As simple as a list would be, the hairdressing supplies you’ll need will depend on whether you work in a salon or not, and the services you will offer.
In salon or freelance?
In salon hairdressing supplies you will need:
- Shears/scissors – An absolute must have if you plan on getting any cutting done! Scissor prices vary hugely! It is best to invest as much as you possibly can for the very best pair and you will not regret the results you get and the years they will last! Cheap scissors will be useless after a few cuts and end up snagging at hair, causing more splits than a client started with! With time and skill building you will find you need more than one pair, you may want to add wide-tooth thinning scissors, blending/texturising scissors and all the rest!
- Combs – You’ll want your own set of combs for all the services you intend to give e.g. tail comb for highlights a cutting comb for cuts and so on. Top Tip: brand your combs in a way you’ll know they are yours! For example, paint a little nail varnish dot. Combs are notorious at disappearing in salons!
- Brushes – It’s always good to have a range of brushes you’re very familiar with. When you perfect a technique you can often find a new brush throws off your game! Yes we are blaming our tools here! Invest in varying barrel sizes, plus a tangle teaser, paddle and vent brush.
- Foils – If you offer highlights you’ll need foils at your disposal. You may be offered to use the salons but they will often cost much more than buying your own. Check if there is an inclusive use of equipment before agreeing to anything/signing a lease for a chair etc.
- Clips & bits – Depending on your services you’ll need an array of clips and pins. It’s always best to have your own and have lots of them because they LOVE to disappear!
Your salon should take care of the rest past these. That said, it is always best to test salon equipment and judge against your own preferred equipment. One of our wonderful freelancers is glued to her favourite flat iron, she insists it’s so diverse with styling she can use it for straightening, waves, curls, the lot! SO, we’ve covered the salon, let’s look at the extra hairdressing supplies you’ll need for freelancing.
Freelancer in a salon
As well as the above you will need a fair bit more working for yourself.
- Colour – You will need to provide your own colour, unless you have an agreement with the salon that you will pay for colour from their stock. Ensure you have a good supply and always consult beforehand to make sure you have the colours you will need with you.
- Shampoo & Conditioner – You may need to bring your own shampoo and conditioner, again depending on the agreement you have with the salon, you may pay a flat fee to use all backwash equipment and products (this includes water usage). If you do have to bring your own shampoo and conditioner, ensure you have a varied range for all hair types you may encounter. It may be useful to bring some retail sizes too incase your clients want to purchase any from you.
- Hairdryer – Having a salon standard hairdryer is a must for any freelancer! You will learn to love your hair dryer and get a feel for a certain grip and flow. Our recommendation would be to bring your own, but again, lots of salons will allow you to use theirs. Choose power and reliability!
- Heated styling – Straighteners, tongs and rollers should be hanging out that travel bag! We are past they years of every client wanting a bouncy blow-dry! We’re seeing waves for days! If you can find a one tool wonder like your freelancer above, go for it, but we’ve personally never been that lucky! A variety of styling tools will always come in handy for every occasion and request. Invest in salon standard equipment, the finish will be better, the results will last longer and your equipment itself will last longer!
- Gloves – Arguably one of the most important hairdressing supplies you’ll ever need. Nobody likes bleach burn or funky coloured hands! Without gloves your hands age faster too!
Freelancer at home
Assuming you don’t have your own at home salon and you have all of the above…
- You’ll need to invest in a comfy chair for your client to sit in, nobody wants a hard kitchen chair up their back for hours! And nobody wants a backless seat; you may find it easier to work with, but your client will have a achey back after too long and won’t be happy!
- Towels – Nobody wants to use your beauty and the beast beach towel form 2007 (sorry not sorry). Buy professional, premium quality towels with maximum absorbency and softness for enhanced customer experience and comfort. We suggest bleach-roof towels too or you’ll forever be buying new ones! Some clients may prefer to bring their own towels, particularly after covid – accommodate each client as they need.
- Gowns – Let’s all agree, we don’t want wet clothes or stains after our appointment. Gowns are a must to protect our clients clothes.
- Apron – Depending on your monthly shopping budget or your ability to colour over bleach stains with sharpies, an apron suits many of us. If you want to protect your clothes, BUY THE APRON!
We hope this has been helpful! Have we missed out any essential hairdressing supplies you think a newly qualified hairdresser would need? Let us know!
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