How to Choose the Right Hair Salon Equipment

You know your hair salon needs a face lift but you’re not too sure where to start. How do you choose the right hair salon equipment for your business? Shop Salon City answers all your questions about choosing the right style and functionality to help you attract the right clients.

Q: What Hair Salon Equipment Will I Need?

A: There are many tools and equipment you can have for your hair salon, but what do you really need? Before we dive in, think about what your hair salon’s floor layout is, what the dimensions are so you know how much space you have, and what kind of style you’re going for.

Once you have a good idea of the space and style you’re working with, here’s a list of equipment found in most hair salons:

  • Styling stations
  • Salon Chairs
  • Shampoo units
  • Hooded hair dryers
  • Salon mats
  • Salon trolleys/carts/service trays
  • Appliance holders

Before you purchase this salon equipment, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is it practical for everyday use in your business?
  2. How many will you need?
  3. How much space will it or they take up?
  4. Does it match the style of your hair salon?
  5. Are you getting the best quality for the price?

Q: This sounds great, but why is this equipment essential?

A: Great question! Let’s look at each piece of equipment uses and specific things to look for when deciding on a purchase.

Styling Stations

Styling stations are the showstoppers of hair salons because they are the first thing clients see and the main area clients occupy. The styling stations add style and increase the functionality of your salon. Typically, they come with a mirror, station desk, and cabinet and shelf space. Unlike most hair salon equipment, styling stations come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to showcase your individual style. If you have a larger salon and plenty of space, the double sided styling stations will upscale your salon undoubtedly, while if you have limited space or you want to add some flexibility to your salon, a portable rolling station will fit your needs perfectly at a very low cost.

Salon Chairs

  1. First, make sure what kind of salon chairs is practical for the services you provide in your hair salon or barbershop. The typical “must-have” chairs for a hair salon are either barber chairs, all-purpose chairs, or simply styling chairs. If you are just providing grooming and styling services, then a styling chair or all-purpose chair will be enough. Though the styling chairs are the cheapest option, but they cannot recline, so if you have a barbershop and you need to provide haircuts and men’s shaves, you absolutely need barber chairs.

We have created a table with the basics of each chair for your easy comparison and selection:

Chair Type / Feature

Barber Chair

All Purpose Chair

Styling Chair

Jefferson Barber Chair  Herman All Purpose Chair  Richardson Styling Chair
Usage & Special Features

-Barbering / Hair cutting

-Men’s shaving

-Fold-up footrest

-Eyebrow threading

-Hair washing

-Hair cutting

-Hair styling

-Hair cutting

-Hair styling

Recline Degree Recline up to 45 degrees

Recline up to 45 degrees

Cannot recline

Heavy Duty & Max Weight Capacity Holds up 400 – 600 lbs, depending on which pump

Holds up to 400 lbs

Holds up 250-400 lbs, depending on which pump

Base Diameter 23” or 26”, depending on which pump



Price $500+/chair



There are also other types of salon chairs such as shampoo chairs, hair dryer chairs, customer waiting chairs as well as some stools to serve your specific needs. You can find more information about all types of salon chairs on our website:

  1. Once you’ve decided which kind of salon chairs you need for your salon, consider the design and style of the chair and how it can complement your salon. Overall, the comfort and charm of the barber or styling chair are one of the keys to attracting the right clients.
  2. Next, when you’re purchasing your salon chairs, you want to not only consider price, but also the material, quality and professional features. How do you determine this?

-          Inspect the quality of the cushion by compressing to see if it bounces back into shape quickly. If not, this could mean that after multiple clients sit on the chair, it will lose its shape thus you lose money because you will need to replace it soon.

-          Check the pump to see if it can be smoothly adjusted to required height.

-          Check the seat to see how many degrees it can recline. Attention - it is not always right that the more the degree can recline, the better the chair is. Of course you want to make sure the reclining function works perfectly and comfortably for both the barber/stylist and the client, and it is also very important that after a large degree is reclined, your client is still safe and stable sitting on the chair and won’t fall over due to too much weight stressing on the seat back.

-          Heavy duty is also a very important feature to keep in mind, especially when most of your clients are men and are big and tall.

-          Besides the recline and heavy-duty features, other nice optional feature for a barber chair would be calf-comforters which will increase the comfort of your clients.

Backwash Shampoo Unit

A backwash shampoo unit is the primary way to clean a client’s hair before styling. It normally comes with a backwash shampoo bed or chair, a shampoo bowl and a faucet set with vacuum breaker. Most of all, this salon furniture is meant to add comfort to your client while their hair is being washed. There are all kinds of designs will add charm to your hair salon. Here are some details you want to pay attention to when you are purchasing backwash shampoo systems:

-          What is the material for the shampoo bowl and the base? Quality backwash units usually come with ceramic shampoo bowls and fiberglass bases.

-          Is the shampoo bowl tilting adjustable? The tilting mechanism is aiming to increase the comfort and flexibility of your hair washing service.

-          Is the backwash unit attached with a bed/chair, or is it a free standing one?

-          Are there matching styling chairs available with the shampoo backwash unit?

-          Does the backwash shampoo unit have a pull-up or pull-out footrest? Or, do you need to buy a separate footrest?

-          If you plan to have cabinets surrounding the station, make sure you measure the area and get the dimensions of the shampoo unit before purchasing. These items can be bulky!

Buy a Backwash Unit at Shop Salon City:

Traditional Style

Free Standing Style

 Aron Shampoo Backwash Unit  Olympia Free Standing Shampoo Station

Shampoo Cabinet

Matching Styling Chair
Sanden Salon Shampoo Cabinet Aron Styling Chair

Hooded Hair Dryer

Hooded Hair Dryer is an appliance for hair treatments such as coloring, hot-perm, conditioning, spot caring, hair drying, etc. You can save time and move on to next client while have this client sit under the hood quietly reading a magazine and waiting her hair to dry. Basically, there are 3 types of salon hair dryers for you to select upon your specific needs due to your space and working requirements:

  1. Traditional Hooded Hair Dryer: it is usually on a stand and works perfectly with a hair dryer chair.
  2. Wall mounted Hair Dryer: you can mount these hooded hair dryers to the wall above your mirrors for both saving space purpose and adding convenience to your work. The wall arm can be adjustable to different angels and length as needed.
  3. Rolling Hair Dryer: this type of hair dryers has casters which will allow you to move it around, easily and flexibly from one place to another.

Key features that you will want to keep in mind when you are selecting a hooded hair dryer are:

-          Does this hair dryer have ionic technology? It will help the hair to lock hydration, reduce frizz, and look shinier, healthier, and smoother.

-          What are the max and min of the heat setting and the timer? For thinner and damaged hair, you want to set it at low and dry shorter, while for thicker and courser hair, set it at higher temperature and longer time.

-          How about the flexibility? The hood shall be able to adjust to a required height and/or rotate to a best degree to facilitate the drying process. The hair dryer on wheels can be moved around easily and quickly and add mobility and efficiency to your salon.

-          Does the hair dryer provide ultra-quiet operation so your client can enjoy reading while drying her hair?

Hair Dryer on Stand

Rolling Hair Dryer

Hair Dryer on Stand Oria Rolling Hair Dryer
Wall Mounted Hair Dryer

Hooded Hair Dryer w/ Chair

 Salon Wall Mounted Hair Dryer Edison Hair Dryer Chair & Eclipse Hair Dryer

Salon Mats

Long hours on your feet can be tiresome. Many stylists find their feet becoming fatigued easily and are not sure what to do to solve this issue. What do you do? You can add some cushioning to your legs by using a salon mat. The anti-fatigue salon mats are mostly made from high-density foam and will comfort your feet while you stand during long work hours.

Consider about these key features when you are comparing salon mats:

-          The shapes, sizes and colors to match and improve your salon’s appearance

-          The thickness and the material are the key to solve your fatigue issues

-          Is it waterproof and easy to clean?

-          Durability for long use especially with heavy duty barber chair on top of it

-          Some other surface features such as slippery free, puncture resistant even under high heels, etc.

Salon Trolley/Cart and Service Tray

Salon trolleys and carts make it easier for hair stylists to move tools and supplies between stations. They are also a source for extra compact storage and keep your tools organized. When you purchase a salon trolley or cart, make sure that they have heavy duty casters to prevent a lot of wear and tear from pushing it around the salon and opening and closing drawers to take out tools. Some trolleys like our CLAIRE also has a lockable feature.

There are also two typical kinds of service trays to increase your convenience and flexibility, and thus improve your work efficiency. Our CALEB is a time-proofed foldable service tray, you can fold and stand it anywhere as you like or even in a very narrow space between wall and cabinet. The CALEB is a great helper when you have a small salon or just want to add more flexibility to your work. The BAILEY Aluminum Service Tray helps you in another way by its super flexibility of height adjustment.

Salon Trolley/Cart

Foldable Service Tray

Adjustable Service Tray

 Claire Salon Trolley  Caleb Salon Foldable Service Tray  Bailey Service Tray


Appliance Holders

You need somewhere to put your brushes, curling irons, and hair straighteners that will also be trendy. An appliance holder will meet that need but be sure to check the dimensions of the slots aren’t too small to hold your appliances. Some appliance holders are also equipped with electricity outlets and a cord which is very neat to connect power to your hair dryer blower and other appliances.

We have cart mounted and wall mounted appliance holder as well as single holder parts by different shapes to meet your different salon demand.

Cart Mount Appliance Holder Wall Mount Appliance Holder

Single Appliance Holder by Shape

Cart Mount Appliance Holder Cart Mount Appliance Holders Wall Mounted Appliance Holders

   Salon Appliance Holders by Shape

Q: How Do I Figure Out What Counts as Good Quality for The Price?

A: Figuring out if you’re getting a good bang for your buck can be tricky with companies making false claims to get you in the door. It’s terrible feeling to find out later that the hair salon equipment doesn’t live up to your expectations.

Here are some ways to avoid buyer’s remorse:

  • Read reviews on Google, Facebook, and the company’s website.
  • Visit the show room.
  • If possible, inspect the everything before you sign the delivery documents to make sure there are no damages, and everything works.
  • Research the materials it’s made of online.
  • Purchase salon furniture that has at least a one-year warranty. This can tell you how well the salon equipment will stand up to wear and tear. Think of warranties like you think of car insurance: the company wants to avoid paying anything out on your vehicle or salon furniture to save them money. With that in mind, it may be a red flag that the company only gives you a 6-month warranty because they may fear it will start to break down after 6-months.

Q: Does Style Matter for Hair Salon Equipment?

A: Yes, the style you select plays a huge part in attracting the right clients. What the atmosphere feels and looks like signals to the client what they can expect in your salon. Your style goes a long way in highlighting the premium attention they’ll be given over the course of their appointment.

Q: What Can I Do to Attract the Right Clients?

A: Attracting the right clients is simple if you know what you’re searching for. When you’re looking for the demographics of potential clients, you need to do well thought out, intentional research. Knowing things like age, gender, location, and style will help you get a better idea of the décor you’ll have in your hair salon and the style of the hair salon equipment. It may not seem like a big deal, but the way your hair salon looks is a major part of attracting the right clients.

How do you find the clients with the demographics you’re looking for?

  1. Join social media groups where potential clients will be engaged and looking for a new hair salon that will provide the services they need while being aesthetically pleasing. For example, you can search, filter and join a Facebook group by City or by a keyword such as “hair stylist near me”. When you’re in the Facebook group, get an understanding of their likes, dislikes, and their concerns. People want to know that you can empathize with their hair dilemmas and continually help prevent the problems from happening again. So, ask yourself, what will their hair look like? How can I address and solve their problems?
  2. Try promoting your salon with Google Ads and Facebook ads. There you will be able to showcase your ad to the clients you’re trying to attract. Big data is the king of this digital era, Google and Facebook, these two big data high-tech giants have offered you the best platform to target your advertisement to a specified group of people by geographic, demographic, income level, and even their interests and more. Be smart to use these tools to find the right clients for yourself.

The main takeaway is that choosing the right hair salon equipment is based on what is practical for a regular workday, the style, the technology and the features, if it’s good quality for the price, and the demographics for attracting the right clients. These five things will help you when you’re trying to find the right equipment for your business. If you need additional help, call the Shop Salon City’s expert team to assist you. We’re here to help.

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