October 2009

Tool Terminology and Technology

Are you confused by new hair tool terminology—is it ionic or nano? Which clipper motor works better for thick hair? Don’t know the difference between tourmaline and ceramic, or what is supposed to be the best for hair?

Industry experts offer helpful tool technology definitions to assist stylists when determining what tools will work best for their client hair type.

Irons and Dryers: Ionic or Nano? Ceramic or Tourmaline?

Dominic Barbar, founder of Barbar Professional Hair Tools, offers clear, yet scientific definitions on new hair tool technology terms:

Clippers and Trimmers: Pivot, Rotary or Magnetic Motor?

Fred Koeller, vice president of marketing at Andis, offers an explanation to give you insight into clipper and trimmer quality the next time you are in the market for a new one.

When you’re choosing your next clipper or trimmer, you consider which features you need and decide what you’re willing to spend for those features.

But what about the motor? How do you decide the type of motor you should purchase? What’s the difference between pivot, rotary and magnetic motors?

“We always take into account the type of cutting that the styling tool is designed for,” notes Koeller. “Ideally, though, each barber and stylist understands the capabilities of the various types of motors, too.”

Brushes Can Make the Difference

Ernesto Alonzo, salon owner and industry expert, offers some things to consider when investing in brushes for your business or advising your clientele:

Professional brush lines have a range of sizes and styles of brushes for different tasks and different hair types. All brushes are not created equal. The shape and composition of a brush will determine how it performs, holds up over time, and even the amount of stress it puts on your wrist after hours on your feet doing hair.

It’s important to choose the right brush for the task.



Barrels are made out of ceramic, wood or metal. Ceramic is a fantastic material for the barrel of a styling brush because it holds the heat a long time and conducts heat evenly and naturally, without burning the hair.

Wooden barrels or wood with ceramic coating are also good options. The ceramic coating can make the wooden brush as efficient as a ceramic brush, but it will retain heat without overheating and damaging the hair.

The shape of the brush barrel is also crucial. An oval-barreled brush will give you extra tension and added control over difficult hair, from the roots to the ends, which are equally important in smoothing very curly hair. The oval shape is also best on over-processed hair. The flat area of the oval allows you to create extra extension, especially at the ends, giving you a flat iron finish.


Handles should be light. Remember, you are wielding this tool all day. A well-engineered brush will get the job done without added weight. Let the brush do the work.

Most of us don’t skimp on our scissors. Why should we make the mistake of thinking all brushes are the same?

For more information on Barbar products, call 888-227-1414 or visit www.barbarartist.com. Andis Company, a family held business founded in 1922, is a leading manufacturer of handheld tools to trim, cut, curl, straighten and dry hair. For information call 262-884-2600 or visit www.andis.com.


Untitled Document