Today, we take a look at the must-have tools and appliances for aesthetics school students.
1. Shears, scissors, and razors.
First things first, a professional cosmetologist possesses a small army of shears of different shapes and sizes. As you probably know, each shear serves a different purpose.
Long shears are a must-have for long, straight cuts, while short shears will prove a treasure when engaging in finer, more detailed work, and texturing. Thinning shears (aka blending shears) usually feature a blade and a comb, and are used to remove excess weight, and blend the hair more seamlessly. Notching shears offer a great finishing touch to any cut and add volume to thin hair. Texturizing shears, albeit similar to notching, are another unmissable tool in your arsenal.
On top of that, you will need a high-quality set of scissors, as well as a case of hair-shaping razors.
Pro Tip: Make sure you opt for high-quality, stainless steel tools. Always test them before using – make sure they fit easily in your hand, and that you get used to them before cutting!
2. Rolling Tray.
The rolling tray is every cosmetologist’s home base. This is where you’ll keep your entire arsenal – clips, scissors, shears, etc. You want a rolling tray that moves easily, yet is accommodating. While working, you’ll need easy access to your tools, which is why a bigger rolling tray is often best (you don’t want to scramble through the drawers for 15 minutes!).
3. Aprons and towels.
One of the downsides of this wonderful trade is the constant exposure to chemicals, hair products, and so forth. That’s why an apron is your best friend – it will protect both you, and your clothes from permanent stains, discoloration, and other damage.
Much for the same reason, you’ll need a set of high-quality towels. Tasalon microfiber towels constantly get glowing reviews from teachers and students alike. The high-end microfiber means they’re highly absorbant, and quick to dry, all while retaining quality (and avoiding fray) over time.
Pro Tip: while we’re at it, you might want to pick up some salon capes to protect your clients from those same products and chemicals (not to mention falling hair!).
4. Combs! (...and brushes)
Another important step for any budding cosmetologist is learning the different combs and brushes they will need for a fine, professional haircut. All of these need to be in your rolling tray, and readily at hand.
Your all-purpose comb is great for a quick touch-up, but not ideal for more complex haircuts. The barber comb allows you to trim hair close to the head, thanks to its narrow teeth. The detangler comb, as the name suggests, helps cosmetologists attack stubborn tangles. You’ll also need a pick comb to tease unruly, frizzy, or exceptionally thick hair. The pin-tail and rat-tail combs not only give you a better grip but also allow for more precision when selecting individual strands.
Then, you’ve got your brushes – the vent brush adds volume at the root, while the nylon bristle brush is ideal for penetrating, and detangling thick, messy hair. Once you’re down to the length and shape desired, a thermal brush and a styling brush will help define your client’s look.
5. Mirror, mirror…
A handheld mirror is something every cosmetology student needs. This will allow you better insight and add clarity to every cut. It will also give clients a better idea of what you’re doing, and everyone knows a collaboration between cosmetologist and client is the key to a successful, satisfying cut.
Pro Tip: Spring for a high-quality ABS mirror that’s impact-resistant (you never know when it slips!).
Stools have been shown to be the best seating option for clients at a beauty salon. A simple, round salon stool allows the client to sit up straight, and not slouch, allowing the cosmetologist better all-around access for an even cut.
Alternatively, you can opt for a straddle stool, which also poses the client in a straight-backed, salon-appropriate position. Whichever you do, do not forget about a proper salon stool!
7. Mannequin Heads.
The key to a skilled, masterful cosmetologist is, of course, practice. When starting aesthetics school, you will be required to try and fail until you learn how to use your trade tools, and what techniques work best for you.
That’s where mannequin heads come in real handy.
8. Clips and spray bottles.
Spray bottles are, in our opinion, a highly undervalued stylist accessory. They let you dampen the hair, without soaking it, and are accessible and easy to use. The same goes for good, sturdy hair clips that don’t tangle or tear the client’s hair.
9. Makeup bag.
Since most cosmetologists also learn the art of make-up, it’s only common sense that you’d pack a full makeup bag. Typically, your makeup bag should include brushes and sponges (hypoallergenic, please!), as well as a broad range of powder, foundation, makeup, blush, and lipstick palettes.
Also vital for any cosmetologist, pack a set of Q-tips, cotton pads, spoolies, and other similar items.
Bonus Item: Patience!
Cosmetology, like any worthwhile art, takes time to learn thoroughly. So if at first, you don’t succeed, be patient and persevere! The satisfaction of a good cut will be well worth-it in the end.