Hairdressing is controlled by the Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980. These cover the premises in which hairdressers and barbers operate and the licences that are required.

Apply for a certificate of registration


The 2024/2025 fee for a certificate of registration is $240.

See also the trade waste rates and charges.

Regulations and standards

Full standards for hairdressing premises are set out in Regulation 4 of the Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980(external link).

A summary of the minimum standards for hairdresser premises is below:

Floor, walls, ceiling

  • The floor of the service area where the hair is cut or cleaned, and any area of wall or ceiling that is likely to become wet, must be surfaced with a smooth, durable and impervious material.
  • All other walls and ceilings must have non-absorbent surfaces that are capable of being easily cleaned.


  • Lighting of not less than 300 lux must be provided at all working surfaces adjacent to every place where customers are attended to and where instruments and tools are cleaned.
  • In every part of the shop, the overall light intensity must be not less than 100 lux at a point 800 mm above the floor.
  • All lighting must be reasonably free from glare and distributed to avoid shadows.


  • Ventilation must be adequate to prevent condensation or the formation of excessive moisture on walls and ceilings and to ensure the removal of objectionable odours and fumes.
  • In the absence of fully effective natural ventilation, adequate mechanical ventilation shall be provided.

Floor area

  • The floor space shall be sufficient to permit easy access for cleaning.
  • In every room where customers are attended to, there must be a floor area of at least 2.3m2 for each customer who can be attended to at the same time as any other customer.
  • Service chairs used for haircutting must be at least 1.5 metres apart, measured from centre to centre.
  • Where customers awaiting attention are admitted to the service area, an additional 0.9m2 for each such person must be provided for their exclusive use.
  • Where separate waiting or reception rooms are provided, they must have a floor area of not less than 0.9m2 for every person for whom seating is available, but with a minimum of 4.6m2.

Wash-hand basins, shampoo basins and sinks

  • At least one wash hand basin must be provided for every 10 chairs used for hair cutting, with at least one basin being within 6 metres of each cutting chair.
  • Every wash hand basin must be supplied with hot and cold water, soap, a nail brush and clean towels or other approved methods of hand drying.
  • Where hair is cleaned, sufficient shampoo basins supplied with hot and cold water must be provided and used exclusively for cleaning hair.
  • A sufficient number of sinks supplied with hot and cold water or other suitable appliances must be provided for the cleaning of all hairdressing tools and equipment. No such sink can be installed in any staff meal room.


  • Only materials or equipment being used or available for use in hairdressing shall be stored in any service area.
  • Every shelf, bench, or table where hairdressing tools are to be placed, must be finished with a smooth, durable and impervious material.
  • Every shop must be kept in good repair, clean and free from rubbish, foul odours, vermin and insects.
  • No service area shall be in direct communication with any room or place where food is prepared or unwrapped, stored or held for sale.
  • Every shop must be provided with an adequate number of vermin-proof refuse containers, emptied at least daily.

Home-based hairdressers

Home-based hairdressers (a hairdressing business carried out from a residential dwelling):

  • must be set up in a separate room, and
  • comply with the requirements set out above.

Mobile and call-out hairdressers

Mobile hairdressers (hairdressers who travel to the customer's home/venue and do not have a fixed hairdressing premise) must comply with the requirements relating to the storage, use, cleaning and disinfection of products, appliances and equipment.

Serving refreshments

Where tea, coffee, or other beverages are served to customers, every utensil used must be effectively cleaned and then sanitised (by use of a commercial dishwasher, or other approved method), alternatively, single-service utensils can be used.

Hair traps

Hairdressers and barber businesses must ensure that they have an approved hair trap installed at the washbasin pipe site. A strainer-type mechanism at the sinkhole, like the ones you used at home to catch kitchen waste from going down into the drainpipe, is not a permitted hair trap.

Hair traps are available to purchase from most plumbing suppliers and need to be installed by a registered plumber. Hair traps need to be emptied and cleaned daily or as required. Hair-only waste can be disposed of in your green recycling bin but if this contains other matter such as foils then this should be disposed of in your red refuse collection bin.

If you have any questions or require more information contact the Trade Waste Team on phone 03 941 8999 or email

Building consents

Planning your building works carefully will help give you a high standard premise that will allow your business to operate efficiently and cost-effectively.

There are requirements for registering a hairdressing premise that are additional to building code requirements. 

In some cases, it may be advantageous to engage the services of a design consultant with previous experience in the development of hairdressings premises. Your building consent plans should show compliance with the Health Act, the building code and the hairdressing regulations.


Backflow is one of the biggest risks to our public water supply and can seriously affect the quality and safety of our drinking water. Under Section 69ZZZ of the Health Act 1956, you are required to have a Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ). You can find out more at link)


Make sure your set of scale plans includes a layout plan of your premises showing the following details:

  • All rooms and a description of use, for example, cutting area, storage area, and staff area.
  • The position of all the services, appliances and fittings, such as cutting chairs, benches, shelving, cupboards, sinks, wash-hand basins, and washing/drying machines.
  • The position of incidental features such as yard area refuse storage area, toilets and staff facilities.


Your specifications should cover proposed construction materials, colours and finishes. Specification items can either be included on the plan or in a separate specifications sheet.

Trade waste permits

All hairdressers and barber businesses need to be registered and permitted to connect and discharge into the water, waste and sewage network.

Useful contacts

Setting up a new hairdressing business will mean dealing with a number of different departments at Council and other agencies.

They may be able to offer technical advice or information to help you decide whether to proceed with your business.

Christchurch City Council

Contact us on 03 941 8999 and ask for the specific unit.

Environmental Policy and Approvals Unit:

  • Civic Planning Team for advice on the City Plan requirements, zoning and resource consent applications
  • Civic Building Team for information on building consents, safety, sanitation and means of escape requirements including change of use and earthquake strengthening if required and access for people with disabilities.

Inspections and Enforcement Unit:

  • Health Licensing Team for further information on premises construction, standards and hygiene matters, mobile hairdressers and signs
  • Enforcement Team for information on Bylaws and Signs

Trade waste permits for hairdressers and barbers:

  • All hairdresser and barber businesses need to be registered and permitted to connect and discharge into the Water, Waste and Sewage Network. 

Christchurch Small Business Enterprise Centre

For advice on setting up and developing a small business, 03366 9978.

Department of Labour

Occupational Safety and Health – for advice on Health and Safety in Employment requirements, 0800 20 90 20.