Posts Tagged ‘tools’

5 Must-Have Tools for Your Station

by Trash Talk with Anna Craig on Monday, October 4th, 2010

anna craig

Hair has been Anna Craig’s passion since she was 12 years old, this has always been her path in life. In 2001 she went to school in Tempe, AZ, at the Carsten Aveda Institute. After doing hair for about 5 years, she realized that precision haircuts were her specialty, after years of thinking that color was her calling. After doing hair in Arizona for several years, she took the plunge and moved to Texas, and her career took off. She soon opened her own salon, Trashy Roots Salon & Spa. There she became a Certified Deva Stylist, specializing in Curly Girl haircuts. She is also an Artistic Educator for Pravana, which gives her the opportunity to go out to different salons in the area and educate them on new products and techniques. She is also very involved in her community; holding annual cut-a-thons, participating in benefit hair shows, and helping with local beauty schools.

Before you even start working on a client the biggest thing you need to make sure is that your station is clean and presentable, this ensures that you look professional. A messy station could make a client think that you are running late or that you are not very organized. Before you start each new client, clean up from the client before.

1. Cutting lotion/spray
A great detangling spray is the best way to start any haircut or styling service. These products can also be used to even out porosity before a color service.

2. Shears
Having multiple shears to choose from is always optimal, but at least have; a cutting shear, a thinning shear, a razor and an edger. This gives you options to do any haircut and so you are prepared for any client.

3. Combs
Different types of combs are needed to perform all of your services. Make sure you have several cutting combs, a large comb for detangling, a pin tail comb for highlighting, and a rat tail comb for teasing/volume. Always have multiple combs, in case you drop one.

4. Appliances
A blow dryer, flatiron and various curling irons are necessary to finish out your clients. A client should never leave wet or unfinished from the salon.

5. Brushes
A variety of brushes in needed so you can work on different heads. One brush will not work on all clients—different brushes for different hair. A boar bristle for smoothing curly/coarse hair, a ceramic for adding volume, a Denman for styling, and also having all these brushes in different sizes to accommodate various hair lengths.

Being prepared before your clients arrive is always the key. Also being ready for any type of client assures that you will be running on schedule and is good for time management. This will show your professionalism and will let clients know that you are ready to do their hair.

The Shears Can Make or Break The Cut

by Megan Dorcey on Monday, August 9th, 2010

I have heard it all  from stylists about what you should and should not do when cutting curly hair, which got me thinking: What is the difference between shears and how they shape your hair?


The right shears for the job

For more information about this, I went straight to my local curly expert, Ron Valdez at Estilo Valdez Salon in Austin, TX.  There are so many different types of shears on the market, each claiming that it is one and only tool you will need.  Ron Valdez sings a different tune, “I cycle through six pairs of sheers.  You can’t tell which you will need to use until you cut down into the curly hair.  Every head of hair is different, so it responds differently to each pair of scissors.”

How can you tell when you’re using the right pair or scissors?  Valdez offers some advice, “Start off with one pair and (it) may change throughout the head.  One pair won’t always cut it.  When you close the shear and it glides through the hair and doesn’t push it out, that is the right type of shear for that hair.”

Not surprisingly, there are many types of haircutting scissors available on the market, including: barber shears, thinning shears, styling shears, tempered shears, left-handed shears and more.

One glance at these scissors will tell you just how different they are from each other. Each is designed to perform a specific task—some are used to create subtle effects while others are perfect for basic haircuts.

What Type of Shear is Best for You?

You have some choices to make before you select the right pair of scissors. Of course, you’ll also want to shop around for the best prices.

Type of Blades

Beveled blades feature one serrated edge and are ideal for layered cuts, tapered cuts and the “scissor over the comb” method.

Convex blades are razor sharp and promise a clean, smooth, flawless cut. They are ideal for slide cutting.

Type of Handles

Opposing grips feature handles of the same length that are symmetrical to the center screw. It is perfect for individuals who cut with the thumb and middle finger.
Offset grips feature a short thumb handle and a longer finger handle. This allows natural, fluid movement and is ideal for individuals who cut with the thumb and ring finger.
Crane grips feature a long finger handle and an angled thumb. This ensures less strain on the wrist and shoulder and allows a freer, open cut.

Types of Thumb Grips

Standard thumb scissors feature a removable and reversible finger resting piece that can be attached to either the left or right. This allows individuals greater versatility (with left and right hand use.

Cutaway thumb scissors do not feature the reversible finger resting piece, but does provide exceptional comfort.

Anatomic thumb scissors allow for greater radial movement due to its curved design. Thus it provides more freedom of movement for the stylist.

Rotating thumb scissors are a new advancement in the haircutting industry. They reduce hand and wrist strain and feature an open-hand grip design, which reduces thumb “travel” and creates a more comfortable experience for the stylist.

Length of Blade


You can only use one at a time, but switch if you need to.

Choosing the blade length is really a matter of comfort and preferred styling methods. You will find you probably need to utilize several different types of scissors, but your hand should feel comfortable no matter what size it is.

Short blades are useful for detailed touchups, such as cutting around the ears or very close to the skin. This type of blade is recommended for all stylists; chances are it will be used frequently for more intricate cutting. The blade should be no longer than 5.5 inches.

Long blades are ideal for cutting thick hair, slide cutting, scissor over comb methods, and bobs, to name a few.

Some other features that stylists may choose to focus on include the production material of the shears, the method of production of the shears and the tension system the shears provide.

So how can you get hands-on experience using various shears with different curl patterns?  The new stylists at Estilio Valdez ask their curly friends to come in for a cut, and Valdez even puts an ad on Craigslist for all types of curls to receive a free cut while the stylists are learning how to shape and style curls correctly.

The best advice Ron could give me was, “It’s a craft and just like any other craft, you will master it over time.”

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