Beginner Barber Kit: Essential Barber Tools
Jul 30, 2020
Starting out as a beginner barber can often be challenging. Building a barber kit for beginner barbers on a budget is even more difficult.
Before you start building your beginner barber kit, the number one advice for you is to invest in yourself, to invest in educating yourself. Invest time in educating yourself, watch all the barber Youtube videos you can find so that you can learn from others, and get inspired. You’ll also want to start learning about barbershop marketing and how to promote yourself as a barber.
In this article and buying guide, you’ll find recommendations on how to build the best beginner barber kit, whether you are on a budget or not.
This is a list of things a barber needs, whether you’re starting out as a beginner barber at home, at a salon, or as a mobile barber.
Where to find the necessary tools for beginner barbers
You’ll be able to find the essential barber tools at all the beauty supply stores such as Sally Beauty, at wholesalers, or online.
By the way, I’m not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the brands or stores recommended in this article. I usually recommend Amazon because they ship things fast and products are usually in stock. Sally Beauty, on the other hand, sells the same items for a better price, but they are usually sold out on their online store.
What tools do beginner barbers need?
So let’s start discussing everything, from cleanliness and hygiene to quality and products.
1. Disinfectants for barbers
Sanitation is a big thing in barbering, sanitation is key.
Before servicing any customer, you’ll have to sanitize your tools, but also use a hand sanitizer or soap and warm water. This is not just a barbershop best practice, it’s the law.
Read our detailed guide to find out more information about how to properly sanitize and disinfect barber tools.
• Disinfectant Spray
You’ll have to disinfect and clean your clippers after every single client. These items are must-haves in all the barber kits for beginners. Actually, experienced barbers use and swear by these.
The two most popular sprays are Andis Cool Care Plus and Clippercide.
• Barbicide & Barbicide Jar
For your other tools, you’ll want to use Barbicide. Barbicide is an EPA registered hospital grade disinfectant used in salons, barbershops, and spas. It kills germs, viruses and fungi.
The Barbicide Jar is perfect for disinfecting without making a mess. Fill the jar with diluted barbicide solution and dip your tools in. Make sure you get a size that is tall enough to fit all of the combs and tools, including their handles. You can also use mason jars if you’re on a budget.
2. Neck strips & dispenser for neck strips
Neck strips create a barrier between the cape and the client’s skin. The client’s neck skin should never touch the cape directly because you put the cape on many different people and it would not be sanitary. They are a must-have in any beginner barber kit.
By simply using a neck strip you’re showing your clients that you value sanitation and that you value their wellbeing. They’ll make you look professional and keep your clients safe from skin infections.
You can’t really be a barber without clippers. Clippers are essential barber tools! Anyone looking at building a barber kit for beginners must include clippers in their budget, even if the budget is very tight.
Clippers on Amazon are usually cheaper, regardless of their brand. Do a little research and find the best price before buying, because if you’re a beginner barber, you don’t want to spend money on overpriced products,
Below I’ll be talking about some of the best clippers for beginner barbers. You’ll get good quality for a decent price. Clippers also come with guards, so you won’t need to worry about spending money on guards. But first, let’s see the pros and cons of cordless and corded clippers.
Cordless vs corded clippers for beginner barbers
The main question beginner barbers ask is whether to buy corded clippers or cordless ones. There’s no simple answer to this one because it depends on your preferences and budget.
Corded clippers can be a hassle and they tend to get in your customer’s face when working from the front, but they are highly reliable and powerful.
Cordless clippers are usually more expensive and will run out of juice after a couple of hours, so you’ll have to have multiple clippers at hand. You’ll also have to change the battery around one time per year and that’s another extra cost.
If you can’t afford to buy a second pair of clippers for your beginner barber kit at this time, then opt for the corded ones. This way, you can be sure you won’t be left hanging because the battery ran out and you don’t have a backup. Also, corded clippers are usually a bit cheaper than cordless ones.
Corded clippers for beginner barbers:
• Andis Trendsetter Adjustable Blade clippers
These are the best corded clipper for barbers on a budget.
• Oster Fast Feed Adjustable clippers
The Oster Fast Feed clippers are a good option if you can afford to spend a little bit more.
• Wahl 5-Star Barber Combo
If you really want to splurge on your beginner barber clippers, the Wahl 5-Star Barber Combo comes with the 5-Star Legend Clipper and the Hero T-Blade Trimmer.
Cordless clippers for beginner barbers:
• Kemei Magic Clip clipper
If you’re on a budget but you really want a cordless clipper, the Kemei Magic Clip is one of the best clippers for beginner barbers. You just can’t beat this price quality ratio. While these might not last as long as the Wahl Clippers, they’re the best option if you’re a beginner barber on a budget.
• Wahl 5-Star Magic Clip clippers
If you’re not on a budget and you can afford to spend the extra dollars, Wahl 5-Star Magic Clippers are the best clippers for beginner barbers. They are almost 5 times more expensive than the Kemei, but they will last you a very long time.
• Wahl Sterling 4 Cord/Cordless clippers
If you’re going to opt for a cordless clipper for your beginner barber kit, you should really consider getting a backup corded clipper, just in case you forget or don’t have time to recharge between clients. Or you could get the Wahl Sterling 4 Cord/Cordless Clipper, as it can be used both corded and cordless.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend a trimmer on a budget. A good quality trimmer is essential to any starter barber kit. The Andis Slimline Pro is loved by all the barbers out there. It’s a cord/cordless trimmer with a 2-hour runtime provided by just a 2-hour charge.
Every barber kit for beginners needs a shaver, but don’t get the expensive ones from the beginning. Anything from Wahl, Andis or Babyliss will do the job amazingly, and they are all pretty affordable. Buy a cheaper shaver and invest that money in clippers or some other essential barber tools.
• Kemei Shaver
If you’re looking for something really budget-friendly, give the Kemei shaver a try. You just can’t beat that price, and some of their products are surprisingly good.
• Andis Profoil shaver
The Andis Profoil shaver is another great option that won’t break the bank. It would be a fine addition to any beginner barber kit.
• Wahl 5-Star Rechargeable shaver
The Wahl 5-Star Rechargeable shaver is considerably more expensive, but if you’re looking for one of the best shavers, this is one of them.
6. Clipper accessories
• Clipper oil & clipper brush
People always ask what clippers last long. Clippers that you take care of last long.
Clipper oil creates a barrier between the metal and it keeps clippers running smooth. If you won’t use products to protect and lubricate your clipper blades from the start, you’re going to ruin your clippers. That’s why Clipper Oil and Andis Cool Blade are necessary tools for beginner barbers.
7. Hair Shears for Barbers
Along with getting great clippers, you’ll also want to get your hands on a great pair of shears. There’s a wide range of shears on the market, they come in all different shapes and sizes.
The ones that you’ll include in your barber kit are totally your preference. Just go to a beauty supply store and try them out, see how they feel in your hand.
The best barber shears for beginners
• ULG & St. Mege shears
For most of your cutting, you’re going to use a 5.5 or 6 inch shears, for bulk cutting you’re going to use a 7 inch shear. The 6 inch shear is the most versatile and it can be used for everything. It’s a must-have for any barber kit for beginners.
If you’re on a very tight budget, check out the 6 inch from St. Mege or from ULG.
• QuarteredSteels Foundation shear
If you can afford to spend some more, still under 100 dollars, the QuarteredSteels created shears that are perfect for starter barber kits or student barber kits.
• Sam Villa Essential shear
If you can afford to spend some extra dollars, most professional and experienced barbers vouch for the Sam Villa shears as being really good quality at a moderate price. They’re not exactly cheap, but they’ll last you a long, long time.
Thinning shears and blending shears for beginner barbers
These are not must-haves in your beginner barber kit, but if you can get them, they’ll be a great help in your haircuts.
The best cutting and thinning shear combo for beginner barbers on a budget are from ULG and you can find these on Amazon.
• ULG shear pack
• QuarteredSteels Foundation shear pack
For a bit of a higher price, the QuarteredSteels offer a foundation pack consisting of a 6 inch shear and 6 inch texturizing shear. Not the cheapest, but not that expensive neither, if we were to compare it to artisan shears.
8. Razor holder and razor blades
A razor holder and razor blades are essential barber tools. If you’re on a budget, start with the cheaper ones, such as the Dorco Prime Platinum razor blades, and get the hang of them. Later, you can check out the Merkur Double Edge razor blades.
When you’re buying a razor holder, make sure to choose one that allows you to adjust the blade’s exposure.
9. Combs for barbers
Most clippers come with a comb in the box, but for certain styles, you’ll need more than just the basic comb.
If we look at any student barber kit, provided by barber schools, we’ll notice that they all include at least an all-purpose comb, a clipper comb and a fade brush. These are essential barber tools. But there are plenty of combs out there, depending on what type of styles you want to create.
• All-purpose comb
The perfect comb to create clean sections when cutting, coloring and styling hair.
• Clipper Comb
The best tool for clipper-over-comb techniques, such as flat-top cutting, blending, and tapering.
• Fade Brush
A brush for fading and cleaning cut hair and fine debris.
• Vented brush
The essential brush for achieving root lift when blow-drying hair.
• Wide-tooth comb
The wide-tooth comb is great at detangling without damaging the hair.
• Optional: Styling combs
10. Hair Clips
Crocodile clips are the best clips because they can hold any amount of hair.
Optional: Hair Grippers
11. Blow dryer
Another one of those essential barber tools! You can use your own personal blow dryer or buy a new one for your clients. You’ll want a blow dryer with settings that lets you adjust the temperature, the airflow and that has a cold shot.
12. Spray bottle
You could get a spray bottle with a water mist sprayer or you could just use an empty product bottle and fill it with water.
You’ll need a duster to remove leftover hair from the neckline. The Diane Large Neck Duster is great because it has a very good price and it has a stand-up base, meaning you can place the duster in a vertical position so that the bristles will not touch other tools.
14. Talc powder
After a cut, hair often gets stuck to the skin because of the sebum and sweat that’s naturally present on the skin. The duster alone can’t get all the hair off in these situations.
To remove the hair easily, you’ll want to add some talc powder to your duster so that it dries the skin and the leftover hair is removed easily.
You can get talc powder or baby powder, they are both fine. A duster and dusting powder are both essential tools for barbers who value their client’s comfort and experience.
15. Shaving Gel
Shaving gel creates a barrier between the blade and the client’s skin, shielding it from nicks, cuts and razor burn.
Barber kits for beginners should always include an aftershave. Products with a high concentration of alcohol are not that great because alcohol dries up the skin and we don’t want that. You’ll be better off using aftershave or aftershave lotion.
If you want something with little to no fragrance, try witch hazel.
By spraying aftershave on a cotton ball instead of spraying it directly to your client’s face, you’ll save a lot of product and money, and you won’t get your client’s hair all wet.
17. Styling products
What styling products you’ll use and include in your beginner barber kit is totally up to you. You’ll at least want to get some pomade.
18. Nick Safe
Even professional barbers nick people every once in a while. Cutting does happen, so keep a bottle of Nick Safe around in case you’ll need it.
19. Barber cape
You don’t need something fancy, something like the GreenMan Barber Cape will be perfect.
A little tip – after you’re done cutting, use a blow dryer to blow the hair off the cape that’s on the client, and then take off the cape. It stops the hair from getting on your client when you’re taking his cape off.
20. Ring Light
It might not be obvious at first why lighting items are essential barber tools, but good lighting is very important.
Chances are that if you’re a beginner barber, you don’t have a well-lit space. The Neewer 18″/48cm Ring Light Kit will give you the perfect lighting, it gets rid of shadows cast by your ceiling lights and it’s easy to move around until you find that perfect spot. All under $100.
If your mirror already has LEDs or lights, you can skip this one, you won’t need extra lighting.
This one is quite obvious, having a mirror is a must. Your clients need to see what you’re doing. This way, if there’s something they don’t like, they can give you some directions you can fix it right away.
22. Barber chair or any chair
Barber chairs aren’t necessary tools for beginner barbers. You can use any chair you have at your disposal in the beginning or you can even find used chairs for around 40 dollars. Barber chairs range from 100 dollars to several thousand dollars, so if you’re on a tight budget, leave this for a later investment.
An app that helps you organize appointments, saves you time, and saves you money is an essential barber tool.
Appointfix is the best barber appointment app because it helps you keep a clean schedule, but most importantly, you can send your clients text reminders automatically, to remind them of their appointment.
Later on, when you’ll feel ready, you can set up an online booking page, so your clients will be able to book appointments on their own.
You can create an Appointfix account by installing the app on your mobile device. To install it, you can find it in the App Store if you are using an Apple device, or in Google Play, if you are using an Android device.
The fact that they have a free plan is just another reason why this app should be part of any beginner barber kit.
You can have the best barber starter kit in the world and it will mean nothing if you don’t grow yourself and grow your knowledge and skills. So if you have a limited budget, don’t spend all your money on the most expensive tools.
Start with some cheaper tools and invest some of your money in classes and books. And it doesn’t have to be just barbering books, you can look for self-development books. These will help with the experience you’re providing to your client, and the conversation style you’re adopting.
Audible sells and produces spoken audio content such as radio and TV programs, but it’s best known for its offering of audiobooks.
You can listen to the first audiobook for free, so you don’t have to commit to a paid membership without trying out the app first.
Optional Tools for Beginner Barber Kits. Helpful, But Not Essential.
Even though these products are not essential barber tools, they are great to have around as they can make you more productive. You can save some money from your first cuts and purchase an item every now and then. You could call it a reward for all that hard work!
25. Barber Apron
While a barber apron is not a necessary tool for a beginner barber, it will make you look professional.
At the beginning of your barber career, you’ll need either mannequins, either friends who are willing to let you practice your shear work on them. You can buy good mannequin heads on Amazon for $20 to $30 dollars.
27. Barber organizer mat
28. Organizer for shears, clips, combs and brushes
29. Carrying Case
This carrying case is perfect for beginner barbers on the move. It’s fairly priced and it has adjustable interior panels. It’s going to help you a lot in organizing your tools so that they don’t get lost. If you are planning to travel to clients without a carrying case, taking your beginner barber kit with you is going to be a pain.
Now you’re ready to begin your barber career!
It’s important to make informed purchase decisions on what to include in your beginner barber kit in order to not lose money. Hopefully, now you understand what are the necessary tools for beginner barbers and what you’ll use them for.
Don’t forget to look up on Google things you are unsure about, such as what’s required in your state or country to get a barber license and become a barber.
The best of luck to you in starting your career in the world of barbering! Last advice: having the best equipment will make you a great barber. Practicing to improve your skills and constantly learning will do more for you than any tools out there.
Barbers also love to read:
- 10 Barbershop Marketing Ideas. How to Promote Your Barbershop
- Best Beard Styles in 2020
- What are the real costs of running a salon business or a barber shop?