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Your New Salon Equipment Checklist: What You Need to Open a Salon

stylist chairs and color product
If you’ve decided to open a salon of your own, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about big picture ideas like your salon’s culture, marketing strategy, policies, and more. And while each of those things is certainly important and worth your attention, you want to make sure that you’re not overlooking the smaller, everyday concerns that will literally keep your salon in business: Your equipment and supplies.

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Below is a quick checklist of the major equipment and supplies that you will need to open your salon, as well as some tips you can use to evaluate your different options and make sure you’re choosing the right ones.

Equipment and Supplies You Need to Open Your Salon

Begin purchasing these items at least 8-12 weeks before your scheduled grand opening to give yourself plenty of time to get your shampoo bowls plumbed in and any last minute electrical finalized.

1. Hairstyling Chairs

In buying your chairs, your mind might first go toward aesthetics; i.e., what the chairs look like. While this is important—you want them to match the rest of your aesthetic, after all—it would be a mistake for this to be the only consideration you factor in while making a decision.

You should also think about how comfortable the chairs are. Your clients might be spending upwards of two or more hours in your chairs, so it’s important that they’re comfortable. You should also consider how durable they are, and whether or not the material is stain resistant. This is especially important for salon’s focused on various color work.

2. Dryer Units

If your salon will be offering any kind of creative color services, you should consider heat lamps versus regular hooded dryers. These will better ensure that the heat is distributed evenly all the way to the ends of the hair when you are processing. They’re also less bulky compared to regular hooded drying units, and don’t create extra noise in your space, which can improve the overall client experience.

3. Tools for Your Salon Stations

There are particular tools that you will want to make sure your station can hold at all times, such as a space for your hot styling tools. You may also want to consider using a small color cart with extra storage so you can keep it near, but also be able to hide all of your styling brushes, foils, balayage film, styling products, etc.

Exactly what you will want at your styling stations will depend on the services you offer and the clients that you serve.

4. Shampoo Bowls and Chairs

Just like with the hairstyling chairs, you want to make sure that these chairs are comfortable, especially around the neck area. Test the chairs out and make sure that they offer plenty of support. Because you’ll likely be doing most of your coloring at the sink, you will want to make sure that the chair and sink are both color resistant as well.

5. Consultation Stools

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Including a hair consultation as a part of your services is an essential part of managing expectations and ensuring a great service! While you can perform a consultation at a styling station, it can be a smart idea to invest in a consultation area, which can be as simple as a mirror with some stools. This way, when you’re performing a consultation, you aren’t taking up a station that could otherwise be utilized.

6. Reception Desk

Your salon’s front desk is literally the first thing that a client sees when they walk into your salon; it’s important that the area always looks clean and organized. Consider investing in a desk with built-in storage, and make sure that it’s large enough to account for all of the tools you’ll have there: Your salon POS, computer, iPad, phones, etc.

7. Color Room

Storage and counter space is key when it comes to your color room. You want to make sure you have enough space to organize all of your color lines, developers, and lighteners, as well as space to house your mixing bowls, brushes, clips, combs, and fine mist spray bottles. You’ll also need storage for any back stock of retail products or cleaning supplies. When you have adequate space, it becomes that much easier to organize all of your supplies, which will help you track and manage your inventory that much more easily.

8. Cleaning Supplies

These supplies are a must-have, and yet they’re relatively easy to overlook compared to the larger expenses that get thought about first. You’ll need bleach and detergent to take care of your towels and caps; disinfectant wipes and sprays to clean your stations; and plenty of barbicide for use on your tools.

Other Considerations

In addition to everything bove, make sure that you research your local inspection requirements, codes, and regulations that might impact your salon. Your local health department can give you a list of all the things they require for your salon to have in place at the time of inspection, which will make the final inspection that much smoother. Some examples might include:

  • How much space is needed between stations
  • How many extra sinks or eye washing stations might be needed for safety
  • Where paper towel dispensers need to be placed
  • Which sanitation products are suitable
  • Where trash bins (with lids) can and should be placed
  • How to label and store all chemical products, including hair product and cleaning supplies
  • Clearly marked and visible restrooms and restroom signs as well as exit and exit signs.

Want more tips to help you get started in opening your salon? Download out Salon Location PDF to see everything you should consider when choosing a location for your space!

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