Setting up a new salon? 

You may need planning approval under the Resource Management Act.  Talk to a Council Planner about the location and type of business you propose to ensure that you can set up in your chosen area, as some areas are zoned to exclude commercial activity. Find out if there are any parking or other planning requirements for your area. It is essential you find out the requirements for these so you do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours. If you are building a new premise or altering an existing building you will require Building Consent. You will need to state clearly the type of operation you intend and include plans and information detailing:

Designation of rooms and any specific areas

  • Layout of appliances and fittings, including the position of sinks, wash-hand basins and toilets
  • Number of service chairs
  • Type and location of artificial lighting and ventilation (i.e. location of yards, refuse disposal areas, staff rooms and customer service areas)
  • An outline of construction material and surface finishes that you propose.
  • Applying for Registration of a Hairdressers Premises
  • Before opening your hairdressing salon to the public you must have a Certificate of Registration issued.

Application Process

The Application for Registration should be received at least 14 days before you intend to commence operating and you'll need to supply the following:

  • a completed application form, signed and dated, together with payment of the registration fee.
  • an outline plan showing the premises, locations of rooms and appliances.
  • a specification of materials used to finish walls, ceilings and floors, etc.

Application for a Hairdressers Premises(PDF, 825KB)

Things to Consider

Wash-hand basin and sink requirements

You must have at least:
  • one wash hand basin for every 10 service chairs used for hair cutting, with at least one of these within six metres of such chairs, and all must have hot and cold running water supplied to them.
  • sinks must be supplied with hot and cold running water for the cleaning of equipment.
  • If you intend to wash hair you need to have shampoo basins supplied with hot and cold running water that will be used exclusively for the washing of hair.

Refreshment requirements

If you are planning to serve tea and coffee to your customers, you need to ensure you have space away from the cutting area where this can be prepared. Disposable cups are advisable, however, if crockery cups are used they must be washed thoroughly to protect against the spread of communicable diseases. This can be achieved by either putting them through a diswasher cycle or handwashing them in hot soapy water and rinsing them with boiling water.

Cleaning of towels and protective clothing

  • A cleanly laundered towel or single service paper towel must be used for each customer. Any towel awaiting cleaning should be stored in a clean covered container.
  • Freshly laundered towels need to be stored in a clean, dust-free location. The laundering operation is not to be carried out in the service area of the shop.


Cleaning of equipment

  • Between use on each customer all tools and equipment must be cleaned in the following manner:
  • Remove hair
  • Wash in warm water, using suitable detergent
  • Dry with a clean cloth
  • Soak for 30 minutes in a suitable disinfectant*  
  • Rinse in clean water and dry
  • Store to prevent recontamination
At the end of each day all tools and equipment must be sterilised in one of the following ways:
  • soaked in boiling water for at least five minutes; or
  • exposed to live steam for at least five minutes; or 
  • soaked in disinfecting fluid for at least 15 minutes; or 
  • exposed to UV radiation for at least 15 minutes.
Razors and clippers or any other instruments with non-detachable parts should be cleaned by:
  • Thoroughly brushing teeth or blades with a clean brush to remove hair and then wiping the blades with clean cotton wool or cloth saturated with disinfecting fluid.

Further information

The Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980 gives a full explanation of the structural criteria and the conduct and practices for Hairdressers. This can be downloaded below or can be obtained from your local library.