For a novice editorial hairstylist who’s just entering the editorial world, knowing what to pack in your kit can be stressful. Do I pack hair extensions? What hair products do I absolutely need on hand? How do I get the hair to blow naturally? Having the answers to these questions and more are essential to the success of the looks you create and how they photograph on camera. To better assess if your kit is ready for the job, we tapped Ashley Rubell, bi-coastal editorial hairstylist and founder of Blank to Beauty who divides her time between sets in New York and Los Angeles. Keep scrolling for Ashley’s guide to everything a beginner editorial hairstylist needs in their kit, from hair products to tools to accessories and more.
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- Tigi Bed Head Queen For a Day – you can get a multitude of results with this product alone, and it’s affordable to replenish.
- Bumble and bumble Thickening Dry Spun Spray
- Virtue Labs Moisture-Defining Whip
- Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
- Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
- L’oreal Elnett Hairspray
- EVOLVh WonderBalm
- OUAI Hair Oil
- Heat protectant
- Shine spray
- Soft gel for edges
- Stronger gel
- Every size iron, including a small hot comb or iron for tightly textured roots and edges. You need to know how to work with every single hair type and the irons you bring to work should reflect that. Never shy away from an unfamiliar hair type. Conquer the things you don’t know before entering the field.
- Power strip with rotating plugs help avoid a mess of tangled cords. It’s important to stay organized.
- YS Park Diffuser
- Good cutting and blending shears and a razor
- Peanut Trimmer
- Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
- ****Your eyes and your hands are your most valuable tools!!!!***
- Mixed bristle brush—similar to Mason Pearson, find a mixed bristle brush that is nylon/boar. I know Denman makes one for $20. I think Masons are an investment that you get in due time, and you can make due without it when you’re starting out.
- Cutting comb
- Barber’s comb
- Rattail comb
- YS Park Teasing Comb
- Wide-tooth comb for brushing out curls
- Toothbrush for edges and flyaways
- Paul Mitchell Neuro Titanium Thermal Round Brush
- Detangler brush
- Boar bristle round brush set
- Whatever catches your eye at the craft store, really. Buying accessories from an unconventional place (not from “trending” brands) and using them in a sophisticated way will not only attract more attention to the uniqueness of your work but it will provoke your creativity and can really stretch your imagination.
- Ribbons of different size, shape, and texture
- Colored bobby pins and hair pins
- Spool of elastic
- Blax Elastics
- Bungee hair cords
- Matte bobby pins
- Japanese hair pins
- No-crease clips
- Aligator clips
- Duckbill clips
- Extension tape and glue
- Wind— learn how to use a variety of fans to create wind. A fan on set, a leaf blower, a wafting board—they all require their own technique. Master them all. Start by adding a wafting board to your kit and then upgrade to a leaf blower as you find your financial stability.
- Storage bags for your pins, brushes, and products that are NOT made out of plastic. That shit will burn eventually from being near your irons. Especially if you leave them out at fashion week.
- Heat pad, towel, and placemat to protect surfaces from your hot irons
- Comfortable shoes!! Don’t forget to take care of your body!
- Reuseable water bottle. Too many wasted plastic bottles on set!!! Hurting our planet.
- A suitcase with four wheels
- Set bag
I think it’s something you acquire as you go. I treat it as an investment in the beginning, not a necessity. I find it unrealistic to tell any beginner to go out and buy a full range of pieces just to get started in your career. A large part of finding your own success, in my opinion, is learning how to manage your money – for taxes, for living expenses, and for further investments into your career. Accumulate hair extensions as you go, but make sure you know how to use them! Just because you don’t have half The Hair Shoppe in your kit doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to it. Make an educated guess with each job you get as to when they’ll be needed and don’t risk being unprepared. If you think they’re needed, go and pick them up. Familiarize yourself with all types of hair extensions. I find that clip-ins and tape-ins are the most common so that for sure needs to be something you know how to put in and take out.