What’s The Best Barber Chair? Let’s Find The Answer

Best barber chair

As a hair professional, your barber’s chair says a lot about your establishment. A chair that fits your aesthetic and your services enriches your daily work life. Buying the wrong chair means headaches for you and a bad experience for your customers.

Trust me, you do not want your customer to leave your shop unhappy.

You need a chair that’s comfortable, obviously. But you also need a chair that seamlessly aids your workflow. If you fight with your chair, or you buy one that doesn’t do what you need it to do, then you’re in for a rough time.

I’ve been there, and I’ve learned from my own bad decisions. That’s why I wrote this comprehensive guide to choosing the perfect barber’s chair for your shop. I hand selected ten of the best barber chairs I could find on the internet. With this guide I know you can avoid the common bad barber chair pitfalls. Continue reading to learn more.

Comparing the Best Barber Chairs

Top Ten Barber Chair Reviews

1. Dir’s Vanquish – Heavy Duty Hydraulic Barber Chair

When Dir dubbed the Vanquish a premium heavy duty chair, they meant it. This chair ships to your shop on the back of an 18 wheeler, fully built.

They constructed the entire frame in metal and buffed it to a gleam. Dir tufted the upholstery, which adds to the tasteful appeal of the chair.

Dir’s Vanquish – Heavy Duty Hydraulic Barber Chair

The footrest flips over to reveal a calf-rest. When you recline the customer for a hot shave, he will bask in comfort.

Another nice detail I liked? Dir installed two stilts on the bottom of the footrest with rubberized feet, so they won’t dig into the floor when the chair swivels in the upright position.

The reclining feature swoops to 45 degrees. Although not the most extensive recline option on my list, it should accommodate everything but a head wash.

The headrest extends with multiple locking points. A button on the back of the chair unlocks the headrest when you’re done with it.

The chair can handle up to 750 pounds, easily the highest capacity on the list. The chair can manage the weight because of the beast that is the hydraulic lift. The lift installed on this chair could raise a small car. I’m only half-joking. Every time you step on the foot peddle, you can hear a mighty rush of oil from the powerful cylinder.

Get Dir Vanquish Barber Chair at Amazon

What Makes the Chair Great?

Does comparing this chair to the first option give you whiplash? Me too. From the moment I set my eyes on Dir’s Vanquish I wanted it. Maybe it’s because shiny things attract me, or maybe it’s the detailed chrome finish on the footrest. I have a thing for a classy footrest.

The Vanquish is comfortable. Very comfortable. For such a steel-laden chair, the customer’s experience abounds with soft-touch leather. I had no problem cleaning the chair after a cut either.

The 360 degree swivel locks in place with a control near the hydraulic foot peddle. Although the hydraulic pump weighs more than your whole family, lifting the chair with the foot pump requires little effort.

I can tell Dir chose quality parts and materials. The price is high, but you get your money’s worth. If taken care of properly, this chair will last you decades.

What Could be Better?

Can liking the chair too much be a concern? If not, the flashy style certainly won’t jibe with many barber shops. This chair is for a particular barber or hair stylist. Also, at this price point I’d prefer a memory foam, which does not come included with the Vanquish.

2. FlagBeauty’s Black Hydraulic Barber Styling Chair

A perfect chair for your at-home barber or stylist, FlagBeauty’s styling chair excels as a bargain option. There’s some assembly out of the box, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Building the chair will take you fifteen minutes.

FlagBeauty’s Styling Barber Chair

The all-black chair swivels 360 degrees, with a lock option near the hydraulic foot pump. The pump raises with short increments and lowers effortlessly when you press down on the foot paddle.

High density foam fills the chair’s seat and back. Although thin seeming when looking at the chair, the foam holds up well, even with heavier clients. The factory reinforces the saddle stitching along the seams, which helps prevent rips and tears.

The round base is made with premium chrome, so hair product and dirt easily wipe off.

The chair also ships with a footrest. Although you cannot adjust the piece, you can remove it at the client’s request. Overall, a great option for a barber just starting out. It’s a well made, budget friendly chair.

Get FlagBeauty Barber Chair at Amazon

What Makes the Chair Great?

A hydraulic barber’s chair needs a hefty base. My test to determine how sturdy the base involves pumping the lift/drop mechanism with no one in the chair. If it doesn’t wobble or bounce awkwardly when I pump with my foot, that’s a pass. I’m confident in saying FlagBeauty’s chair passes the test.

The quality exceeds the chair’s price point. Other options in the lower end range are uncomfortable to sit in or their touch points feel plasticky. I don’t foresee a customer complaining about the seat or the leg rests. Overall, a comfy fit.

I like the intuitive design. The swivel lock clicks into place effortlessly, and it’s easy to reach. The chair’s slight angle leaves your client in a relaxed position for his or her haircut.

What Could be Better?

I’d rather the footrest be steel or metal, instead of plastic. No adjustable headrest means longer haircuts can tax your client’s neck and shoulders. And without a recline option, I can’t see this item being a multi-use barber’s chair.

3. LCL Beauty’s Extra-Large Barber’s Chair

When LCL Beauty says their chair is extra large, they weren’t kidding. Wide seems to be the focus with this all-black barber’s chair.

And you know, it works. The wide seat will please your customers. I can’t imagine even your husky clients complaining about how much room they have here.

LCL Beauty’s Extra-Large Barber’s Chair

The chair’s PVC leather cleans easily, and the soft touch surfaces buff nicely with a decent cleaner.

I’ve never seen a chair with an adjustable chair back before this item. A hydraulic release found on the side of the chair allows you to raise or drop the chair back depending on preference.

The headrest is also adjustable, with four lock-in positions. LCL also designed the headrest to be removed completely if desired.

The footrest features another interesting idea I rarely see on barber chairs. On the bottom of the footrest you are two wheels you screw in during install. When you swivel the chair, the footrest does not drag on the floor. The purpose makes total sense, and I’m surprised more chairs haven’t opted to include them.

You’ll find the hydraulic pumping peddle, like most chairs, on the chrome base.

Get LCL Beauty Barber Chair at Amazon

What Makes the Chair Great?

I like this chair. I like it more every time I think about it.

At first, the design threw me off. I think it has to do with the partial backrest, an unusual choice. But LCL Beauty’s chair is full of clever design choices.

I like how they enveloped the pump peddle with plastic, something that should be a standard by now with barber chairs. A barber’s shoes may be cleaner than some trades, but they can still scuff a steel peddle within a day or two.

The extra wide seat and footrest dispel any concerns a husky client may carry into your shop. If you have a wide range of big and tall clients, consider this chair.

Although a heavy chair to set up, I don’t foresee you complaining once the chair is up and running. The recline lever effortlessly switches positions. And the swivel feature responds to a light touch.

What Could be Better?

Although I raved about the extra wide seat, I imagine petite customers could complain. The seats are wide enough that a tiny client may feel like they’re swimming in the chair.

4. Artist Hand’s All Purpose Hydraulic Recline Barber Chair

Here is Artist Hand’s well rounded, heavy duty barber chair.

They reinforced the saddle stitching throughout the PCV leather seat and backrest. The smooth surface cleans easily and hair products bead on the surface. Liquids don’t sink into the leather.

Artist Hand’s All Purpose Hydraulic Barber Chair

The thick foam cushioning holds your customer’s weight with ease, and the large shoulders of the backrest keep even your biggest clients comfortable.

Know what every heavy duty chair must have? A sturdy hydraulic pump. Thankfully, Artist Hand installed a large piston-based pump with a lift capacity of 440 pounds.

The recline option adjusts to 145 degrees, which is more than enough for any service you offer in your shop, including head washes in your custom barber sink.

Another adjustable feature is the head rest. A button on the back of the chair allows you to adjust the headrest with up to four different settings.

Most of the chair ships assembled. You construct the chrome base and footrest. However, the chair is heavy, and I recommend having a person with you to lift and properly aim the base so it slides into the hydraulic piston without scuffing the chrome base.

What Makes the Chair Great?

When I sit in this chair, two words pop into my head: big and comfy.

The chair weighs a lot. I can’t deny that fact. Plus, it requires more room than a typical barber chair, but there’s a pay off. I think this chair is one of the most comfortable on my list.

Every surface the customer touches is supple PVC leather. The armrests are stainless steel with a foam and leather wrapping, which feels great. The adjustable headrest and wide backrest invite you to sink into the chair and relax.

They call the footrest adjustable, but I’d rename it “foldable.” You can flip the footrest back and let your feet hang. This is especially helpful for tall, gangly customers that may want to let their feet touch the ground.

The heavy duty hydraulic pump raises double the height than your average chair, all the way up to 10 inches. I found the height range for this chair to be excellent. I foresee no issues with this chair being too high or too low for your needs.

What Could be Better?

With a heavy duty chair, I’d prefer a metal foot rest. From my experience, plastic foot rests are harder to clean than steal. Also, expect to sweat assembling the chair if you build this beast solo.

5. Artist Hand’s Hydraulic Reclining Barber Chair

What stood out for me the moment I sat in this chair was the ergonomic design. The backrest nicely supports the curvature of your spine. I don’t suspect a customer will complain after sitting in this chair for a long session.

Artist Hand’s Hydraulic Reclining Barber Chair

The chair is flush with premium adjustable options. You get a 45 degree recline feature, accessible from a lever hidden on the side of the chair, near the seat. 45 degrees satisfies most recline needs, other than a head wash. Shaving or any other facial detailing shouldn’t be a problem.

The stainless steel frame throughout the chair supports clients of up to 330 pounds. Sitting in the chair myself, I felt secure. The chair doesn’t wobble or pivot in any abnormal way.

Standard in most chairs in this price point, the manufacturer reinforced the saddle stitching throughout the chair. The high density foam cushioning remembers its original form, and it shouldn’t lose firmness for years.

This chair has a hydraulic pump, capable of raising up to 5 inches. That’s a standard height for barber chairs. I found the hydraulic pump peddle easy to access and easy to operate.

What Makes the Chair Great?

I believe that if you will buy a barber chair for a professional shop, the footrests must be metal. Plastic ones are more bother than they’re worth. They break and are cumbersome to clean.

Thankfully, this chair features a stainless steel footrest. Not only that, but Artist Hand designed the footrest with anti-slip bumps molded into the steel.

The adjustable headrest clicks into 4 different positions. If necessary, you can remove it, too. The headrest combined with the recline ability means you can easily use this chair for shaves and facials no matter how tall or short your client.

You’ll love the ergonomic design of the chair. A great option for longer-session uses, customers can relax and read a magazine as they wait for a perm to set.

The chair’s design would fit an urban barber shop or chic salon.

What Could be Better?

Although a great barber chair, the plastic armrests limit the chairs possibilities in a barber shop. Maybe I’m just a stickler. If you don’t care about the armrests, the chair is otherwise a great deal.

6. Esright’s Salon Bowl Backwash Barber Chair

Want in on clever, price-savvy option for your barber shop?

You could purchase a few non-reclining barber chairs and one backwash chair like this one. That way you can wash hair in one station and avoid the expensive purchase of multiple reclining chairs.

Esright’s Salon Bowl Backwash Barber Chair

Set up of this “shampoo bowl” or backwash station requires no extra parts, so long as you hook up to a sink attachment. I took about an hour, maybe an hour and a half to install. I had one person help me with the installation. I’d recommend a friend help you too.

Esright’s shampoo bowl maintains long lasting durability by opting for high quality plastics. You can note that same level of quality throughout the bowl. The faucet is weighty in your hand, fabricated with easy to clean chrome finishing.

The anti-leak seals seem well designed. They’re thick and fit perfectly inside the base of the bowl.

Soft gel covers the lip of the bowl where your customer rests their neck. That softness speaks to the entire customer experience. The seat is wide and filled with a dense foam. Your customers’ hands only touch soft PVC leather.

What Makes the Chair Great?

The overall quality of the backwash chair impressed me. The saddle stitching on PVC leather chair and backrest seem like they’ll prevent premature wear and tear. And the shampoo bowl’s deep black finish cleans up nicely.

Although you can’t adjust the recline angle of the chair, the set angle should please just about every customer.

The included faucet extends more than long enough. When you holster the angled handle back in place, it makes a satisfying sound. I never worried that the handle would fall and knock a customer in the head.

I think the design of the chair would suit modern and trendy barber shops or hair salons. You could install this chair in a more traditional setting, but since it only comes in black, that limits your options.

Lastly, I found the easy to access port on the side a smart choice by the manufacturer. That way, you can shut off the water directly. Perfect for any repairs. It’s a great way to add longevity to the chair.

What Could be Better?

While straightforward, the setup takes longer than most other chairs on the list. The product arrives in two boxes, and the instructions are clear. But if you don’t have the proper attachments, you must get them yourself at a hardware store.

7. Artist Hand’s Hydraulic Barber Chair

This may be the easiest chair to assemble on the list. With three parts and some screws, I was ready to test the chair in maybe two minutes? Five minutes if you include the cleanup. For the assembly-challenged, this is a good option.

Artist Hand’s Hydraulic Barber Chair

I’d classify this Artist Hand barber chair as lightweight. It can hold a customer weighing up to 330 pounds. That’s because the manufacturer fabricated the base out of stainless steel.

The swivel action works as advertised, rotating the complete 360 degrees. The chair does not feature a lock for the swivel though, so keep that in mind if you have fidgety customers.

PVC leather covers the chair seat and back. If you could see under the smooth leather, you’d find comfortable and dense foam, and a steel frame.

The hydraulic stand pumps with a pedal and extends to a height of about five inches. The included foot rest installs quickly, and you can remove it if desired. The manufacturer rightly decided to envelope the bottom of the footrest bar in plastic.

What Makes the Chair Great?

Great for home enthusiasts or budget seekers, I found a lot to like in this barber chair.

Because it’s so easy to build and take apart, it’s great for pop-up barber shops. If you run a shop out of your home or shared space, you can store this chair in a closet without a problem.

The adjustable hydraulic lift easily handles husky customers. Although the pumping action raises slower than the average barber chair, I had no issues with leaking or the seals wearing out prematurely.

Also, I really like that the footrest has rubber-plastic grips on the bottom bar. That way your customer’s shoes don’t scuff or damage the chrome.

Speaking of chrome, the chair’s base features the shiny stuff, too. I had no problems polishing the chrome base or the hydraulic foot pedal.

What Could be Better?

I’d prefer if Artist Hands fashioned the armrest out of the same material as the chair seat and backrest. As it stands, the armrests could be a little more comfortable.

8. Artist Hand’s Hydraulic Recline Barber Chair

Large and comfy, the Artist Hand’s well-designed barber’s chair features a load of options at a competitive price point. I’d categorize this chair on the edge of heavy duty because of the real estate it gulps up in your shop.

Artist Hand’s Hydraulic Recline Barber Chair

The soft-touch PVC leather feels great and comes reinforced and saddled stitched. It won’t rip or tear. The manufacturer hid most of the seat’s stitching along the edges of the chair, so customers won’t rub against the seams. I think that’s a clever way to add longevity to the product.

The beefy hydraulic pump installed in the chair’s base can hold up to 440 pounds. The maximum lifting height clocks in at about ten inches.

I’d argue the chair shines for those seeking a well-rounded height spectrum. It sits low to the ground at base-height and would be a great option for a smaller barber or hairstylist. The hydraulic pump extends far enough for a tall individual, too.

The chair’s base comes rubberized, the stand finished in a thick chrome. Barbers should have no problems accessing the installed foot pedal on the back of the chair. It extends well beyond the pump.

Lastly, the chair’s headrest adjusts to four heights, and you can remove it if required. You access the reclining feature with the chrome lever, adjustable up to 145 degrees.

What Makes the Chair Great?

The overall look of the chair is classy, rustic even. It’d equally suit both a trendy barber shop and or 1950s inspired establishment.

As advertised, the 360 degree swivel works without a problem. The chairs swivel action carries resistance, which allows for precise control.

I like the large footrest installed on the chair. Even better, the footrest can fold in if you have a tall customer or one that wants to stretch his or her legs.

The extra-wide backrest emphasizes relaxation. Combined with the reclining feature, I’d say the chair is perfect for hair washing and razor shaves.

Speaking of the reclining feature, I think the lever-action handle works smoothly. I had no problem controlling the drop into recline mode and back again. The chair hardly made a sound throughout all my tests, too.

What Could be Better?

While the customer’s touch material on the chair pleases, I’d prefer if the sides of the armrest weren’t plastic. When I knock on them, I can tell they’re hollow. They could crack or splinter if hit by accident or moved carelessly.

9. Danyel Beauty’s Professional Hydraulic Barber Chair

Perfect for clean, contemporary barber shops, this Danyel Beauty Barber Chair comes in black or white.

Set up was easy, taking about 20 minutes. The Danyel Beauty customer service is also noteworthy. Unlike some companies on this list, I found the Danyel employees quick to respond to my questions.

Danyel Beauty’s Barber Chair

The chair itself isn’t overly heavy, but it feels sturdy and well built. The steel frame holds you in the chair snugly. You don’t feel like you will slip out or tip back.

A footrest comes standard with the chair. They opted for the elongated metal bar design, and a plastic footrest. The footrest isn’t adjustable. But you can remove the footrest easily if you have gangly, tall clients.

Danyel Beauty encased in the hydraulic pump in a heavy, chrome base. The rubberized base of the chair won’t slip, even on waxy floors.

The high density foam cushioning in the chair’s seat and backrest provides a deep and comfortable sitting experience. I had no problems getting in and out of the chair either. And thanks to the 360 swivel action, I doubt a barber or hairstylist will have to move around much during a session.

What Makes the Chair Great?

First off, I found the chair surprisingly durable. It’s not heavy exactly, but the steel frame adds some bulk to the experience. The high density foam seems to hold its shape. Even after a long session the seat cushion revived back to normal within a few seconds.

Before testing the chair, I though it’d be uncomfortable. Something about these modern-inspired chairs always gives me a bad first impression. I think it’s the boxy look. Or maybe the footrest’s long steel poles dangling off the chair impress on me they were an afterthought.

I’ll admit, with Danyel Beauty’s chair, I was wrong. The chair works much better in practice than in theory.

The hydraulic chrome base shines up well with a decent polish. The pumping action of the foot peddle responds adequately. Overall, I don’t imagine you having any trouble with the working parts of the chair.

What Could be Better?

No recline option or headrest means limited multi-functional options. Although I like the style of the armrests, I wish I could adjust them, as some customers may find them awkward. Also, I’d prefer an adjustable footrest. But at this price point, it’s a great chair.

10. BarberPub’s All Purpose Hydraulic Barber Chair

A sleeper hit with hair stylists, BarberPub wrapped this all-purpose chair in premium bi-cast leather. They offer the chair in multiple colors options: black, red, white, and black/white.

BarberPub’s Barber Chair

The foam cushions come packed with plenty of comfort. BarberPub stuffed the chairs with a high density foam cushioning. A great choice, I felt nothing but soft foam while I sat on the chair. Because of the design of some chairs, you can feel the chair’s frame. This is not the case with the BarberPub chair.

Speaking of the frame, the manufacturer chose heavy duty steel for this chair. Even more surprising was the recline option. It’s not a 45 degree either, but a full 135 degrees. The recline option adjusts to multiple positions, too. A great feature, and it functions well.

Like all the chairs on our list, this one offers the standard 360 degree swivel and hydraulic lifting capabilities. From my tests, the hydraulic arm performs as good as any chair on the list.

The hydraulic pump weighs down the chair nicely. With the BarberPub chair, your maximum height is 6 inches. That’s one more than the standard lift height of 5 inches.

What Makes the Chair Great?

It surprised me to find a barber chair with a recline feature at this price point. The chair reclines nearly as much as a premium chair. You could easily use this chair for washing hair or shaving.

Plus the adjustable headrest extends far enough to service even the tallest customers on your roster. You can remove the headrest if you don’t want to bother, which is a nice feature.

After a few hours with the chair, I have to say the recline option works flawlessly. I like how you can adjust the recline to multiple settings. Often chairs that lay flat on an angle only have one option.

Steel footrests on chairs at this price point are like unicorns. So I count the option as a huge win for BarbPub. The footrest is sturdy and made of the same steel as the chair’s frame. The footrest detaches for easy cleaning, too.

What Could be Better?

Sadly, the BarbPub designers chose plastic for their armrests. I’m not a fan of plastic armrests. After an hour-long session, a customer’s elbows can ache because of the hard material. But if you’re a quick in-and-out barber that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

The Five Barber Chair Features You Must Consider

On your quest for the perfect barber chair, you will encounter chairs with one or all characteristics mentioned below. As you read the list, think of what you need your chair to do, and what is optional.

  • Electric Barber Chairs

Electric Barber Chairs

Control and mobility are the two words to remember with electric barber chairs. They offer the most control over positioning, with multiple moving parts. The headrest can tilt to a max of 7 inches, and the recline function smoothly adjusts to the perfect position.

You want electric features when your work involves lots of detail, like close shaves, or finishing touches on the perfect eyelash extension.

Another reason to opt for an electric barber chair? If you work with elderly clientele and children. Both usually require a gentler experience. Check reviews to see how well the switches hold up. These chairs are the most expensive to fix when something breaks down!

  • Reclining Barber Chairs

Reclining Barber Chairs

Depending on the manufacturer, a reclining barber chair can have one or many features. The lower end models have a sweep lever that lays the backrest down on an angle. The higher end chairs can have multi-functional reclining points. A great reclining chair adjusts the leg rests, headrest, and backrest separately.

You want a reclining chair for hair washing, and any work around a customer’s face, like makeup or straight razor shaves. Research how many reclining features the chair advertises. Often, more options don’t always mean a higher price point.

  • Swivel Barber Chairs

Swivel Barber Chairs

The swivel chair features 360-degree rotation. Chairs with this feature are great when you need to see a haircut’s angles in the mirror. Often swivel chairs come with a footrest, too. If you’re interested in a swivel chair, check the locking mechanism and how well it works. You need an easy to use, comfortable way to lock the chair, or else you’re in for a headache.

I find swivel chairs are perfect for the quick-handed, comb-and-scissor barbers. The guys who whip around from one side to the other, deftly blending the sides of a client’s new fade.

  • Hydraulic Barber Chairs

Hydraulic Barber Chairs

Probably the most popular type of chair found in barber shops, the hydraulic chair adjusts height. The technology found in hydraulic chairs won’t break down as much as an electric barber chair. That’s because a hydraulic system is sturdy and reliable. Personally, I think most barbers and hair professionals need at least a hydraulic feature on their chair.

Some of your customers are small, others are tall. You want to work in the same position every day, with your back straight and your eyes staring ahead. If you can’t adjust height, you’ll strain your back. Soon, you’ll face a workweek of agony.

If you’re very short or tall, remember to check the hydraulic feature’s range of motion. Buy the chair that fits your working height best.

  • Heavy Duty Barber Chairs

Heavy Duty Barber Chairs

If your shop services five or more clients a day, I’d consider a heavy duty barber chair. These chairs last longer because they’re built with durability in mind. Manufacturers source the cushioning, leather, hydraulic, and other components from quality wholesalers. The downside? On average, they cost nearly double (or more) than budget friendly options.

But that shouldn’t deter you from a heavy duty chair. Next to your scissors and clippers, your barber chair is the biggest investment in your shop.

These chairs almost always come with multiple adjustable features, too. So if you’re hunting for adjustable options like headrest, footrest, armrest, or recline, choose a heavy duty chair.

6 Helpful Tips to Remember When Buying a Barber Chair

  • Buy a Leather Chair

Whatever you do, make sure you buy a barber chair upholstered with leather. Hair clippings and cloth upholstery do not mix well. The leather should be smooth. Porous or rough leather catch hairs just as badly as cloth, if not worse. Any hair product or clippings must easily wipe off the chair with minimal effort. Time is money, and you don’t want to be spending your extra time between appointments scrubbing your barber chair.

  • Think of Your Clientele

Clients come in all sizes. Depending on your area of service, you may have more elderly clients, or families with children. It’s important to have a height raising feature to comfortably service anyone who comes in the door. The best and most common of these features is a hydraulic lift system. They’ve been used for nearly 200 years, and for good reason. Easy to use and low maintenance costs, you won’t regret spending the extra money.

  • Focus on the First Impression

Really think about your shop’s style, aesthetic, and customer base when choosing a barber chair. Is your shop old fashioned or chic? Are most of your clients twenty-somethings or middle aged women? In a perfect world, you spend most of your time at your barber chair cutting and styling hair. Your chair reflects your business. A barber shop that feels thoughtfully designed and put together eases your clients’ concerns. The first thing a client sees when they walk in the door is you and your chair. Give a great first impression.

  • Measure Thrice

Measure the area you have for you chair twice, three times if necessary. Because you’re buying a chair online, you need to map out how much room you have. Be accurate! Measure out a radius, a full 360 degrees. Remember to include a client’s leg room or the length of the footrest. The last thing you want is to buy a chair you can’t fit. Or worse, owning a chair clearly too small for your shop. Most of the chairs on this list are returnable. But don’t let that fact lull you into poor planning. If you return the chair, you lose time better spent cutting hair and making money.

  • Services, Services, Services

Jot down a list of all the services you perform while the client sits in your new barber chair. Do you offer straight razor shaves? How about hair washing? You need your chair’s features to match your services. A recline option may or may not be something you need. Remember, more services don’t equal more bells and whistles. Think of what you need (not want) your chair to do. Then aim to purchase a chair that fits those requirements.

  • Highest Price isn’t Everything

Consider your max budget for a barber chair, then stay under it. Maybe you’ve saved for two years and have cash to burn. The barber chair market teems with options. It’s competitive. Nowadays you can get a lot of options and quality for less money than you think. Besides, exhausting your budget often leads to buyer’s remorse. I know the feeling. But if you stay under budget, you can save the rest of your hard earned funds, or spend it on other items you need for your shop.

How to Maintain Your New Barber Chair

The first maintenance tip is the easiest. Breathe.

You’ve done your research, and you purchased the barber chair for your needs. That’s awesome.

Now that you have the chair, sit down and read the manual carefully. Manufacturers build every barber chair based on their own experience and their client’s feedback. They are all different.

Adjust and lock any settings on the chair properly. Some chairs have fittings you need to secure yourself. So read the manual or any videos online and do it correctly.

If you find the chair sinks down after you set the height, purge the air from the hydraulic system. Over time, air seeps into the cylinder.

To purge the system, raise your barber’s chair to the maximum height, then drop it to its lowest position. Repeat the process three to four times.

Even if your hydraulic pump works fine, I recommend performing this maintenance every week or two. The reason? It keeps the seals closed and releases any built up air in the oil, which can cause many problems to a closed oil system.

Next, thoroughly (and properly) clean the upholstery.

A barber’s chair is symbolic. It represents your business and the depth of your skill. A dirty or untended chair gives your customers a bad first impression. Grab your hair dryer and blow away any cuttings that have fallen in between the cushions.

Purchase a leather polish like this one and clean the upholstery weekly. As a barber, you must preserve your investment. A well-taken care of chair can last you decades.

If your chair has exposed stainless steel or chrome, find a good quality chrome polish. Create a cleaning routine. During the routine, check your chair’s moving parts, too. It’s an easy thing to put off and repairs are costly.

Speaking of repairs, find a local barber chair repair service, too. Developing a trustworthy relationship with a repair service saves you money in the long run.

The Interesting History of the Barber Chair

No one knows how long humans have sat down on a chair, or a rock, or a stump and called a barber over for a shave and a haircut.

We know that some ancient cultures had barbers. Modern archaeologists discovered evidence of barber tools in the dig sites of ancient Egyptian civilizations. Ancient Romans, like the Egyptians, cultivated and respected their barbers, too.

History of the Barber Chair

But when we discuss the history of the barber chair, we mean the beginning of the iconic chair you’re looking to purchase.  Designs for the barber’s chair date back to the civil war, where engravings and newspaper clippings display the chair in barber shops of the time.

The first patents originated in 1850 by the Archer company out of St. Louis. They installed a footrest in their first patent. From the looks of the chairs, they were impressive, bulky items. Later barber chair designs by the Archer Company could raise up and down. The chairs sold well. So well, in fact, that other companies patented their own styles and features.

By 1900 barbers could choose a chair from a few different brands, like Archer and Kline. In the same year, a German industrialist named Koken invented the first barber chair with a hydraulic lift system. This was a huge improvement over the technology found in other barber chairs of the time.

The hydraulic system was so popular that it’s been a staple of premium barber chairs ever since. Over one hundred years later, and nearly all barber chairs use a similar system as designed by Koken.

Now, the barber’s chair symbolizes professionalism and the history of the trade. Sherman Trusty, an experienced barber and writer, once said the barber chair is “the home-base of the barber’s income” and that barbers “become sentimentally attached to a particular chair.”

Why Your Barber Chair Matters

As a barber or hair stylist, you run a crucial trade in modern society. Unlike a lot of trades, I don’t see it going anywhere soon. That’s because a robot or machine can’t replace the relationship a client develops with a barber.

Your barber chair says a lot about what kind of establishment and relationship you foster with your community. Hopefully, with the right information in tow, you can now choose the best barber chair for you.

With online purchases, the best choice does not come down to luck. With proper brainstorming, planning, and execution your perfect chair is not only possible, but right here waiting for you. Choose wisely.

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