cutting position, then the client should stand up. – and if it nessesary for the hairdresser to be at a higher level, the hairdresser should stand on a box to elevate one self, in order to cut right in front of ones chest so not raising the arm.
A word on Finger insert rings: It is actually a bad idea to put plastic finger inserts inside the ring holes on scissors – especially our BF handle. There are several reasons for this. First, our BF handle has been carved inside to fit the different hand positions so the handle is both comfortable and ergonomic. By inserting insert rings you really make your ring finger and/or thumb stuck in one position which is not good. your fingers must be able to move inside the ring to make your work more ergonomic and comfortable. Please see the pictures below and note how different the fingers are positioned in the rings depending on the cutting technique used. If you put finger insert rings inside, you fingers will not have the movement that they are suppose to have. Hairdressers should practice in working with these different positions. One way is to practice at night in front of the TV.. – just sit and practice the different hand positions and soon your hand and fingers will get used to it.
Most hairdressers who use finger insert rings, is using them because they only use one handposition and one cutting technique – Blunt cutting. the other reason that hairdressers use insert rings is because they have never learned to use the different hand positions, hence they dont know.
We made a handle that incorporate all 4 ergonomic hand and finger positions in an Eyeglass handle. – The Butterfly handle.
There are 3 reasons that we chose to make an Eyeglass handle and not an Offset handle.
1. With both the inside and outside of the handles carved out for the 4 basic hand positions, it becomes very ergonomic.
2. The Eyeglass handles has a fantastic leverage which mean that much less force have to be used when cutting.
3. With an Eyeglass handle both sides can be used. Especially Texturizers and thinners will give you a “2 in 1” scissor when it has an Eyeglass handle.
There are basically 4 basic hand positions when using a scissor.
1. Natural grip.
2. thumb grip.
3. point cut grip.
4. Back grip.
see pictures below with explanations.
Hand position No.1. - the natural grip. That is for blunt cutting - 90 degree cutting angle to the hair
This position is mostly used for “Scissor over Comb” cutting. Note Thumb position – only tip of thumb should be used and the thumb should only be moving in a natural upward motion.
“Scissor over comb” seen from the other side. The BF handle is carved out inside to make this position of the ring finger comfortable. It has a flat 45 degree surface inside the ring so the handle dont “grind” into the ring finger.
Scissor over comb cutting.
Hand position no. 2 is the thumb grip.
This is for using different techniques such as when cutting a “bob” cut or when using a texturizer to cut into the hair on a biaz or different angles . If you use these cutting techniques without changing your hand position to the one in the picture, you would have to bend your wrist in order to do the same cutting. The shown hand position will keep the wrist straight and not bent. This position actually make a swivel scissor obsolete.
When cutting a “Bob” cut or other techniques where the wrist normally would be bent. By placing the index finger on top of the scissor in front of the screw, you will have a much better balance in your cutting. Also it might help to place your other index finger under the scissor for stearing. Please note the position of the Thumb and please be aware that to use the correct hand positions, a hairdresser can NOT have a long finger nail on the thumb as it will be in the way. Also here the thumb is moving in a natural way for the thumb to move. The BF handle is carved out inside the handle for this position so the cutting becomes very comfortable and ergonomic.
Position 2 seen from the other side. note the position of all the fingers. Both handles are carved inside the rings to make these positions very comfortable and ergonomic. Also the wrist will still be straight in this position.
Cutting with a thinner or texturizer to make structure in the hair also require to hold the scissor different. here position no.2 is used again to keep the wrist straight and the fingers in a comfortable and ergonomic position.
Again position no. 2.
Position no.3 is used for Point, Chip and slice cutting.
For Point and Chip cutting the cutting is done 45-60 degree angle to the hair. For slicing the cutting is done in a 30 degree angle to the hair.
Slice cutting. note that cutting is done in 30 degrees to the hair. Also note the Thumb position – again the ring is carved inside to make this position very comfortable and ergonomic.
Slice cutting. hand and finger positions seen from the other side.
Point cutting. note how the thumb is again at an angle inside the ring.
Point cutting seen from the other side.
Point cutting. All fingers and wrist is in a comfortable and ergonomic position.
Position no.4 is actually like no.3 but the hand is turned around to the other side to make "back-stroke" cutting.
This position is also used for making better ergonomics compared to the customers position etc.
Here slicing from the other side.