What are the Different Types of Salon Equipment?

Karyn Maier
Karyn Maier

There’s little doubt that beauty is big business. On a global scale, consumers from all walks of life liberally spend great sums of money on salon products and services to enhance their appearance. In fact, it seems to be an inherent belief in humans that good looks equate to an improved economic and social standing. In order to satisfy the need to be pretty, salon owners must be able to supply many different types of salon equipment for their clientele. Of course, the specific equipment needed depends on the type of salon.

A bottle of nail polish remover.
A bottle of nail polish remover.

Generally speaking, establishments that fall under the broad category of beauty salons offer a wide range of services, necessitating the need for many different types of salon equipment. Hair styling services, for instance, typically begins with washing the customer’s hair while he or she is seated in a reclining shampoo chair that provides padded support for the neck. The customer is then usually ushered to a swivel salon chair, the height of which can be adjusted to ensure proper positioning for a haircut. A hand-held blow dryer may be used to finish the style or, if hair rollers are being used, a chair dryer may be used instead. Other pieces of salon equipment frequently used by hair stylists include curling wands, flat irons, and hair crimpers.

A woman in a sauna located in a salon.
A woman in a sauna located in a salon.

Nail salons require very different types of equipment. The most notable is the manicure table, which is small enough to allow the manicurist to reach across to work on the client’s hands comfortably. The table is usually equipped with an adjustable lamp and a drawer in which to keep basic manicure supplies. Other types of equipment commonly found in a nail salon include airbrush machines and ultraviolet nail dryers.

A tanning bed at a salon.
A tanning bed at a salon.

Tanning salons typically have the least amount of salon equipment in terms of number, but they are also the most expensive. Depending on the size of the salon, there may be anywhere from one to a dozen or more tanning beds. These beds resemble capsules in which the customer lies on a tempered surface and then pulls the cover down over them. Typically, there is a special pillow provided to prop the neck and head to allow the face to tan at the same time as the body. Other types of tanning devices require the customer to stand in a booth-like apparatus.

A massage table might be used in a salon.
A massage table might be used in a salon.

Spa-type salons utilize a variety of equipment intended to promote relaxation. Specialized tables, beds, and chairs designed to comfortably apply body massages and facials are most commonly found in this environment. Additional tools of the trade include facial steamers, microdermabrasion devices, hydrotherapy tubs, and saunas.

Salon chairs and hair supplies are essential to hair salons.
Salon chairs and hair supplies are essential to hair salons.
A hair washing basin is an essential piece of salon equipment.
A hair washing basin is an essential piece of salon equipment.
Salons that offer skin treatments must be stocked with specialized skincare products.
Salons that offer skin treatments must be stocked with specialized skincare products.
Blow dryers are often used by hairdressers in salons.
Blow dryers are often used by hairdressers in salons.
Hair rollers are often used to curl hair.
Hair rollers are often used to curl hair.
Karyn Maier
Karyn Maier

Contributing articles to wiseGEEK is just one of Karyn’s many professional endeavors. She is also a magazine writer and columnist, mainly for health-related publications, as well as the author of four books. Karyn lives in New York’s Catskill Mountain region and specializes in topics about green living and botanical medicine.

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