Stylists voice concerns about new TikTok trend of using scissors to 'clarify' your hair

Marie Claire Dorking
·4 mins read
A new TikTok trend has seen people clarifying their hair with scissors. (Posed by model, Getty Images)
A new TikTok trend has seen people clarifying their hair with scissors. (Posed by model, Getty Images)

Our hair care has been thrown a bit of a curveball this year. Salons were closed during lockdown, which led many of us to pile on the products in a bid to give our lacklustre locks a boost.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that we’re now looking to deep clean our hair to rid our tresses of the resultant build-up.

But a new trend on TikTok, which involves people using scissors to drag out the excess product from their tresses, has stylists concerned.

Videos on the social media platform show people using scissors to scrape along the length of their hair causing excess product to collect on the blade.

While ‘clarifying’ your hair in this way can help stop produce build-up weighing your hair down, experts don’t recommend you try the scissor method at home.

“If done wrong, you will lose a huge amount of length and even end up with a hole in your hair,” says Ricky Walters, director of SALON64.

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What is clarifying?

According to Walters, clarifying simply means giving your hair a ‘deep clean’ and you don’t need a pair of scissors to do so.

“Clarifying products remove far more from your hair than regular products,” he explains. “It is a great way to ‘re-set’ your hair and remove any unwanted product build up.”

Walters says years of using products such as hairspray and serums, can leave a residue on the surface of your hair.

“We tend to call this ‘product build up’,” he explains. “Sometimes regular shampoo just doesn’t hit the spot which is when you need to clarify your hair.

“This removes any toxins on the hair surface and we even sometimes use clarifying products to remove unwanted colour.

“It is a great way to leave your hair feeling fresh and brighten up dull tired hair.”

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But there are a number of ways to clarify your hair and stylists have some words of warning about using the scissor method.

“This technique certainly should only be performed by not only a professional, but a very experienced professional that has successfully done this before,” Walters explains.

“My fear is after seeing these videos on TikTok, clients may pressure hairdressers into trying something they are not comfortable with.”

Or picking up the scissors themselves.

Mark McCarthy, owner of MARKDAVID salon, agrees the TikTok trend should be avoided.

He recommends those looking to give their hair a deep clean should first talk to their stylist about the hair products they are using and they amount they should be using on their hair.

“Often, a lot of us use far more product than we need and this just accumulates in the hair over a period of days, building up and building up,” he said.

“We also then style our hair, which penetrates the product into the hair further and can give it a shiny plastic-like appearance and can make our hair appear greasy, rather than the soft and shiny finish that we desire.”

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How to clarify your hair without scissors

Instead of scissors, stylists recommend using a clarifying shampoo to give hair a reboot.

“I always recommend using a good clarifying shampoo such as the Davines Solu Shampoo to get rid of build-up and to deeply cleanse and clean the hair,” McCarthy said.

“This shampoo does not strip the hair of essential nutrients, is rich in antioxidants and leaves the hair feeling deeply moisturised, strengthened and restores the body in the hair that build up would have diminished.”

But according to Walters you shouldn’t use clarifying shampoo with every wash because it can strip and remove natural oils from your scalp and nutriments from your hair, leaving it feeling dry and brittle.

“I recommend clarifying your hair only once every four to six weeks,” Walters says. “Using it simply as a deep clean to refresh your hair and brighten up when looking a little tired.”

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Stylist are concerned about the trend being replicated at home. (Posed by model, Getty Images)
Stylist are concerned about the trend being replicated at home. (Posed by model, Getty Images)

As well as steering clear of the scissor method of clarifying your hair Stéphane Ferreira, from Live True London, says other DIY techniques of deep cleaning your hair should also be approached with caution.

“We would never recommend to use any home remedy, such as baking soda or vinegar, as this would damage your hair and surely create issues with the following colouring of your hair,” she tells Metro.

“We would always recommend that people stick to professionally formulated products that are thoroughly tested and proven to help their hair.

“For a mild cleanse, professional shampoo can be bought to achieve this at home. For a deeper cleanse, we recommend having this done in a salon with stronger salon grade products by a trained professional.”

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