What Tools Do Professional Hairstylists Use?
An artist isn’t defined by their tools, but they are still an essential part of their success.
Without a hairstyling tools kit, there’s not much that a stylist can do! They need their various gadgets, accessories, and knick-knacks when they’re on the job to create their marvelous hair creations.
If you dream of being a hairstylist one day, you will need to have your own professional hair styling tools that will help you grow and develop your skillset. To set you on the right path, we’ll cover how you can find the best professional hair styling tools and their uses.
We focused on tools for styling, rather than cutting or coloring. Most hairdressers require a Cosmetology school license to cut and color, but simple styling can be done by anyone, including hobbyists and makeup artists!
Depending on what kind of styling you dream of doing, you may find some of these salon tools are worth buying right away so you can get started. Others might not be necessary for the kind of styling you want to start out with.
So exactly what does a hairstylist need? Let’s get into it, one by one!
Professional heat styling tools
The hair styling tools kit has to include some heat tools. They’re a little heavy, but they’re still portable, so you can use them at any photo studio or bridal party gathering to create flawless styles.
To start, the one hairstyling tool that every stylist needs to own is a blow dryer. This device doesn’t just dry hair, but with the right brushes, it can also be used to create a wide range of styles. Some hairstylists don’t even bother with straightening or curling irons, because they can achieve most effects with a trusted blow dryer.
Since hairstylists can find themselves holding a blow dryer for hours on end, it’s important to choose a lightweight and ergonomic one. Otherwise, you will find yourself dealing with soreness and pain at the end of the day, and life-long strain after years of work.
At the same time, powerful heating and flow technology are also important, since they’ll allow you to complete blowouts more quickly. That’s why we focused on bridging the gap between power and size when designing the professional-caliber Interstellar Blow Dryer.
Nowadays, a curling iron is a must, especially for hairstylists working in the bridal realm. A single curling iron can create a nearly endless amount of styles, ranging from tousled waves to refined curls.
Beyond that, it’s also the one tool that guarantees that updos won’t fall apart halfway through the day. By curling the hair first, you’ll add more texture and grip, so styles like buns, braids, and French twists will stay put without the need for an excess of bobby pins.
Hairstylists don’t have time to waste, so look for a curler that heats up fast and then maintains a consistent temperature, like the Interstellar Cosmic Digital Clip Curling System.
A gifted stylist can create pin-straight hair with nothing but a paddle brush and a hairdryer. This makes a flat-iron an optional tool rather than a must-have, but it can still be beneficial in your professional hair styling tools kit.
Aside from smoothing the hair into sleekness, there’s a special technique that allows you to curl or wave the hair with a straightener. If you master this technique, you may find yourself preferring it over a curling iron!
If you have avant-garde tastes or you plan to work in the fashion world, a hair straightener can also help create all kinds of fantasy hairstyles with varying textures or spikes.
The brushes you use are just important as the heat styling tools. From prep to styling, they do it all!
Rounded paddle brush
The rounded paddle brush is all about ease and comfort. This ‘Jill of All Trades’ is versatile! From detangling before you start styling to smoothing after you’ve used a heated salon tool, rounded paddle brushes are always a go-to option for many different hair types.
They can take up the space of different combs and brushes in the stylist’s arsenal, which is great on the go. The soft bristles and rounded air-filled cushion are naturally flexible, moving with the natural contours of the scalp.
Boar bristle round brush
When it comes to blowout sessions, the round brush is your weapon of choice. They’re the ultimate hair stylist must-have tool when you want to add volume, body, and bounce.
A great round brush will be made with boar bristles, to bring out the hair’s natural shine while significantly reducing frizz. There are a lot of different round brushes on the market, so be careful when deciding!
Metal barrels can often cause heat damage, especially for finer hair, so we recommend opting for a heat-resistant material like nylon. The Tiripro 50mm combines a surgical nylon body with 100% natural boar bristles, for that added shine.
But remember, it isn’t just about the brush. It’s how you use it. Nailing the perfect blowout isn’t always easy, but practice makes perfect.
For gentle detangling, go wide or go home! The wide spaces between the bristles work knots out of your clients’ hair gently, without pulling or causing pain. They’re also useful for distributing products like texturizing spray or mousse.
A wide tooth comb causes less friction, which helps keep the hair smooth and healthy for the long term. It also feels wonderfully luxurious on the scalp, leaving your clients feeling soothed, pampered, and ready to shine. Hello, referrals!
When you’re shopping for a wide-tooth comb as a stylist, look for something lightweight and versatile that will be suitable for a variety of different hair types. Our new Paradise Detangling Comb was specifically designed with gentle detangling in mind, offering professional form and function in a glittery design that’s travel-friendly as a bonus.
When it’s finally time to pull the hair into a dramatic updo (or even to just give it an ultra-chic middle part), a sectioning comb does the trick. The pointy tip does a lot of work in the average salon when it comes to hairdressers who cut and color hair, as well.
However, the comb portion also has a few useful jobs. The closely-spaced teeth on the sectioning comb help to further smooth the hair for ultra-neat styles. On the other hand, if you use it in reverse, combing towards the hair, they’re great for teasing, which is essential for any look with a lot of volume.
Mixed bristle paddle brush
A mixed-bristle paddle brush is a great choice when you’re in a hurry and need to blow-dry hair quickly. The quills help to detangle tresses, and the bristles help to distribute the hair’s natural oils. This leaves hair shiny, smooth, and relatively straight. For a wavy, more voluminous look, opt for a round brush, instead.
Size does matter! We recommend choosing an extra-large paddle because it tackles tough jobs fast. We like this brush for its curvy bamboo body and plush red cushion. The thick array of dual-type bristles are perfect for detangling dry hair in a pinch.
Other hair stylist must-haves
Finally, these are the miscellaneous but utterly essential odds and ends that a hairstylist needs. They may not fit into the other categories, but they’re definitely mandatory.
When you style, you need a way to keep certain sections of hair out of your way. The problem with most plastic or metal hair clips is that they can warp if you happen to touch them with your heat styling tools. Nothing could be worse than melting some plastic into a client’s hair!
That’s why professional stylists use sectioning clips designed specifically for styling. They won’t get damaged if you touch them with a curling iron and that won’t create a bend in hair that you’ve already painstakingly styled.
Bobby pins and elastics
As a hairstylist, you will need an endless supply of bobby pins and tiny, disposable elastics. Without these, you can’t create a single updo!
Disposable elastics are especially useful for creating braids and high-ponytails because they’re so easy to hide with just a wrapped strand of hair. Bobby pins are essential for securing buns, rolls, and twists in updos, as well as to pin glamorous hair accessories or veils for bridal styles.
The hair products that professional hairstylists use deserve a whole blog post of their own! Stylists that wash hair need high-quality shampoo and conditioner, but for those who travel to perform styling and updos, they won’t be necessary.
Instead, each stylist develops her own arsenal of must-have styling products, from mousses and hair oils that smooth the hair and give it a sheen to texturizing and strong-hold hairsprays that guarantee that whatever you create DOES. NOT. BUDGE.
Let’s get stylin’
Once you gather all the best professional hair styling tools, all that’s left to become a pro hairstylist is practice. If you’re passionate about hair, the world will see it, and you’ll build a roster of clients for updos and blowouts in no time.
You got this!