How to Use Thinning Shears on Thick Hair

Dog grooming thinning shears are essential tools that professional groomers and pet owners rely
on to achieve flawless results. These specialized scissors are particularly valuable when it comes
to managing thick coats on dogs. Thick hair can often become difficult to maintain,
leading to discomfort for the dog and frustration for the owner. However, by utilizing thinning
on thick dog hair, groomers can effectively thin out the coat, creating a more manageable
and aesthetically pleasing look.

As thinning scissors play a crucial role in the grooming process, especially for dogs with thick
hair, the main purpose of using thinning shears on thick coats is to remove excess bulk and create
a more balanced appearance. With their unique design and multiple teeth, these shears allow
groomers to selectively remove some hair strands while leaving others intact. This technique
helps to reduce the overall density of the coat without sacrificing its natural texture.

What are Thinning Shears and Their Purpose in Dog Grooming?

What are Thinning Shears and Their Purpose in Dog Grooming

Thinning shears are specialized scissors with unique toothed blades designed specifically for
dog grooming. Unlike regular grooming scissors, hair thinning
scissors feature one smooth blade and one blade with teeth or notches along the edge.
These scissors with teeth are what set thinning shears apart and make them incredibly effective
for working with thick hair.

The primary purpose of hair thinning scissors is to reduce bulk and create texture in a dog’s coat.
They are used to strategically remove some hair while leaving the rest intact, resulting in a well-
blended appearance. Thinning shears are commonly employed to
thin out dense undercoats, blend different lengths of hair, and create seamless transitions
between different coat layers.

Unique Features of Thinning Shear for Working with Thick Hair

These trimmers possess several distinctive features that make them particularly suitable for
working with thick hair. These features include:

Teeth or Notches

Teeth or notches on one blade of the hair thinning shear help to grip and
hold the hair while cutting. This allows for controlled and precise trimming, preventing accidental
over-thinning and maintaining the coat’s overall integrity.

Varying Tooth Patterns

The dog grooming thinning shear comes in various tooth patterns, each
serving a specific purpose. Some shears have wider-spaced teeth, while others have closer-spaced teeth. The tooth pattern determines the amount of hair that will be removed with each cut.
Different tooth patterns provide versatility, allowing groomers to customize their approach based
on the thickness and desired texture of the dog’s coat.

Types of Thinning Shears

Types of Thinning Shears

You’ll find a range of thinner or texturizing shear in the market, each designed with specific
tooth patterns to cater to different grooming needs. Some common types are:

Fine-Tooth Thinning Shears:

Fine-Tooth Thinning Shears

These trimmers have closely spaced teeth, typically 30 to 40 teeth per inch. Fine-tooth shears are ideal for achieving a subtle blending effect and adding texture to thick hair without removing excessive amounts of hair.

Wide-Tooth Thinning Shears:

Wide-Tooth Thinning Shears

As the name suggests, wide-tooth thinning shears feature widely spaced teeth, usually 8 to 14 teeth per inch. These scissors are effective for removing bulk from thick coats and creating more pronounced texture and layering.

Double Sided Thinning Shears:

Double Sided Thinning Shears

This type of thinning shears has teeth on both blades, offering greater versatility. They allow for more precise and controlled thinning, as both blades work simultaneously to remove hair. These trimmers are often used for creating gradual transitions between different lengths of hair and achieving a natural, blended look.

Chunking Thinning Shears:

Chunking Thinning Shears

Chunking shears have fewer teeth compared to other types, typically around 6 to 10 teeth per inch. They are specifically designed for removing larger chunks of hair at once, making them useful for thinning out extremely thick and heavy coats.

Preparing for Thinning for Flawless Results

Preparing for Thinning Setting the Stage for Flawless Results

Before diving into the art of using thinning scissors on thick hair, it’s crucial to emphasize the
importance of proper preparation. Taking the time to prepare the dog’s coat adequately will lay
the foundation for a successful grooming session and ensure optimal results. Below is a step-by-
step guide on how to prepare for thinning.

Bathing and Drying

Bathing and Drying

Start by giving your furry friend a thorough bath using a high-quality dog shampoo suitable for their coat type. This will remove excess oils, dirt, and any product buildup that may hinder the thinning process. Wash the coat thoroughly to remove dirt and dust. After bathing, gently dry the hair of the dog, making sure not to create tangles or mats in the process.

Detangling and Brushing

Detangling and Brushing

Before reaching for the thinning shears, it’s essential to detangle or loose hair and brush the dog’s very thick hair. Using a slicker brush or a wide-toothed comb, carefully work through any knots, mats, or tangles in the coat. Start from the end and gradually work upwards to minimize discomfort for the dog and prevent breakage. Ensure the hair is entirely free from tangles, as thinning shears may exacerbate existing knots.

Sectioning the Hair

Sectioning the Hair

To maintain control and prevent interference while thinning, it’s advisable to section the hair. Use clips or hair bands to divide the coat into manageable sections. This allows you to work systematically and ensures an even distribution of thinning throughout the dog’s coat. Start with one section at a time, moving methodically through the entire coat and cutting hair by following this procedure.

Related: What are Thinning and Blending Shears Used For?

Choosing the Right Technique for Thick Hair

Choosing the Right Technique for Thick Hair

Now that you’ve prepared the coat, it’s time to explore the various thinning techniques suitable
for thick hair. Each technique offers its unique advantages, and selecting the appropriate one
depends on the dog’s hair type and the desired outcome.

Point Cutting

This cutting technique involves using the tips of the thinning shears to make
small and precise cuts into the hair. It is ideal for creating a textured and natural look
while reducing excess hair. Point cutting is particularly effective for dogs with long and thick coats,
as it adds movement and dimension without sacrificing length and results in finer hair.

Slide Cutting

Slide cutting comprises sliding the thinning shears along the hair shaft and gradually
removing hair as you move through the section. This technique is excellent for achieving a
blended and seamless appearance. Slide cutting is particularly useful for dogs with dense and
heavy coats, as it helps reduce bulk while maintaining a natural-looking texture. This is the best
technique for achieving shorter hair.

Channel Cutting

Channel cutting is another technique that involves creating channels or
pathways within the coat by using the thinning shears to remove hair in a specific pattern. It is beneficial for creating structure and shaping hair, particularly in areas such as
the face, legs, or tail. Channel cutting adds precision and definition to the dog’s overall style.
When selecting a thinning technique, consider the dog’s coat length, density, and desired
overall look. Experimentation and practice will help you determine which technique works best
for different areas of the coat and specific grooming goals.

Related: Difference Between Texturizing Shears vs Thinning Shears

Tips and Best Practices for How to Use Thinning Shears on Thick Hair

Tips and Best Practices for Using Dog Grooming Thinning Shears on Thick Hair

When it comes to using thinning shears on thick hair, implementing expert tips and following
best practices can make a significant difference in achieving exceptional results. Here are some
valuable tips to consider;

Choosing the Appropriate Thinning Shears: Selecting the right thinning shears for specific
hair types is essential. Fine tooth thinning shears are ideal for subtle blending, while wide-tooth
scissors are better suited for removing bulk. Double-sided shears offer versatility, and chunking
shears are excellent for thinning out extremely thick coats. Assess the dog’s coat texture,
thickness, and the desired outcome to determine the most suitable thinning shears.

Regular Maintenance of Thinning Shears: To ensure optimal performance and longevity, it’s
crucial to maintain your thinning shears. Clean the shears after each use to remove hair and
debris, and regularly oil the pivot area to keep the blades moving smoothly. Additionally,
periodically have your scissors professionally sharpened to maintain their cutting precision.

Avoid Over-Thinning: When using thinning shears on thick hair, it’s important to be mindful of
the amount of hair being thinned at a time as removing too much hair can result in a patchy or
uneven appearance. Take small, controlled sections of hair and make gentle, deliberate cuts to
maintain balance and texture. Gradually thin the hair, periodically stepping back to assess the
overall look.

Proper Sanitization: Hygiene is a critical aspect of dog grooming. After each use, properly
sanitize the thinning shears to prevent the spread of bacteria or potential infections. Pet-safe
disinfectant or a solution of warm water and soap is very effective for cleaning shears. It’s also
important to dry them before storing them in the cases.

Get More: Dog Grooming Shears


When dealing with thick hair, thinning scissors can be a useful tool for reducing hair density.
However, thinning scissors can also be employed on different hair types to achieve a softer look
without compromising the overall shape you have meticulously crafted.

When your furry friend is faced with the struggle of managing extremely thick hair, thinning out
the mane can be a game-changer. By selectively thinning certain sections of the hair, it can
effectively control its volume, making it more manageable. This technique not only saves the
time, but it also makes brushing and combing a breeze, giving a smoother and more effortless

Improper usage of thinning shears can lead to undesirable outcomes instead of positive results.
As previously mentioned, excessive thinning or beginning too close to the hair roots can result in
a spiked and static appearance. Additionally, it can cause damage to the hair ends, resulting in an
unkempt and stringy look. It is crucial to exercise caution and precision when using thinning
shears to ensure a desirable outcome for your furry friend’s coat.

When attempting to address hair bulk by using thinning scissors, it is common for this technique
to result in frizzy hair and create further styling difficulties, rather than effectively reducing the
bulk. One significant drawback of thinning shears is that they have a tendency to disrupt and
shred well-defined ringlets, compromising their structure and overall appearance. It is important
to be aware of these potential outcomes and consider alternative approaches to manage hair bulk
without risking the integrity of your defined curls.


We have covered a range of important aspects when it comes to using thinning shears on thick
hair in dog grooming. We started by understanding the purpose and features of thinning shears,
how to use thinning shears on thick hair, and highlighting their suitability for working with thick coats. We
then explored the different types of thinning shears available, each offering unique tooth patterns
for specific grooming needs.

We emphasized the significance of proper preparation, including bathing,
drying, detangling, and sectioning the hair. We also discussed the importance of choosing the
right thinning technique based on the dog’s hair type and desired outcome, exploring point, slide, and channel cutting as viable options.

By following expert tips and best practices, such as selecting appropriate shears, maintaining
them regularly, avoiding over-thinning, and ensuring proper sanitization, you can achieve
outstanding results. Thinning shears offer a multitude of benefits, from reducing bulk and enhancing texture to creating seamless transitions and maintaining balance in the coat. They
provide a way to transform unruly thick hair into stylish and manageable styles that both you and
your furry friend will love.

Happy Grooming!

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