Qualifications and Insurance


With many States and Provinces de-regulating the salon industry, a very scary scenario is emerging.  There are many “self made” stylists out there trying to find jobs, and what is more scary is the fact that many salons are hiring them – with no license and no certificate of qualification from either their association or a reputable cosmetology school to prove that they are capable of performing services on a client to a certain standard and without causing harm to the client.


Sadly, last week I heard of a salon who encouraged a student to leave school well before completing her training to go and work for them  as a fully qualified stylist.


My take on this is that the people who feel that our industry does not need certain standards should be sentenced to having their hair and beauty services performed by an untrained  person for the rest of their life!!  That would soon turn things around.


Apart from all of that, as a salon owner, you need to be protected from lawsuits resulting from injury due to the incorrect performance of services by a member of your team.  This is called malpractice insurance which should be carried by any business in our industry.


At a meeting of our local association last week I was shocked to hear that many salons are now choosing not to take this insurance because of the cost.  One of the arguments was – “It would take so long to go to court that the hair would be grown back, and how much would it cost anyway?  $5,000 or $6000.”  Think again!  The way lawsuits go nowadays it would put a salon out of business.  There are photographs that would go into evidence, not to mention, pain and suffering, loss of income  and on it would go.  We all know that lawyers, who often take these types of cases on a contingency basis, would go for a high amount.  It probably would not go to court as most of these cases are settled in a mediation hearing, however by the time the case is settled and the salon’s lawyer is paid, the business would probably be looking at around $100,000 costs.  How many can afford that?


That is what malpractice insurance is for.  However,  many insurance companies want to know what the qualifications and licensing of the people they insure are.  We all know that insurance companies love to find a loophole that would allow the policy to be null and void, and having the person who performed the service not be fully trained and qualified to do the job would certainly be a huge loophole.


So the moral of this story is that as a salon owner it is your duty to your clients, your team and yourself to make sure that you only hire people who are fully qualified, and can prove so, to do the job.  Also, get involved with your association to help raise the bar again.


Let’s stop this slide in the standards of our industry now.  We are a profession. We work hard and have pride in what we do.  We need to be recognized as such, and proudly showing a license or a certificate of qualification sends a very clear message to that effect.


Marion Shaw is a salon business coach and consultant with  Salon Biz Essentials and owner of Busy Bus Publications. Also check her out on Facebook.  




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