List of Supplies Needed for Cosmetology School

An adult woman is receiving a beauty treatment from a cosmetologist.
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The supply list for cosmetology school varies by institution and by the type of courses you're taking. However, you'll likely need some standard instruments, tools and materials for your training and coursework. Some schools provide cosmetology school student kits as part of tuition costs, but you can also buy supplies online or through a beauty supplier. Always ask instructors for a list of items you'll need. Purchase a durable rolling suitcase, aluminum case or rolling kiosk with drawers to hold your supplies.

1 Nonelectric Supplies

A makeup brush on top of a pink palette.
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Purchase any nonelectric tools your teacher requires. Obtain brushes and combs, in varying sizes and widths, including detangling combs. Select a variety of shears for trimming, cutting and thinning hair, including thinning shears. Most cosmetology shears are razor sharp and come in protective cases, but you'll also need a sharpening tool for dull blades. Purchase hair clips to hold and separate sections of hair, brushes for applying hair color and a variety of curlers, including those for perming hair. Your instructor might also want you to get a selection of mannequin heads with different hair textures, types and lengths.

2 Electric Tools

A woman in a salon is getting her hair blow dried.
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Obtain electric tools -- some are known as hot styling tools -- for your training. Get a professional-grade blow dryer, a flat iron and several curling irons with varying barrel widths. Your instructor might want you to get a heat-resistant glove to wear when using curling irons, especially while you're getting used to working with them. Purchase an electric razor with attachable clips for tight cuts, necklines and sideburns; clips have differing widths that allow you to get a closer shave. Always follow the safety instructions on electric tools to ensure you and your customers avoid injury.

3 Manicurist and Barber Instruments

A woman is getting a manicure in a salon.
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Include mannequin hands and feet if your coursework includes manicure and pedicure training. Purchase instruments for applying acrylic nails, such as specially designed small-scale, fine-bristle brushes. Obtain artificial nails in different sizes, nail clippers, nail files, nail polishes, polish removers and lotions. If you plan to study or specialize in barber techniques, purchase clippers, straight-edge razors, shaving supplies, powders, face creams and soft hand towels. Opt for hypoallergenic materials to decrease the chance of allergic reactions in your patrons.

4 Disposable, Reusable and Sanitation Items

A lady is getting her hair shampooed at a salon.
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Get a supply of disposable gloves, paper neck strips, measuring spoons, coloring caps, mirrors, protective capes and aprons; aprons with utility pockets work best. Ask your instructor how many of each you'll need. Purchase durable plastic containers for mixing and applying hair color, and get hair coloring chemicals, perm kits and hair bleach. Purchase shampoo, conditioner, hair spray and heat-resistant chemicals to clean and treat hair. Always check with your instructor first to make sure you get the brands and formulas she suggests. Get hand sanitizer, alcohol and safe containers for cleaning your tools.

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.