"Create Better Scissors and the World Will Cut a Path to Your Door"

August 17, 2020 4 min read 0 Comments

Reprint from an article that appeared in 1998

The Olympic Games two years ago changed lives. Bonnie Megowan was one of those changed. Her experience was a catalyst in the creation of a new line of shears, the Bonika Shears, the first truly multi-cultural shears. Over 7000 athletes received hair cuts in the fast paced Olympic Village hair salon During the intense days of the Olympic Games over 7000 athletes received hair cuts in the fast paced Olympic Village hair salon. They were cut by a handful of scissors alternated between the four shifts of stylists. Security demanded that the scissors remained in the salon. Bonnie Megowan, the owner of Scissor Mechanic, a scissors sharpening business, was hired as a receptionist/scissors sharpener. Each day several scissors were earmarked for sharpening. It was in this crucible that Bonnie began to see differences in performances of the various types scissors. The Japanese style shears were in the highest demand. Most stylists preferred the smooth action and comfortable offset handles. However, these shears required more maintenance than the German style scissors and quickly become dull at the tip. It was apparent because the hair would slide and jump away at the point. This caused the cut to be uneven and even blood loss as the frustrated stylists would chase the last few hairs ending up cutting their finger or even worse an athlete's ear. After the Olympics, Bonnie researched the reason for the problems with these scissors. She discovered all scissors evolved basically from two design lines. These were the German-style beveled and serrated edge scissors and the Japanese style convex or hamaguri edge shears. The traditional barbering scissors were first perfected in Germany The traditional barbering scissors were first perfected in Germany and were designed to cut in the method of Germans at that time. They can cut Caucasian hair easily before it is washed. Even if the hair is oily it never slips. However, they are very difficult to slide or slither and they have a crispy, harsh feel that is jarring to the hand. The blades often have a twist that bring the edges together in a forceful manner that squeezes, grips then chops the hair. The Japanese-style scissors on the other hand are very smooth with a soft cushioned close. The handles tend to be more ergonomically designed with less occurrence of nerve damage to the stylist's hand. The extremely sharp convex edge blades were designed to cut very straight hair with a minimum of friction. They were intended to slip and slide through the hair with an emphasis on fluidity over precision. Their function relies on an extremely sharp clamshell edge with a smooth inner ride line. The hair cut in the Olympic Hair Salon was rarely completely straight and more likely to be African or South American than European. Neither of the styles of scissors were appropriate to the stylists or the hair cuts. Based on what she knew about the advantageous and disadvantageous of both styles of scissors, Bonnie searched for an engineer and factory that could manufacture shears that would be right for the multi-cultural stylist. The tip of the shears function like German scissors while the rest of the tool performs like Japanese shears. From this was created the Bonika International Shears. These shears combine the smoothness of the Japanese-style shears with the precision of the German shears. The tip of the shears function like German scissors while the rest of the tool performs like Japanese shears. They are manufactured to specifications in the United States employing molybdenum in the stainless steel which is hard but less brittle than cobalt steel. Hardness of steel is measured in Rockwell hardness and these shears score at the high end of the scale at 62 degrees. So now a stylist can count on a smooth comfortable pair of shears that will cut precisely through very coarse hair, clipping to the very tip with a crispness. The strength of the steel means they will be dependable for years. Bonnie's husband was instrumental in conducting research utilizing 100 stylists; African American, Asian and Caucasian, male and female. Gene was trained in marketing with a fortune 500 company and helped in the statistical research that was able to perfect the shears to the needs of the stylists. Research showed that on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 the highest, the average score based on 7 features was 4.222. From this data slight adjustments in the shears were made and they were first introduced at the Bronner Brothers Hair Show at a price of $400.00. Due to the increase demand and lower costs in mass manufacturing, the shears now retail for $299.00. Also, two additional lower priced shears were added to the Bonika line, the Bonika Silk and the ProMaster. On a scale of 1 to 5, the average score was 4.222 Gene no longer works for the Fortune 500 company but works in the Scissor Mechanic business as does their 17 year old daughter. You can meet this family at this year's Bronner Brothers Show at booth 313. The shears have been used and endorsed by top stylists