What hairdressing equipment do I need?

The hairdressing equipment you will need depends on two key factors:

  • Are you intending to be salon based or mobile/freelance?

  • Do you intend offer colour services?

Salon based or mobile

If you work in a salon, the hairdressing equipment you will need will vary from that required by a mobile or freelance hairdresser.

As well as the basic hair cutting and styling essentials, you will also need to invest in salon equipment such as sinks, chairs, wall mounted and hand held mirrors and reception furniture, including a desk and sofas or seating for clients to wait on before their appointment.

The cost of these items can add up, so ensure you factor this in to your start up costs. For furniture such as chairs and sinks or back wash zones, it’s best to spend as much as you can afford to, as these are essential to the comfort of your clients, ensuring they enjoy their experience in your salon. Choose chairs that are adjustable and comfortable, as well as suited to your salon style and clients.  

For both salon based and mobile or freelance hairdressers, the basic essentials include:

  • Shampoo, conditioner and styling products - essential for washing and styling your clients’ hair. Ensure you have a variety of products available to suit all hair types. Some clients may prefer to use their own products, particularly if you are cutting their hair in their own home

  • Scissors - a must-have for all hairdressers - after all you cannot cut hair without them! Invest as much as you can in your scissors and they will last for years. As you specialise, you may wish to invest in specific scissors for different looks, such as thinning scissors for layering

  • Comb - essential for combing out hair prior to cutting, as well as sectioning through a cut and backcombing

  • Brushes - a selection of brushes is a must for a long lasting blow dry. Invest in small and large barrel brushes, plus a paddle brush and vent brush for the best finish and a lasting style

  • Hairdryer - choose a salon standard hairdryer. Because you will use your dryer all day everyday, it needs to be durable, powerful and reliable

  • Tongs - a must-have for creating long lasting curls, wide barrel tongs create looser curls whilst smaller barrels create tighter curls

  • Straighteners - to create sleek, straight styles with ease. Also an alternative to tongs for creating styles with curls and loose waves

  • Rollers and heated curlers - to create long lasting curls and volume

  • Towels - invest in premium quality towels for maximum softness and absorbency. If you are salon based you will need a lot of towels as most clients will use two in their appointment. If you are mobile or freelance, some clients may prefer to use their own towels, but you should still have them available

  • Gowns  - if you are  mobile or freelance, one gown should suffice, whereas if you are salon based you should invest in several - at least one per chair, plus spares.

Colour services

As well as the cutting and styling hairdressing basics, you will also need to invest in other essentials if you intend to offer colour services:

  • Tints and dyes  - you will need an array of shades to suit your clients’ preferences. If you are mobile or freelance, your client may prefer to purchase their own colour for you to apply

  • Gloves and apron - to protect your skin and clothes during colour application

  • Bowls and brushes - for mixing and applying colour

  • Foils - for highlights  

If you wish to offer perming and/or straightening treatments, you’ll also need to invest in the appropriate products.

A styling head may also be useful for practice, especially if you are a trainee or newly qualified and wish to practice your skills outside of client treatments.  

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