Barber Chair vs Salon Chair: 8 MAJOR Differences to Consider!

Barber chairs or salon chairs? As a hair salon owner, you need to be fully aware of the features of each to make a decision.

Barber chairs are designed more for comfort and have an abundance of features, whereas salon chairs constitute more functionality and look sleeker. The price and sitting experience of both varies as well, and each is designed with different goals in mind.

Now let’s take a look at a comprehensive guide about the differences between both these chairs. But first, let us brief you through the difference between a barber and a hairstylist.

Barber Vs. Salon Chair:

1. Support Features

Barber Chair

A barber chair has a headrest, an armrest, and a footrest for the clients so they can comfortably sit back and relax while the barber does his work. Barbers are more accustomed to grooming, shaving, or styling facial hair, which is why a headrest is pretty convenient to have because customers can lay their heads on it.

Even when the barber has to cut hair, most customers a barber has will have short hair because that is the typical way men keep their hair. Thus, the headrest doesn’t interfere with the barber’s work at all. In addition to that, these three features are usually also removable, so the barber can change up the chair experience as he sees fit.

Salon Chair

The customers are usually female for salon workers, and they typically need a haircut or some hair treatment. Since ladies commonly have long hair, a headrest is not a good feature to have because it will interfere with the stylist’s work, and they won’t be able to work as efficiently with it. This is why salon chairs lack a headrest.

Aside from that, most salon chairs do have armrests. Footrests, on the other hand, vary. Most salon chairs don’t have them, while there are some out there that do.

2. Recline Function

Barber Chair

Since barbers need to work on facial hair, they often need their customers to lean back so they can properly practice their art and do their job. If the customers cannot recline back, it becomes tough to get access to all the right angles a barber needs to groom the hair.

Not only is this inconvenient for the barber, but it is also uncomfortable for the client to then move and fix their head in unnatural angles. This makes the barber prone to more mistakes and the customer prone to more accidents, which is not good for the business.

Keeping this in mind, most barber chairs have a full recline function so every barber can comfortably work with their client.

Salon Chair

Salon chairs don’t really need a full recline function because hairstylists don’t typically work on facial hair. They have no need for the recline function, and this is exactly why most salon chairs don’t recline, and even those that do recline only recline to a small degree.

3. Durability

Barber Chair

In comparison, barber chairs are much more durable than salon chairs. They are built to last a lifetime. Even some antique barber chairs have been preserved in perfect condition thanks to proper care and maintenance.

Barber chairs are usually made with better materials and are bulkier. They are heavy and designed to be put in one place. The reason for this is that these chairs don’t need to be moved. Barber appointments are usually quick and short and can be dealt with in one place.

Salon Chair

Salon chairs are made to be lighter and more portable. This is because they usually have to be moved a lot since most salon hair treatments are long and require multiple steps. These chairs have a thinner and less durable build.

On top of that, they are also subjected to more wear and tear because of the constant movement. This contributes to them lacking in the longevity department and usually wearing out quicker than barber chairs.

4. Adjustment Options

Barber Chair

Barber chairs can be rotated around, moved up and down, and include a recline function. They can be made with either a hydraulic pump or a pedal, depending on the price. Most good-quality chairs these days use the hydraulic pump. Their heights can conveniently be altered as the barber pleases.

Salon Chair

Salon chairs are a bit less advanced in this field and usually only have a pedal at the back, which the stylist can put their foot on to adjust the height. These chairs lack more modern features.

5. Materials

Barber Chair

Barber chairs are usually made with good-quality leather and filled with a firm sponge. The footrest and armrest are made with wood, plastic, metal, or even PU material. The frame is made of strong, tough metal, and the base is usually chrome plated. Alternatively, a stainless steel base can also be used. The base can be a circle or square.

Salon Chair

Salon chairs have slightly less expensive materials used in them and have a frailer build. They are usually made of aluminum frame with a thinner shaft.

6. Sitting Experience

Barber Chair

This one comes as no surprise. It is quite evident that since there are so many unique features in barber chairs that salon chairs lack (such as a headrest, footrest, better quality leather and foam, more room, etc.), barber chairs are much more comfortable.

Barber chairs are designed for comfort and durability, and they serve that purpose quite well. Thus, the sitting experience in a barber chair is much better compared to a salon chair. They provide a rich sitting experience for anyone.

Salon Chair

Salon chairs are designed more for portability and functionality rather than comfort. However, that is not to say that they are not comfortable or don’t feel nice to sit in. On the contrary, they make pretty decent seats as well; it’s just that in comparison to barber chairs, the sitting experience is quite all the way up to par yet.

7. Design

Barber Chair

Barber chairs are usually designed to be kept in barbershops and cater to male customers. This makes their design more masculine, heavy, and bulky to accommodate men of all sizes. In contrast to salon chairs, they are also much bigger and more comfortable because of the extra added features. They have a more manly appeal to them and are designed primarily for beard care.

Salon Chair

On the other hand, Salon chairs have more sleek designs and neutral colors to appeal to the female population as well. They are smaller in frame size and lack many extra features that you would find in a barber chair, but their designs are usually more stylish compared to barber chairs.

Adding to that, they are also less comfortable than barber chairs. They are designed to be lightweight and can be moved from place to place within a salon with ease. The style is kept so that it is easy to cut long hair.

8. Price

Barber Chair

Of course, the extra added features (full recline, headrest, footrest, armrest, and the hydraulic pump) and the premium quality materials all come at a hefty cost. However, that cost makes barber chairs not the most budget-friendly option on the market. However, since they are built to last long, you might make up for the initial high costs over time when you won’t need repairs or replacements.

Salon Chair

Due to their weaker build and fewer features, salon chairs are a much cheaper option than barber chairs. They are sturdy and cost-efficient, and you can find some on the market that will give you great value for money. They are a good option for salons on a budget that are just starting out.

Jelica Klapan

Full-time blogger and copywriter. Outside of work, I like to venture on California's finest hiking trails with my kids and our golden retriever Buddy. Doesn't get better than that!

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