What are the Most Important Hair Cutting Tools?

woman getting her hair cut

Whether you are considering a career change or recently graduated and are now weighing your career options, consider the field of cosmetology. Becoming a cosmetologist is a rewarding career helping others. Not only do you get to help others look and feel great, but you get to try new hair cutting techniques and continue to learn throughout your career.

As a cosmetologist, you will specialize in providing a wide variety of beauty treatments and services which are geared towards enhancing the aesthetics and confidence of your clients. The field of cosmetology is a fantastic job for those who enjoy making a positive difference in the lives of others. Cosmetologists work in a wide variety of settings, including spas, hair salons, high-end luxury hotels and even as a salon proprietor. So, what exactly does a cosmetologist do?

What Does a Cosmetologist Do?

One of the best things about a career in cosmetology, is that you can decide to specialize in one service or offer a wide variety of services. Cosmetologists work closely with their clientele to deliver the desired services and provide great results. Here are a few of the most popular services provided by cosmetologists.


Professional cosmetologists deliver high quality hairstyles. Many clients book a hairstyling session before a special day. Some cosmetologists specialize in providing elegant hairstyles for a bride and her wedding party. Others may specialize in high fashion hairstyles for photo shoots and those working in the fashion industry. Many cosmetologists offer professional hair styling as an “add on” service at the end of a haircut, especially if the haircut is dramatically different from the client’s original cut and style.


Haircuts are the most requested services in a hair salon. Some cosmetologists specialize in providing men’s cuts, women’s cuts, or children’s cuts, however most professional cosmetologists can provide excellent services for a wide variety of clientele. Most clients book an appointment for a haircut every few months, so it is important to continue to get repeat customers. Cosmetologists will also notice an uptick in scheduled appointments around the beginning of a school year, or near holidays.

Hair Coloring

Hair coloring services can include applying highlights, bailage, root touch up, or even full coloring. Professional stylists must be licensed to provide these services due to the chemical processes involved in proper hair coloring services. Cosmetologists discuss at length with their clients to understand the look they want. Some coloring services may require more than one appointment, specifically when a client is attempting to lift their shade substantially. Another hair color service is color correction. While clients shouldn’t attempt to color their hair on their own, many of them still try to, and often end up with disastrous results. Color correcting services is a top requested service provided by professional stylists.

Manicures and Pedicures

Professional manicures and pedicures are a great way for clients to relax after a long week of work. Professional cosmetologists provide relaxing and therapeutic manicures and pedicures, as well as additional services, including soothing aromatherapy packages, special soaks, and nail treatments. While enrolled in a program, you will learn the appropriate way to trim cuticles, remove polish, buff, file, apply treatments, and sterilize equipment in a safe and efficient manner. Sanitization is an important component of providing professional cosmetology services to reduce risk of infection or disease transmission.


Cosmetologists will also learn about the benefits of facials, and how to provide this service for their clientele. Usually, the type of service requested will be determined by that client’s individual skin type. Some clients may request specific facials to reduce signs of aging such as wrinkles, skin redness, puffiness, and enlarged pores. During a cosmetology program, you will learn the benefits of a variety of facial treatments, as well as how to help a client decide which treatment are most beneficial for their unique and individual needs.

Professional Make Up Application

It’s only natural that a client would like to look their best for special occasions, which is why cosmetologists offer professional make up application services. Some clients find it difficult to achieve a special look for their event. Cosmetologists will consult with their clients and have them bring in pictures or inspiration for how they want to look. You will learn how to create a variety of looks during training, including smoky eyes, bold lips, and professional contouring application. During training, you learn how to visibly enhance your client’s appearance and increase their confidence for their upcoming special occasion.

What are the Most Important Hair Cutting Tools?

Professional hair stylists utilize a variety of tools to help their clients achieve the looks they desire. Following, are the most important hair cutting tools, as well as how they are used and special things to consider when utilizing these tools.


Universally, cosmetologists will have at least a few pairs of professional hair cutting shears in their styling cabinet. They help a cosmetologist achieve a precise cut without risking damage to the hair shaft, these shears must be maintained and sharpened on a regular basis. The handle on these shears must be large enough to provide the cosmetologist the ability to deliver a precise and accurate cut.


Cosmetologists begin a haircut with a quick comb through to loosen any tangles. Combs come in many shapes and sizes and help manage the hair throughout a variety of hair services. Thinner, fine-tooth combs help to provide a precise and accurate cut. Depending on the type and texture of a client’s hair, a wide tooth comb may be a better option to avoid damaging the hair, specifically if it is coarse or curly.

Thinning and Texturing Shears

One of the most popular cuts cosmetologists will provide is layered cuts. Layers are achieved through a variety of styling tools, specifically thinning shears. These shears provide the movement and softness that is associated with layered cuts and fringe. For clients with thick hair who are looking for some relief from the weight, a professional cosmetologists may use shears to thin out the hairstyle.

Hair Clippers

Hair clippers help a cosmetologist in a variety of men’s cuts, as well as shorter women’s cuts. Clippers often have a variety of fading clips in different lengths and sizes. They help provide a specific type of style where the length of the hair fades as it gets closer to the scalp. It is important for cosmetologists to invest in a quality pair of clippers.

Neck Trimmer and Edger

Neck Trimmers are an important tool for a stylist to use when they are providing shorter styles for their clients. Many clients find that their natural hairline extends further down the back of their neck than they desire. This may cause their appearance to look unkempt. Stylists will use a neck trimmer to provide the client with a polished look.

What are the Most Important Hair Styling Tools and Products?

Along with hair cutting tools, professional stylists must also have a variety of styling tools to provide their clients with their desired look. Following is a list of important styling tools cosmetologists use, as well as their proper technique.

Flat Iron

A flat iron is a heated tool used to create a straight hair style. It can be used for all hair types. However, it is important to remember not to set the temperature too high, to not cause hair damage. A high-quality flat iron can create a precise and straight look in a relatively short period of time.


Stylists use a variety of different hairbrushes to give the client a desired look. Hairbrushes can be rounded, flat, thermal, cushioned, or ceramic. Brushes are often used throughout the styling process to create body and volume.

Hair Rollers

Hair Rollers help create wavy or curly hairstyles. Hair rollers are often combined with heat to set the style. Depending on the size of desired curl, these rollers come in a variety of thicknesses and lengths.

Extensions and Weaves

Some clients may be looking for a way to lengthen their hair. Extensions and weaves are hair pieces, usually made from authentic hair, which are sown in and worn for several weeks at a time. High quality extensions and weaves can look identical to a client’s real hair if they are applied correctly and professionally.


To set a hairstyle, a stylist will apply hair gel. Gel can be applied to the ends of shorter looks, or throughout the length for longer hair. It can also be used in combination with hair spray to ensure the hair holds its style.

Hair Spray

Like hair gel, hair spray helps protect the style throughout the day. Hair spray comes in a variety of strengths, whether providing a bit of hold or to offer maximum hold. A stylist will consider their client’s hair type and texture, as well as the weather, to decide which hair spray to use.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all about the importance of hair cutting tools, want to learn more about how to use them as a cosmetologist? During a cosmetology program, you get hands-on experience cutting and styling hair in a real student run salon. If you have 11 months to learn a new trade that is in demand, then it may be time to learn more about the cosmetology program at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology. You will be happy you did.

Want to Learn More?

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments, and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.