26 | 2017 GROOMING DIRECTORY
SHEARS & CLIPPING TRENDS
Clipping and styling trends shape the direction of
new tool releases in professional grooming shears.
BY SANDY CHEBAT
Talk to professional dog groomers about the trends they’re seeing in shears and clipping, and three things
repeatedly come up: Asian fusion, ergonomics and chunkers.
“We’re seeing a rising trend in Asian
fusion, [which is] making a dog look
more like a puppy or a cartoon character
[and is] focused on overall cuteness and
a stuffed- animal look,” said Rachel Nowell, owner of The Classic Canine Pet Spa
in Allen, Texas.
She added that the trend came about
when people in Asian countries posted
pictures of the style online and it went viral.
Karen Formico, vice president of mar-
keting for Andis Co. in Sturtevant, Wis.,
agreed, adding that “groomers typically
try to make the dogs look balanced and
proportioned, but Asian freestyle is actu-
ally the opposite, leaving the hair long on
the legs while tight and trim on the torso.”
Cameron Adkins, lead grooming in-
structor for Healthy Spot’s education de-
partment in Inglewood, Calif., also report-
ed a departure from the conventional and
from the traditional breed standard cuts.
“Even though there’s still respect and
revere for those traditions and standards,
outside the show arena, there are fewer
purebreds and more people rescuing, so
you must be able to improvise on the spot
for sizes, shapes and coat combinations,”
he said. “The clipping trend is specific to
each dog, with an emphasis on cuteness. I
teach my students to make it look like the
dog’s hair just grows like that, so leave no
evidence of a blade having cut the hair.”
Ergonomics continues to improve in
shears as the grooming industry looks for
ways to make the job easier and better for
professionals at a price they appreciate.
Trina Bicknell, vice president of sales for
PetEdge in Beverly, Mass., said these pros
“want a shear that cuts well, stays sharp,
reduces hand fatigue and helps keep their
“Shear manufacturers have respond-
ed to groomers’ needs to have that good,
ergonomic shear but at a reasonable
cost,” she added. “Mass manufacturing
processes have brought a nice sharp shear
into a price category that most groomers
In particular, chunkers are increasing
“I’m seeing a grooming trend in chun-
kers, which are used to bulk off large
amounts of hair and blend at the same
time,” Nowell said. “They’re great to give
a natural, less scissored, more feathery
Adkins said chunkers are nothing new,
as she saw her first pair around 2008, but
they have become essentials lately.
“I didn’t get a pair until recently, and
now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get
them when I first saw them,” she said.
SPOTLIGHT ON EDUCATION
Grooming experts rate education as essential when it comes to professional shears,
“and professional groomers are starving
for it,” said Joey Villani, a Conair grooming ambassador in Clifton, N.J., who
speaks at two to three seminars a month
and all around the world.
“Every class usually is sold out be-
cause [groomers] want to know the new-
est techniques and information,” he said.
“If you’re not updating yourself, you’re
Safety remains an important aspect of
“If groomers don’t buy a shear that
suits their specific needs, and one that feels
comfortable in their hand, it will cost them
time and risk injury,” said Bicknell.
And groomers aren’t the only ones at
“You need to know how to maintain
your shears and how often to maintain
them, and the main thing is safety—to
know how sharp they are and how to
keep them sharp,” said Nowell. “Dullness
requires more force when cutting hair,
which can harm the pet.”
Fit is a crucial part of choosing the right
shears, and it makes selection an incred-
ibly subjective experience.
“In a class of 100 groomers, they’re all a
little different, and everyone has different
needs,” said Chris Pawlosky, professional
groomer, national training manager of Oster Professional Products brands at Jarden
Consumer Solutions, and owner of The
Pet Connection in Warren, Ohio.
Each person’s hand shape, experience
level, pre-existing or grooming-related conditions and hand size all affect what fits and
feels best to a groomer, insiders said.
“Early on, I was taught to buy scissors
when you can hold them,” Pawlosky said.
“Nothing beats trying them in person.”
Adkins agreed, adding that “the best