One thing about European salons that amazes me is how much they treat it as a place of art and beauty. Especially the high end salons where everything from the architecture to the furniture is beautifully designed.
Check out this short clip to see some examples of Scandinavian-design inspired salons:
I wanted to share some more specific examples of these gorgeous salon furniture with you, so I’ll start off with something that people don’t often notice: the shampoo chair (or backwash as we call it in the industry). I always say that if your backwash is uncomfortable, then it ruins the whole experience for the customer. Either they can’t enjoy their head massage or they end up with neck pain from poor ergonomic design.
I whipped out some copies of Estetica Design magazine (a luxury publication dedicated to hair and salons) and selected my top 10 Best Designed Shampoo Chairs.
Disclaimer though: my basis for the list is purely on visual impact and uniqueness of concept. There are only 3 of them that I have actually tried having a service on.
Compared to the Philippines, European salons usually apply their hair treatments in the backwash. So the designers make sure that it is as comfortable as possible.
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10. “Privacy” by Didier Gomez for Maletti
This shampoo chair reminds me so much of IKEA: pretty, minimalist and functional. It doesn’t look bulky and intimidating with its simple geometric shapes and open spaces. The whole body and leg rests can be adjusted to make sure the client is perfectly comfortable.
9. “Giselle” by Claudio Silvestrin for Maletti
I like this one mainly because of the eye-catching curved block shape of the basin. It goes against the traditional bowl-shape and reminds me of a giant faucet.
8. “Pashá Optima” by Pietranera
I’m not too thrilled with the look of the handrests, but you’ve got to admit, when was the last time you saw three interconnected shampoo chairs?
7. “Aluminum Cherie” by Ceriotti
Didn’t I say that they treat their furniture like artworks? The single curved body is very iconic and striking. This one also goes with the trend these days of less corners and more sleekness (like iPods and the Wii)
6. “Fluid Wash” by Anton Kobrinetz Design for Gamma & Bross
Speaking of curves, this one really lives up to its name “Fluid”. One thing that worries me about this though is the armrest. Looks too sharp to relax your arms in.
5. “Wet Dream” by Ross Lovegrove for Maletti
Very similar to number 7, but with a more fun, retro feel! Also note the more spacious chair and how it is suspended in the air. The silver mercury-drop footrest is another nice touch.
4. “Luxor” by Matta & Varaschin for Maletti
This might seem more tame than the previous entries, but I ranked this one pretty high because I feel like the design isn’t faddish. These chairs costs a lot of money per unit and if I were a salon owner, I wouldn’t want to change my furniture often. I’ve personally tried this chair and its very very comfortable. Some salons here actually have this unit, like Piandre Salon in Trinoma 🙂
3. “Yume” by Takara Belmont
The only Japanese designed chair in the list! The Yume chair is electronically powered to transform into a bed and lift you up to the basin’s level. These chairs are usually placed one per private room in Japan and does everything all in one sitting. No need to stand up and interrupt your beauty treatment.
2. “Teknowash” by Karim Rashid for Gamma & Bross
Designed by the famous Karim Rashid, this chair tries to incorporate as much technology into it as possible for a very luxurious, unforgettable experience. Apart from the usual hydraulics, there is a built-in iPod dock that allows the hairdresser to select an appropriate relaxing tune for the client. The curved top slowly changes colors for a soothing light experience. And finally, there are hidden pockets that shoots out bursts of air to give you an air pressure massage.
1. “Classic” by Philippe Starck for Maletti
And finally, for my favorite designed shampoo chair, it is the aptly named “Classic” by Philippe Starck! Probably the most minimalist of the bunch with no hydraulics and no electronic doodads. It looks classy and timeless, and I think that compared to all the other chairs, this one will probably still be around 10 years from now or will go down in the industrial design books as an iconic piece.
So that’s my top 10 shampoo chairs list! Let me know which one is your favorite! 🙂