The Hair Salon Purchasing Guide


Make smart decisions when purchasing equipment for your Hair Salon. Learn about the equipment you will need, typical costs, and where are the best places to buy it.

Required Equipment and Materials


Most hair salon owners will need the following equipment and materials to get started:

  • Blow dryer ($20 - $100)
  • Hair cutting scissors ($15 - $250 each)
  • Thinning shears - $15 - $250 each)
  • Shampoo in bulk ($70 - $250)
  • Conditioner in bulk ($70 - $250)
  • Towels in bulk ($100 - $300)
  • Cleaning supplies ($50 - $150)
  • Hair dye in bulk ($100 - $4,500)
  • Clippers ($20 - $200)
  • Styling products ($90 - $150)
  • Stylist trolley ($90 - $350)
  • Shampoo chair ($100 - $700)
  • Styling chair ($100 - $600)
  • Dryer chair ($200 - $700)
  • Hair processor ($300 - $1,500)
  • Mirrors ($80 - $350)

Hair salon owners should budget somewhere between $3,000 - $8,000 for purchasing, depending on the size of their salon. It is also possible to negotiate better prices when buying in bulk from wholesalers.

 

Sample List of Purchases

 

A typical person looking to purchase equipment for a hair salon might make the following purchases:

Grand Total: $5,832

 

Key Decisions


Picking the right brand of hair styling and care products is arguably the most important buying decision you’ll make when starting a hair salon. We outline the key considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when making this purchase and provide some popular options.

 

Considerations When Selecting Brands

Match the Brand to Your Target Audience

With every business model, one must consider their target customers. What is the demographic of people you are trying to serve, and what are their spending habits and preferences? The vibe and atmosphere you create with your salon should match the audience you are trying to serve.  

Keep in mind that the price of hair products vary from brand to brand, so find one that you think will appeal most to your target market.

Keep in Mind Your Competition

Always scope out the competition in the area. Hair salons are common across neighborhoods and malls. The products you display at your store can help differentiate your business.

Additionally, franchised salons can leverage increased brand recognition, and also are often able to acquire products at a cheaper rate. So you will need to find unique ways of differentiating your salon from local competitors in order to keep your business sustainable over the long run.  

Never Choose More Than Three Brands

Some owners want to expand the customer base they serve by choosing many brands of different price range and quality. However, be careful not to clutter your salon with an overwhelming amount of hair products. This can cause confusion for your stylists as well as your customers, and excess inventory can cost your business a lot of money in the long run.

Three brands is more than enough to cater to many customers with different tastes and who are looking for a range of price options.

 

Hair Product Brands

Here are some common brands that range from low to high end in price range. Our list includes some well-loved and trusted brands. However, you might also wish to consult with your stylists to find out which hair care products they prefer and are comfortable with.  

Redken

A brand whose parent company is L’Oreal, Redken is well known to be on the more affordable side of professional hair care and styling products. With a wide diversity of products and many award-winning sellers, Redken products are a good start for salon owners trying to build their business.  

Wella

The German company with a history that dates back to 1850s, the Wella brand has won numerous awards for its hair coloring products. From highlights to balayage to full head dyes, Wella also offers a rather affordable range of hair products for salon owners.  

Davines

Davines reach into higher price ranged products and is definitely for customers with more luxurious tastes. The Italian-owned company creates designs and products that are both high quality and classic in appearance, great for owners who are trying to brand themselves as a high-end salon.

Shu Uemura

The luxury hair brand under L’Oreal’s branch, Shu Uemura is chic, forward and another great option for high-end minded hair salon owners. Shu Uemura offers great hair care and styling products. A potential obstacle, the brand is selective as to which salons can carry their products, and negotiations may need to be made.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Places to Buy


Most hair salons buy their hair products from distributors, the middleman between brand manufacturers and salon owners.  

Another option to consider is private label manufacturing. This allows salons to create their own unique formula and product label.  

Distributors

Distributors are by far the most common source of hair salon products. Most brands sell their products to distributors, the middleman, for salon owners and professionals to purchase from. The most common way to find a local distributor is to ask the brand directly if they have any distributors in your area.

  • Redken: Contact the Redken hotline at 1-800-423-5280 for distributor details.
  • Wella: Contact form
  • Davines: Contact Us page
  • Shu Uemura: Call their customer service department at 1-888-748-5678, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST)

Private Label Manufacturing

This method allows individual salon owners to create their own exclusive formula and have their salon logo printed on the products through silk screening.

This is a great option for salons who are looking for a competitive advantage against their competitors. It also helps build customer loyalty.  

Furthermore, by cutting out the middleman in the distribution process, you can also increase profits on hair care product sales.

However, developing your own recipe for hair products requires a lot of research, trial and error.