8 Considerations for Buying Shampoo Bowls

October 18, 2018 | Posted by Buy-Rite Beauty

You’re opening, expanding, or remodeling your salon. With so many options on the market, how are you supposed to find the best salon shampoo bowl for you? Salon shampoo bowls range from $69 to $9,099 and come in vary shapes and styles. Take a look at our top 8 tips to find the perfect piece in the perfect price range for you and your salon!


First, you need to consider why you need a shampoo bowl, how many you are looking for, and the amount of space you have in your salon. Remember – one style and size does not fit all! There are endless options and styles of shampoo bowl and chair combos. To help wade through the best fit for your space, reach out to an industry professional to help guide you through the selection process.


When it comes to salon shampoo bowls, design options range from stations with built-in shampoo bowls to portable, non-plumbed shampoo bowls. So what design works best for you and your clientele? Most often, today’s salon owners opt for modern backwash units, which are stylish, efficient units that have both a shampoo bowl and chair attached – commonly known as shampoo backwash units or shampoo backwash systems. The more traditional lever-controlled shampoo chairs and shampoo bowls also continue to be popular. If you are looking to maximize your space in a small salon, a wet station – which is often popular in barber shops – may be the right choice for you. Finally, consider if you are working with a clientele with limited mobility, as there are shampoo units designed specifically to adjust to varying heights in order to serve individuals in shampoo chairs or wheelchairs – these are very popular in assisted living homes and retirement community salons.

salon shampoo bowl
Photo: The Spa & Salon at River Valley Club


No one wants to leave the salon complaining about a sore neck or back. It is essential to make certain your clients are comfortable when they are being serviced at your salon backwash unit. Whether it be for a wash, toner, or treatment, their time at the shampoo unit makes a huge difference in the quality of their experience at your salon and can even make or break whether they decide to come back! Most clients value their time at the shampoo bowl as the most relaxing part of their salon visit. Give them the experience they deserve with a comfortable shampoo unit! Aside from ensuring that the salon shampoo unit is equipped with proper support and is ergonomically designed, confirm that the shampoo chair is adjustable and has cushioned back support, as your clientele varies in shape, height, and age.


When purchasing your salon backwash units, make sure to consider what will complement and be cohesive with the rest of your salon décor and furniture. Most brands offer shampoo bowls in black and white, with some brands offering more color options. Additionally, several shampoo chairs and backwash units are offered with several color and style options for the vinyl. In some cases, modified color combinations and custom requests can be accommodated by certain vendors for a shampoo chair completely unique to you and your salon.


Due to the services you’re providing, your shampoo bowl and chair combo can get messy. You want to make sure you can easily clean up, so it doesn’t stay looking messy or get worn down quickly! If you offer color, perm, or relaxer services, it is essential to get a salon shampoo bowl with an acrylic coating or porcelain enamel to help fight against stains, fading, scratches, and damage from harsh acids and chemicals. Additionally, you will want a shampoo chair that has a durable base, and waterproof vinyl upholstery. For quick vinyl cleaning, purchase salon vinyl chair cleaner that is used to clean and maintain your chair vinyl on a daily basis.

Photo: Brass in Pocket Barbershop & Salon
Brass in Pocket Barbershop & Salon


Shampoo bowl and chair combos come in a wide range of styles and quality, and therefore come with very different price tags. It is crucial to prioritize your needs and be realistic about what you can or cannot afford. Although you need to stay within your budget, a salon shampoo bowl is not the place to cut costs. A shampoo unit is an investment that can deliver for many years if you buy with quality in mind. Luckily, you can find quality salon shampoo bowls, shampoo chairs, and backwash units with a wide price range, so do your research before picking out your perfect fit.


Shampoo bowls and salon backwash units have varying accessories that can create a more positive experience for both the stylist and client. Consider adding a footrest ottoman if your shampoo chair or backwash unit does not have one attached, as this will create a more relaxing environment for your clients.  Additionally, if your salon shampoo bowl does not come equipped with a neck rest, ensure that it is ergonomically designed for comfort, or purchase a neck rest that is compatible with your bowl. As for stylist comfort and convenience, some stylists may prefer standing behind or to the side of the client, single or double-handled fixtures, and attached cabinetry for quick access to storage.

shampoo bowls at Lakeside Assisted Living
Photo: Lakeside Assisted Living & Memory Care


Once you’ve finally received your brand new, beautiful salon shampoo bowls, make sure you hire a licensed plumber to install your new products. This is important for two major reasons. First, inadequate installs can not only be a total waste of money, but it can also cause you long-term plumbing issues in other areas of your salon. Make sure to do your research on reputable plumbers in your area. Ask them if they have ever installed a salon shampoo bowl before to make sure they are qualified. Second, most shampoo bowl manufacturers will require that you submit the plumber’s license along with any warranty claims if an issue arises, in order to prove that the unit was installed by a licensed plumber. If you can’t show proof of the licensed plumber’s invoice or license, then you may be denied warranty coverage. Don’t let your investment go to waste – it’s worth the extra cost to get the job done right.

Finding your perfect match can be a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be! With the right guidance and assistance, you can make your dreams a reality with beautiful shampoo units that last you for years. At Buy-Rite, we’ve been in the business for three generations, and have an experienced sales and customer service team ready to help you every step of the way. If you’re ready to bring your salon backwash experience to the next level, call one of our sales reps today!

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