Managing your own salon leaves you with a lot of new responsibilities! It can be overwhelming to know where to begin, so we’ve got some tips for you to come up with policies that suit everyone’s needs. You’ll be able to set yourself up to succeed easily by coming up with rules that cover as much of your workload as possible, as well as everyone else’s. 

The Importance of Hair Salon Policies 

Policies are broad rules that act as a foundation for how you’d like your salon to be run. Everything feels a lot more organized and decision-making becomes easier when you’ve set out expectations. Think of a time you’ve been in a situation where policies were vague or non-existent. Most of the time, these situations feel chaotic and decision-making feels impossible. We’ll outline some tips that’ll help you rarely have to deal with those situations again.

Hair Salon Policies for Employees

You’ve spent a good amount of time carefully selecting stylists to come work for you, and you appreciate all the hard work they put in. Building those relationships is important, but you’ve started to notice some stylists are coming in late or getting a little too comfortable with what they do around clients. It might be time to reassess your salon rules, as clients notice this and will remember the next time they go to book an appointment with your salon. Here’s a list of some common policies that’ll help you keep everyone on the same page.

  • Show Up On Time. It’s one of the most important rules you can have at any job. Clients plan their day around the time that’s been blocked out for them. Wasting their time could result in bad reviews or going with another salon instead of yours.

  • Dress Appropriately. Aside from representing your brand, wearing clothing that’s too revealing can make clients uncomfortable. Things like open-toed shoes can be a safety issue as well.

  • Cleanliness. Cleaning up after ourselves shows we respect other stylists’ time and the people around us. 

  • Professionalism. Gossip is normal, but consistently making clients and other stylists uncomfortable with all the juicy details of a string of hot date nights or drama with another stylist is unprofessional. Workplace politics happen, it’s a good idea to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand.

Another good tip is to consider setting up a strike system. We all make mistakes, and it’ll make employees more comfortable around you if they know you’ll hear them out. Use your discretion, there’s a big difference between being 15 minutes late because of traffic or 2 hours late because of a hangover. Consider what you think of as a “no tolerance policy”.

Hair Salon Policies for Customers

On the flip side of things, policies on the client end are vital because it sets the tone for how your stylists should be treated. Stylists are dedicating their time and expertise, they deserve the same level of respect. Being clear about your policies tells clients what to expect of their stylists, and it tells stylists you respect them. Here are some examples of policies for clients.

  • Cancellations. Life happens, and sometimes you can’t show up to your hair appointment on the day you scheduled. Setting up a timeframe to cancel without a fee gives stylists time to reschedule and fill that time slot. Having a card on file for no-shows and setting a no-show fee helps stylists so they don’t lose money.

  • Lateness. How late can a client be before their appointment is canceled? When a stylist has multiple appointments a day, being 30 minutes late can mean other scheduled clients will suffer. Sometimes it’s not worth it to make it work for one client.

  • Rudeness. Just like the expectation that stylists should be professional, clients should have respect for their stylists. No one should be forced to feel uncomfortable at their job because of a client! Angry outbursts or anything that makes anyone feel unsafe should never be tolerated. 

At the end of the day, we’re dealing with people. Not everyone is going to be a good fit for your salon. You’re showing your stylists you value them by putting rules in place that protect them. You can even employ a strike system for clients too, don’t be afraid to tell that consistently mean and unhappy client that you feel they might be a better fit at a different salon. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and that’s okay!

Hair Salon Policies for Daily Operations

Routine is important for any harmonious workplace. Daily operations help keep a tight ship and give everyone a sense of responsibility. 

  • Sanitation. Everyone should be pitching in to complete cleaning duties each day, whether it be cleaning the toilets or watering your plants! This includes making sure everyone is on top of the sanitation procedures required by law to keep everyone’s health and safety in check.

  • Environment. It’s never a bad idea to have some fresh coffee or lemon water on hand to make clients feel at home. Take time every day to spruce things up with seasonal decor, music, or the latest magazines. 

  • Scheduling. Checking in to make sure everything is scheduled correctly is important, even if you’re using a website to do that for you. Being on top of scheduling should include announcing far in advance any special hours you’ll have, whether it be for meetings or holidays. 

  • Oversight. As a salon manager, you should try to take any opportunity to see how your clients and stylists are doing and watch how the salon runs. You’ll learn a lot just by observing and it helps people feel like you’re present and available if needed.

There are a lot of moving parts that go into running a salon, and having a daily list of policies ready keeps everyone on track. When you break it down into small tasks it becomes a lot easier to get things done. You’ll have a lot more space to relax and truly enjoy your craft without having to worry about the details.


June 13, 2023 — Cambria Davidson