So you have decided to take the leap from behind the chair to a freelancer. You will soon realize how many tools and products you need to build an on-location hair kit. It can be quite overwhelming and confusing deciding what you will need and what you don’t. I have put together a beginners guide to building a freelance hair kit for bridal stylists.
I remember when I first decided to work as a freelancer and travel to my clients for their special occasions. I arrived at the hotel promptly at 7:15 am and began setting up when I realized I forgot my blow dryer! At the time, I was using the same blow dryer on myself and forgot to pack it after using it that morning. Luckily, there was another stylist who allowed me to borrow her blow dryer as needed that day, but otherwise I would have had a real problem on my hands. Don’t make the same rookie mistakes I did and have a separate kit for your clients and personal use. No matter how financially tempting it may be not to!
So let’s get to it.
What are the essentials and some more unusual, but incredibly useful things to have on-location?
When working on-location it is important to remember that you will often walk into appointments blindly and you never know who will sit down in your chair. This is why it is important to have a range of products for a range of different hair types and textures, so you are never caught off guard.
Hair Spray. I like to keep three hairsprays in my kit at all times: one working, one medium, and one strong hold hairspray.
Texturizer. I always have a texturizing spray, which I use pretty much on every single client prior to heat styling. I also keep a beach spray and a texturizing powder in my kit as well.
Dry Shampoo. Always keep at least one dry shampoo in your kit especially for weddings as many of the clients will not have freshly washed hair!
Anti-Humidity Spray. A MUST for weddings in locations prone to humidity or rain.
Mouse. I love using mouse for blowouts as well as on dry hair prior to styling an updo. Mouse on dry hair?! Yes girl, try it.
Detangler. A must to get out tangles prior to a blowout or for younger clients such as the flower girls.
Creme. Keep one for blowouts and one for naturally curly clients. I also keep one on hand to use on dry hair. Perfect while styling an updo or taming flyways and split ends after down style.
2. HOT TOOLS
Always have a few different options for tools because as I mentioned, you never know what you are walking into!
Curling Irons. Always keep a few sizes on hand. I like to keep a 1 inch, 1 1/4 inch, and an 1/8 inch to add tiny ringlets to naturally curly clients. I also keep a marcel iron in my kit.
Flat Irons. You need two. One regular size and one mini to tame the flyaways near the hairline. Fuzzies around the hairline are my biggest pet peeve!
Blow dryer. Invest in a good one. You will be using it a ton so be sure it can provide longevity. Don’t forget your diffuser attachment!
Wands. I keep one with interchangeable rods on hand although I rarely ever use it. I am a curling iron kind of gal, but you do you!
3. PINS AND CLIPS
You need a variety of pins and clips in various colors on hand for each client. Keep them neat by getting a little craft container from an art supply store- you are welcome!
Bobby Pins. Black and blonde. Seeing a black pin poking out of your beautiful blonde updo just isn’t a good look.
Hair Pins. Black and blonde. I keep a couple different types and sizes on hand.
Alligator Clips. Is that a technical term? You know what I mean, sectioning clips with the teeth.
Silver Clips. For setting and to clip hair out of the way for the makeup artist.
Pin Bracelet. Get a magnetic pin bracelet so you aren’t fumbling around trying to find your next pin while holding a piece of hair in place. Life changing.
4. BRUSHES AND COMBS
Round Brushes. Have multiple sizes, including tiny ones for around the hairline.
Other Brushes. I always have a Wet Brush on hand for detangling, my Mason Pearson (swoon), and a Denman.
Teasing Comb. A necessity for styling.
Detangling Comb. I don’t use mine on wet hair, but I always use it to brush out waves.
Other Combs. I keep a rat tail and a few cutting combs in my kit for safe keeping.
5. ODDS AND ENDS
There are some other really useful things you will want in your kit that you may not have thought of.
Mirror. Duh! Get a nice handheld one.
Extension Cord. You never know what the set up will be like, so always have an extension cord to make the electrical outlet situation work in any environment.
Shears. For last minute bang trims and face framing pieces.
Building your kit can be a big investment initially and takes time to fully build. Hopefully this guide will get you up and running for now as you start deciding what works the best for you as a freelancer.
What is one of your bridal kit must haves?