There are a lot of elements to being a hair-care pro. There’s the education, the advanced training and credentials earned and the happiness of your growing clientele. But one often overlooked element is the quality of the tools we use. When I was an apprentice and in my early years, I always made room in my budget for a great blowdryer and a pair of scissors. Occasionally, I would try to scrimp on a boar bristle brush or a styling comb and I would end up with burned bristles or a broken comb. I learned my lesson very quickly when it came to investing in my tools! Typically using the best means more efficiency, better results, more health and less damage. And what pro doesn’t believe in all of those things?
I often get asked how to re-create my signature hairstyles at home or what tools are essential to keep for everyday use. And while I believe in a budget, I also know that a lot of my secrets lie in the tools I use. Because I love to share all of my secrets with you lovelies, I’m listing my top ten recommendations directly from the tool kit that I use every day!
1. A Lightweight, High Powered Blow-dryer
Best Choice: Ibiza Blowdryer
This blow-dryer is a hairdresser’s dream, especially for one that spends a lot of her time rockin’ out blowouts. Not only is it lightweight (so your arms can deal), but it has very high power at a medium-hot temperature, meaning it dries quicker with less heat exposure. Added bonus? The cool shot button streams cold air very quickly and at a high power, allowing you to set your style in just seconds.
2. A Wide-Toothed Comb For Detangling
Best Choice: Kevin Murphy Texture Comb
Every hairdresser knows that a good wide-toothed comb is essential for any texture or hair type. I prefer Kevin Murphy’s version because it’s easy to grip and it can be used on wet or dry hair, before or after styling. When used after styling, it works very well as a detangler and smoother, while still maintaining some texture and movement.
3. A Medium-Sized Round Brush
Best Choice: Cricket 1 ½” Ceramic Round Brush
If you have a good round brush, you can create a few different gorgeous styles on any client that walks in the door. With a little creativity and some great products to aid, a round brush can do everything from adding volume and fullness to limp locks to smoothing frizz and straightening curls. This Cricket brush will help protect your hair from heat, aid in preventing static and grip the hair without snagging. And with it’s ergonomic design allowing you maximum comfort and minimum strain on your wrist, it’s a no-brainer!
4. Clips For Sectioning
Best Choice: The Croc Clip
One sign of a great hairdresser is how much pride they take in the process of doing hair. Organization is key to that, so a heavy duty set of duckbill clips is essential for sectioning. We use them to hold hair up while it processes during a color and to keep sections separate during cutting and styling. The best duckbill clips will have an easy handle to open with and little grips inside to comb into the hair for a strong hold.
5. A Smoothing Brush
Best Choice: Kevin Murphy Smoothing Brush
A smoothing brush can distribute your natural oils from your scalp to your ends, ensuring you never get buildup at the roots or dryness throughout the rest. We hairdressers also use it to brush out curls after setting to get a uniform curl pattern and to back-brush for volume and texture. I love Kevin Murphy’s because it’s made of natural, authentic materials which are cultivated responsibly. And because of the high quality nature of the materials, the brush handle is strong yet lightweight, the bristles massage and smooth the cuticle of each hair adding shine and the padding is heat and water resistant.
6. Curling Aids
Best Choice: Kevin Murphy Curlers & Wave Clips
In editorial work, quick styling and efficient turnarounds are the name of the game. With that kind of pressure, the pros need tools that can take fine, thin hair to Victoria’s Secret-ready in minutes. Kevin Murphy’s Curlers come in two sizes for various curl tightness and they have grips to comb through the hair before setting for maximum smoothness. Curl hair with a curling iron or blow-dry with a round brush and set each section on a curler for about 10-20 minutes or as long as possible. And the wave clips (which just need to be placed, covered with a net and dried and cooled) create the ultimate sexy mermaid look in five minutes.
7. Emergency Item
Best Choice: Shower Caps
A shower cap helps keep the hair warm during a color or deep conditioner for optimum penetration and better coverage. It also works well to cover hair during an unexpected rainstorm when leaving the salon with your newly straightened hair! And of course, we all use one when showering without washing our hair.
8. Strong Bobby Pins (Grips)
Best Choice: Sally Beauty Supply Meta Grip
Not only does this brand make different colors to suit every woman’s hair, but they are the strongest I’ve ever used. And as a hairdresser, when I need to take care of my bride’s hair on her wedding day, I can only rely on products that won’t break, snag or cause damage. Use these little lifesavers to pull bangs back, fasten a quick updo or to secure a braid.
9. An Innovative Styling Aid
Best Choice: Kevin Murphy Sewing Kit
Every year, we are treated to more efficient, less damaging and faster options for working with hair. Recently, Kevin Murphy came out with his most unique invention: The Sewing Kit. It contains two plastic needles and three packs of thread in blonde, brunette and black. By looping and tying the thread on the needle and working it through the hair to secure sections, you can seamlessly create an upstyle in just a few minutes. From a low, messy bun to an elaborate high chignon, this little kit is everything you need whatever the occasion.
10. A Small Color Brush
Best Choice: Colortrak Super Precision Brush
A small hair color brush can be a hairdresser’s most utilized tool if they know how to use it. The most popular use for the precision brush is balayage highlighting. This particular brush gives you a lot of control and the strong angle of the bristles make it easier to feather the color lightly to give the gradient appearance. I also love this brush for coloring (or smoothing) eyebrows. It’s perfect for such a small area of hair. In addition, it can be used to finish the hair with product to smooth over flyaways and frizz and it is great for covering gray along the part-line and hair-line with a temporary color.