How can I make my salon stand out? Salon Sleuth: Part 2

Here we explore in-depth how to make a salon unique, by analysing real-life salons.

How do you stand out when you and your competition are essentially offering the same or similar services, but at different price points, and in different locations? The key difference becomes the experience, both physical and service.

When searching for “how to make my hair salon unique” and “how to make your hair salon stand out”, you’ll get loads of entries suggesting that you should focus on Customer service, make the experience memorable, and the most frustratingly vague of all “find your why then express it”! But it’s difficult to find concrete ideas on what other salons actually do to stand out in a crowded environment.

Here I aim to make it easy for you to find real-life Inspo in a one-stop place that you can relate to, learn how other Salons have created their own unique look, and take away tips to help you find your vibe.

The Blow

A start-up salon finished 20181 in Designed by Tecture, is a haven in the midst of the Paris end of Collins Street, Melbourne. The Blow’s core values are no fuss, feminine, effort free, fast & efficient2, with a mantra of feminine and fierce3. The brief was to create an “anti-salon salon”. The salon owner acknowledges that first impressions count, and the salon is a reflection of this in every area, with elements designed down to the detail.

The Space

The salon is divided in to 3 distinct zones; a reception & greeting area separated by a white painted timber slat screen from the styling station area, and at the rear the wash stations hide behind a white wall illuminated with neon signage.

Each zone is further defined by changes in wall colour, floor finish and texture. The reception area is colour-blocked and cocooned with a signature colour of dusty pink lime washed walls for a soft textural feel, pink concrete floor, and pink veined marble-clad reception desk. The overall effect from the street front is enticing.

Further into the salon, the styling stations are define each of the eight chairs with individual mirrors & pink marble floating bench with bright red contrasting trim. Feature wall lights illuminate from the front for that added glow to the space. Every detail is on-point, continuing the branding that is reflected via The Blow’s instagram feed.

The hair wash area at the back is aptly called ‘hair heaven’ in The Blow instagram feed3. Dusty pink velvet curtains surround the space & the textural limewashed walls & pink concrete floors are repeated to further define that the guest has entered different zone, where they can sit back and relax in the comfiest & most sculptural hair wash station chair I’ve yet seen.

The hair wash area at the back is aptly called ‘hair heaven’

The exposed concrete ceiling and the essential services like air-conditioning are painted to blend seamlessly into each zone, which is an economical feature, while the industrial feel works well to contrast with the feminine interior. Flattering lighting is essential, and here suspended track lighting quietly does the job effectively. Feature wall lighting by Ross Gardam adds a touch of luxury. Discover the benefits of well planned lighting in my blog post: The highly practical benefits of a well designed lighting & a good Statement Piece

Details such as the neon sign slogan, and little inspirational messages applied to the mirrors with vinyl cutout lettering add to the overall appeal

It’s lovely to see a distinct departure from the typical black and white salon interior with black chairs, just because they’re practical and don’t show stains. I can say that this is one of the most memorable salons I’ve encountered because of this distinct difference.

This is described as “A space to transform your look, lift your mood, and up your confidence.”3

Fast & Fun for city women

Some unique offerings I discovered in my research about The Blow, was that they also offer in-chair treatments such as “their cult Frose and Green Tea gel masks”, while getting a style, and perhaps an Iced coffee and donut in the morning3. Explore here for other ways of offering your guests a place to rest their refreshment.

And surprisingly, while the salon is tiny, the space has also been used to host evening workshops varying from wellness to business themes. Your salon is already at it’s heart a social space, and a unique opportunity for connection.

(please pin the below graphic to your pinterest board for reference)

So, why Hire an Interior Designer?

Unfortunately many people get confused or intimidated by the idea of hiring a professional Interior Designer for their project, and might be concerned about the process of working with a designer & the costs of doing so.

A lot of people I meet feel that they can hire a builder and do the design themselves, selecting materials and fixtures in dribs and drabs, often at the last minute (leading to less choice) with poor planning & lack of an overall vision. This will lead increased costs due to changes, additions and variations that the builder will not have allowed for.

(please pin the below graphic to your pinterest board for reference)

Image: Tessa Wilson via Unsplash

You will save money & time. Your designer will plan functional and appealing spaces, provide drawings, visualisations & material / furnishing selections in a strategic manner so you can get competitive quotes, and you know what the design will look like & cost right from the start.

You require a Qualified Interior Designer & Registered Building Practitioner for any commercial project or residential project that requires a building permit; a proper interior designer is a highly trained & experienced registered professional, not just someone with ‘a good eye for colour’ and a knack for picking furniture.

“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our brand new space…Our clients adore the new space just as much as we had visualised in our very first meeting. We spoke about how a salon should feel the moment you step through the door and how to make this happen. After purchasing this space (an empty concrete shell) I didn’t have any idea of where to start. You started creating this amazing space and brought to life what I thought was never possible”

Kara MacIsaac – Absolu Hair Salon


  3. @theblowaustralia

Let’s make something beautiful together, book an appointment to explore your dream project.

Image: Omar Rodriguez @ormphotography