Whether you're just starting your new salon business, or you need to make some upgrades to your space, choosing all the hair salon equipment, tools, and furniture you need can be overwhelming.
As a business owner, you already have a long to-do list. Let us do some of the heavy lifting for you–below, you'll find a ready-made checklist of everything you need to build a beauty salon from the ground up.
All that's left for you to do is go shopping–let's get started.
What Do I Need to Consider When Choosing Hair Salon Equipment?
Before we get to the checklist, there are a few important considerations that all salon owners should keep in mind while buying furniture and equipment.
New or Used Equipment?
One of the first questions a salon owner is likely to ask when shopping for furniture and equipment–especially the more expensive pieces–is whether they have to be purchased new, or if used pieces are OK.
Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer–it depends on your needs, your budget, and your salon. Here are some factors to consider when making this choice for your business:
Budget: The first and most important factor to consider is the budget. If you have a limited budget, buying used furniture and equipment may be the best option.
Condition: The condition of the furniture and equipment is also an important factor to consider. If used items are in good shape and meet your needs, then buying used may be a good option. However, if any items are in poor condition or will need extensive repairs or replacement parts, then it may be more cost-effective to buy new.
Warranty: New furniture and equipment often come with a warranty, which can provide peace of mind and protection against defects or malfunctions. Used items may not have a warranty.
Brand reputation: Some brands are known for their durability and longevity, while others may have a reputation for being less reliable. Consider the brand reputation of each specific piece when considering whether to buy new or used.
Aesthetics: The look and feel of the furniture and equipment are also important considerations. If you're looking to create a specific aesthetic for your salon, buying new may be necessary to achieve the right look.
Customer experience: Remember above all else to always keep your clients in mind. Consider the experience you want them to have at your salon, and only buy furniture and equipment–whether new or used–that will help you provide the best experience.
Choosing the Right Price Point for Your Business
For every equipment category there are low, mid-tier, and premium options. It takes a lot to furnish and equip a salon–that's why it's important to be strategic about where you cut costs with more value-priced items, versus where you purchase premium quality.
Your salon's aesthetic and clientele is a huge consideration here–high-end salons that cater to a luxury clientele may require premium furniture and equipment to maintain their brand image and meet their clients' expectations.
Another important consideration is the quality and durability of products at different pricing tiers. Low-price options may be more affordable in the short-term, but they may not offer the durability, functionality, or aesthetics that mid-tier or premium options can provide. And premium options are often made with high-quality materials and construction, which can extend their lifespan and reduce the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
All the Essential Hair Salon Equipment You Need in 2023
With those considerations in mind, let's get into the equipment. From salon owners to individual hair stylists, this checklist has everything you need to fully equip a hairdressing business.
The reception area gives clients their first impression of your business. It's vital for a professional hair salon to have a reception area that sets the tone for the entire visit–it should reflect your salon's overall aesthetic while offering a welcoming, relaxing space for clients to get ready for their booked services.
Here's everything you need for your salon's reception area.
Outdoor signs: These should include signs with your salon's name and branding, plus signs to display your hours of operation.
Welcome mat. Especially if you live somewhere with seasonal weather, a welcome mat gives clients an area to dry their shoes when they enter, avoiding potentially dangerous slick floors in the salon.
Lighting: To make your reception area as welcoming as possible, invest in some stylish lighting that helps set the tone for the salon's overall aesthetic.
Reception desk: This is where clients will check in, book services, and pay–so it needs to be organized and professional looking.
Reception seating and furniture: Guests who are waiting for their appointments should have a comfortable, stylish place to sit.
Retail product displays: Shelving keeps your retail products organized and on display where customers can see them, making them more likely to make a purchase.
Magazines and a magazine rack: Many salon guests like to catch up on their favorite magazines while waiting in the reception area and while receiving services.
POS system or cash register: Clients will make payments at the reception desk, so it needs the right tools to allow them to pay, tip, and get receipts.
Phone and computer: The reception area will field messages from clients with questions or who want to schedule services. Having both a phone and a computer allows the reception desk to take phone calls, as well as answer emails, social media queries, and other forms of communication.
Business cards: Having business cards available at the reception desk is a great way to do some free marketing for your salon. Encourage happy clients to grab a few on their way out the door so they can hand them out to friends and family who might need your services.
Past the reception area is the main salon area, which has some unique furniture needs. Here's everything you need to furnish all the stations you need to serve your clients.
Salon styling chairs: Salon chairs come with a lot of different features–and price points. You'll need to choose the chairs that are right for your salon's needs, considering things like hydraulics, quality, and design.
Stylist cutting stools: Saddle stools are necessary to give stylists a break from being on their feet all day.
Chair mats: Look for thick, high quality mats that will protect your floors and chairs, but also offer anti-fatigue padding for stylists.
Mirrors: Clients will need to see the end results of their appointments, so mirrors are a must.
Tool and appliance holders: Stylists use many heated hair tools that need safe holders to minimize their risk of accidentally burning someone or starting a fire.
Utility carts and trolleys: Stylists need to be able to move equipment, chemical products, and other supplies around the salon, so wheeled carts and trolleys–outfitted with utility trays–make that process cleaner and easier.
Every hair salon needs a shampoo station, and to keep this area efficient, hygienic, and practical, it has its own list of needs.
Shampoo bowls or backwash units: Carefully consider which shampoo bowls to use, as this is one area where you need to carefully balance aesthetics with more practical considerations, like how comfortable they'll be for clients.
Shampoo chairs: Shampoo stations need chairs that can recline clients back far enough to safely and comfortably wash, rinse, and condition their hair.
Cabinetry and storage: Because of the large-volume products used at the shampoo station, this is a great area to install cabinets for storage, if you have the space.
Hair traps: To prevent hair from clogging the drains in the shampoo area, each shampoo station should be outfitted with a hair trap for its drain.
Towels: The shampoo area will need a supply of bleach-safe towels to use after clients have their hair rinsed.
Today's hair salons have unique needs for certain electrical equipment. Use this checklist to make sure your salon has everything it needs.
Hood dryers: A freestanding hood dryer is necessary both to dry hair and to help hair color and care services process and develop. Look for a hood hair dryer that can be moved around the salon for maximum convenience.
Ring light: Taking great before-and-after photos for your website or social media is a must. And to get the best photos, you need a professional ring light.
Washer and dryer: Salons dirty a lot of towels, capes, and aprons during a typical workday. Having a washer and dryer in the salon will help you keep up with laundry without expensive and inconvenient visits to a laundromat.
Each styling station has a long list of hair styling and cutting equipment needs. The checklist below covers all the hair tools each station should have, as well as cleaning and other necessary supplies.
Shears: Each stylist should have different kinds of shears for hair cutting and blending. These are some of the most basic yet necessary salon tools for each station
Hair clippers: In addition to shears, each station should have a set of electric clippers or trimmers for different kinds of cuts.
Blow dryer: A handheld blow dryer serves a different purpose from a hood dryer–in addition to drying hair after washing or rinsing, it acts as a styling tool.
Curling iron or curlers: For clients who want their finished look wavy or curly, you'll need a hot tool that can do the job.
Flat iron: For clients who want a sleek, straight look, a hair straightener is a must.
Sectioning clips: When working on a section of a client's hair, hair clips keep other sections safely out of the way.
Combs and brushes: Stylists need a wide array of combs and brushes, including paddle brushes, round brushes, detangling combs, wide-toothed combs, and more. Often, all the brushes and combs you need can be purchased as part of a kit, but stylists also tend to develop preferences for certain sizes and brands over time.
Spray bottles: Spray bottles full of water are necessary for dampening clients' hair to make it easier to cut and style. They can also be used for products.
Capes: Capes help protect clients' clothing during services.
Aprons: Aprons help protect stylists' clothing during services.
Latex gloves: Gloves are an important tool for keeping salons clean and hygienic. They can also help stylists protect their skin from stains from hair color or damage from chemical products.
Hand mirrors: While each station should be furnished with a large mirror, hand mirrors give clients more flexibility to see their finished look from all angles.
Disinfectant: Tools need to be thoroughly sanitized in between guests, so having a jar of disinfectant solution at each station is a must.
Duster brush: A duster brush will help remove hair from surfaces so it can be swept up in between clients, keeping each station tidy and clean.
Trash bins: Having trash bins at each station ensures that any garbage gets properly thrown away, not set down somewhere because a client or stylist is busy.
Hair products: Each station needs hair care and chemical products for all the services the stylist offers.
While the furniture and equipment on the salon floor might seem like the most important, don't forget everything you need to run your salon business! This checklist will make sure all the business aspects of the salon are taken care of.
Laptop or desktop computer: A computer allows you to do your salon's bookkeeping, manage its website, create staff schedules, and many other administrative tasks.
Wifi: Your salon will need wifi–preferably, a private network for staff and managerial use, and a public network guests can use during their service.
Office supplies: Even in a digital world, you'll need pens, paper, and other basic office supplies.
First aid kit: Always have a first aid kit on hand at your salon in case of an accident or emergency.
Cleaning supplies: Keeping the salon clean and hygienic is absolutely crucial, so have brooms, mops, a vacuum, disinfecting spray, rags, and other cleaning supplies.
Essential Salon Technology Tools
In the digital age, hair salons need easy-to-use technology that handles all their business needs. To drive more bookings and grow your revenue, there's only one technology tool you need: GlossGenius
GlossGenius is built to help beauty and wellness professionals go further, faster, by providing: