Types of Barber Chairs and How They Operate

Types of Barber Chairs and How They Operate

Barber Chairs

Barber chairs are not just for barbers. Hairdressers, stylists, beauticians, tattoo artists, as well as other service providers make use of barbershop chairs to work. All these professionals need a chair that will fulfil both the needs of the customer as well as their own. This means comfort, accessibility, manoeuvrability and stylish barber chair design.

History of Barber Chairs

Horrifically enough, barber chairs were not just initially made for the kinds of pampering experiences we associate them with these days. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries a barber chair was not a relaxing place to be. Barbers often worked as surgeons and dentists; pulling teeth, amputating limbs, and other gruesome operations. A 'barber chair' was just as likely to be a kitchen table or a barrel cut in two as an actual chair.

Thankfully as surgery left the hands of barbers the comfort of their patrons also took a turn for the better and by the mid-19th century barber chairs as we know them today began to be designed and manufactured with similar criteria as they have today namely ability to recline, extra height, and an inbuilt footrest. Thought was also given to aesthetics with styles reflecting the fashions of the era.

Types of Barber Chairs

All Purpose

Suitable for a variety of uses because of their adjusting, reclining, and swivelling features as well as additions for customer comfort such as upholstery, padding, and footrests.


A traditional barber's chair is commonly adjustable via hydraulics. They also usually feature footrests and are made of a combination of metal and leather/faux leather or vinyl.


Often made of wood and leather an antique chair may seem to be the perfect style accompaniment to your salon. An antique style chair is likely to be a more suitable purchase. Authentic antique barber chairs can be expensive as a well as lack modern advantages of being lightweight, easy to clean and maintain and with more manoeuvrability.


Modern barber chairs come in a wide variety of styles and colours to suit whatever the design of your salon or barbershop. They are also often electric and so are easy to adjust to exactly the right height and angle.

Barber Chair Mechanisms


The most adjustable type of barber chair available. These often allow for such a wide range of movements that they can cater for any customer from small children to the tallest of adults.


Although some types of salon will not require a chair with reclining capabilities they are perfect for traditional barbers to allow for better access for shaving.


Saving stylists and barbers from sore backs the swivel chair brings the customer around to the best positions. Often chrome or stainless steel they can look modern or retro to suit your salon or barbershop interior.


Both easy to use and allowing for variable positions hydraulic chairs help to keep both customers and barbers/stylists/professionals comfortable and happy.

Renting vs Owning a Barbershop Chair

When setting up or refurbishing your barbershop or salon an important choice to consider is whether to buy or rent your furniture and equipment including one of the most expensive items you will need; your salon or barbershop chairs.

Renting your chairs is well worth considering even if you have the capital to buy them outright. This is due to a number of reasons.

  • Renting chairs means that you can spend that money elsewhere; wages, stock, better premises, advertising and marketing, training and keep some by for emergencies. The last couple of years have shown us that having something set by for the unexpected eventualities can be the difference between keeping your business afloat when times get tough or otherwise.
  • A weekly lease might enable you to get the best equipment rather than make do with a budget option.
  • Everything including barber chairs and other salon equipment loses value over time. By leasing you don't risk losing that value. This means you are more free to consider upgrading your barber chairs in a few years' time.
  • Leasing a barber chair is tax deductible for the length of the lease. Rather than a one off deductible expense. Speak to your accountant to see if and how this would benefit your business.

For more information about leasing or buying barbershop chairs as well as other salon furniture get in touch with us at Concept Salon Furniture.