Hair Salon Cutting and Styling Station

10 Things You Wish You Knew Before Building Your Hair Salon

Whether you’re building a hairdressing business from home, a barbershop in your local strip shops or a busy hair salon in a large shopping centre, these shop fitout tips will guide you to building a successful hairdressing business.

1. What’s the right height for work station benches?

Lower back pain is a common work related injury for hairdressers. Prevent the risk and get the height right. Generally the finished floor level (FFL) to benchtop finish height for a hair salon work station is around 900mm. Also remember to adjust chair height for each client to minimise lower back bend. Check in the salon mirrors to see that you are standing, or sitting, correctly

2. Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Which Colour Should I Install?

Grey mirrors are trending in the business space at the moment. The slightly tinted appearance offers a more commercial look than your standard silver mirror and creates a striking contrast to hair care products placed in front, enticing an easy cross selling opportunity.

Want to make the room look larger? Install one large panel of glass across a number of work stations, rather than smaller, individual mirrors per station.

3. Optimise natural lighting throughout the hair salon

Where possible make the most of natural lighting in the salon to give clients the true colour of their hair shades. Where lighting is required, LED lights of approximately 3000K offer a natural look, however we highly recommend to discuss the lighting design in detail with the architect or designer, as well as the lighting supplier, about the right lux levels (illuminance and luminous emittance and how far the light throws) for your space.

Want to save money on building your salon?

Tip: Allow plenty of time to gather quotes

Successful shopfitters project manage the salon build for their clients. This includes arranging required trades to complete the build. To ensure the best price for your hair salon, make sure you allow shopfitters the time to obtain prices off their trades and not throw an overpriced estimated figure when pricing your project.

4. Install insulating flooring to stop sound struggle and prevent a noisy salon

Minimise the battle of bellowing over the sounds of hairdryers and running taps by installing noise insulating vinyl flooring. This flooring solution is highly effective at absorbing sound compared to opposing flooring products. It’s also great for hairdressing businesses as other benefits of vinyl flooring include being highly stain resistant, easy to clean, durable and best of all – affordable!

5. Cutting station to shampoo sink ratio

To maintain a fluent customer flow, the general rule of thumb when building a hairdressing business is a 1:3 ratio of shampoo sinks to styling /cutting stations.

6. Create a welcoming reception counter to entice customers

The reception counter is where clients make their first and last point of contact with your hair salon. Therefore it’s essential to create a visually appealing and welcoming entrance that conveys a sense of comfort and space. Clever use of colour in the store design can effectively segregate the reception area without intruding on the remaining space of the salon. This is also an ideal place to display haircare products to influence consumers to purchase.

Hair care product display shelving

7. Salon Smell: Make Scents of the Sales Opportunity

Don’t underestimate the power of scent in sales. Take Subway for example. Or Darrell Lee. Or Dusk. These stores contain such a distinct scent that their presence is known before consumers visually locate the retailer. Without thought it triggers an emotional response where we visualise a memory of the product.

Evoke emotional connections with your clients by producing a subtle scent to the salon. The aroma of hair care products used in the salon can build brand identity and provide a sense of relaxation for customers. This has the potential to affect client’s buying behaviour, and dramatically increase purchases of the product.

8. Increase client retention with comfort and relaxation

Customer comfort is essential in client retention. When building your hairdressing business, be sure to consider client relaxation whilst their hair is being treated. Plan the cutting stations for client comfort as well as for storing salon equipment. Design a specific position for coffee cups, magazines and phones for a clutter free bench top. Plan a place off the floor such as a hook, cupboard or shelving space for clients to feel comfortable and secure to leave their handbag.

Looking for a simple and inexpensive personal touch? Provide the opportunity for clients to charge their phone or tablet whilst in the salon, by supplying a charging dock at each work station. Digital Trends recommends the best portable charges for 2022, although there are so many other products on the market.


9. Design wash basin space for optimal comfort

To ensure your salon provides a pleasurable experience, design and build the wash basins for client’s psychological comfort, as well as physical comfort. Be privacy conscious and aware of the direction of skirts and dresses. If the layout of the floor plan forces the shampoo station chairs to face the street or salon entry, construct a privacy fin to certify clients are content.

10. Adhere to all health and safety regulations

Be sure to adhere to all health and safety regulations within your country, state and municipality. This includes maintaining clean work stations, requiring separate wash basins, ensuring safety with chemicals and organising regular electrical appliance testing.

For information on workplace health and safety in Australia, head to or Safe Work Australia.

IBISWorld’s Australian Market Research Report (May 2016) advises that “hair and beauty service operators have a high rate of business failure.” So safeguard your hairdressing business with thorough research and by building with a trusted and reliable builder.

To discuss your salon fit out with award winning Melbourne shopfitters, contact AAFS Shopfitting on 03 5943 0581.