It’s fitting to start this list with the most basic yet essential tool of the trade: all-purpose hair shears. Since you’ll be using these more than any other tool, quality and comfort should be your top priority. Those $20 shears may look nice, but you’ll end up tossing them after 3 months in the salon. Go for quality stainless steel that will maintain a sharp edge. For the best ergonomics, seek out a shears with crane-style handles.
Readers’ pick: Matsui Precision Rose Gold Cutting Shear – $199