If you want to be a self-employed hairdresser, but you’d rather not spend a huge amount renting or buying property, then hairdressing from home is a great option. 

Although, even when working from the comfort of your own home, there are still a lot of beauty industry regulations that you’ll have to follow. Some are broader industry regulations, whereas others are more specific to home businesses. 

In this guide, we’ll cover the key UK regulations you should know about if you want to start your own hairdressing business from home, such as:

  • Home business regulations.
  • General hairdressing regulations
  • Health and safety regulations.
  • COVID-19 regulations.
  • Financial regulations.

For more information about other aspects of the hair and beauty industry, try out other articles, “How to become a self-employed beauty therapist” and “How to promote your beauty business”.

Home business regulations

There are specific rules for businesses run from home. First of all, you’ll need permission to run the business. Also, it will affect the way you claim business expenses. 

Permissions

Before you start running your hairdressing business from home, you’ll need to get permission from:

If you get permission from all of the above, you might also have to pay business rates on your property. 

Business expenses

One of the major upsides of a home business is the tax benefits. When you’re working from home, you can claim a proportion of your home running costs as business expenses. Some common expenses include:

  • Heating.
  • Electricity.
  • Council Tax.
  • Mortgage interest or rent.
  • Internet and telephone use.

You can’t claim the whole cost, only the extra amount you’ve spent due to running your business. Find out more details here.

General hairdressing regulations

Certain regulations apply to all hairdressers, so they still apply if you’re doing it from your home. 

Music

If you plan on playing music for your clients, you need to register for a license issued from Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL).

The rule applies to all copyrighted music. So, for example, if you plan on playing the radio while you work, then you’ll need a license. 

Insurance

Running a business from home creates added risks that aren’t covered by your normal home and contents insurance, so you should consider buying the following policies:

  • Public liability insurance.
  • Personal liability insurance. 
  • Products liability insurance. 
  • Treatment liability insurance.

Before you do anything, contact your home insurance provider and ask for their advice. A lot of providers offer specialised home business insurance that should cover everything you need. 

Hairdresser registration

Depending on where you live in the UK, you might need to apply for a hairdressing registration with your local council.

If you do, they can perform an inspection to make sure you’re following the correct health and safety procedures, and they might charge you a fee for doing so. After successfully registering, the council will give you a certificate that you might need to display to the public. 

Health and safety regulations

Though hairdressing is generally pretty safe, the chemicals and equipment you use are potentially dangerous. Because of this, there are strict health and safety regulations you’ll need to be familiar with. 

Health and safety with chemicals

Make a list of all the products you use and the hazardous chemicals in them. You can normally find a list on the labels. If not, then contact the manufacturer and ask them for one.

Next, make sure you comply with the following health and safety procedures when working with chemicals. 

  • Use the right protective gear when needed. 
  • Have quick access to clean running water wherever handling chemicals.
  • Store chemicals in easy-pour containers to prevent spills. 
  • Try to source safer versions of products. 
  • Keep your products in a cool, dry, dark place that’s out of the way. 
  • Follow the instructions for use on labels. 
  • Don’t let chemicals come into contact with your skin, open wounds, or blood. 
  • When mixing solutions, only make as much as you need to prevent spilling.
  • Wear a mask whenever you’re around products that emit vapours. 
  • For clinical waste, use a licensed waste contractor. 

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) service can offer you guidance on safely working with chemicals. They’ll make sure you’re compliant with health and safety regulations. 

Health and safety with hairdressing equipment

Alongside chemicals, hairdressing equipment can also be dangerous if used incorrectly. To prevent any accidents, here are some general safety regulations for hairdressing equipment:

  • Use single-use equipment when you can (it’s more hygienic).
  • Sterilise reusable equipment as soon as it’s been used. 
  • Do regular maintenance checks on your equipment. 
  • Keep your workplace clean and tidy to avoid trips and falls.  
  • If you’ve used containers for mixing chemicals, wash them after each use.

COVID-19 regulations

Finally, you’ll need to follow the UK’s COVID-19 regulations. The rules are slightly different for each area of the UK, but most businesses need to follow these regulations:

  • Complete a COVID-19 health and safety risk assessment.
  • Keep your workplace well ventilated.
  • Clean equipment and surfaces after every customer.
  • Use hand sanitiser, regularly. 
  • Don’t allow customers with COVID symptoms. 

Social distancing, wearing masks, and recording customer information isn’t legally required anymore in England, but you can still enforce them if you’d like. 

Financial regulations

As a business owner, you need to keep detailed financial records so you can pay taxes and claim expenses. On top of that, limited companies must also submit their financial records to Companies House and HMRC every year. 

To stay compliant with government regulations, accurate bookkeeping is essential. Keeping records can be time-consuming and tedious. Thousands of business owners across the UK use the Countingup app to make it easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies.

Find out more here.