Sweet beats and hair styling ... Ziggy's Barber Salon in Darlinghurst supplies iPads, music and cold beer to draw in customers and provide a space for them to hang out because ''business is tough out there'', owner David Rosenberg says. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Outdated gossip magazines are no longer the sole source of entertainment for those awaiting a hair appointment.
Clients at Ziggy's Barber Salon can pass the time with a cold beer and an iPad, while enjoying tunes from the on-site DJ.
"It's built like a nightclub really, like a bar," said the owner, David Rosenberg, who used to own a nightclub in New York City.
The Darlinghurst establishment joins a host of Sydney salons and barbers trying to survive in the competitive industry by enticing customers with more than just a trim.
"There are over 60 other hairdressers in our postcode, so we knew we had to do something different to attract customers," Mr Rosenberg said. "It's very difficult from a marketing perspective [and] business is tough out there."
Some people go to Ziggy's just to hang out, socialise over a game of chess or play one of the 3000 games on the homemade arcade station. DJs play the permanent decks of an evening, a book club meets in the space occasionally and once a month they screen movies on a large projection wall.
Artis Hairdressing is also trying to gain an edge on competitors, with an extravagant experience which can include champagne, lunch, a limousine pick-up and a personal style consultation designed to match haircut to personality.
The high-end CBD salon is thinking of introducing a "ladies night" every Wednesday, which would couple a hair appointment with a male strip show.
"You get the ladies in for a consultation and champagne and then you turn the lights out and put on a little show," the owner, Derek McFadden, said. "It's really just to be different to everyone else."
Mr McFadden said magazines are "so '80s" and stylists use iPads to browse hairstyles with clients.
Fuel For Men in Pitt Street Mall noticed a gap in the market for an unpretentious, masculine salon experience. The men's only barber shop aims to draw customers in with free beer, PlayStation and Fox Sports. Regular clients can score a free haircut by landing the fastest lap time on the Gran Turismo racing game.