What equipment and tools should you buy for your barbershop?

By Stephanie Lowndes on March 19th, 2019

To run your own barber shop, it is to be expected that you will need many things: dedication, patience, good financial savvy, and a love for working with your hands, to name just a few. However, along with the personal qualities needed to make your barber shop a success, you will also need to ensure that you have the right equipment for the job. So, we looked into the most popular barber shop essentials, and put together a list of their benefits to your business.

Every barber shop is different, and of course, you can have the sleekest shop full of equipment and gadgets but if you do not run it with love and care for the work you’re not going to be rewarded with a long line of happy customers. Plus, naturally, the most important piece of equipment you have is you – but we can help with that. Personal accident for hands cover is something we can provide you with, upon request, but our research also found the following to be useful for barber shops all over the UK.

Razor blades

The most essential tool of the barber is the razor, for when a beard needs to come off. Traditionally, barbers would shave their patrons with a straight edge razor, of the kind that can be sharpened again and again and kept for years, and sometimes passed down from father to son across generations. Health code concerns in some parts of the world make it more practical for barbers to use disposable razors, but this is not necessarily the case in Britain. You can learn more about the skill and legalities involved by taking a course with The Great British Barbering Academy.

While getting through one disposable razor per customer can add up as a cost, the advantage of disposable razors is the guarantee that there will not be any chance of transmission of germs between customers. However, many barbers still offer straight razor shaves, and simply ensure that they wash and sterilise the blade after every use.

Doing this is simple good practice, so the final call on whether or not to use a straight edge razor is your choice at the end of the day, especially if you already own a set. It is of the utmost importance that in the unlikely event there is a health issue with razors you have comprehensive barber shop insurance. This will ensure you are covered against any accidental problems caused in the shop by staff or equipment.


When people think of the barber shop, often the first thing they think of is the chair, with footstool, back padding and arm rests. Barbers’ chairs are intricately designed, and should give comfort to the customer, even as they give you, the owner, some of your authority and status, at least in the customer’s mind. It is therefore worth thinking carefully about what look and price range you want to go for in your barber chair.

While the barber chair is central to the customer’s experience, before you undertake the design of your barber shop it is worth thinking carefully what effect you want for the whole place. Do you want a retro look with warm red seats, padded leather sofas for the waiting area, and a hardwood floor? Would a sleek modern look more suit you, with black leather barber chairs and a padded bench for the waiting area? Depending on what route you go down think about how this will affect other things: will you offer waiting customers magazines, newspapers, or even iPads to play on while they wait? Whatever you choose you should aim for a full holistic effect. If your customers enjoy spending time in your barber shop, they are far more likely to return.


Barbers’ scissors can vary in price when you look online and in stores, but the length of standard barbers’ scissor blades are 5, 5.5, 6 and occasionally 6.5 inches. It is wise to have a go-to pair in the size which is the best fit for you and stick to them. Ease of action is essential. This way you will be able to get accustomed to the length of your instrument so that, whatever the length of the hair you are cutting, you have the same solid reference point to compare it against and know how much you will be taking off in any given snip.

The pricing of barbers’ scissors can vary wildly, with many designer sets selling for over £100, and cheap sets available for as little as £15. You can even find scissors that sell for an incredible £1500, and offer features such as “flat screw turning systems”, to ensure they provide the smoothest cutting action imaginable.  If you like setting long-term targets and saving for luxuries this may possibly be one for you to think about – but it is not essential that you always buy the most extravagant scissors

If you have your eye on a definite set you know you will use and cherish it can be worth investing in designer scissors. Of course, the most important thing, as far as your customers are concerned, is how good their haircut looks; at the end of the day the best scissors in the world will count for nothing if you do not give the customer the haircut they want.


The mirror in a barber shop is an easy thing to take for granted. However, full-size mirrors for the customer to face are a big investment, and one which it is often worth going through a salon specialist to ensure you get the best possible value for money, as well as a guarantee of quality in the installation.

When it comes to the smaller handheld mirror, for showing the customer the back and sides of their head, there are again a lot of options. Looking online, you will be able to find mirrors of different levels of quality at significantly different prices. Comparing prices on sites such as Amazon.com can give you a clearer idea of how these items are fairly priced, and ensure that when you choose you get a good deal. Be sure to purchase a mirror which fits the overall style of your barber shop, be it modern, retro, or cosy.

Stephanie Lowndes

Stephanie is a Digital Marketing Masters Graduate with extensive customer service experience gained in the retail and hospitality sectors. Stephanie is currently a Social Media and Email Marketing Executive at Salon Gold.

All articles by Stephanie Lowndes

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