If makeshift quarantine haircuts taught us anything, it’s just how valuable (re: essential) our hairdressers truly are. ‘Tis the season to show your undying gratitude, so what better way to say thank you for their services (not to mention all the life chats you’ve exchanged in their magical chairs) than with one of the best gifts for hairdressers money can buy?
While the generous tips you add to your tab are greatly appreciated and go a long way, nothing says “happy holidays” than a gift you weren’t expecting to receive. This is especially true of hairdressers, notes Devin Toth, a hairstylist at Salon SCK in New York City. “Hairdressers spend so much time taking care of people that they often forget to take care of themselves,” Toth tells WWD. “To be the receiver of a service [or gift] instead of the provider reminds them of how it feels to be taken care of.”
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Granted, shopping for the hairstylist on your list can be tricky; what you buy will ultimately depend on the relationship you have with your stylist. Does a gift serve as a thank you to your hairdresser, or are you shopping for a friend or loved one who cuts hair for a living? If you’re friendly or know them on a personal level, you can be more thoughtful and creative with gifts that hint at their hobbies or interests. However, if you’re not sure what they like or if it’s a newer relationship you’ve started with a stylist, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, Shelly Aguirre says something like cash or a gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant is a safe choice.
To help narrow down the options and spark inspiration for your shopping list, we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for hairdressers, from the top beauty gifts they can use at home to chic home decor accents they can use to dress up their station at the salon.
1. TKEES Ines Shearling Slippers
Hairdressers are on their feet for hours at a time. The Ines Shearling slip-on from TKEES gives their tired soles something soothing to slip into after their shift. Lined with 100% shearling, these cozy slippers will be your favorite hairdresser’s go-to off-duty shoe. The pair comes in four colors (camel, chocolate, navy, and black), and can be worn both in and outdoors (which is perfect, seeing as how they’ll never want to take them off). Available in sizes 5 through 11, the Ines style runs a bit small, so it’s advised in-between sizes order up.
2. Hair by Sam McKnight & Tim Blanks
Authored by Sam McKnight and Tim Banks, and forwarded by none other than Karl Lagerfeld himself, Hair serves as not only a stunning coffee table volume, but a collection of images bound to inspire your favorite hairstylist’s creativity. The thick book is jam-packed with just a glimpse of McKnight’s work that dates back to the ’70s. From the iconic looks of Princess Diana to Madonna, Kate Moss to Lady Gaga, each image proves McKnight isn’t just a stylist, but an artist, and his richly illustrated book is full of teachable moments for up and coming hairdressers, as well as expert commentary, to take note of.
3. OUAI Chill Pills
Hairdressers know celebrity stylist Jen Atkin’s brand, OUAI, for its ultra-luxe products, but they might not realize the label also sells self-care essentials, too. As a thank you gift for your hairdresser this holiday season, pay them back for all the life advice they offered free of charge with the ultimate chill pills (because they could use a little R&R, too). Each “pill” is a fizzy bath bomb fragranced with jasmine and rose and infused with jojoba, safflower, and hemp seed oils to moisturize, nurture, and soothe the skin — just what the doctor ordered.
4. Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Home Candle
Another great hairdresser gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or simply just to celebrate the end of the year is this luxury candle from Jo Malone. Striking a match to the earthy, layered notes of ambrette seeds, sea salt, and sage will help your stylist unwind from the hustle and bustle of clients all day long. Plus, the high-grade wax was built to last up to 45 hours of burn time, so while $70 might sound steep for a candle, with Jo Malone, you get what you pay for.
5. Knesko Skin Gemstone Roller
Maine, Toth, and Aguirre all agree that treating your stylist to a pamper service, like a massage or facial, is also a lovely gesture. However, if you’re unsure what sort of spa treatment your hairdresser would enjoy, or how comfortable they’d feel going to a salon given the Coronavirus pandemic, an alternative hairdresser gift idea would be a product they could use to self-pamper at home. The Knesko Skin Gemstone Roller is an excellent option: Choose from four gemstones (rose quartz, obsidian, green jade, or white jade) depending on the energy you’d like to bestow on your stylist. The beauty tool will serve their skin as much as it serves their soul.
6. Balmain Hair Couture Standard Golden Spa Mini Brush 3-Piece Set
Surprise the hairdresser on your list who’s been particularly good this year with this gold-plated set from Balmain. While a splurge, the 3-piece boxed set includes a 14K gold spa hair brush complete with boar bristles that carry hair’s natural oils from the scalp to the tip of the strand, and a matching pocket mirror — both handmade. The gift also includes a travel-sized bottle of the brand’s hair oil, a must for every routine to ensure hair stays hydrated and lustrous.
7. Fairly Odd Novelties Novelty Scissors Mug
We’re willing to bet that anyone personally responsible for cutting, shaping, and styling the hair of dozens of clients a week is running on caffeine. Whether their preference is coffee or tea, they’ll love pouring their poison into this novelty mug every morning. The steel handle is designed to mimic the user’s most-used tool, and its ceramic body will keep their beverage of choice nice and toasty so they can sip while they snip.
8. StellaPosh Dainty Scissor Necklace
Rather than treating the stylist on your list to a new set of tools, why not think outside their cosmetology bag and more along the lines of something they’d find in their jewelry box? For example, this dainty scissor necklace from the StellaPosh shop on Etsy is a unique gift for hairdressers they’re sure to love. The sweet, handmade accessory comes in three finishes (gold, rose gold, and silver) and measures 17 inches long, with the option to include a 2-inch extender. It’s a little reminder that their craft doesn’t go unappreciated.
9. Fenty Skin Hydra’Reset Intensive Recovery Glycerin Hand Mask
Hairdressers might be standing on their feet all day, but their hands are constantly moving. As long as there’s a client in their chair, there’s a styling tool in hand, be it a pair of scissors, a hairdryer, flat or curling iron, etc., and a gentle wash of soap and water will only do so much for their skin. That’s where the Fenty Skin Hydra’Reset mask comes in. The intensive recovery treatment is an overnight formula designed to deeply moisturize and revitalize hands. It’s made from 40% glycerin, murumuru and mango butters, Barbados cherry extracts, and other plant-derived ingredients that, collectively, deliver earth-conscious, better-for-you self-care.
10. Gelid Store Because Clients Stemless Wine Glass
One of the best hairdresser gifts on Amazon is, by far, this stemless wine glass from the Gelid Store. The truth of the matter is, hairdressers don’t just cut hair, they listen to their clients’ every woe. They’re stylists and therapists, and sometimes even have to deal with unhappy customers that end up not exactly loving their ‘do. Ergo, they can cheers away the bad days with this sassy wine glass that just gets them (and will most likely make them giggle).
11. Merit Beauty Five Minute Morning
For the hairdresser on your list who struggles to get out the door in a timely fashion if they’re doing a full face of makeup, there’s Katherine Powers’ MERIT. This five-minute makeup routine comes fully equipped with the seven essential products in a minimalist glam routine, including The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick, Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil, Flush Balm Cheek Color, Brown 1980 Volumizing Pomade, Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara, Brush No.1 Blending Brush, and Day Glow Highlighting Balm. Every product in the kit is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and perfect for travel, so they can take their favorite products to work with them for afternoon touch-ups.
12. Costa Farms Aloe Vera Live Indoor Plant
Aguirre tells WWD if you know your stylist is a plant lover, adding to their collection can be “a wonderful gesture.” If you’re not sure whether or not they’d be looking to decorate their desk or bring it home after their shift, stick with a small-yet-statement-making plant, like this aloe vera option from Costa Farms. It’s approximately one pound and seven-inches tall, and maintenance is minimal — it only requires roughly ½ cup of water every two weeks, so if your hairdresser is super busy, they can still enjoy their plant doing the bare minimum.
13. Coco Rossi Passport Holder
For the hairdresser you know is always on the go, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Trademark Beauty, Joseph Maine tells WWD gifts like personalized travel tags or a passport holder are highly appreciated. Something like this pick from Coco Rossi is a great example: It comes in an array of colors and artwork, so there’s something for everyone. It boasts a minimalist design but can hold credit cards, a license, loose cash, a boarding pass, etc., in addition to a passport.
14. LLDgiftsByLaurenLash Heavyweight Cable Knit Monogram Blanket
On the list of best gifts hairdressers have ever received, Maine says he recently received a monogrammed throw blanket and “absolutely loves it.” Etsy is a one-stop-shop for some amazing monogram items, and this includes blankets. This heavyweight cable knit option designed by Lauren Lash, for instance, is made to order. Before checkout, you are prompted to choose your leather patch color, the color of your blanket, and add your personalization. The result is a cozy blanket with a sentimental touch your stylist will love snuggling under every night.
15. Sharpie Permanent Markers
If you’re looking for a funny gift for your hairdresser they’ll actually use, Toth has just the thing. “Hairdressers are known for wearing a lot of black, so the equivalent of a Tide Pen for a hairdresser is a Black Sharpie,” he tells WWD over email. “When hairdressers get bleach on their black clothes, they use a sharpie to hide the white spots,“ Toth explains, so if you want to make your stylist giggle with a gag gift that’s also completely functional, a box of markers will do.