Whether you're a barber or hairdresser you have most likely invested into a good pair of hair clippers, trimmers, scissors and other tools. Keeping these tools functioning to the best of their ability will not only have them lasting longer, but make your job easier. If you have been stuck on the best way to care for your tools, you are not alone, and we are here to help!
A good barber knows the importance of his scissors and keeping them clean and oiled. Due to the fact that we use multiple tools on multiple clients throughout our day our first, most important step is always to clean and disinfect our tools. Every country has specific regulations on how to do so to prevent cross contamination.
We recommend first wiping all hair off the blades of your scissors, between every haircut. You can use a soft microfiber cloth or a soft towel. This also helps to remove build up of hair products and other dirt. Then use some scissor oil at the pivot point of each blade. This helps to remove any excess hair. Make sure you wipe any remaining oil off your scissor blades. To prevent rust make sure to dry your scissors well.
To keep your scissors from dulling quickly, pushing, bending or pulling hair it is good practice to check your scissor tension multiple times a day. This will help make sure your blades are properly aligned. You can do this by holding your scissors by the handle with the blades pointing up. Lift the thumb ring to above 90 degrees and let go. If it completely closes or drops below 20 degrees they are too loose, if they stay open at 45 degrees or above they are too tight. They should be between 20 and 45 degrees. Adjust the tension accordingly.
Always store your scissors safely away at the end of the day. All of our scissors come in a protective case to prevent them from any accidental drops and damage. You may also want to consider a station mat or holster for all your tools. You can find a mat or holsterHERE. A mat will keep your tools safe on your station while a holster will ensure your scissors and combs stay safely at your side. No matter what you choose your scissors and tools will be well looked after!
Hair clipper maintenance and cleaning is very important. When we use hair clippers they touch multiple clients' heads a day. To protect your clients, cleaning your clippers is a must.
Between every client you must clean hair clippers. Use a small brush to remove any leftover hair. Then use a disinfectant spray, such as Clippercide or Andis cool care to disinfect and lubricate your clipper blades. Your clipper blades are made from metal and if not lubricated properly they can pull on hair or even cut skin. To work the disinfectant clipper spray through the clipper blades use the lever to open and close the blades, to make sure you get all the debris and hair that may have gotten stuck. Due to the electrical components of barber clippers it is important to remember to keep the blades pointed down to prevent too much clipper spray from entering the body and causing damage.
At the end of every day you should give your hair clippers a deep clean. For deep cleaning most hair clippers you will need a small screwdriver to remove your clipper blades. Some new hair clippers actually have blades that can be taken on or off without a screwdriver. Once the blades are removed you can make sure to use a cleaning brush to remove all the remaining hair out of the body and blades of the clippers. You can use clipper spray or compressed air to remove all the little hairs that are left behind. Put your blades back on and adjust accordingly as sometimes a long busy day can misalign them. Once you have adjusted them to your liking place a drop of clipper oil on each side and the middle. Do not use too much oil as it can leave behind a residue. Turn your clippers on for a few seconds to disperse the oil. Use a towel to remove any leftover oil.
You need to also make sure you clean and disinfect all of your guards. Brush any leftover hair off and then place your guards in barbicide or spray with clipper spray. Remove them after 5-10 minutes and dry them with a towel. This is all a vital part of the cleaning process between each and every client.
Like hair clippers, hair trimmers need similar maintenance. Use a small brush to remove any hair. Always spray and disinfect them between clients. Because they are smaller you will not need nearly as much spray or clipper oil. Always check that the top and bottom blades are aligned as small trimmers can nick or cut a client's skin. Use one or two small drops of clipper oil and let your trimmers blades run for a few seconds to spread the oil. Wipe excess oil with a clean towel.
Every barber shop should have a container of barbicide at every station. This blue liquid is a shop staple. It is there to clean and disinfect your tools. If your brushes have hair on them use a comb to help remove it and place both the combs and brush into the barbicide. This needs to be done between every client, or if you drop a comb on the floor during a haircut. The contact time for barbicides effectiveness should be between 5- 10 minutes. This is why barbers usually have so many comb and brush options.
Learning the art of the shave is a must for a barber. Men frequent the barber because not only do they give quality haircuts but they can take care of their beard as well. Unsanitary equipment can lead to all kinds of problems, especially when dealing with a straight razor. This is why in this day and age we now have certain single use items, like razor blades. Reusing a razor blade can transfer one customer's blood or skin to another, spreading infections and diseases. Always use a new blade for every client.
After you use your razor, whether it be for a shave or just a neck clean up, remove the blade and place it in the proper Sharps container. Place your Straight razor body and handle into barbicide and allow it to sit there for at least 10 minutes. You can then dry your razor, place a fresh blade in the body and continue with your next client.
Capes are a must use when cutting hair. They prevent hair from landing on your client. As a barber or hairdresser you have more than likely experienced the dreaded hair splinter. The point of the cape is to prevent this from happening to our customers as well!
Certain things, like capes, can not be thrown out after every client. This is why it is recommended to always use neck strips or a clean towel. This creates a barrier between your clients neck and the cape. Even when using neck strips all day it is important to use multiple capes during your day and clean them at the end of everyday.
You have spent a lot of your day ensuring that you are using clean tools on each person that sits in your chair. It is important to always remember to treat your shop the same. Sweep up and bin any hair on the floor. Wipe and disinfect your station and chair. You may choose to wear gloves and change them between each person, or use hand sanitiser. Either way your cleanliness is as important as your tools and your shop.
We hope our tips and tricks have helped you understand the importance of disinfecting and caring for our tools. Barbers are known for giving great cuts, even better shaves and keeping their workspace clean and tidy ! It's part of the job! And you're doing great !