The Devil is in the Details: Thoughtful Design Tips to Mitigate Risks in Salons and Spas

Thoughtful Design Tips to Mitigate Risks in Salons and Spa

First impressions matter and few appreciate this as much as salon and spa professionals. From the website to those first steps through the doors of a salon or spa, design is central to a client’s initial judgement and their overall first booking experience at their local salon or spa. Aesthetics are equally as important as creating a functional, safe and clean on-site environment.

Safety First

It may seem like design is all about making your business look good, but that is just one aspect of creating a positive impression among clients. A thoughtful approach to the physical and operational elements of a salon and spa can help business owners mitigate common risks salons and spas face such as slips, trips and falls.

  • Cord placement: Equipment is an important aspect of any salon or spa’s operations. Much of that equipment requires electrical cords to be plugged into a wall or other outlet. When creating their space, salon and spa owners should consider strategically placing outlets so cords can be tucked away and not impact walkways or threaten the safety of patrons and employees. This may require employees to reconfigure their originally imagined floor plan to ensure chairs are placed correctly around outlets and that outlet spacing is still within the requirements of the building code. Many professional vanities will also include holes for cords, or areas to tuck them to the side. Such vanities can also help with organization.
  • Ergonomics: The act of designing a space for efficiency and comfort, also known as ergonomics, can help ensure fluid movement throughout a salon as well as supporting salon and spa professionals’ health. Salon and spa owners should consider aspects of their physical layout such as chair or table height to ensure their employees do not have to bend down or strain their backs to do their job. Installing the right flooring in the right place can make a major difference in comfort and safety as well. For example, water resistant flooring should be used around sinks to reduce damage and more comfortable, slip resistant flooring for employees and guests should be used in the main chair and entry areas.
  • Green Elements: While green design does not necessarily reduce risks, it can save a business money in the long run and show clients that leadership and employees care about the environment. This can prove beneficial with more socially minded clientele. There are a myriad of ways to incorporate sustainable elements into your salon or spa, such as repurposing materials for decorations, using energy efficient tools and light bulbs or selling sustainable products. Reducing waste can also help keep your salon clean, this could mean going paperless or using a recycling program.

While a beautiful, unique space is the ultimate goal, there is so much more that goes into salon and spa design. The small details that salon and spa owners focus on such as ergonomic elements and thoughtful cord placement can elevate a client’s experience and keep them coming back, while ensuring the safety of all parties involved. Start by taking a step back to look at your salon or spa and understand where small changes can benefit employees and clients, current and prospective.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at

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