Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just coming out of school, there are some basic tools that belong in your kit.

A few tools that are must-haves for hairdressers are two pairs of shears that cover all cutting techniques, a powerful yet lightweight blow dryer, a versatile curling iron, a razor, a paddle brush, a thermal round brush, a set of combs, clips for sectioning and a water bottle to keep hair manageable throughout the haircut.

The choices are endless when it comes to purchasing tools that you’ll use every day you work behind the chair.

must have hairdressing tools

To make things easy, we’ve come up with a list of 10 items that are absolutely essential for building the perfect hairdresser’s tool kit.

1. All-Purpose Shears

The standard size most hairdressers use is between 5.5 inches and 6.5 inches depending on the results they want.

all purpose shears

A 5.5 inch shear is ideal for precision cutting, while a longer shear, say, between 6 and 7 inches, works well for cutting large sections of hair, compressed cutting, scissor-over-comb work, and deep texturizing..

A longer shear may also reduce the time it takes to execute a one-length bob or a scissor-over-comb technique and allows you to comfortably and easily frame hair around a client’s face.

Want the best of both worlds?

Our recommended “do everything” shear is a professional 6.25” shear.

An ergonomic shear in this size is large enough to handle any job from layering techniques to cutting one-length styles, but isn’t so long that it’s uncomfortable to use every day behind the chair.

2. Blending Shears

When you want to remove weight in a hurry, soften lines or add controlled texture, you need a blending shear.

blending shears

Sometimes called a thinning shear, this versatile shear has evenly spaced teeth on one side and a straight blunt blade on the other.

Look for a professional blending shear (also called a professional thinning shear or professional texturizing shear) with a moderate removal of weight so that it can be used for softly removing lines, texturizing, and adjusting weight balance within a shape.

For best performance, the blending shear should have convex blades and an opposing grip handle so that it is reversible reducing strain on your hand, wrist and shoulder.

3. Powerful Yet Lightweight Blow Dryer

What’s a hairdresser without a blow dryer? Out of work.

Powerfull Lightweight Blow Dryer

Next to your shears, it might be the most important tool in your kit.


You want a hair dryer that is light enough that it won’t feel like you’ve been lifting weights at the end of the day, and look for cutting-edge ionic technology, which speeds up drying time, reduces damage and leaves locks looking shiny and frizz-free.

Our favorite is a professional ionic blow dryer with built-in ceramic and tourmaline ion generation that creates incredible shine and reduces static and frizz. Weighing in at less than a pound, it delivers powerful airflow, yet it’s whisper-quiet.

4. Curling Iron

If you can have only one iron in your kit, make it a 1” marcel curling iron that also quickly converts to a hair wand.

curling iron

This iron is versatile enough to create a variety of looks because the barrel is not so small that you end up with tight ringlets, yet it’s big enough to deliver just the right amount of bend and wave.

Wrap the hair around the barrel using different techniques to create curls and waves that are loose and organice or smooth and polished.

For salon professionals, we always recommend a marcel curling iron and wand because of the control and diversity in techniques that can be created versus a spring loaded curling iron.

5. Razor

This is one tool that’s a must-have for removing hair quickly while building incredible texture.

razor

When you want to create hair with a lived-in look that’s not so clean and precise use a razor.

For more versatility, look for a razor with interchangeable blades that are suitable for classic straight-razor cutting as well as blending and texturizing hair.

A razor with an ergonomic finger design will keep your hand in a natural position, which reduces strain while you cut hair. Be sure to look for this feature when purchasing your next razor.

6. Paddle Brush

When it comes to quickly and safely detangling hair, there’s nothing like a paddle brushto do the trick.

paddle brush

It’s also the brush of choice for flat-wrapping or volume wrapping hair before finishing with a round brush.

Another huge benefit to using this brush is the wide, rectangular surface, making it ideal for creating tension across a large surface while blow drying.

Look for a design with a soft cushioned base and ball-tipped nylon bristles infused with tourmaline to reduce frizz.

These features will create more tension and shine within the hair and requires less work.

7. The Right Combs

A variety of combs will make any job easier—from creating when cutting, coloring or styling hair; scissor-over-comb or clipper-over-comb techniques; or straightening and styling hair.

the right combs

Invest in a comprehensive Comb Set featuring a tail comb, a short cutting comb, a long cutting comb and a wide cutting comb to cover all of your needs.

Skip the fancy colors and choose ivory and black colored combs to maximize the visual contrast between dark and light hair.

We recommend using a black comb on light colored hair and a white comb on darker hair for the best contrast. This will make seeing your cutting lines much easier!

Also look for professional combs crafted from carbon fiber, silicone, and graphite resins. Combs using these materials provide you with the smoothest glide possible and can stand up to 450 degrees of direct heat.

8. Sectioning Clips

Clips are ideal for sectioning hair while styling, cutting or coloring.

dry sectioning clips

Yet, not all clips are created equal.

Look for ones that provide maximum grip on wet or dry hair so you can isolate large sections of hair when dry cutting or wet cutting.

You also want a clip that won’t leave marks, a must for creating pristine upstyles.

Dry sectioning clips are a great option because they can still be used on wet hair but will minimize creases and lines on dry hair.

9. Water Bottle

Every hairdresser should have a water bottle that fits easily in their hand for lightly misting or quickly saturating the hair.

water bottle

We recommend a continuous spray bottle, which is a great feature found in many newer water spray bottles.

10. The Perfect Round Brush

Perfect Round Brush

A round brush is an absolute necessity when it comes to executing flawless blowouts, but it’s important to choose the right type of round brush and barrel size for the technique.

A small barrel is best for styling short hair, a medium barrel creates fullness at the base, and a large barrel is ideal for creating long, loose waves or straight looks with body.

A round brush can also transform fine hair, making it look fuller and thicker. For fine hair we recommend using a thermal round brush.

You’ll need a brush with the perfect combination of nylon and boar bristles to create maximum volume and shine for all hair types.

BONUS MUST HAVE

textur iron

If there’s money in your budget to add one more tool to your arsenal, we suggest a texturizing iron or some call it a mini crimping iron.

This iron can create up to 3x the volume and texture in hair. Use it to build a foundation for long-lasting updos and wedding styles or to create fullness for thicker braids.

This is a tool you never knew you needed, but once you have it, you won’t be able to live without it!