The Art of Barbering and Tools of the Trade
Barbering is an artform and being a barber means you can inspire new trends and set the stage for the community. After all, today’s clients are not just looking for a quick trim and a shave. They want to leave the shop or salon with a style that shows off their unique personality and form a connection with the individual performing the service – their barber.
A barber must learn how to create and maintain all kinds of looks for the men of today. That means learning how to pull off everything from the perfect fade, to making a mullet look magical. Oh yea, and about a dozen different beard styles, shaving techniques, hair coloring and more.
It’s also one of the oldest professions out there and has been around for many years. Fortunately, the tools of the trade for today’s barbers are a little more refined than those from centuries past. If you’re contemplating a career in the barbering industry, here are some must-have tools you should consider essential to your man-grooming future.
No surprise here. It’s hard to imagine a barber without clippers. But the main question is corded or cordless? Obviously, cordless sounds great and you won’t be running into issues maneuvering around your client while maneuvering around a cord. However, cordless clippers are usually pricier and keeping them charged can be a hassle. You can always have a backup pair but if cost is an issue, a corded pair of clippers is still a good option. And don’t forget the clipper oil and brush to keep your blades lubricated and running smooth for long-lasting use.
You might be wondering what the difference is between clippers and trimmers. Clippers are used for longer hair, while trimmers are for a close shave or buzz cut. But trimmers are an important part of a barber’s tool kit for more precise, detailed cuts like fades, and for cleaning up around the neck and hairline. You’ll also find them handy for creating special beard designs.
Some guys just want a good, clean shave and an electric shaver is ideal for accomplishing that. Most electric shavers these days are cordless and waterproof so guys can use them in the shower safely. But every barber needs a good electric shaver in their barber kit.
Barber Shears / Thinning Shears
Not all your barber tools will be electric. Having a set of high-quality pair of barber shears and thinning shears are another must-have for cutting longer, thicker hair and beards.
Combs and Brushes
Barbers use a variety of different combs and brushes. You should have at a minimum an all-purpose comb for sectioning hair, a clipper comb for tapering and blending, a fade brush, and a vent brush for blow drying. There are also a ton of different types of styling combs you can add to your tool kit when you’re ready.
Duster Brush, Neck Tapes & Haircutting Capes
These three tools may be supplied by the barber shop but if you’re on your own, make sure you have these essential items to keep your clients comfortable, clean and feeling fresh.
Not all your clients will have crew cuts or fades. You’ll need a good blow dryer with a cold shot setting in your arsenal too.
Barbicide / Disinfectant
This is an especially important tool of the barber trade. Disinfecting your tools in between clients isn’t just a good idea, it’s required. Most barbers and hairstylists will keep a jar of barbicide on their station to easily drop combs, brushes and other tools in to sterilize between uses. Disinfecting your tools and your hands before every new haircut protects both you and the client.
There are a lot of other gadgets and barber tools you’ll likely want to add as you build your barbering career. But starting with the essentials is a great first step. You can take another step in the right direction by checking out the Barbering Program at Continental School of Beauty. Offered at our Rochester campus, Continental is helping students get the hands-on training and skills they need to join the talented artists changing the world one shave and haircut at a time. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!