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  • Scissoring advice

    Ok, all of you have inspired me. After seeing many of your pictures from grooming competitions, or even just from you daily grooms at your shop, I want to improve on my scissoring skills. The groomer I apprenticed under was extremely busy and she had to find ways to shortcut to keep up. In place of scissoring, she would skim a lot with her clippers, so therefore I didn’t get a lot of training in that department. Are there any videos, websites, books, etc. that you guys would recommend I look into? I do scissor every dog that comes in unless I have to zip it down with a #10, but I feel that I have room for improvement and I want to strengthen my skills. I know that a lot of it will come with practice. And are there any tips to scissoring drop coated breeds; they seem to be the hardest for me to do? I think I have the basic concepts, I just want to fine tweak and strengthen my skills.

  • #2
    My first suggestion would be to try and attend a seminar (the Atlanta Pet Fair is a good one) where you could either go to a talk on scissoring or visit the Oklahoma Shears booth where Gerry Been can fit you for scissors and show you how to move your hand correctly while holding the scissors. I think the ISCC has got a video on scissoring, but I have not seen it and do not know if you can order it separately or if it comes with the membership package. You will have to get on their website to find out. Lastly, I would suggest watching the teaching videos by Sarah Hawkes, especially the ones on the bichon and the poodle. You get to watch masters at work scissoring away....by watching their hands and bodies work, you can try and imitate it and integrate it into the way you groom. Doing that and watching people at competitions is the way I learned. It took me a long time to do it (I was even holding the scissors with the wrong fingers for years in the beginning) but it was so worth making the change in the end. My hands never hurt and my work is pretty smooth.

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    • #3
      Smooth scissored finishes come from smooth, continuous scissoring. Don't "bounce" your scissors. Get a mental image of the line you want to create, then scissor it; snip snip snip in a smooth, continuous motion, not snip, bounce, snip, bounce, snip, bounce.

      To practice this, go to a fabric store and get a couple yards of fake fur. Tack it up on a wall and scissor straight lines, drape it over a waste basket and scissor curves, glue a piece around a Pringles can to practice legs. Eating the Pringles before, during, or after practice is optional.

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      • #4
        Mmmmm! Now I’m hungry for Pringles!! Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll definitely give these suggestions a try.

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        • #5
          Seminar attendance will help a lot---working with a groomer that scissors a lot helps. That's what I did. My hands are much more steady than they used to be.

          I also spend a lot of time learning from groomers on here, though you have to pick and choose what you feel is good advice. Everybody has their way of doing things. There should be little to no scissoring on anything #5 or shorter, other than the feet, face, tail, ears.

          But do practice like Helly said, and also you can run your hand along a solid surface and try to get your hand to not touch or bounce off the surface as you move your scissors.

          Good luck. I love the look of a scissored finish.

          Tammy in Utah
          Groomers Helper Affiliate

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          • #6
            Another thing that you can do to practice scissoring is when a dog comes in that you do a 7 or 5 strip on scissor it first. Especially if you have a slow day. Even if its not a slow day you can just practice on one area for a few minutes before you shave it down. If you don't have to worry about what it looks like you are much more likely to try something different, and that might just be the right thing.

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