You may recall a recent visit to your hairdressing salon. While you sit in the reception area waiting for your appointment, either reading a book or leafing through a magazine, you watch as each stylist cuts a client’s hair, finishes a setting, or works on a someone’s hair colour.
Each of these activities requires specific lighting needs: a hair stylist needs proper lighting to cut a client’s hair with precision, or to select the appropriate hair dye colour. Clients must be able to consult hair styling magazines, decide on the cut that is most suitable, and pick out a hair colour they like and enjoy the end result.
Three specific lighting elements are required in this scenario: the illumination level, colour rendering and colour temperature.
An Excellent Illumination Level
The illumination level indicates the amount of light dispersed over a given space.
In a hairdressing salon, lighting needs to be consistent and the level of illumination must be high enough to allow hair stylists to vividly see the work they do, and their clients should be able to have a clear view of themselves.
In addition, an elevated illumination level provides visual comfort for attendants and clients alike throughout the day. When the space is too dark, the human eye must strain to get used to the obscure environment.
This is why it is usually recommended that a space maintain, overall, an minimum illumination level of 500 lux.
A Superior Colour Rendering Index
If a hairdressing salon wishes to offer its clientele and staff the most favourable environment, it needs to make sure the lighting system diffuse an elevated colour rendering index (CRI).
The CRI measures a light source’s capacity to reflect the colours of the spectrum of a given light source.
This capacity allows us to clearly distinguish colours and their variegated shades. What would you say if you were to walk out with hair a deeper shade of red than you expected simply because you and your stylist could not perceive the right shade while you were inside the salon! In fact, colours should be the same under the artificial light of a hair salon as they would be outside, in the light of day.
For this reason, a CRI of at least 90, is the preferred setting.
Optimum Colour Temperature
The colour temperature is the lighting system’s power to diffuse a warmer light or a colder light beam.
It helps to create the requisite ambiance for a given space. Hairdressing salons require bright, vivid, and stimulating light to highlight the stylists’ work and ensure the well-being of their clients. Moreover, this light should easily reflect the clean, modern look of the space.
Specialists will usually recommend the installation of luminaires that simulates natural light, such as “natural white” or “daylight white”. Colour temperature should vary between 4000 and 6000 k.
A Few Other Tips
Each hair styling space, whether it is the hair cutting module, the colouring space or the hair washing podium, should have its own lighting system. That way, the work done in each zone is properly highlighted to ensure visual comfort for the stylists. The recommended luminaires in these areas are those that offer a colour rendering index that reaches close to 100, which is that of natural daylight.
The public areas in these salons may have more subdued lighting than the work spaces, but they should have sufficient lighting to ensure people’s safety; also, lighting between both areas should not be unpleasant.
Optimal lighting in the public areas of a hairdressing salon can be achieved with the use of directional recessed lights. Wall sconces may also be installed to further enhance the atmosphere of the facility.