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What are the Different Types of Barber Equipment?

Hillary Flynn
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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Traditionally, barbers have cut, washed, and styled hair for male customers, as well as tended to the grooming of facial hair. In recent years, many barbers have expanded their services to include coloring, highlighting, and advanced style options for hair. With these expanded services has come an expanded list of barber equipment, and barbers must now store a host of supplies to meet the growing demands of their clients.

The first piece of barber equipment every barber must own is a barber chair. This is a specialized chair that can be raised and lowered depending on the height of the client. The chair should also recline to make shaving and grooming facial hair a comfortable experience for the client and an easier experience for the barber. Barber chairs swivel and move in every direction to ensure a barber has access to all areas without having to request the client continuously shift in the chair.

Cutting tools are also a must have. Barber shears are an essential item, and most barbers have different shears for different tasks, such as thinning shears for thinning out thick, heavy hair. Clippers and trimmers are used for cutting hair as well as trimming beards and mustaches. Barbers use these types of tools to create clean lines and remove unsightly neck hair. There are many types of clippers and though most barbers have personal preferences for basic jobs, they still stock different types for different tasks.

Now that men are requesting more styles, barber equipment lists also include hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons. These types of barber equipment are used to smooth and shape hair. Kinky, curly hair can be tamed, and straight hair can be lent some volume or wave by any of these heated styling aids, depending on the hair type and desired effect. Many styling products are used in conjunction with these tools, and there is a variety of products available specifically for men.

Barber equipment used for shaving will also be found at every barber shop. Though clippers and trimmers might be used to groom longer facial hair, barbers use professional electric shavers as well as traditional straight razors to ensure a shave is as close as possible. A bristle shaving brush is also sure to be found in a barber's arsenal, and a straight razor requires a leather strap for sharpening. Shaving mugs hold the shaving brushes, and some barbers still prefer fancy manual blades.

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Hillary Flynn
By Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn's insatiable curiosity led her to join the WiseGeek team, where she contributes well-researched articles on various topics. In addition to her work with WiseGeek, Hillary manages an electronic publishing business that allows her to develop her skills in technical writing, graphic design, and business development. With a passion for satirical writing and traveling to historical places, Hillary brings a distinctive voice to her content.
Discussion Comments
By bythewell — On Jun 18, 2011

@umbra21 - To some extent they are the same job, although you can usually tell a "girl's" haircut from a "boy's" haircut just by looking, even if the boy's cut is now more structured and longer than it used to be.

But, the barber shop equipment does show why they need to be distinguished even now, and that's the shaving. It might seem like a simple thing to shave yourself, but shaving yourself well can be difficult, particularly if you want a particular style of beard.

Facial hair grooming is something most hair dressers can't and don't want to handle.

By umbra21 — On Jun 17, 2011

I'd say most barbers need to have a variety of combs and brushes as well. You need to be able to pull out curly hair especially to a certain point so that you can see where to make the cut.

At least, that's how hair dressers seem to do it. I must admit I've never used a proper barber, although I have had very short hair at times. I think it is a bit silly to distinguish between the two as they are doing essentially the same job after all.

Particularly now that men are becoming more picky about their hair styles.

Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn's insatiable curiosity led her to join the WiseGeek team, where she contributes well-researched articles...
Learn more
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