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Music to Your Ears

Having trouble choosing the right music to set the tone for your salon? Real-life salon owners share the sounds that work for them in a variety of environments.

The Mood: fun, upbeat

Music Genre: ‘70s country

Sample Playlist: Dolly Parton — “Coat of Many Colors”, Tammy Tucker — “Delta Dawn”, Charlie Rich — “The Most Beautiful Girl”, Glen Campbell — “Can You Fool”, Willie Nelson — “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”

XM/Sirius Station: Willie’s Place (XM 13) The Roadhouse (Sirius 62)

Example: Michelle Phoenix, owner of Wet Paint Nail Spa in Cambridge, Mass., types her favorite country artists into Internet radio service Pandora ( to get a customized playlist that includes her and her clients’ favorite upbeat songs


The Mood: soothing, palatable

Music Genre: coffee house music

Sample Playlist: Jewel — “You Were Meant for Me”, John Mayer — “Why Georgia”, Bob Dylan — “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”, Joni Mitchell — “Big Yellow Taxi”, India Arie — “Ready for Love”

XM/Sirius Station: XM Cafe (XM 45) The Coffee House (Sirius 30)

Example: At The Beauty Bar in Toledo, Ohio, coffee house music is played in the mornings to ease clients into their days. As the day progresses or weekends arrive, the music is switched to something more lively.


The Mood: social, welcoming to all

Music Genre: top 40 hits

Sample Playlist: Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown — “No Air”, Carrie Underwood — “Before He Cheats”, Buck Cherry — “Sorry”, Usher — “Love in This Club”, OneRepublic — “Apologize”

XM/Sirius Station: XM Hitlist (XM 30) Sirius Hits 1 (Sirius 1)

Example: Starting at lunchtime, salon owner Maxine McIntyre takes it as her cue to let the music get more “groovy” at her Philadelphia salon, Mint Julip. Top 40 meshes well with her salon’s “upscale clientele of all cultures.”

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