7 beauty salon risks


The primary goal of any beauty salon is to offer customers a sanctuary from which to escape the realities of daily life. This is a place to pamper and be pampered, where beauty salon owners can make their customers feel truly special and clients can take some time out.

But while the stylists, therapists, nail technicians and other salon staff need to keep up to date with the latest treatments and trends, they also need to make sure they are providing a safe environment for clients to enjoy.

Here are seven common risks to be aware of when running a beauty salon.

1 Poor cleanliness

It is essential that beauty salons are kept super clean. All equipment needs to be either disposable, sanitised or sterilised after each use. By repeatedly cleaning items used on multiple clients (eg hairbrushes, massage rollers, clippers, nail tools, chairs and massage beds) you will prevent cross-contamination and the spread of germs.

How to reduce the risk of poor cleanliness:

Make sure you wipe down chairs and massage beds with disinfectant and keep them in a clean, dry condition in between use. Towels and linen should be washed regularly and dried straight away to avoid germs lingering on damp towels.
Various makeup brushes lined-up in a salon

2 Hazardous chemicals

It’s no secret that chemicals can be damaging when not used in the right way.

The beauty industry uses products that contain all sorts of chemicals, so extreme caution should always be taken when using them. Some examples of products containing hazardous substances include: hair dyes, bleaches, chemical peels, brow tints, peroxides, nail products and wax solvents.

Misuse of these products can result in dangerous side effects such as dermatitis, asthma, and eye or throat irritation. These chemicals can enter the body by swallowing, inhaling and through the skin.

How to reduce the risk of side effects from hazardous chemicals:

With so many harmful chemicals floating around a beauty salon, it is important the building has a good ventilation system. Whenever handling products be mindful of the chemicals they contain and take appropriate care when using them on clients. It is also advisable to request clients take an allergy test for products 48 hours before their appointment.

3 Trips and falls

The floors of a beauty salon can become wet and slippery for a number of reasons – from a leaking shampooing sink to spilled beauty products. If the salon offers hair cutting as a service, even hair clippings can create a slip hazard when left unswept. It’s not only customers that are at risk of injuring themselves, staff can suffer slips and trips as well.

How to reduce the risk of trips and falls:

Make sure that any liquid spills are cleaned up as soon as they happen, and hair clippings are swept up swiftly. It is also worth keeping an eye on electrical leads as these can end up creating a potential trip hazard if left unsecured. At the end of each day, thoroughly clean the salon floor to ensure it is clean, dry and ready for the next day.
A woman at a hair salon getting her hair washed

4 Unqualified staff

It sounds glaringly obvious, but it is essential that staff are qualified to do the job they are being paid to do. Uncertified stylists, therapists and technicians are not what your customers are expecting and cannot give the level of service they are paying for. In a best-case scenario, inexperienced staff could give customers a dodgy dye job. But more serious consequences could be anything from burns to nerve damage or skin infections, and plenty more besides.

How to reduce the risk of employing unqualified staff:

Make sure the staff you hire are qualified to do the job they have been hired to do. Ask to see the relevant certificates and proof of experience. You can also ask for references from previous employers or tutors. It is great to go on instinct when hiring people for your business, but you should also back that up with a thorough vetting process.

5 Fire

All businesses have a fire risk, but beauty salons are at higher risk because of the chemical products and electrical equipment used. Even when you take out the necessary precautions, it can be hard to prevent the outbreak of fire.

Overloaded plug sockets with an assortment of electrical items can create a severe fire hazard. The same can be said of candles: they are popular in beauty salons because they create a unique ambience and aroma, but if they topple over or end up where they shouldn’t be, they can also be a risk.

How to reduce the risk of fire in your beauty salon:

It is important not to overload plug sockets and to be particularly careful when dealing with water or chemicals near an electrical power supply.

Be mindful of where candles are placed and ensure they are not left burning. You can also make sure that staff are well-trained in what to do in the event of a fire, including how to locate and use the fire extinguisher and how to escape.
A person plugging an appliance into a multi-plug socket

6 Theft

As with any business, there is a risk that your beauty salon could become a victim of crime. This can include crimes committed by clients, employees or passersby.

Someone may steal beauty products, money from the till, salon equipment, or clients’ handbags. There is also the chance that money could be misappropriated from the business by an employee or someone close to them. Some thieves may not wait for a salon to be closed before breaking in.

As anyone can walk in during opening hours, opportunist thieves may decide to target a beauty salon in broad daylight.

How to reduce the risk of theft from your beauty salon:

If you are worried about theft from your business it is a good idea to install a CCTV system. This will act as a deterrent to potential criminals and provide evidence should a theft or break-in occur. You can also ensure doors and frames are sturdy and fitted with secure, high-quality locks and keep side doors locked at all times.

It is also advisable to have commercial insurance to protect your business from such risks.

7 Legal risks

Any public-facing business is at risk of being sued by a client. If one of your customers believes you or your business has caused them harm or loss, they may decide to make a  claim for compensation. In extreme cases, this can lead to payouts of tens of thousands of pounds.

But whatever the amount, unless you have commercial insurance to protect your beauty salon against these risks, you could find yourself severely out of pocket.

How to reduce the risk of legal action:

With commercial insurance cover, you can protect your business against legal claims. The policy will pay out towards any compensation costs (limits apply) should they arise and you can carry on with business as usual.

At Insurance Choice we arrange commercial insurance for beauty salons and health and wellbeing spas. We understand the risks involved in running a beauty salon and can arrange insurance tailored to your needs.

Get a quote today.