What the Ratings Mean

What the Ratings Mean

Every Good Salon Guide recognised salon is assessed using criteria that has been developed since 1993 following ongoing consultation with the general public and hair and beauty industry.

Hair and beauty salons can be awarded one of four possible awards — Registered (R), 3, 4 or 5 Star — and is based on training and qualifications so that when you visit a Good Salon Guide recognised salon, you can be assured that the stylists or beauty therapists are qualified and/or suitably experienced, giving you confidence in the service they are performing.

Barbers, Blow-dry Bars, Training Academies, Colour Expert and Extensions Artist are awarded one level of Recognition. 

The ratings:

  • Registered

    Quality services at affordable prices




  • 3 Stars

    Up-to-the-minute techniques, value for money 




  • 4 Stars

    High standard with the latest techniques, excellent value




  • 5 Stars

    Top-of-the-range salon with highly-qualified staff and personalised service

Beauty salons use the same star rating system as hairdressing salons but have their own criteria.


We know that many clients are really nervous about returning to the salon, and so we are launching a COVID Aware Certification to give the client confidence that their salon is doing everything possible to keep them safe. Based on salon's that have already achieved Good Salon Guide recognition, are putting hygiene and cleanliness at the forefront of everything in the salon, and are on top of new health and safety guidelines, COVID Aware Certified salons have proven that they are taking serious measures to keep both staff and clients safe from COVID-19.

Research has shown that colour clients often look for specialists within colour when deciding to choose a new salon or when remaining loyal.

Colour is one of the most requested services within a salon, and with leading trends focussing on new techniques such as Ombre, Balayage and temporary pastel shades, the requests for fabulous hair colour will not be slowing down anytime soon. Colouring is a skill and technique that must be perfected, especially with the many ‘colour gone wrong’ horror stories that you often hear of, which is why Good Salon Guide recognises Colour Expert salons.

Each Colour Expert salon is inspected to a set of strict criteria, including the requirement for a member of the team to have an advanced colour level qualification such as Wella Master Colour Expert or L'Oreal Colour Specialist, so you know you are visiting a quality salon with staff that has the highest level of colour training.

The Good Salon Guide Colour Expert rating helps to find you a salon that you will love and trust when it comes to your colour.

With sustainability and environmental issues becoming an ever-increasing importance in today’s world, Good Salon Guide offers an ECO Salon recognition to help highlight salons who are at the forefront of ethical and sustainable salon practices and services.

Consumers are more aware than ever of being eco-friendly in their choices, so our ECO Salon award helps to highlight those salons that are leading the way and help those that are just starting their journey. We all need to make changes, however big or small, to help our environment, so choosing a registered ECO Salon by Good Salon Guide can help the public make a sustainable choice when it comes to their beauty needs.

The assessment for salons to be registered as an ECO Salon is incredibly strict and the standards are very high. Salons are assessed on areas such as products that minimise the use of plastic and are refillable, extensions and how they are sourced, the removal of all single use plastic, salon waste and recycling, how their in-salon refreshments are sourced, water reduction and much, much more!

Good Salon Guide's Blow-dry recognition gives customers confidence that they are choosing a blow-dry bar with qualified and supervised staff, as although the cost is relatively low, it's easy for clients to feel short changed, as they are used to the full service that salons offer.

Extensions Artist was created due to several complaints that Good Salon Guide had received from the public regarding salons carrying out extensions services when they were not qualified to do so. Looking into this further, Good Salon Guide discovered that one-day extensions courses can be purchased for cheap via avenues such as voucher discount code websites. It is all too easy for someone to do a quick one day course, buy cheap extensions online and then set-up shop as an extensions stylist.

The criteria for salons to become Extensions Artist under Good Salon Guide are strict – the toughest criteria they have. Evidence of qualifications, experience, the hair used, suppliers and more must be shown before the recognition is awarded. This strict criteria gives the public full confidence in knowing that the salon is fully qualified to carry out extensions services and that the hair used is 100% human and from a reputable company.

All member salons are presented with a certificate with their current rating and also a high profile window sticker - so be sure to look out for these when seeking a new salon!

To make searching for a recognised salon easier, each salon now has its relevant recognition icon showing next to the salon name - both in the salon search and on the salon's profile page. This will enable you to quickly see at a glance which salon specialises in which treatments and services: