To use any premises as a hairdressing business, you must be registered with Council and hold a current certificate of registration. This applies whether you’re working from a commercial premises or your home.
How to get your certificate of registration
The guidelines on this page are a starting point – you’ll need to book a consultation with one of our environmental health officers to get your registration certificate. Call us on 06 356 8199.
Setting up a new salon?
If you’re setting up a new salon, call our Planning Services team to ensure a salon is allowed in the area you’re planning to work in. Before any building work can happen you will need building consent.
Buying an existing salon?
If you're buying an existing salon, please contact one of our Environmental Health Officers on 06 356 8199 to arrange a change into your name.
Minimum standards for hairdressing premises
These standards apply to the ‘service area’ in your salon – the part of the premises that is used for hairdressing.
- There is enough floor space to enable easy access for cleaning. In every room in which customers are attended to, there is at least 2.3 square metres of floor area per customer.
- Service chairs used for cutting hair are at least 1.5 metres apart, measured from centre to centre.
- There is an extra 0.9 square metres of floor space for each person awaiting attention.
- A separate waiting room or reception area has a floor area of no less than 0.9 square metres for every person who is seated and waiting, but the floor area can’t 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 walls is recommended.
Walls and ceilings
Any walls that are likely to be splashed or soiled need to be surfaced with a smooth, durable material that is impervious to water, such as seratone. All other walls and ceilings need to have a non-absorbent surface that is easily cleaned, such as enamel paint or washable vinyl wallpaper.
Shelves, benches and tables
Shelves, benches and tables where tools are placed need to be finished with a smooth, durable material that is impervious to water, like 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 in all working areas where customers are attended to and where equipment is cleaned must be no less than 300 lux. In every part of the shop the overall light intensity can’t be less than 100 lux 800mm above the floor. Lighting needs to be reasonably glare-free and distributed to avoid shadows.
Your space will need enough ventilation to prevent condensation, excessive moisture on walls and the removal of bad smells and fumes. If there isn’t enough natural ventilation available, you’ll need mechanical ventilation. Clothes driers need to be vented outside.
Basins, troughs and sinks
Separate washing receptacles are required to allow staff to:
- wash their hands
- wash a customer's hair
- clean hairdressing equipment
- wash cups and utensils
- launder towels (if done on the premises)
There must be at least one handbasin in the service area for every 10 chairs used for hair cutting, and it needs to be within six metres of each chair. This is in addition to the handbasin in the toilet. Handbasins must have hot and cold running water.
Shampoo basins and troughs
If you provide hair washing, you will need shampoo basins or troughs with hot and cold water, used exclusively for washing hair.
Sink for cleaning tools
A sink is required with hot and cold running water for cleaning hairdressing tools and equipment. This can be located anywhere except in any room used as a meal room.
A separate sink with hot and cold water is required for dishes, along with a sink bench suitable for electrical appliances for boiling water.
If you wash towels onsite, you will need a separate room with a tub or waste pipe for the discharge of washing machine water. Laundry can’t be done in the service area.
You will need enough cupboards and shelves so no materials or equipment other than those used for hairdressing are stored in the service area. Ensure there is clean, dust-proof storage for towels.
When not in use, all appliances, tools and equipment shall be kept in containers or cabinets.
Rubbish and cut hair is to be stored in washable containers with a cover or lid. You can use a rubbish bag mounted on a holder with a self-closing lid.
Where tea, coffee or other beverages are served to customers, all utensils must be effectively cleaned. The use of single service disposal utensils is highly recommended. If you use crockery, you will need to have a dishwasher.