There are many things that go along with being a successful barber. First and foremost, you need to be good at your craft, but there’s more to it than that. You have to be personable and kind. You have to know exactly how to give your clients what they want with minimal info from them (or sometimes just a grainy screenshot on their phone). You have to be able to work with twitchy kids or the strong, silent type who just want a haircut and nothing more. You have to constantly hone your craft with the latest hair trends. And most of all, you need the right tools, and you need to know how to use them.
Barbershops are home to numerous different kinds of scissors, razors, combs, and other gadgets, but let’s take a quick look at some of the most used tools of the barber trade.
Straight-blade scissors can be used in a variety of ways, including trimming hair, beards, and mustaches. The curved handle of the straight-blade scissors allows you to easily cut bangs and around your client’s ears. You can also insert serrations or even use a pair of shears on clients with thinner hair to give them a finished cut that’s perfectly even and complete.
Though there are many different kinds of scissors and shears to be found in both salons and barbershops, straight-blade scissors are best for barbers, as they spend a majority of their time cutting shorter hair. Invest in a good pair of straight-blade scissors, and be sure to keep them clean and sharp to get the best results and the longest use out of them
The straight razor – also called an open or cut-throat razor – is a razor whose blade folds into its handle. It is a traditional tool that’s been around for thousands of years. One of the earliest straight razors to be unearthed dates back to the fourth century BC and was discovered inside an ancient Egyptian tomb.
Straight razors are perfect for close shaves, and although they can look a tad frightening, they are actually perfectly safe. They can be used on facial hair, on the neckline, and for carving straight lines around the beard. Use your straight razor by making short, light strokes while maintaining at least a 30-degree angle. To keep your razor, well, razor-sharp, maintain it with a strop.
One of the most important tools of your trade is the electric clipper or trimmer. There’s a good chance that you’ll use these on a vast majority of your clients in some form or another, so make sure you’ve got yourself a good set. Each clipper comes with a set of guards in different lengths that can help you cut the hair at whatever length your client wants, and can also be used to style hair and create unique designs. As the blades of the electric clipper run smoothly along the contours of the head, they trim the hair without pulling the follicles out of the scalp, thus without damaging the hair, or causing the client pain.
Be sure to always clean the tiny hairs out of your clipper blades and sanitize any blades or guards you use between clients.
Another one of those tools that are incredibly important for every barber. Whether you’re using clippers, a straight razor, or regular cutting shears, ensure you have a good duster brush on hand. No one likes that itchy feeling of tiny hairs prickling their neck, and a duster brush is far more effective than a towel at brushing away those tiny stray hairs, especially off the back of the neck.
As with all of your tools, make sure that you clean your duster brush between every client so you’re not just brushing more prickly hairs onto the next person in your seat.
All sorts of combs come in handy in the hairstyling trade, but which one you use depends on the length and style of your client’s hair. A barber comb usually has both fine teeth on one side and thick on the other. These are used to help keep your cut uniform for each section of hair. The fading comb has teeth that go from short to long and is especially useful when creating the popular fade cut. Using scissors over a comb is good for blending and achieving a close cut on shorter hair.
Professional Hair Dryer
A professional hair dryer is very important and necessary for a strong barber. A hair dryer that has multiple uses and settings is necessary for a good barber to help blow dry and style a client’s hair. Blow drying helps to pre-mould your hair into a style by taking moisture out of hair quickly, creating less frizz and more volume.
Make sure to blow dry when the hair is still wet, and do so in the direction of the hair’s natural growth. Make use of the different attachments for different purposes and keep your hair dryer in constant motion.
Different products like gels, creams, clays, sprays and volumizing powders are used after the cut to style the hair. Each product comes with its own finish and texture to style the hair in a specific way. In most cases, a strong hold, matte finish work for men’s cuts.
Color Processing Equipment
Hair coloring may not be as common for barbers to perform as a cut, but it’s still necessary for a professional to have the tools to do so. Tools like shampoo bowls, bleach proof and color safe towels, and a color bar are helpful when it comes to color hair. Latex and vinyl gloves as well as coloring brushes/combs and hair clips are necessary as well.
Do you feel ready to launch your barber career yet? If you answered yes to that question, then we are here for you. Salon Success Academy can get you walking on the right path towards your barbershop dreams. And with six convenient locations across the Inland Empire in California, you’ll have no trouble finding a class near you. All of our programs include hands-on training and extensive preparation for the State Board exams. Contact us today to get the ball rolling and learn more, 877-987-4247.