Left handed stylists are the minority, but you may not know how small a minority they really are. Most hair stylists are women. Only half the number of women are left handed compared to men. Of the entire population only 15% are left handed, so among stylists, most likely the percentage of left-handed stylists is less than 10%.
Now, add to this, 68% of the lefties use their right hands to cut hair! Now the number of true left handed hair cutters drops to less than 5% of the hair stylists! Then, from personal observation, of the stylists who are left handed and cut with their left hands in the USA most are given right handed shears in school (this is different in Australia and other countries). Because they start out using right handed shears, at least half of the left handed stylists will continue to use right handed shears in their left hand. If they try to hold and cut with a true left handed shear (they cross backwards) the hair will fold or flip instead of cutting because they continue to cut using a crab grip.
Because only about 2-3% of hair stylists actually use left-handed shears, there is a smaller selection of left handed (cross backwards) shears made for left handed people. This means that lefty stylists own fewer shears just because there are fewer shears they can select from. Some of the factories that make our shears are incapable of producing left-handed shears.
This boils down to only 1 out of 100 shears (or maybe less) that a shear sharpener comes across in their sharpening business is a true lefty. This means that an inexperienced sharpener can totally ruin a left-handed shear because of lack of training or inexperience. We recently saw a sharpener hold a shear handle in his right hand to create a rideline instead of in his left hand, thus knocking off the edge and rounded over the shears. Many sharpeners send us their lefty shears to sharpen, here at Bonika, and will only sharpen right handed shears. Some equipment for sharpening shears is not designed for sharpening left handed shears. Other equipment may be cumbersome in switching over or appear backwards and confusing in sharpening lefties. For whatever the reason, the stylist and the sharpen must be extra careful in addressing repair and sharpening of these specialty shears.
Bonika Shears offers several models of left handed shears although not all models are available in left-handed versions. ( http://www.bonika.com/lefty-shears/ ) We also make equipment and train sharpeners in the art of sharpening these shears. Often left-handed shears cost us more, even though we charge the same to the customer as the right-handed version.
We encourage those lefty hairdressers who are using right-handed shears to try switching to a left-handed version. These will be better for their hand and help prevent carpal tunnel and other hand maladies common to beauticians. However, we understand that the switch may not be easy or even impossible. That is why all our shears have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. We can recommend which right handed shear works best for those cutting with their left hand. Just ask.