March 27, 2024 | Posted by Meghan Smith

What Is A Styling Chair?

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. There are many different shapes and sizes to accommodate all types of clientele.

These chairs differ from other chairs because they are built specifically for cutting and styling in the salon. They don’t have reclining capabilities like all-purpose chairs or shampoo chairs and are meant to be stationary unlike cutting stools because they are designed for stability. Additionally, styling chairs differ from dryer chairs which have built-in slots for dryer boxes.

When choosing a styling chair, it is crucial to consider the specific needs of your workspace. Styling chairs are not one-size-fits-all as some can be narrower, shorter, or taller than other options. Think about your clientele and stylists and what they need most from a styling chair.

Product shown: Keaton Styling Chair and Elite Styling Station

Types of Chairs Found In The Salon:

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 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.


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


The stylists 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 styling 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.


This is where the client will rest their feet during service. Different styling chairs have different footrest styles and shapes to consider. The “T” shaped footrest has a more modern look, and stylists find that their clients can get in and out of the chair better with this shape. The “U” shape is more traditional but has a larger footprint than the “T” shaped footrest which should be considered for accessibility. Additionally, footrests come in gold, black, and silver options for design flexibility. Black is the most popular because of its high resistance to wear and tear.


The base plate is what stabilizes the chair to the ground. There are a few options for base design such as flat square, standard round, flat circle, and five star. Bases can also come in black-powder coating, gold finish, or chrome finish for design flexibility. It is important to understand the height differences between standard bases and flat bases where flat bases tend to be positioned lower to the ground when compared to the standard round base design.


What To Consider When Choosing A Salon Styling Chair

The gorgeous Cammelo Styling Chair.

Client Comfort

Consider your client’s comfort when choosing a styling chair. For the most spacious configuration, opt for wider chairs (between the arms) or those with open armrests that offer maximum flexibility and comfort. Styling chairs like the Atlas Styling Chair with open armrests facilitate easier accessibility and movement during services. Similarly, prioritizing lumbar backrest support is essential when selecting the ideal salon chair for your clients. Pay attention to the seat back’s design, angle, and placement to assess the incorporated lumbar support for extended service periods. Styling chairs such as the Onyx Styling Chair, featuring an integrated inverted seatback, are highly favored for their emphasis on providing exceptional back support to clients.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the impact of your chair’s footrest style on your clients’ comfort and accessibility. While the contemporary T-Footrest style is favored for its slip-resistant footpad and compact design, the traditional U-Footrest configuration is less likely to cause tripping accidents, making it a more prevalent choice in salons catering to an elderly clientele.

Stylist Comfort

While prioritizing the needs of your clients remains key, it’s important not to overlook the well-being of your stylists who work tirelessly to create magic. Ensuring their comfort is equally as important, given their lengthy hours on their feet in the salon. Selecting the right styling chair to support their comfort will yield long-term benefits.

For stylists regularly cutting and styling long hair, the height of the seat back on the styling chair is crucial. Higher seat backs may hinder access to longer hair and lead to prolonged bending, causing discomfort. Opting for a styling chair with a shorter seat back, such as the Rosa Styling Chair, offers an ideal solution.

It’s also crucial to take into account the travel height of the chair and its impact on the stylist. Make sure the chosen chair meets the needs of your stylist by examining its height, base, and pump range. Keep in mind that chairs with flat bases, like the Christina Styling Chair tend to sit lower to the ground, potentially reducing the overall height. Also, pay close attention to the thickness of the seat cushions and consider how it might affect the client’s posture. Thicker cushions, although more comfortable, can elevate the client’s seating position.

Durability & Longevity

Ensuring the longevity and durability of your styling chair to withstand the demands of long salon days is vital when selecting salon furniture. Identifying a durable option from the multitude of choices in today’s market can be daunting. However, visiting a showroom to touch and feel the chairs yourself can provide valuable insights into their quality and comfort.

The primary indicator of durability lies in the chair’s warranty. A lengthy warranty period, especially concerning the hydraulic system spanning from two to ten years, signifies the use of high-quality materials. Additionally, the association of reputable brand names and positive customer reviews further validates the chair’s quality. Conversely, the absence of any brand association should raise concerns. Look for long-time industry brands like Buy-Rite Beauty, Pibbs Industries, and Collins Manufacturing to ensure superior quality.

Moreover, it’s common for chairs to exhibit signs of wear over time, albeit undesirable. Opting for black powder-coated bases and footrests is an excellent strategy to conceal these imperfections. They effectively camouflage scuffs and scratches, preserving the appearance of your equipment for an extended period.

For the ultimate buying comfort and confidence, it’s highly advisable to visit a showroom. There, you can experience firsthand the quality and comfort of the salon chair by touching, feeling, and testing it before finalizing your purchase. This hands-on approach allows you to make a well-informed decision before making the investment, ensuring that the chair meets your specific needs and preferences.

Interested in visiting one of our showrooms before you order but don’t live close? No problem! Our Fly N’ Buy program will help you get here by reimbursing your travel expenses.

Brand & Warranty

In a market flooded with numerous chair choices across various websites, each accompanied by enticing images and promises, it’s important to uncover signals of quality. Among the many options, careful salon owners should prioritize brands renowned for their longstanding commitment to quality & longevity, such as Pibbs Industries, Collins Manufacturing, and Takara Belmont. These brand pillars of the industry not only offer a diverse range of chairs but also back their products with comprehensive warranty coverages up to 10 years long, ensuring durability and reliability amidst the heavy demands of salon use. Always assess the length and any exclusions in a salon chair warranty. Opting for the longest coverage period from a reputable brand ensures a higher return on investment.


This is where the fun begins! Selecting the perfect chair style can transform your salon space into a captivating haven for clients. For help choosing, researching, or shopping by trending design aesthetics like gold accents, minimalism, and modern contemporary salon designs. Consider today’s top trending chair designs like sleek, seamless, and modern chairs like the Zena Styling Chair, or gold accented chairs like the Luna Gold Styling Chair to exude more opulence. Similarly, chairs with all black-powder coating like the Cleo Styling Chair are a very popular choice in today’s market due to their clean & durable look. Neutral, soft color tones are amongst the most popular chair color designs.

Our stunning Amber Styling Chair.

Consider customizing your chair’s aesthetic further by mixing and matching chair top colors with various base and footrest options like gold, silver, and black. Additionally, when choosing the color for your chair, be sure to consider its susceptibility to staining. While no chair is entirely stain-proof against hair color, darker colors are more effective at concealing wear and tear caused by spills and splashes.

For more help deciding, start by browsing this year’s top-trending customer picks or book a free design consultation with one of our industry experts who would love to help you bring your dream salon to life.


Maintaining cleanliness at your workstation during a bustling day can pose a challenge. It’s crucial to select a styling chair that streamlines the cleaning process. Opting for a seamless chair like the Echo Styling Chair or the Luna Styling Chair proves to be an effective solution. These chairs feature a single piece of fabric without any seams or stitching, ensuring easy vacuuming and wiping due to their smooth surface. With no seams to trap hair, cleaning becomes a breeze.

Additionally, consider the ease of an open-back chair like the Obsidian Styling Chair in simplifying your cleaning routine. These chairs prevent hair from becoming trapped under the seat back or between the arms, allowing you to swiftly sweep through the chair.


Size and overall footprint play a crucial role when choosing a salon chair, particularly for salon suite owners or smaller salons. It’s essential to consider the width and depth to ensure both stylist comfort and guest maneuverability within the space, avoiding any feelings of confinement or overcrowding.

The industry standard typically recommends allocating 4 1/2 feet of space between each styling station, measured from center to center. Before making a decision, be sure to measure your space accurately to determine the number of styling chairs that can fit comfortably.

For those seeking a styling chair with a compact footprint, our Sylvia Styling Chair is worth exploring.

Affordability & Return On Investment

When factoring in price, it’s crucial to adhere to your budget to guarantee long-term success for your business. Opting for the cheapest chair may appear to be a quick money-saving solution, but it can often lead to a shorter lifespan. It’s essential to prioritize maximizing your ROI (Return On Investment) when selecting styling chairs. Investing a little more initially in a well-made, reputable branded chair proves cost-effective in the long run, as it reduces the frequency and urgency of chair replacements, ultimately saving you money.


As a salon owner, your focus should be on managing your business rather than assembling furniture and equipment. Therefore, assembly and installation are vital to consider when choosing a chair. Buy-Rite Beauty simplifies the assembly process by shipping all styling chairs in three parts: the base, chair top, and footrest, which seamlessly snap together for easy assembly. This approach guarantees that the chair is properly assembled, maintaining its structural stability and quality.

The beautiful Pibbs Cosmo Styling Chair

More Salon Workstation Essentials:

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

Booster Seat or Bar: These are perfect for salons 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 stylists 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.

Styling Station: This will complete your workstation and keep you organized. Choose from many different configurations and cutting-edge LED lighting technology.

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


Choosing a styling chair is one of the most important decisions because it is the centerpiece of your salon. It is crucial to consider comfort, durability, warranty, brands, aesthetics, cleanliness, size, affordability, and assembly as you browse through options. Consider your clientele as well and what they might need the most out of a styling 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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