Working as a mobile stylist requires me to be strategic with the amount of equipment I carry. Although sometimes keeping everything organized and clean can be a challenge, it's a necessity. My worst fear is showing up to a client’s home or office and not having something that I need.
To make my daily appointments easier (and leave behind the stress of forgetting anything), I've created a system that I find bulletproof. Using this method, I’ve never forgotten a tool or left anything behind!
Here’s exactly how I do it.
Everything in Its Place: How I Stay Organized as a Mobile Hairstylist
When I first started as a mobile hairstylist with Cribcut, I wasn't exactly sure how things would go. Everything about this opportunity was new, and I had to figure out how to best navigate my new professional environment.
It definitely took some trial and error, but I eventually figured out what works best for me. To help my fellow mobile hairstylists get started, I’d like to share what I ended up with. These four bags are the "tool belt" that I use every day:
1. My Main Case: Cutting and Barbering Equipment
First of all, there’s my main case.
This case—which I use for every single client—is a mobile rolling makeup case with multiple compartments. The best part about this case is that you can adjust the dividers to suit your individual needs and personal preferences.
For example, I’ve divided my main case into the following compartments:
In one compartment, I keep my cutting, foiling, barbering, and tail combs. As per the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) guidelines, I keep my combs submerged in barbicide in a tupperware container at all times to ensure proper sanitary measures are being followed.
In a separate section of the kit, I keep all my clips. I also have one small section for my clipper guards and another for miscellaneous items.
In the main compartment of my case, I keep my clippers (in their own separate pouch), scissors, talcum powder, products, retail products, a water bottle, and my apron. I also use this compartment to store my magnetic capes, which Cribcut provided to me. (By the way, these capes seriously help when it comes to hair creeping down the client’s neck. It's because of these capes that I no longer have to use neck strips for my clients!)
Lastly, this isn't necessarily its own section of my case, but I think it’s important enough to deserve a separate mention: The number-one rule is to always carry your mobile hair license around with you, which is why I keep my license easily accessible in my case at all times. It’s not only the habit of a professional, but it’s also per CANS requirements.
Keep in mind that each state/province has its own licensing requirements. Here in Nova Scotia, we need a mobile hair license, but other regions may differ. Don’t worry, though—Cribcut will help you navigate your area’s licensing requirements to make sure you’re fully compliant with all local codes.
2. My Backpack: The Dustbuster (and More)
Secondly, I carry around a backpack, which holds my handy-dandy Dustbuster vacuum.
At first I was super-hesitant to carry around a vacuum because I thought it would be messy and unnecessary. In fact, I started out with just a handheld broom, and let me tell you—the vacuum is an ABSOLUTE MUST! You will be entering so many offices and homes that have carpet, and it makes life 100% easier. The vacuum box fits right into my backpack (which contains the mess and keeps it out of view), and it also has a detachable nozzle for convenient storage.
There is a second compartment in my backpack that carries my favourite piece of equipment, the Glamcor RIKI SKINNY Mirror. This rather large mirror has multiple light settings, which helps with dimly lit rooms when cutting. It also has a Bluetooth selfie function and a stand that can be adjusted up and down. I purchased the carrying case for the mirror as well, which also conveniently fits in the back compartment of my backpack.
In the front zip pocket of my backpack, I keep my Square, the small point-of-sales device I use to collect payment from clients. This free device works with with any phone and makes it easy for clients to pay by credit card.I keep the Square in its original case to stay organized, since it's a very small piece of equipment and can get lost easily. Keeping it in the package was the safest bet for me.
3. My “Beach Bag”: Hot Tools and Brushes
Bag number-three is sort of like a large black beach bag. In this bag, I keep all my hot tools along with color capes and ladies’ products. My round brushes and paddles brushes are in there as well.
I keep this bag separate to make it easier to leave behind. If I know I’m going to do a men’s cut, it's not necessary to carry around all the additional tools, products, and equipment.
4. My Kit Bag: Color Supplies
Lastly I have a kit bag, which I purchased at Michael’s, for my color supplies. In this bag, I carry each level of developer, processing solution for toners, and a huge array of color. It also fits:
Basically, I keep everything related to color in this kit. Similar to my beach bag, keeping these things separate eliminates the need to carry color around all the time.
Keeping My Equipment Charged, Sanitary, and Ready to Go
With these four bags, I’m able to stay on top of all my products. Everything has a specific place, and I find it really easy to keep things clean and organized.
Because every piece of equipment has a dedicated spot in a dedicated bag, I don’t even have to think about my daily routine: I just do a quick visual check of my bags, make sure everything is in its right place, and then grab all the bags and throw them in the trunk.
Having such a well-planned organization method not only helps me get in and out of clients' homes and offices easily—and with all the right equipment—but it also makes my night-time “recharging” routine simple.
At night, I simply bring all the bags inside my home and charge each piece of equipment. (Important side note: Though all my equipment is cordless, I still keep the chargers with me, just in case anything were to die on-site.) As part of my nightly routine, I also clean out the Dustbuster and disinfect my brushes, including removing all the hair and soaking them in barbicide.
Then the next morning, all I have to do is get up and go!
One Last Thing: A Tip for Packing Your Mobile Styling Case
Before I wrap up, I want to mention one final tip. It's not about your main case itself but what goes into it. Specifically, I’m talking about low-scented or unscented products.
If there's one thing I’ve learned from working with Cribcut, it’s the less scent, the better. You never know how a client will react to heavily scented products, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. This is something that I struggle with because one of my favourite things about the hair world is all the different smells that each individual product line offers. But knowing how they could impact a client’s experience has made me extra-careful about the products I carry.
For those mobile hairstylists just getting started, here’s a short list of the low- or unscented products I enjoy most:
One of my favourite products for men is Shiners Gold Clay, a pliable clay that can be reworked throughout the day. It has a low scent and comes in very sleek packaging.
For hairspray, I carry around Last World. It's a medium-hold unscented spray, which ensures I can use it in any environment I’m entering.
I also carry around a Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Oil. Though it does have a slight scent, I’ve never met a client who doesn't like it, and it's great for combing out flat iron curls.
And that’s it! I hope this helps all you new mobile stylists keep organized in starting your journey as a Cribcut Hair Service provider! It may seem daunting at first, but trust me—with just a little bit of time and thought, you'll definitely find a “tool belt” that works for you.
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