Your beauty salon must prioritize safety and health. If something goes wrong, you must protect your clients and staff, follow the law, and be covered against many costly legal actions.

What the law states

All applicable legislation must be adhered to by your beauty salon, including:

* Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.* Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

* Regulations 2004 on Cosmetic Products (Safety).

Your clients and employees have your best interests at heart.

The Health and Safety Executive has approved you for displaying the safety and health poster.

Perform a risk assessment

Every employer is required to conduct a risk assessment. If you have more employees, it should be recorded. Even if your employees are less than five, keeping a written record is a good idea.

You should make a list of everything that could lead to injury or damage in your salon. The NHBF safety and health toolkit contain 18 risk assessment templates covering the most common hazards found in beauty salon workplaces.

It is a smart idea to include your staff, as they might have ideas that you didn’t know about.

The next step is to outline the steps taken to protect your clients and staff from the risks that you have identified.

To assess the risk of employees younger than 18 years old, you must conduct a special risk assessment. This will take into account other factors like their age and experience. The NHBF safety and health toolkit include a risk assessment for young people.

Make a safety and health policy.

A written safety and health policy must be in place for all employees if you have more than five. Even if your company has fewer than five employees, it is a good idea to have one. (The NHBF safety and health toolkit contain a safety and health policy template.



Your staff must be trained in safety and health. Training must be provided to employees before they are exposed. You must also record the training.

It is important to remember the “Little and often” rule for safety and health training. This will ensure that your employees’ safety and health are always top of mind. You might consider allowing 15 minutes for specific issues to be discussed at each staff meeting. The NHBF safety and health toolkit contain guidelines for employees and self-employed workers who work in salons. These can be used to induct and train new staff members.

Appoint a First Aider

At least one person must be appointed to manage first aid in your salon. A minimum of one person should be trained in emergency first aid at the workplace (EFAW). Learn about EFAW training courses offered by the NHBF.

A full First Aid at Work course for beauty salons that offer advanced treatments is recommended.


Dermatitis could be a problem for your employees. A skin condition that causes redness and itching, as well as swelling. It can also lead to flaking, blistering, weeping, and cracking. It can also be caused by:

* Avoid contact with soap, detergents, or oil for a massage that can irritate the skin.

* A chemical allergy can develop slowly.

Your staff should wear disposable, non-latex powder-free gloves (nitrile and vinyl) whenever they are exposed to the possibility of developing dermatitis. They should switch gloves when they visit clients. Encourage staff members to check their hands for signs of dermatitis regularly.

Problems with the Musculoskeletal System

Staff may experience strains, sprains, and general pain from repetitive physical work requiring much standing or bending.

The following can be done to reduce risk:

* Massage tables and couches that can be adjusted in height to provide a comfortable work environment for your employees.

* Stools with wheels

* Tips on how to stand in the most comfortable positions – such as keeping your feet apart while standing.

Allergy alert testing

The NHBF offers a toolkit that therapists can use to determine whether clients with hair colour, eyebrow/eyelash tints, or allergies need an allergy test.

Before applying any hair colour, eyebrow/eyelash tints, or hair dye, you must conduct allergy tests for at least 48 hours.

Don’t let your client go if they have any allergic reactions. Keep confidential records about the results of allergy alert tests.

Coversure Insurance Services is the preferred insurance provider for the NHBF and has approved the NHBF Colour Record Cards and the NHBF Alert Consultation.

If you have insurance with another provider, ensure that they cover the NHBF Allergy Alert Consultation and Colour Record Cards.

In partnership with Coversure Insurance Services, the NHBF offers value-for-money insurance specifically tailored for beauty salons. You’ll receive a 20% discount as a member of the NHBF.

Allergies should be checked on all staff members. Keep confidential records of all results and any actions taken.

You must comply with the GDPR when storing confidential client and staff information. This includes obtaining client consent to collect and keep health-related information, such as client consultation forms.

Do not apply hair dye to anyone younger than 16 years old or use it by employees below 16.

The NHBF guides skin sensitivity testing. Learn more about the allergy alert and the sensitivity testing toolkit available for beauty salons.

Treatments for patients under the age of 50

It is not recommended to perform beauty treatments on children under 16.

Beauty therapists have to protect and promote the well-being of vulnerable adults and under-16s. Your responsibility is to ensure that treatments are appropriate and safe for the person receiving them. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions.

Before you proceed with any of the following treatments, it is important to have written permission from your parent or legal guardian.

* Earlobe piercing.

* Waxing (not intimate waxing).

* Facials.

* Manicures.

* Pedicures.

A parent or another responsible adult must attend treatments for children under 16 years old.


These treatments and services are not recommended for anyone younger than 18 or by any therapist below 18 years of age.

* Botox, dermal Fillers, or other anti-wrinkle treatments.

* UV therapy, such as sunbeds.

* Intimate waxing.

* IPL (intense pulsed lighting) treatments

* Micropigmentation.

* Microblading.

Safety and Health

Your insurance may not cover you for any beauty treatments if qualified therapists do not perform them. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure your client is at least 18 years old to receive the treatment.

Also, ensure your salon has the right license to perform special treatments. This could include massages, manicures and light treatments (sunbeds), electrical treatments (electrolysis), and any other treatments that involve heat, light, or vapour (sauna, or other bath treatments).

Some local authorities may also require that your therapists are registered. These requirements can vary from one place to the next, so make sure you check with your local authority.

Handling hazardous products

Make sure to identify the substances in your salon, as well as the potential risks. Make sure your staff are familiar with safely disposing of these substances.

Keep hazardous substances in original containers and a locked cabinet out of direct sunlight. You should know which substances are not allowed to go down the sink.

Keep your equipment and salon safe.

As a salon owner, you will need to make sure that your clients and staff are safe. This should be included in your risk assessment. This could be:

* Salons should be well ventilated.

* Regular inspection of gas and electricity appliances is recommended.

* Take precautions to avoid trips, falls and slips.

Regular water testing is a good way to protect yourself against legionella. Spa operators require specialist checks.

* Be sure to have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and a clear evacuation plan. Also, practice regular fire drills.

The NHBF safety and health toolkit contain a complete set of risk assessments.


* Learn about health and safety laws and how they apply to beauty salons.

* Perform risk assessments to ensure safety and health for all your patients and their treatments.

* Develop a safety and health policy.

* Regularly train your staff and appoint an emergency responder.

* Make sure your staff is aware of the dangers of musculoskeletal and dermatitis.

* Get your insurance company to approve an allergy alert system.

* Some treatments may have age restrictions

* Make sure that your staff is qualified to perform treatments. Also, make sure your insurance covers all treatments performed in your salon.

Keep clients and staff safe in your salon.

More information from the NHBF

Bookmark our website to stay informed about the latest news, views and advice relating to the beauty industry. Join NHBF for less than 80p a day and we’ll be there every step of your journey:

* Get free, 24/7 support and advice on managing people.

* No cost commercial law assistance.

* Get in-depth guides that provide information about running your business.

* valuable Insurance discounts

* Safety and health toolkits.

* Guide for allergy alerts and sensitivity testing.

* Fact sheet on age restrictions and beauty qualifications

* Apprenticeship and employment contracts are free

* Room and space rental agreements available.

* Access to our knowledgeable and friendly membership team.