Local Regulations and Licences

Hairdressing salon and barber shop requirements

If you run a hairdressing salon or barber shop, you need to register with Council. There are also minimum standards your salon will need to meet to ensure it’s hygienic.

Under the Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980 the Palmerston North City Council Environmental Health Officers are required to licence and inspect hairdressing premises and issue Certificates of Registration.

This applies to hairdressers operating on a commercial premise or from their own homes for profit or reward.

This page summarises the regulations, which have been prepared to help you set up your hairdressing salon to meet the minimum standards. They are not a substitute for a consultation with the Environmental Health Officer. To book a consultation, call us on 06 356 8199.

An additional sheet for good hairdressing practices, as required under the Hairdressers Regulations, is obtainable from the Environmental Health Officers.

"Service area" means the portion of the hairdresser's shop that is set aside for hairdressing.

If establishing new premises please contact Planning Services at the Council to ensure that it is permitted in the desired area.

Before any building work is undertaken a building consent needs to be obtained from a building officer at the Council.


No person can use any premises as a hairdresser's shop unless they are registered by the local authority and are the holder of a current certificate of registration in accordance with the Health (Registration of Premises) Regulations 1966.

No person can use any premises, or permit any premises to be used, as a hairdresser's shop unless the following requirements are met.

Minimum standards for hairdressing premises


The floor space is sufficient to permit easy access for cleaning. In every room in which customers are attended to, there shall be a floor area of at least 2.3 square metres per customer.

Service chairs used for hair cutting are at least 1.5 metres apart, measured from centre to centre.

An additional 0.9 square metres of floor space for each such person awaiting attention be provided for their exclusive use.

Where separate waiting rooms or reception rooms are provided, every room will have a floor area of not less than 0.9 square metres for every person for which seating accommodation is available, but in no case shall the floor area be less than 4.6 square metres.


The floor of the service area where hair is cut or washed be covered with a smooth, durable material that is impervious to water. Coving between the floor and the walls is recommended.

Walls and ceilings

In any area where walls are likely to be "wetted or fouled", they are to be surfaced with a smooth, durable material that is impervious to water such as seratone.

All other walls and ceilings shall have a non-absorbent surface that is capable of being easily cleaned such as enamel paint or washable vinyl wallpaper.

Shelves, benches and tables

Every shelf, bench or table where tools of trade or instruments are to be placed will be finished with a smooth, durable material that is impervious to water such as formica or melteca. All other shelving and inside cupboards should be made smooth and easy to clean by applying an enamel paint or polyurethane surface.


Lighting of not less than 300 lux shall be provided in all working areas where customers are attended to and where equipment is cleaned. In every part of the shop the overall light intensity shall be not less than 100 lux 800mm above the floor.

All lighting shall be reasonably free from glare and distributed so as to avoid shadows.


Ventilation shall be sufficient to prevent condensation, excessive moisture on walls and removal of objectionable odours and fumes. If sufficient natural ventilation is not available, adequate mechanical ventilation is required.

Note: Should a clothes dryer be used on the premises it must be vented to the outside air.

Basins, troughs and sinks

Separate washing receptacles are required to allow staff to:
1. Wash their hands
2. Cleanse customer's hair
3. Clean hairdressing equipment
4. Wash cups and utensils
5. Launder towels (if done on the premises)

Wash handbasins

At least one wash handbasin must be installed in the service area for every 10 chairs used for hair cutting and must be within 6 metres of each chair. This is in addition to the wash handbasin available in the toilet. Wash handbasins must have hot and cold running water.

Shampoo basins and troughs

In every hairdresser's shop where hair is cleansed there must be sufficient shampoo basins or troughs supplied with hot and cold water used exclusively for shampooing and cleansing hair.

Sink to clean tools

A sink supplied with hot and cold running water shall be provided for the cleansing of all hairdressing tools and equipment. These can be situated anywhere in the service room or elsewhere - but not installed in any room used by staff as a meal room.

Dishwashing sink

A separate sink with hot and cold water is required. A sink bench suitable for electrical appliances for boiling water for staff tea or coffee for example, is to be supplied.

Laundry tub

Should the laundering of items such as towels take place on the premises an additional separate room with a tub or waste pipe for discharge of the washing machine water will be required.

No laundering operation is to be carried out in the service area of any hairdresser's shop.

Remember - the clothes dryer must be vented to the outside air.


Sufficient storage such as cupboards and shelving are required. No materials or equipment other than those used for hairdressing should be stored in the service area. Clean, dust proof storage is to be provided for items such as towels.

When not in use all appliances, tools and equipment shall be kept in containers or cabinets provided for the purpose.

Rubbish and cut hair is to be stored in washable containers with a cover or lid. A rubbish bag mounted on a holder with a self-closing lid is acceptable for this purpose.

Serving refreshments

Where tea, coffee or other beverages are served to customers, all utensils used in the service of such refreshments are to be effectively cleaned and rendered hygienic.

The use of single service disposal utensils is highly recommended. If you propose to use crockery, a dishwasher must be installed.