Salon Mats: With or Without Cut-Outs?
by Chezti Laru, Ergonomic Salon Consultant
One of the biggest questions to consider when purchasing a salon mat is whether to get one of these beauty mats with a cut-out or with one. There are several points to consider before making your decision and we’re here to help. Below are the top considerations when choosing your salon mat.
What is a cut-out?
The term cut-out can sometimes be misunderstood. Some people assume that a cut-out means that both the cushion backing and the surface material are cut-out, or removed from the mat to allow the salon chair to sit in the cut-out area; however, this is not correct. Rather, a cut-out is simply an area of the mat that has the cushioning removed from the underside of the mat – the surface material remains fully intact. This allows for a sleek appearance, a better transition and easier cleaning.
Is the mat being used by a shampoo station?
Salon mats used by a shampoo chair (often referred to as shampoo mats) are often smaller and do not require a cut-out. These mats, often 2’ x 3’, are too small for a cut-out and often go on either side of the shampoo chair since the standing in one spot is often sufficient for hair washing. Unlike cutting and styling hair, washing hair can usually happen in the same location without having to walk around the customer to access different parts of their head.
Is the mat being used behind a counter, nail station or other non-salon chair location?
Anywhere that does not have a chair partially or fully on a mat should not have a cut-out. If someone will be walking across the mat with a cut-out and there is no chair in place, they could potentially trip due to the recess in the mat’s surface. Thus, all areas without a chair must not have a cut-out.
So does that mean all salon chairs need a mat with a cut-out?
We always recommend that the salon mat have a cut-out if being placed either partially or fully underneath a chair. Regardless if the mat is rectangular-shaped or semi-circular and regardless of the distance between salon chairs, any mat being used with a salon chair should always have a cut-out. Not having the cutout could be dangerous. If the chair is fully on top of a mat that does not have a cut-out the chair may wobble. If the chair is partially on top of a mat that does not have a cut-out the chair will tilt to one side and this could cause the chair and/or the customer to slide. Having the cushioned underside cut-out eliminates these potentially problems and ensures that you and your customers will have a safe experience with your chair mat.