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I Cried When I Lost These $10 Scissors

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

I am a lifelong wearer of bangs, so having a decent pair of scissors at home, or on me when I travel, is crucial to my limited beauty routine. And as the owner of a toy poodle — a breed known for its fast-growing fur — I also need reliable scissors for near-constant dog grooming. Though I’ve tried other pairs of hair-cutting and dog-grooming scissors over the years, there is now only one pair worthy of either task in my house: a pair of Fiskars sewing scissors, which I use to cut my husband Jacob’s hair too.

I bought my Fiskars micro-tip scissors for their actual intended purpose: sewing. My mother, a talented artist and a former children’s-clothing designer, always taught me to respect my tools — scissors especially. She also taught me to love Fiskars scissors. The brand makes professional-level stainless-steel blades that are durable and stay sharp even if you break my mom’s cardinal rule: Never use fabric scissors for anything except fabric. I first committed this sin over a decade ago when I took my then 6-month-old puppy, Uli, for her inaugural visit to a professional dog groomer. After they charged me an exorbitant amount of money, bathed Uli in heavily perfumed shampoo, shaved her face to the skin, and scolded me at pickup, I resolved to handle future trims on my own.

The first time I tried, I was nervous. I definitely did not want to accidentally hurt her while giving her a haircut — anyone who has attempted to groom their own dog knows how scary it can be when you are trimming near sensitive areas like their eyes or genitals. But I was disappointed to find out that my vet-recommended round-tipped scissors that, despite being safe, were not very sharp and made grooming her fine-textured curls impossible. Uli is wiggly, and the blunt scissors made the experience clumsy and slow, causing her to squirm even more. While special dog-grooming clippers would surely get the job done faster, she is afraid of the whirring sound. She only weighs five pounds, and the trimmers are the size of her head. So it was out of necessity that I turned to the sewing scissors, soon realizing how perfectly suited they are to dog grooming.

It’s now been more than ten years since I first used them to cut Uli’s hair. I have never sharpened them (embarrassing, I know). But they continue to snip away efficiently and remain my most trusted hair-cutting tool. The orange plastic handle keeps them from slipping even if my hand is wet. Because they are so small — just five inches long from the tip of the blade to the end of the handles — they are excellent for cutting at awkward angles and inside tight spaces like Uli’s tiny armpits, where knots tend to hide. That’s what led me to recommend the scissors to Strategist newsletter editor Mia Leimkuhler when she asked me about my favorite dog-grooming tools. Now she uses her own pair to cut out pesky knots, remove burrs, and trim butt fur on her miniature Schnauzer Reggie.

It wasn’t long after I started using the scissors on Uli that I tried them on my bangs. They quickly became my preferred tool for cutting human hair, too. I use them on a regular basis — for my own monthly bang trims and for cleaning up Jacob’s hair. They are extremely helpful for trimming around his ears, where electric trimmer blades are too bulky to reach.

Most days, the scissors live in my medicine cabinet, but on the rare occasion I can’t find them, household drama ensues. Once, I left them at my parent’s apartment in New Haven, Connecticut, and in the hours it took me to figure this out, I had a full-on meltdown and cried like a toddler who’s lost a favorite stuffy. Thankfully, my mom found them and, understanding my attachment, sent them back to me in Brooklyn. I am well aware that small, sharp human-hair scissors exist, and I’m sure they are good at what they do. But I haven’t ever been tempted to buy another pair since finding my perfect tool, which I plan to (hopefully) never misplace again.

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I Cried When I Lost These $10 Scissors