Industry • Best Practice
Salon Chairs: 5 Things To Know Before You Buy
Jul.28,2020By Cynthia Popper
Comfortable for clients, practical for stylists: Having the right salon chairs can make or break both the work day and the salon experience.
If you've ever been forced to sit uncomfortably for a long period of time, whether it's a movie, an airplane, or getting your own hair done, you know how important chair quality is for client experience. When new clients visit your salon, it's crucial to make an excellent first impression — and it all starts with the right seat. Salon chairs are one of the most important yet overlooked elements of the salon experience, offering clients comfort and practicality while you help them look beautiful. So when you’re buying clippers and hair spray, don't forget to go furniture shopping with the following considerations in mind:
Are your salon chairs comfortable for clients and stylists?
Comfort is essential for most furniture purchases, and salon chairs are no exception. If your client has a perm or hair dye appointment, they’ll be seated for hours — and they’ll remember an experience that’s a literal pain. You can account for this with salons chairs that include:
Full lumbar support
High-density foam cushions
Of course, salon chairs should be comfortable for stylists as well. Spare a thought for the employee standing for hours on end to help others look great! You can accomplish this by looking for:
An adjustable hydraulic base
Smooth swivel and reclining
And don't forget to extend these principles to other chairs in the salon. Even if a client only spends two minutes getting their hair shampooed, nobody wants to remember the experience as a temporary neck cramp. Always have an eye on comfort and functionality before you start purchasing salon shampoo chairs wholesale.
Is it easy to clean and maintain?
A hairstylist working full-time at a salon will see anywhere from 8 to 12 clients per day. That’s a lot of activity in a single salon chair, so it’s essential to keep it spotless. Any fabric you choose should be able to survive product, heat, color, and bleach, not to mention the cleaning products to sanitize multiple times a day.
While leather seats look nice upon purchase, they require specialized cleaning products and wear out fairly quickly — though a bit of vintage grunge may suit your aesthetic. High-quality vinyl, on the other hand, can be sanitized with little difficulty. And don't forget the extra step of cleaning the chrome base periodically to keep everything looking perfect. Finally, if you want to go the extra mile, some salon chairs have open backs or sides for easy hair removal. It’s a minor detail, but one you’ll appreciate when cleaning between clients.
Beyond cleaning, you’ll also need to keep general maintenance in mind. Unlike standard furniture, salon chairs have moving parts for reclining, swiveling, and adjusting the height. The last thing you need is your salon chair malfunctioning in the middle of an appointment. While chairs need to be stylish, make sure they also have necessary functional features. You'll be grateful you did when spotting the labels outlining how to put hydraulic fluid in a salon chair.
How's the brand aesthetic?
As you’re searching salon chairs, you’ll come across designs that speak to different styles and personalities. Some will be simple and practical, others might be sleek and modern, and a few will give way to that retro barber shop vibe. From there, most salon industry furniture vendors will have various custom piping and colors to choose from.
Choosing from all these options may seem overwhelming, but it helps to pick your brand aesthetic first. Once you know whether your salon will be classic, retro, or contemporary, it will be easier to choose a chair style and color to match. Don’t just go looking for the best deal — find the salon chairs that are one-of-a-kind for you.
One more thing: once you’ve picked a style, make sure it matches the rest of your decor and furniture. It won't look right if your salon chairs and wash station furniture completely clash with each other.
Does it have a warranty?
Your salon might have a professional atmosphere or relaxed, home-away-from-home energy. Whatever the case, your salon is a business — so if a chair breaks, you need it addressed as quickly as possible. The easiest and most cost-effective solution is to ensure there’s a warranty, extended or otherwise.
Along with the peace of mind it provides, warranties say a great deal about chair quality. Manufacturers expect their chairs to survive the salon trade if they offer at least a one-year warranty or more. If it’s less, that’s a sign of low-quality materials or a short lifespan.
While you’re at it, check the fine print and related manufacturer services. Does the manufacturer have any warranty conditions? Is there a dedicated customer service team that can speak with you immediately? When you need a replacement salon chair, those details can be as important as the warranty itself.
Have you considered the workstation around the salon chair?
Before you open, you’ll need more than salon chairs. There’s also the workstation, overhead lighting, an appropriately sized mirror, and you might even need to install new power outlets. Everything that surrounds the chair is part of the seating experience, so keep that in mind during your selection.
The walking space around the chair is a great example. Stylists need enough room to get around the chair, with a blowdryer, without tripping over anything or bumping into the work station. At a minimum, you'll need to avoid cramping the style of anyone at the workstation next door!
The salon chair may be one part of your workstation, but in many ways, it’s the most crucial part of the experience. If your chairs are comfortable for both sitting in and working around, you’ve already done a huge part in making sure both client and stylist have the best experience possible.