shampoo bowl design

Here is an email I received from one of my clients who is confused about all the different salon shampoo wash systems and shampoo bowl designs available on the market.

“I’m opening a new salon and I really love all the new style salon shampoo stations, but I can’t find the design style information anywhere. I have a lot of questions. What style of salon system Is salon shampoo wash the best to buy??Should I stick with the traditional salon shampoo bowl design or the new fancy European style shampoo bowls?I’m used to the old multi-purpose beauty salon style chair with sink. What are the pros and cons of buying each different style? “Are some more comfortable than others? Do certain models provide better water management? Is there anyone who can point me in the right direction?”

First of all I would like to say that I love these new European style freestanding shampoo backwash units. The quality and style of the fiberglass base units combined with the tilting porcelain bowls have created fantastic designs. With that said, let’s talk about the age old question I get asked all the time: Which bowl of shampoo should I buy?

What I tell people is to buy the one that will make your salon stand out from the rest if that is the fashion statement you want to make! But consider the pros and cons of the design. Let’s talk about the basics of shampoo equipment such as water management (water/gravity) and customer comfort. I like to break it down into three sink design styles, each with its own distinct pros and cons.

1) An Asian style horizontal placement shampoo unit puts 100% of the head and 100% of the water in the bowl with 100% gravity working for you. But speaking from experience, they always seem to be difficult to lay down (like a large table) and uncomfortable for customers. This shampoo unit probably has the best water management system, but it’s not a big seller due to the huge lack of customer comfort.

2) So let’s talk about the old American beauty salon with its wall mounted sink. Well think about it, the client is at 45 degrees with gravity with their head hanging in the sink and the stylist washing on their side. This means let’s say 45% of the water with the help of gravity is working with you for water management. But it is unfortunate that the customer’s head is hanging in the bowl or that you are holding it. Also, you are forced to stand towards the front side of the shampoo bowl which is normally attached to the wall. This causes back strain for the stylist and head strain for the client, but your water handling isn’t too bad because the sink is quite large and gravity works somewhat for you.

3) Now that brings us to the new European style tilting shampoo bowl with more than one sitting style all in one shampoo unit. These European designs are quite comfortable! It’s basically like sitting in a chair and this makes your client feel more comfortable and easier to handle when shampooing. The typical stand-alone backwash unit has quite a few ergonomic advantages for stylists. First, you can wash hair standing at the back of the bowl or from either side. This allows the back to remain straight and the use of both hands can be equal. The bowl will tilt (most units) towards the head and shoulders to compensate for the different heights. Some of these bowls tend to have a smaller diameter so that you are closer to your client, which is important for some of the smaller stylists. Most bowls typically have a deep neck hole with longer side neck extensions to collect water. This will help your water management with the longer neck extensions, as gravity doesn’t work in your favor with this style of unit. You will need adequate but not excessive water pressure combined with good work habits to manage the water around the customer. Although gravity is a bit more of a concern with this style, the advantages of European-style shampoo bowls far outweigh the slight differences from traditional shampoo units.

In summary, the US market generally tends towards the standard wall mount shampoo bowl (eg 2) if you are short on space and on a budget. But the newer European-style shampoo bowls offer great variety, ergonomic comfort, and provide very affordable options. Also, the fashion statements you can design in your living room are absolutely endless. Being able to offer these European-style shampoo systems with porcelain bowls, complete with all plumbing fixtures installed, and a sleek fiberglass stainless base at these affordable prices is very exciting for us here at Keller International.

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