Are you planning to open a salon and wondering what equipment you need?
Then you’ve landed in the right place.
Today I’ll show you all the hair tools, hairdressing equipment, and accessories you need to succeed with your salon.
You’ll get a complete hair salon equipment checklist with prices to use as a starting point when planning your salon. This article is part of my step-by-step guide for opening a salon business, covering everything you need to know when starting a salon.
I’ll share all my favorite salon tools and hairdressing equipment, as well as advice to help you avoid making expensive mistakes when acquiring equipment for your salon. Because, let’s face it, salon equipment is one of your largest expenses when you’re starting.
To help you manage this, I’m including a lower-priced alternative for each more expensive salon item.
Hair Salon Equipment List:
- Salon Software ($25-$300 per month)
- Service Accessories ($150)
- Combs & Brushes ($100)
- Scissors/ Hair Cutting Shears ($150)
- Electronic Hair Styling & Grooming Equipment ($300)
- Salon Chairs with Accessories ($750)
- Ring Light ($150)
- Cart & Trolley ($190)
- Shampoo Station/ Backwash Unit ($800)
- Hood Dryer ($600)
- Hair Styling Station ($600)
You can click on any of the links above to the relevant product directly.
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Best Hair Salon Software 2023
I’m calling out your salon software choice at the top of this list. In 2023, your software runs (or should run) a big part of your business.
And out of everything I’m listing here, this is the equipment that will have the biggest impact on the success of your business. And not getting this right from start will be painful down the line.
The software we use at The Salon Business is Mangomint. It’s not the lowest-cost option out there, but this thing will automate a big part of your business and help you save a ton of time in your day-to-day.
It’s also the most well-designed platform that ensures the experience for you, your staff, and your clients is the best you can get. Below is a quick overview of what the calendar would look like for you and your staff.
You need several different service accessories for your hair salon. I’ve collected the more common ones in the hair salon equipment list below together with the specific products I recommend.
Best Hair Salon Aprons & Cutting Capes
You want your staff to wear aprons that fit the image of your salon and your staff to have fresh, comfortable, and good looking capes. Good quality cutting capes doesn’t need to be expensive. I recommend the below because of good quality at fair price.
Hair Cutting Cape With Stripes
A personal favourite. Works both in the barbershop and beauty salon.
Black Hair Cutting Cape
Sometimes simplicity is the best. You can never go wrong with a black cutting cape in good quality.
Premium Salon Apron in Leather
This apron gives a real premium feel to your staff and is available in black, brown and blue. Cost is actually surprisingly low for this hand made apron in durable long lasting leather.
Simple Black Salon Apron
Just keeping it simple is sometimes the best way to go. This apron fits the clean image salon is also a good option if you’re on a limited budget given the low price.
Best Hair Salon Towels
Keeping a good supply of towels is essential for any salon. Ensure you get good quality bleach and chemical safe premium towels that lasts. Below are the ones I recommend.
Black Salon Towel
Premium bleach and chemical safe black towel.
White Salon Towel
Premium bleach and chemical safe white towel.
Best Salon Hand Mirror
The tool you need for the most important part of the salon service – when you show your client the result :). There’s not really a right or wrong here but go for one that is practical and fits the style of your salon.
Unbreakable Salon Hand Mirror
My personal favourite, the unbreakable hand mirror from Deatti with edgy design.
Elegant Salon Hand Mirror
An alternative for salons who want a more elegant style mirror. Also the most popular one on Amazon.
Other Salon Service Accessories
There’s a few other things you’ll soon notice that you need.
Hair Water Spray Bottle
A nicely designed water spray bottle that help you evenly distribute water. A must-have for any hair salon.
Salon Hair Clips
Good quality hair clips, at good list price.
Salon Retail Shopping Bags
Professional retail brands are premium brands and you don’t want your client who just purchased a shampoo for $25 in your salon to not get a premium bag to put it in. Here’s a good price and quality option.
Money Saving Tip: Ask your product supplier for shopping bags. They may give them for free when you purchase a certain volume of products.
Salon Latex Gloves
Another good value for money item. Black Reusable Latex gloves from Salon Care.
Combs & Brushes
You need a variety of combs and brushes for your salon. There’s many different types of brushes. Below are the six most common ones in the hair stylists toolkit.
The paddle brush is ideal for de-tangling and smoothing naturally straight hair. I recommend a natural wood paddle brush with boar bristles like the one below which help take oil down to the ends of hair.
Round Barrel Brush
Round brushes are often made with metal and heat up during blow dry and give a curl want effect. You use it to tame frizz and to create natural bounce to the hair. My favorit is the ceramic round brush from ghd.
Vented brushes has space between the bristles to allow for air to flow. This brush is designed to make hair dry quickly when used with a blow dryer. You just need a basic brush for this. If you have budget, I’d rather invest in a high quality round brush and keep this one simple. The Conair brush below will do the job at a very low cost.
The cushioned brush typically has a rubber cushion with boar or nylon bristles and are used on dry hair for smoothening. I would prioritize a good paddle brush first. If you still have budget, I recommend the cushioned brush from Philipps.
The rattail comb has a narrow handled that is used for styling the hair. The tail is used for separating and sectioning the hair during the hair styling process. Below is a high quality, heat resistant comb for professional styling that I recommend.
Wide Toothed Comb
The wide toothed comb helps separate the hair without adding much friction. This help detangling the hair without hair falling out.
Professional Scissors/ Shears
Your scissors are arguably the hairdresser’s most important tools and a central item in this hair salon equipment list. Let me take you through a few things to consider before getting a pair of new shears first and you’ll then also get my personal recommendations.
Straight Shear vs. Blending Shear: What to Consider When Buying
What is a straight shear? The straight shear is what you’ll use most of the time when cutting hair. You should ideally have two different sizes of a straight shear. A longer one (above 6 inch) are good for the basic trims and for achieving clean cut. When cutting a bob for example, you’ll want to have a longer scissor. A good reference when buying a long scissor is that it should be about the same length as your hand.
You’ll need a shorter scissor (4.5 – 5.5 inch) for detailed more detailed cuts. For example when cutting around ears and back of neck. You’ll typically cut using the “scissor over finger” technique with a small scissor while you’ll cut over comb with the longer one.
What is a blending shear? A blending shear (also called thinning shear) has a straight blade on one side and an evenly spaced teeth on the other. This is the scissor you need if you want want to remove weight from the hair in a fast and easy way. You can also use it to add texture to the hair depending on the technique you use.
There are two common types of blending/thinning shears: The 40-44 tooth blending shear is used for blending, tapering, and texturizing which are common cutting techniques for men. There is also the wide tooth scissor which generally has 28 teeth and is used when texturizing very thick hair.
How Much do Professional Hair Scissors/Shears Cost?
Professional hair scissors cost around $100 but can range all the way from $20 up to $600. Below you have my recommended scissors – one pair at the lower end and another at a good price/value level.
My Recommended Professional Shears
Best Professional Shears:
Centrix Roc-it Dog Shear 5.75
The Roc-It dog™ line offers a versatile collection of cutting tools at promotional pricing without sacrificing Centrix® performance and creativity. Here you get real value for money.
Best Alternative Under $30:
Equinox Professional Shears
High quality Japanese steel at a very low price. No wonder this is one of the most popular professional scissors.
Save Money on Duo Kit
If you’re in need of both a straight shear and a blending, you can get the kit with both scissors at a value price.
Electronic Hair Styling & Grooming Equipment
One of your bigger expenses in this hair salon equipment list will likely be the electrical styling and grooming tools. In this section I’ll show you what you need to know. I’ll also recommend both a high quality and value optiocn for each tool as I understand it can be difficult to afford the best if you’re just starting up your salon.
What You Should Consider When Getting Your Styling & Grooming Tools
For all grooming equipment you want to make sure you get something from a quality brand that also offers a product warranty as it’s common that they break – even if you buy good quality.
You should also think about if you should re-sell the tools to your clients and in this case get the same brand for you as the one you’ll resell. It’s much easier to recommend a sale to a client that they’ve seen you are using it yourself in the salon and that they also experienced during their service.
In fact, re-selling electrical tools can be a great source of revenue for your salon as they typically have a high price (compared to care and styling products) which gives you a good cash margin on the products.
Blow Dryer and Diffusers
You’ll for sure need a blow dryer for your salon. This is probably the electrical tool you’ll work with the most – so get something good :). Consider the weight of the hair dryer as well as the sound. This is something that can easily be overlooked and in the end be the thing that will annoy you the most.
How Much Does a Professional Hair Dryer Cost?
A professional hair dryer costs somewhere in between $70 and $200 but there are also brands that charges up to $450 (e.g Dyson Super Sonic). I honestly don’t think you should spend that much – you’ll get something very good for around $150.
My Recommended Professional Hair Dryers
I recommend two different hair dryers in this hair salon equipment list. One top notch option (at a higher price) and one if you want good quality but is on a budget.
Best Professional Hair Dryer:
My favourite hair dryer is the ghd Air. The price is on the higher side but you get a really great product that will last you a long time. And on top, it does not have the high pitch sound that many hair dryers have and design is good.
Best Alternative Under $70: MHU Professional Hair Dryer
A good but more basic alternative. It offers adjustable heat and airflow and also noise reduction. Perfect if you’re just starting out.
Professional Hair Straightener
After blow dryer, the hair straightener is probably what you’ll use the most. With the right product you can do a lot more than just straightening hair but you can also use it to shape great curls. What’s important when you select the right straightener is the temperature which should be at 185 celsius/ 365 fahrenheit for good styling temperature that does not damage the hair.
How Much Does a Professional Hair Straightener Cost?
You should be ready to pay around $120 and $250 for a good professional hair straightener.
My Recommended Professional Hair Straightener
There is one straightener that, in my opinion, is the absolute best you can get and this is the Platinum+ styler by ghd. But it’s also quite expensive. Below you’ll find my recommended stylers that also include a lower cost alternative in case you’re on a budget.
Best Professional Hair Straightener:
What’s unique about the Platinum+ styler is that it automatically adapts the temperature depending on how you use the tool. This way you always have the optimal styling temperature for best result without damaging the hair.
Best Alternative Under $70:
Furiden Professional Hair Straightener
A good value-for-money styler that is easy to use and give smooth silky hair result. The most popular styler on Amazon right now.
Professional Hair Curlers
Similarly to a straightener, when selecting a curler you should make sure it operates at the right temperature and comes with good warranty. If you’re good at curling hair using your straightener, you could potentially save some money here and just invest in a really good styler/straightener instead.
How Much Does a Professional Hair Curler Cost?
A professional hair curler costs somewhere between $50 and $200.
My Recommended Professional Curler
Also when it comes to curlers, I would recommend ghd and their Curl Iron and Curl Wand. They are built using a similar heat technology as the Platinum+ hair straightener I shared above so it delivers the optimal styling temperature and result. However, if you’re on a budget you could try to learn how to use your styler for curls or go with a lower cost option like the one I recommend below.
Best Professional Hair Curler: ghd Curl Tong
Simply the best. If you have the budget.
Best Alternative Under $30: Remington Pro Curl Wand
One of the most popular alternatives after ghd.
You’ll need a good hair clipper to cut, shape, and design your clients hair. When buying a clipper you want to make sure it has a powerful motor and self sharpening stainless steal blades. The benefit of a cordless clipper is obvious but you often find the engine in cordless clippers is not as good. Good ones are typically also a bit more expensive.
How Much Does a Professional Hair Clipper Cost?
A good profession hair clipper will cost you between $120 and $220.
My Recommended Professional Hair Clipper
There’s two hair clipper brands that always deliver – Wahl and Andis.
Best Professional Cordless Clipper:
Wahl Professional 5-Star Cordless Magic Clip
If you’re like me and prefer a cordless clipper, I’d go for the Wahl model below. Here you get good value for money with a clipper that’ll stay with you for long.
Best Value Alternative:
Andis Professional Clipper and Trimmer Kit
Andis offer a good combo kit with both clipper and trimmer at a good price. If you’re ok to work with a cable, you’ll be very happy with these.
There’s a few different types of chairs that you’ll need in your salon. Picking the best salon chair comes down to design and what will be practical for the type of service you perform in the salon.
The different types of salon chairs are:
- Styling chairs
- Barber chairs
- Shampoo chairs
- Dryer chairs
- Reception chairs
- Stylist chair & stools
If you’re starting out a new salon, you’ll most likely not need all of the above chairs. Where I’d put my money first is on a good styling chair and also a stylist saddle stool as you’ll not be able to run a salon without those. If you’re planning out a barber salon you’ll of course also need a chair that supports your shaving and beard trimming services.
You’ll not necessarily need a dryer chair or specific reception chairs, this can you wait with and get at a later stage as you can use any chair you can get hold of that you find acceptable in the meantime.
What to Consider When Buying Salon Chairs
Is Product Quality Good?
You want to your chairs to look good also in a few years from now. If you cannot afford good quality because you’re just starting out, I would rather not buy anything and instead try to work with a temporary solution until you can afford a chair of descent quality.
You and your client will spend a lot of time in the chair so they will get worn quickly. In fact, you’ll save money by picking one with good leather material from start that will be much more durable and you do not need to replace it in just a years time.
Poor chair quality also adds negatively to the experience you want to give your client as it will be less comfortable and stability may be compromised.
Is it Practical to Use?
The salon chair is a working tool for you and the stylists working in your salon. Thus, you want to make sure the chair has the features you need to perform your services. You’ll need a hydraulic styling chair so that you can effectively adjust the position of your client when working.
If you’re offering barber services you’ll also need to be able to tilt the chair. Make sure you think through the different usages you may have before you select the right chairs for your salon.
Does the Design Fit Your Salon Image?
There are many different types of chair designs and you should pick something that goes with your salon. Similar to when choosing the right styling station, I’d not get too creative here. I would focus on timeless quality here vs. what’s trendy right now. This will last you longer and also maintain its value better.
How Much Does a Salon Styling Chair Cost?
The cost for a good salon styling chair range from $300 to $700 and costs on average $500. The cost for a good stylist chair or saddle stool is on average $250 and ranges from $150-$300. For a good basic setup you should expect to spend about $750. Reception chairs, shampoo chairs, dryer chairs would then come on top of this.
My Recommended Salon Chairs
The chair that is right for your salon is very individual. I have summarized here the two client chairs that currently hold the highest rating for salon and barbers as well as the best rated stylist chair with matt.
Best Hydraulic Styling Chair
This is one of the most popular chairs with a simple and clean design.
Best Barber Chair
The BarberPub Heavy Duty Metal Vintage Barber Chair is the perfect chair for your barbershop.
Best Stylist Saddle Stool
Simple, functional, saddle stool with hydraulic adjustment support. Top rated on Amazon.
Best Salon Anti Fatigue Mat
You and your colleagues spend long hours in the salon. This top rated anti-fatigue mat is the solution to tired feet.
Ring Light – Get the Best Hair Images for Your Salon Instagram
If you’re good at marketing your salon, you probably have an Instagram or other social media account where you showcase your work. You want to make sure you take good pictures that give justice to the great service you provide.
If you’re serious about improving your salon’s Instagram, I also recommend you to check out the social media tools that grow your salon business here.
Most mobile phones today allow you to take very good pictures which in many cases is sufficient for your salon’s social accounts. However, the second most important thing for good pictures is the light.
It’s easy to get good light for your hair pictures with a ring light that you can order for around $150 which will make all your pictures so much better. Make sure you get one for your salon and place it in front of a clean wall somewhere so that you can take good, professional, images for your portfolio.
Best Ring Light for Your Salon Photos
Low Cost Alternative:
Clip On Ring Light For Your Phone
Salon Carts & Trolleys
Salon carts and trolleys are used to keep your service tools at hand when performing the service. This helps you and your stylists stay organized with all at hand when needed.
There are many different options and sizes available for this but what’s most important is that you get one that fits the needs you have as a trolley with the wrong setup will not be of value but only in the way.
What to Consider When Buying a Salon Cart or Trolley?
Think about how you’ll use your cart or trolley and summarize your needs. Below are some salon trolley usages to consider:
- Do you need to be able to lock you trolley? E.g. if you are working in a shared space this can be helpful.
- Do you work with hot tools? In this case you want somewhere in the trolley that can support holding those.
- Do you work standing or sitting, or maybe both? Consider the best hight of the trolley
- Does it fit with the rest of the salon design? You’ll have it next to your client so you want to make sure it looks good and fits the salon.
- Is it easy to clean? It will collect hair, dust and products so you want to be able to clean it easily.
- Does it have sufficient amount of drawers and storage space? Think about the what products you’ll want to have with you in the cart and if there is room for those.
How Much Does a Salon Trolley Cost?
A salon trolley costs around $190 but can vary from $50 to $350 depending on how sophisticated trolley you need.
My Recommended Salon Trolleys
Below are the two most popular salon trolley’s and trays right now.
Best Salon Trolley with Lock
Best Salon Instrument Tray
Shampoo Station/ Backwash Unit
The shampoo station (also called backwash unit) is where you’ll wash your clients hair before and/or after their salon service. It is also where you perform various hair care treatments in the salon.
There are a few different ways in which you can build your backwash unit. You can buy a separate shampoo bowl and chair or you can go for a complete backwash system unit where you have all included and fitted together. There are pros and cons with both approaches.
Separate Chair and Bowl
This is a more flexible option that typically is more cost effective. With a separate chair and shampoo bowl you are in more control of the overall look of the unit as you can choose design of chair and bowl independently. It is also more cost effective as you can use the chair for more purposes than at the shampoo bowl. This is why this approach is often preferred by smaller salons who are on budget and have less space and therefor want to be able to re-purpose the use for the chair.
Backwash with Attached Bowl and Chair
Although this option is typically a little bit more expensive, it is also what will give the best salon client experience. Your clients do seek to be pampered at the shampoo station and you have a lot to win by giving the ultimate experience to them as this is what will build client loyalty in the long run.
If you have the space, I would go for this option and place your backwash unit it in a space of tranquility where you can bring the best possible experience to your clients.
What is the Shampoo Station Price?
A shampoo station (or backwash unit) costs $800 on average but ranges from $500-$1,200. A separate shampoo bowl costs $300 on average and range from $150-600.
My Recommended Shampoo Backwash Units
There are a lot of different shampoo units available with different features and level of comfort. I have listed below two popular units that have high user ratings and good reviews. However, I would encourage you to browse the complete list of shampoo stations here to find what you think will fit your salon the best.
Best Backwash Unit
Maximum comfort shampoo backwash unit, available in black and white.
Popular Black Shampoo Station
Clean design with adjustable bowl. One of the most popular on Amazon.
Hood dryers are an essential part of the salon and has many different use cases. They are used both to dry hair and also to provide heat so that care and color services can develop.
There are freestanding hood dryers, wall mounted hood dryers, chairs with a built in hood dryer, as well as portable hood dryers.
A freestanding hood dryer gives you the flexibility to move it around in the salon and use it with existing chairs which makes it cost effective and flexible. This is why this is the most commonly used type of hood dryer.
Wall mounted hood dryers are less flexible but frees up floor space in your salon so this a good option if you have limited space.
Hood dryer chairs contain both the hood dryer and chair. This give a good client experience while at the same time limits the flexibility in your salon.
A portable hood dryer is the best solution for mobile hair dressers as you can bring it along where you go. Typically the quality is lower on those than the other options above so I would only go for this if your work requires you to be mobile. There are also cheap mobile options that you can mount to a regular hair dryer if you need a pragmatic solution but the result can obviously not be compared to a real professional hood dryer.
Important Hood Dryer Features to Consider
When buying a hood dryer, you should consider the below features:
- After sale service: Hood dryers has a high upfront cost and can break so you want to make sure you have a good after sale service on the product in case you run into issues.
- Adjustable heat and speed setting: Different hair types and services requires different heat so it’s important you can control this.
- Ionic technology: This gives a more smooth and shinier hair result as it better locks hydration in the hair and reduces ions in the air.
How Much Does a Professional Hood Dryer Cost?
A professional hood dryer costs $1,000 on average but can vary from $600 to $3,000. There are also hood dryers for personal use starting at $200 but the quality is very different from a professional dryer used by salon which is what I focus on in this hair salon equipment list.
My Recommended Professional Hooded Dryers
Buying a hood dryer is a big purchase, it’s the most expensive item in this hair salon equipment list. Make sure you do your research first so that it fits all your needs. Below are two good options at attractive price from Salon Pro. They both have good user rating and can be a good option for you.
Orbiting Infra Red Hood Dryer
Orbiting Infra Red Hood Dryer (Wall Mounted)
Hair Styling Station
The hair styling station is where your client sits during their hair service and also where your staff spends big part of their working day.
The styling station have big impact on the overall look and feel of your salon so you want it to look good and also fit the image of your salon. At the same time, it is at the salon station the services are performed so it needs to be practical to use or you’ll get very frustrated over time.
You want to make sure you get this right from start.
I have summarized below what you should consider when choosing your hair styling station.
Is it Optimized for Your Salon Floor Plan?
Styling stations will take up space so you want a solution that fits your floor plan. There are styling units that are double sided in case you want stylist to work on both sides of them mirror and there are also the ones that separate mirror from storage. The solution that is right for you depends on how you want to lay out your salon.
Does the Design Fit Your Salon Image?
You should pick a styling station that fits the rest of your salon and your brand. You need to consider the overall appearance of your salon and how the styling stations fit naturally into that. Your client will also spend big part of their time in the styling station so you’ll want the experience to be good.
I’d recommend you to keep the design of your styling station simple. The styling stations should last for a while so if you get something that is trendy right now it may look dated in a few years. So I’d recommend you to go with a simple design and rather use other decorative elements in your salon to bring to life the atmosphere.
This way your stations can last for years while you can easily and more frequently update the look and feel of your salon instead of having a very advanced styling station that you are tired of just a year after purchase and that make it difficult to easily change the look and feel of your salon.
Is it Practical to Work With?
Finally it should be easy for you and your stylists to work at the styling station. This is the most important part as you’ll go crazy after a while if you do not have the space you need in the stations to work with your client, tools, products. So don’t go blind on a good looking design but make sure there is place for all you need at the station.
How Much Does a Salon Styling Station Cost?
A styling station costs from $150 to $1200, where the average cost would be around $600.
It’s difficult to recommend one styling station unit that is right for you. You really need to measure the space you have for it and judge the design that will fit your salon image.
I have also created a Pinterest board where you can find some inspiration for your salon.
I hope you found this hair salon equipment list helpful.