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Creating the perfect salon playlist | Paul Falltrick

April 15, 2021

This last lockdown has given me the chance to do something I’ve always wanted do for the salon but never found the time for: create a week long salon sound track.

I have always wanted a great playlist for the salon, with no repeating music through the whole week, I’ve finally done it and can hand on heart say I’ve listened to every single song to make sure they are all perfect for GFC Hairdressing. I’ve massively enjoyed the challenge of putting it together and wanted to share my advice here in case anyone else is looking to do the same.

So where do you start?

For me it was about knowing what I wanted and working backwards from there. I knew I wanted the salon to have a feel musically but I wanted have different songs for different days and even times of the day. The music should change throughout the week because, let’s face it, the clients change as it gets towards the weekend and we see more of our younger clients. I put down all our opening hours and broadly speaking looked at what clients were in when. Of course there’s still a mixture of clients on most days, but it was about working out a general trend so I could match the music.

The musical feel for our salon was going to be a French café vibe but I was really conscious that I didn’t ever want it to be predictable or dull! So this is where I got the team on board. I asked them all to give me five songs they’d like to hear in the salon.

This was great on two levels because the team felt involved but it also gave me a bank of music to start working with immediately. Putting all the songs in for the days they felt most relevant was a great basis for each playlist. What was also fantastic was they came back with such a huge range of choices it meant there was already nothing dull or predictable about the playlists! From there it was down to me to start adding more tunes and it was such a pleasure, I started with putting in a real mixed bag of classics; from The Beatles to Doris Day and Nancy Sinatra songs that everyone knows.

It’s really important to consider the sound system you are working with in the salon and if you want to make the music work in different areas. If the salon’s a big space it might be worth considering have different playlists for the back wash to client waiting areas, or different playlists for upstairs and downstairs. In the end I decided not to change the playlists for the areas in the salon, even though when we re-open we’ll be double the space. Instead the new sound system we’ve got in salon allows us to have different volume levels in different areas so it’s softer in the treatment area and louder in the cutting area to combat the noise of hairdryers. Although it’s a time consuming job it’s actually really simple to do it once you get started with no fancy technology required.

Apple Music is as easy as anywhere to create a playlist for each day but Spotify or whatever App you use for music in the salon would work just as well. It keeps track of how long the playlist is so you can ensure you’ve got enough music for your opening hours that day. I put together AM and PM playlists for each day because I wanted there to be a different feel for each part of the day, but a daily playlist put on shuffle would work just as well at keeping it fresh for clients and team.

There’s no way I could have finished this project without lockdown, I had started it and tried so many times, now it’s finally done I’ve got one thing to be thankful to Lockdown 3.0 for!