Salon Design

Cracking the Color Code

Clients come in to your salon for more than a great manicure or pedicure. They are sold on a feel, a look, or a culture. Add color to the list of tools you have to influence client behavior, accentuate services, and shape the client’s total experience.

The psychology of color is considered to be fairly new even though the impact of color has been used for thousands of years to influence physical and mental health. The ancient Egyptians and Chinese practiced healing with what is called “chromotherapy.” Basic colors were thought to aid everything from digestion to pain or sorrow. Red was used to stimulate. Yellow was thought to purify. Orange was used for healing and cleansing. Blue soothed and even seemed to reduce pain. So it has gone for thousands of years. Science is just beginning to explain some of the benefits of color.

The miracle of color is in how the human eye interprets it. Without light there is no color. In 1666, Sir Isaac Newton discovered that white light consists of all the colors in the spectrum. That’s red, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, and all the variations in between. The human eye sees color by utilizing available light and interpreting the reflected qualities. We all see color just a bit differently. While there are thousands of colors, most people can only differentiate between a little over a hundred different colors. And, yes — colors have varying properties in different light situations. The same pigments used in various rooms during different times of the day may appear totally different.

No Wrong Colors

There is no wrong answer when choosing color for your salon. How much and where you use it may just depend on your comfort level. If you are really unsure, enlist the help of a decorator in your color endeavors. Decorators will try to grasp how you live in a space and offer suggestions for you to consider. They have an understanding of how colors work together and can warn you of pitfalls and common mis-matching mistakes. If you are a pretty good do-it-yourselfer, grab a color wheel at your local art supply store and a book on decorating or color and start experimenting. Ask staff members, clients, and guests what they think your current color scheme says about the salon. Is it consistent with your message?

<p>The subdued tones in the retail area at Eclips Salon & Spa in Ashburn, Va., are gender friendly.</p>

Create a Mood

Color can help set the tone or create a mood in the salon. It’s no coincidence that UPS chose brown for their trucks and driver uniforms. The tag line “What can Brown do for you?” is marketing genius. Brown is reputed as being the color of dependability, stability, and security. Color and mood can be very complex and psychologists warn that the marketing public often oversimplifies it. There are so many variables to consider. It is impossible to know what each color may trigger in each person. Our own biases make choosing colors for the salon even more difficult.

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