June 11, 2024 | Posted by Meghan Smith

What is a Barber Chair?

A barber chair is a specialized chair used by barbers and hairdressers for grooming services like haircuts and shaves. It features adjustable height, a reclining backrest, a footrest, and often a headrest, providing comfort and support for clients during services. Barber chairs are designed for durability to withstand frequent use in salons or barbershops.

These chairs are specific to barber services, unlike a styling chair which doesn’t have reclining capabilities. They are similar to all-purpose chairs since both recline, but barber chairs are heavy-duty and built for shaving and facial services. Barber chairs are different from shampoo chairs because they sit on a sturdy base and swivel while shampoo chairs are stationary and meant only for shampooing.

When choosing a barber chair, it is important to understand your business needs and what type of clientele you typically service. The client’s needs will play a huge role in what you want out of a barber chair. This comprehensive guide lays out the most important decision factors as you decide what chair is right for your barbershop.

Product shown: Alesso Professional Barber Chair

Types of Chairs Found In The Salon and Barbershop:

Styling Chairs are designed specifically for haircutting, styling, and coloring with a swivel base mechanism and a hydraulic pump that allows the stylist to adjust the chair height for easier access to the client.

All-Purpose Chairs are reclining salon chairs designed to be used in almost every service in a salon. They work for cutting, shampooing, waxing, threading, shaving, and drying. They have reclining mechanisms to support a multitude of salon services making it the Swiss-army knife of the salon.

Shampoo Chairs are designed with specific measurements to fit up against shampoo bowls. They also have a reclining mechanism that allows them to lay back into the shampoo bowl to support them during shampooing.

Dryer Chairs are designed to sit underneath a hooded dryer or steamer. They typically have a cutout in the back of the chair to allow the dryer component to fit against the chair for optimal drying.

Cutting Stools are designed to relieve stylists from standing for hours while cutting and styling. They are typically height adjustable and on casters to maneuver easily around the client.

Pedicure Chairs are designed for pedicure service and are equipped with a foot spa base. They sometimes come with massage and reclining features for added client comfort.

Reception Chairs are benches, sofas, and chairs designed to keep clients comfortable before their service.

Kid’s Salon Chairs are designed for kids who are too small for a regular styling chair. They typically have a smaller seat and are equipped with safety features like a safety strap or guard so that the child doesn’t fall out.


The headrest on a barber chair provides crucial support for the client’s head and neck, ensuring comfort during longer services like haircuts or shaves. It is adjustable to accommodate clients of different sizes and can be angled to allow the barber better access for precise work. Some chairs allow you to remove the headrest when not needed.


This term refers to the padded seat and backrest area covered in vinyl. When choosing a barber chair, consider the color vinyl you want and the design that best fits your space. Most barber chair tops are made with an ergonomic mindset that focuses on both client and barber comfort during long service sessions.


Barbers use this small mechanism to pump up the chair or let it back down. It is typically made of metal and is sometimes covered by a piece of rubber for anti-slip, and easier traction for simple use.


The hydraulic pump system allows the chair to move up and down. This is one of the most important parts of the barber chair, so be sure to note the hydraulic system’s warranty. All of our styling chairs come with at least a two-year warranty and even up to a ten year depending on the chair you choose. Remember, a longer warranty indicates a longer expected lifespan.


A calf rest on a barber chair serves a similar purpose to a footrest but is specifically designed to provide support and comfort for the client’s calves and lower legs. It helps the client maintain a comfortable and stable position during reclined services.


This is where the client will rest their feet during service. It offers added stability to the client to keep them stable. Some barber chairs have a flip footrest that accommodates the client’s feet when the chair is reclined for added comfort.


The base plate is what stabilizes the chair to the ground. Bases can come in black-powder coating, gold finish, or chrome finish for design flexibility. It is important to ensure that your barber chair has a heavy-duty base that can withstand heavier clients, especially during reclining services.

What To Consider When Choosing A Barber Chair

The Collins 9050 Commander I Barber Chair

Client Comfort

When selecting a barber chair, prioritize your client’s comfort, especially for larger clients. Look for chairs with a wider seat or open armrests to accommodate different body sizes comfortably. Lumbar backrest support is also crucial for extended comfort during services. Consider the design, angle, and placement of the seat back to ensure it offers adequate lumbar support.

Additionally, choose a footrest style that enhances comfort and accessibility. The traditional footrest design as seen on the Maddox Barber Chair is great for barbershops that offer mainly upright services such as cutting and styling. If your shop offers shaving or shampoo services, you might want to consider a flip footrest as seen on models like the Futura Barber Chair to add to the client experience when they are reclined.


The headrest is a crucial consideration for both the comfort of your clients and the ease of your barber’s work. A well-designed headrest can significantly enhance the overall experience for your clients, providing support and comfort during their service. Look for chairs with adjustable headrests to accommodate clients of different heights and neck lengths, ensuring a comfortable position for all shapes & sizes.

Most barber chairs feature adjustable and removable headrests affixed to the top of the seatback like the Capone Barber Chair that facilitates shaving and cutting services. Ensure the headrest includes a locking mechanism to securely adjust the height for each client. Additionally, chairs with headrests built into the seatback like the Seville Barber Chair are gaining popularity in barbershops. Unlike those that sit on top of the chair, integrated headrests are incorporated into the chair’s design, avoiding any interference during services.

Accesories & Features

No barber chair is made the same, and some are equipped with more features than your standard reclining mechanism and removable headrest. It is important to understand what you need out of your barber chair and how it will benefit your clients. If you opt for a chair with more integrated accessories & features, the price point may be higher but the client experience will be enhanced. Also, these additions may have a positive impact on your barber’s workflow efficiency.

Consider chairs with popular features like integrated towel bars, which provide a convenient place to store towels for easy access during services like shaving or hair washing. Having towel bars on the chair as seen on the Cadillac Barber Chair keeps essential items within reach, enhancing the efficiency of the barber and ensuring a seamless service for the client. Similarly, chairs that are equipped with clipper holders, provide a designated spot to store clippers and other tools. This feature helps keep the workstation organized and minimizes the risk of tools being misplaced or lost. By having clipper holders on the chair, barbers can work more efficiently, as they can easily access their tools without having to search for them.

Some other features to consider are calf rests, reclining levers on both sides of the chair, and flip footrests. Adding these features could set your barbershop apart from the crowd.


The reclining mechanism of barber chairs is a critical feature that enhances client comfort and facilitates various grooming services. Typically operated by a lever located either on the side or the back of the chair, this mechanism allows the chair to tilt back smoothly, providing a comfortable position for clients during services like shampooing, beard trimming, or hair cutting. The location of the lever can impact the ease of use for both the barber and the client, so keep a close eye on the location and accessibility of the lever as you decide which barber chair is right for you.

Additionally, the reclining mechanism plays a crucial role in creating a relaxing and enjoyable experience for the client. By allowing the chair to recline, clients can feel more at ease and comfortable, enhancing their overall satisfaction with the service. Additionally, the reclining feature enables barbers to have better access to the client’s head and neck, making it easier to perform various grooming tasks with precision and ease. Overall, the reclining mechanism is a key feature of barber chairs that contributes to a more efficient and comfortable grooming experience for both the barber and the client.


Consider what style of footrest your chair features. A well-designed footrest can help clients relax by providing a stable place to rest their feet, reducing strain on their legs and lower back. It also promotes better circulation by allowing clients to elevate their feet slightly, which is especially important during longer grooming sessions.

Barber chairs typically feature two main types of footrests: flip footrests and stationary footrests. Flip footrests as seen on the King Barber Chair, can be raised or “flipped” during reclining services, providing added comfort to the clients calf, making them ideal for services with longer recline times, such as shaving. In contrast, stationary footrests are fixed in place, offering greater stability but less flexibility for clients who prefer to adjust their footrest position during the service. Each type should be considered based on the specific services you offer, with flip footrests being particularly beneficial for extended reclining sessions.

Durability & Brand

When selecting a barber chair, opting for a reputable brand is paramount. Brands like Pibbs Industries, Collins Manufacturing, and Takara Belmont have established themselves as industry leaders, known for their commitment to quality, durability, and innovation. Choosing a chair from a reputable brand ensures that you are investing in a product that will maximize your return on investment. Moreover, reputable brands often offer warranties and reliable customer support, providing you with peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected.

Consider chairs like the Cobalt Barber Chair or the Bristol Barber Chair made by reputable brands like Collins Manufacturing, which offers chairs backed by a 100,000-haircut guarantee, ensuring a solid return on investment.

Style & Design

Style and design are crucial factors to consider, as they contribute significantly to the overall ambiance and aesthetic of your barbershop. Retro and vintage styles, in particular, can add a touch of nostalgia and charm to your space, creating a unique and inviting atmosphere for your clients. Chairs with retro-inspired designs often feature classic elements such as tufted upholstery, chrome accents, and sleek lines, evoking a sense of timeless elegance that appeals to many clients. Also, barber chairs with piping on the seat and back cushions is a popular design and can offer another layer of customization.

The Pibbs 660 Grande Barber Chair

A chair that reflects your shop’s personality and style can leave a lasting impression on clients, making them more likely to return for future services. Whether you prefer a vintage look that harkens back to the golden age of barbering or a more modern, contemporary design, choosing a chair that complements your shop’s overall theme and aesthetic is key to creating a memorable and inviting space for your clients.


When selecting a barber chair, consider features that ease cleaning and maintenance, such as those with open-back designs like the Onyx Professional Barber Chair, which provides easy access to all areas for thorough cleaning. Chairs with open backs allow you to reach areas that might be difficult to clean in closed-back designs, reducing the risk of dirt and bacteria buildup.

Another important factor to consider is the color selection of vinyl for the chair’s upholstery. Lighter vinyl colors tend to show more wear, tear, dirt, and grime than darker colors. This means that while lighter colors might match your shop’s aesthetic, they will likely require more frequent cleaning and maintenance. Some vinyls are designed to be stain-resistant and easy to clean, but it’s crucial to balance these features with the color’s tendency to show dirt. Opting for chairs with removable cushions or covers can also help, as they can be easily taken off and cleaned separately, simplifying the maintenance process.


When considering the cost of barber chairs, it’s important to stick to your budget to ensure the long-term success of your business. While choosing the cheapest chair may seem like a way to save money quickly, it can often result in a shorter lifespan and higher replacement costs. It’s crucial to prioritize maximizing your Return On Investment (ROI) when selecting barber chairs. Investing a bit more upfront in a well-made, reputable branded chair can be cost-effective in the long run, as it reduces the frequency and urgency of chair replacements, ultimately saving you money.


Size and overall footprint are critical considerations when choosing a barber chair, especially for owners of smaller barbershops or suites. It’s important to assess the width and depth of the chair to ensure both the barber’s comfort and the client’s maneuverability within the space, avoiding any feelings of confinement or overcrowding.

Before making a decision, accurately measure your space to determine the number of barber chairs that can fit comfortably. It is critical to measure the space and allocate enough room for the chair to recline fully.

More Barber Workstation Essentials:

While the barber chair is the focal point of the workstation it is important to compliment your barber chair with the necessary and highest quality accessories and cabinetry to maximize your barbers’ efficiency. Browse the below categories that are sure to keep your workstation at peak performance.

Booster Seat or Bar: These are perfect for barbershops that offer children haircuts and services. These additions can help keep them safe and at the correct height.

Chair Mat: These are designed to relieve leg and back fatigue of barbers throughout long days.

Eye Vacuum: This is the perfect solution for cleaning up hair quickly between clients.

Chair Cleaners: These cleaners are designed to clean styling chairs specifically and will maintain the vinyl of your chairs.

Barber Station: This will complete your workstation and keep you organized. Barber stations offer a shampoo sink, workspace, and storage all in one place.

Salon Mirror: These are the perfect addition to styling or barber stations because these mirrors are specific to industry standards to provide the best results for you and your clients.


Selecting a barber chair is a big decision as it serves as the focal point of your barbershop. It’s crucial to prioritize factors such as comfort, durability, warranty, brand reputation, aesthetics, cleanliness, size, affordability, and features as you evaluate different options. Additionally, consider the needs of your clientele and what features they might value most in a barber chair.

For free, personalized, expert design planning schedule a salon planning call with our industry experts.

Jason Eichholz – Vice President

Jason has been an integral part of Buy-Rite since 2014 when he joined the family business. His passion lies in helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams. By working so closely with family, he instills family values in all of his work. He loves to share his expertise while maintaining honesty and dedication to the Buy-Rite brand. He leads the way for our customer service team to make sure each customer feels confident from the purchase to the delivery. Jason’s industry knowledge has propelled thousands of salon owners to open and maintain the salon of their dreams.






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