essential styling tools

How To Be A Prepared Hairstylist

The life of a stylist is often busy, hectic, and full of the unexpected, preparedness is key.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a comprehensive checklist to refresh your supplies, our guide to the essentials will keep you stocked on your top styling tools!

Wardrobe Essentials

Making sure you are properly prepped on your end for a long day at the salon is crucial before you even leave the house. Some key essentials for a stylist wardrobe-wise include:

Comfortable Shoes

This may seem like an odd thing to list first, but trust us—standing all day is no easy feat. Your comfort is essential to your focus, so set yourself up for success by not letting tired feet get you down.

Dark Clothing

Styling is a messy job, and often can be incredibly physical, meaning you don’t necessarily want to be rocking a restrictive, expensive ensemble during the work day. Pick up some loose-fitting clothing that allows for a full range of movement in darker colors to ensure any stains won’t wreck your appearance.


While you’ll be rocking darker colors, you’re still dealing with potential water splashes and color disasters, so protect your wardrobe investments by having a few aprons on hand.

Basic Styling Tools

Even for the most basic cut and blow dry, you want to be sure you have everything you need to complete your client’s service with ease. These tools are invaluable pieces in any stylist’s arsenal.


A high-quality pair of shears can make the difference between an amazing cut and a lackluster, imprecise cut. Top performance shears cared for by frequent sharpening are essential for any stylist.

Pro Brushes In Varying Sizes And Shapes

One brush does not fit all, so ensure you have brushes that vary in size and shape to suit different styles, needs, and textures. Top choices include a medium sized round brush, a flat brush, and smoothing brush.

Wide Toothed Comb

You can’t cut with tangles, so ensure you’ve eradicated any before going into your service by utilizing a solid wide-toothed comb.

Clips, Clips, and More Clips

Clips to section hair are key to ensuring you have the level of control needed to deliver a precise cut. Expect the unexpected by having a decent amount of clips on hand at all times to suit any length of hair.


There is not a client on the planet that wants to be covered in their own hair—invest in a few capes. Ensure that no matter where you go, you can cut without requiring your client to incessantly brush themselves off during their service.

Hot Styling Tools

In a time when blow-outs have become one of the most requested services by clients looking to simplify their hair routine, high quality hot tools are essential. The following tools should always be on hand to ensure the best possible blow out for your client!

Hair Dryer

Obviously you need a hair dryer, but the type of dryer you invest in is key. Opt for a lighter weight model to avoid putting too much physical stress on your arms because you will likely be using your dryer frequently.

Look for a model that is high-powered at a medium heat, allowing for a quick blow dry with less exposure to high heat for the health of your client’s hair. Choosing a model with a cool shot is also a great idea, as it helps to quickly set styles on busy days.


While pin-straight hair may not always be in style, that’s far from the only look you can create with a top notch flatiron. Flatirons with rounded edges are perfect for creating soft straight looks as well as loose, beachy waves. If you think outside the box while styling AND want to cut down on tools, a flatiron is a chief multi-tasker.

Curling Wand

A curling wand with a medium barrel is a great tool to have on hand. There are numerous options on the market with detachable barrels, allowing you to purchase one tool that can function in multiple ways. For bridal or event styling, a curling wand is a definite must.

Color Tools

For stylists who perform frequent color services, there are a number of key pieces that will simplify your process.

  • Gloves
  • Mixing bowls
  • Color applicator brushes & bottles
  • A whisk (for more precise mixing)
  • Beakers (for precise measurements)
  • Foils or highlighting film (for highlights/balayage)
  • A timer (to ensure exact processing time)

As a stylist, you are never 100 percent sure who will be in your chair on any given day, so having the above supplies on hand at all times is key!

Clients will appreciate your professionalism and you will feel confident knowing you are prepared for just about anything. Stack your stash with these essentials to feel like the pro you are!