Whether you're starting your own salon or revamping an existing business, shopping for new salon furniture can be both exciting and daunting. When selecting new salon equipment, you can channel your hair-design creativity in a new direction. You also need to don your business owner/salon manager hat: think about budget. Consider the salon look and marketing angle: you may have a modern, cutting-edge, energetic hair salon atmosphere in mind. You may instead be going for a vintage vibe (think barber shop or beauty parlor) or a beauty spa, total-relaxation ambiance or anywhere in between. Plan, makes lists, take measurements, allocate budget.

Make notes and outline. Think about how you'll divide your overall space. How much will be dedicated to hair cutting, coloring, styling, other services? How much counter space per station? Will you have a wall-length mirror for all or individual mirrors for each styling station. Don't forget background items such as a stereo system and store-room/break room for staff. 

Service-specific furniture and tool tips

Reception desk: It's the first thing clients see. Make a good impression that establishes your beauty salon's style and mood. Practical concerns: security (get locking drawers) and computer setup (allow room for printer/keyboard plus discrete power-cord openings in the desk).

Lighting: Sets the mood--but must be functional and flattering in work areas.

Hair styling: Consider stylist's equipment and furnishings like sinks/washbasins, hair cutting/styling tools including hand-held hair dryers, curling irons/flat irons, etc. Will you need stationary dryers? Source bulk supplies like: dye, perm solutions, scissors, capes and towels.

Styling chairs, barber chairs: Think adjustable, functional and comfortable to accommodate all employees and clients.

Skin treatment, massage, aromatherapy and spa equipment: Additional salon supplies for your list?

Manicure/pedicure stations: Do you need fixed tables or portables that roll? Select fully adjustable, tilting lamps to make sure those mani-pedis are stunning.

Supplier concerns: Get equipment guarantees/warranties in writing. Make sure shipping/delivery time and custom design timelines are clear. Buying salon and spa equipment is easier when you plan ahead, prioritize and organize your needs. Use the tips above and stay focused on your salon style preferences. Now, you're prepped for success!