Scissors and Comb Tattoos

Benna Crawford
scissors and comb tattoo on back of neck

You rock a barber chair and you feather a mean bang. So, when you're shopping for great tattoo ideas, what could be more appropriate than a comb and scissors? It's a cool graphic that adapts to any placement and signals that you are a hairdresser to your core.

Making the Cut: Comb and Scissor Tat Symbolism

A scissor tattoo can indicate decisive sharpness - or a willingness to cut ties, cut loose, and cut out. Scissors are essential tools of seamstresses, barbers, fashion and costume designers, and needlepoint hobbyists. Add a comb and you're practically in the salon.

In fact, sporting a scissors and comb tattoo in a haircutting salon advertises that you take yourself and your skill seriously. Keep it spare and utilitarian or tart it up with color or historical design. This is one tat that grabs attention and inspires conversations.

Ink, Comb, Scissors

The blade edge of the scissors might signify a momentous change or a daring personality. The comb creates order out of chaos, straightening and grooming a tangled mess. Together, scissors and combs are a contemporary yin yang design that works, small or large, wherever you ink it.

  • A swirly suggestion of a salon diva - just a sweep of black lines for hair, a perfectly groomed eye and eyebrow, and a red-lipsticked Mona Lisa smile adds up to a pretty adornment for the back of your neck (shown top right above). It's also self-assured and secretive when the image's heart-shaped chin is framed by scissors and comb and the sweep of your actual hair keeps your hairdresser ink hidden. Pin up your wild mane for a calculated reveal - a little light humor and a simple line drawing show your sense of style.
  • A forearm - inside or out - is ideal for a large, vertical pair of scissors, a skinny black traditional barber's comb, and a quirky feathering of angel's wings. Place the same tat on a calf if you live in a mild climate where you can wear it exposed all year. Those wings indicate you're all about the lofty spirit of well-groomed tresses, curls, and ringlets - and you're definitely not the "Demon Barber of Fleet Street."
  • Separate the two images for a double whammy, also on your forearms, where they can be seen by customers in your shop or salon, and by friends who know and love you for your clip-and-cut skills. One forearm gets a pair of photo-realistic scissors, while the other sports an equally detailed comb. This is a simple but effective design. More subtle would be scissors on the side of one finger and a comb on the side of the adjacent finger. Inked on index and middle fingers, the complementary tattoos come alive with an open-and-close cutting motion of both fingers.
    modern barber tattoo
  • A more delicate icon is a smaller pair of shears and comb crossed on the inside of one wrist. The owner of that skin art could be a master stylist whose talents deserve to be celebrated, or indicate someone who is passionate about their work. Because scissors always express the idea of cutting, small wrist scissors may also be a reminder of a choice for independence and a personality that refuses to be typecast or constrained. Actor Justin Theroux has a scissors tat on the inside of his right wrist.
    comb and scissors on wrist
  • A princess who takes the road less traveled by is a force to be reckoned with when her upper back and neck sport the scripted legend "Follow Your Dreams." Add an illustrated Rapunzel just below the script to hold up the tools of liberation, a comb and scissors that will shortly divest her of her floor-length locks. There's no mistaking that declaration of independence. Try blending the powerful icon of scissors and comb with another image to tell the particular story of your fairy tale life.
    princess scissors and comb tattoo

Be a Sharp Shopper

Scissors and combs are illustrations that really need a fine artist to translate the forms to crisp images on your skin. Look at the work of art school graduates, and tat artists who are known for verisimilitude and drawing expertise. Be prepared to spend a little more to book a session (or two) with a proven illustrator who delivers stunning realism or elaborate fantasy illustrations. The image can be part of an intricate "life-story" full sleeve, shoulder, or full back. It can adapt to the top of the foot or nestle into an ankle. A crisscross comb and scissors tattoo is sexy and subtle at the hairline, just behind the ear, where it can also indicate when a visit to your favorite hairdresser is overdue.

small comb and scissors tat

Beauty and Your Brand

Whether you work in the aspirational world of fashion and style-setting, are proudly obsessed with perfect grooming, or just love the look, a scissors and comb tat isn't your average hearts-and-flowers ink. It's really a shortcut to advertise your personal brand. The tattoo design is an ingenious showstopper and an opening. Be prepared to explain your skin art to the charmed and curious - or just pause for one tantalizing moment at the questions, smile mysteriously, and carry on. You get major points for imagination and intrigue, and you already have an extremely cool and custom tattoo - win-win.

Scissors and Comb Tattoos