Which Salon Towels Are Right For Your Business?
Whether you're a hairdresser, manicurist, barber or esthetician, the tool you likely reach for most throughout the day, unsurprisingly, is a towel. Taking the time to choose the right towels can not only make a financial difference for your business, but also an aesthetic one. In most situations, these linens must be durable and able to withstand harsh chemicals, yet they also need to stay soft to the touch and feel comfortable to clients. Most of all, salon towels must retain their vibrant color, appearing fresh and clean after endless washing.
By educating yourself on the variety of towel materials and types, common mistakes to avoid when ordering, and proper care techniques, you can increase your chances of purchasing the perfect towel for your salon or spa at the most affordable price.
What To Look For When Shopping For Salon Towels
What Is The Best Type Of Salon Towel?
There are hundreds of towels on the market for beauty salons, tanning salons, nail salons, hair salons and spas. Because materials, sizes and features vary widely from brand to brand, it can be difficult to know which type of towel is the right for your salon. Most likely, you'll need a few different types of towels at different stations around your salon. Below we break down the most common towel types found in salons, highlighting the key benefits of each.
There are two main types of cotton towels, 100% cotton and cotton blends. While pure cotton lines offer better absorbency and durability, cotton blends keep their shape over a longer period of time. Overall, cotton towels are the most popular choice in salons. But be wary of poorly manufactured, low-grade cotton towels. Trusted Suppliers will never use recycled cotton that results in less absorbency and short lifespans.
Faded, stained towels have no place in a professional salon. While you should always follow the manufacturer's listed care instructions, there are times you may wish to sanitize your towel supply. Good color-safe linens should be washable in hot water and bleach without fading or losing their vibrancy. If you are concerned about your towels' bleachability, perform this quick test: Add 2 teaspoons of bleach to ¼ cup water; apply a small drop to a hidden part of the towel, such as under the care label; wait 1 minute then blot dry; no color change means you can safely bleach the towel.
Microfiber towels are long lasting, more durable and ultra absorbent compared to regular cotton linens. This superior material is also stain and chemical resistant, quick drying, and will not shrink. These multipurpose cloths are super-soft and can be used at various salon stations.
The best bleach-safe towels are resistant to bleach, chlorine, peroxide, acetone, dyes and other harsh salon chemicals. These linens should be guaranteed by their manufacturer to never fade or lose color. As the workhorses of the salon industry, they should not only be durable and stain resistant, but also super-soft to keep clients comfortable.
Dependable salon paper towels can be found in two and three-ply thicknesses. Available with both textured and smooth surfaces, disposable paper towels can quickly clean up spills, splashes, and drips without creating more laundry.
Avoid These 3 Common Salon Towel Mistakes
Avoiding common mistakes when selecting towels for your salon or spa will save you money. Ordering the right towels to match your business needs will keep cloths in better condition longer, preventing the need for frequent replacement.
Common Mistake #1:
Mixing Chemicals And Non-Chemical Proof Towels
Most salons and spas use harsh chemicals for salon services and cleaning. Non-chemical proof towels will quickly begin to appear spotty and frayed if used with these compounds. The cost of replacement linens can add up quickly, especially if towels start to wear after their first use. Avoid this mistake by using towels that can withstand coming into contact with common chemicals.
Common Mistake #2:
Using Towels Incorrectly
Mixing towels between different salon stations is the best way to send new cloths into early retirement. Each station of your salon or spa should have it's own towel supply that meets the daily demands of that service. Furthermore, you should never use the same towels throughout the entire salon. Keeping towels separate prevents contamination and extends the life of your towels.
Common Mistake #3:
Choosing Just Any Detergent
Reach out to your towel manufacturer or supplier to find out which detergent is recommended for each type of towel in your salon. The right detergent can help towels last longer and perform better. Oxi-style detergents are a great way to boost cleaning power without harsh additives. Adding fabric softener is a no-no: the additives that make your towels 'softer' often build up over time and prevent towels from absorbing water properly.
Salon Towel Care & Washing Tips
After investing in the perfect towels for your salon, extend their life by caring for them properly. While following the manufacturer's listed washing instructions is always recommended, below are a few laundry tips that should keep your towels working hard even longer.
Sort Your Towels By Color.
Sorting your towels by white, light, and dark allows you to use various cycle types and temperatures to get the best clean. This practice also decreases the chances that darker towels will bleed onto lighter or white towels.
Don't Over Bleach.
Bleach, chlorine and other harsh chemicals weaken linen fibers and cause towels to tear. If your salon uses a high-efficiency or HE washer, utilize the sanitize cycle for **Pro tip: Adding 1 cup of white vinegar to the wash will remove unwanted odors and sanitize your towels; it's a great alternative to bleach, which can wear down towels more quickly. While it's stain fighting power is not quite as strong as bleach, vinegar is commonly used to help preserve color after dying fabric and it also acts as a natural disinfectant.
Wash Towels With Towels.
Washing towels with only like-colored towels will reduce lint, which often comes from other types of clothing and materials. Also, if you happen to use capes with velcro fasteners in your salon, washing these with your linens can cause them to snag, pull and fray the terry loops, making them appear shabby.
Leave Out The Fabric Softener.
Absorbency is everything to hair stylists, manicurists, and other salon employees. Fabric softener coats the towels, reducing the amount of liquid the towel can absorb.
Keep Laundry Loads Light.
Packing the washing machine full can prevent proper spinning at the end of cycle. You'll open your washer to find soaking wet towels that take extra time to dry. An overstuffed dryer creates excess agitation, tearing and unraveling towel threads. To prevent extra-large loads, wash towels as they become dirty throughout the workday and be sure to let them dry thoroughly before folding so they stay fresh.
Fold Towels ASAP.
While folding them right away won't extend the life of your towels, think of this task as extending the life of your salon. This may sound extreme, but remember that the appearance of your salon is key to the prolonged success of your business. Whether it's by keeping your floors swept, your stations tidy, or your towels neatly folded and put away - keeping your salon looking orderly shows clients that you care. Even on the busiest days or in the worst weather, a clean and inviting salon environment is essential to your customer's positive experience.
Did you find this article helpful?
At Marlo Beauty Supply, we're dedicated to helping licensed salon professionals succeed. Our Pro2Pro section is designed to offer advice and share news with industry insiders. If you're in the market, don't hesitate to check out our selection of quality and affordable salon towels, discounted for licensed beauty pros.