More About the Ratings

More About the Ratings

One of the first questions we're often asked by salon owners thinking about joining Good Salon Guide is about the rating system and how it works. 

Hair and beauty salons can achieve four possible awards: Registered (R), 3, 4 and 5 star. Barbers, Blow-dry, Extensions Artist, Colour Expert and Training salons can achieve one level of Recognition. 

The criteria is based on a set of 'Yes' and 'No' questions. Your salon moves through the different ratings until you get a 'No', at which point you go back to the level where 'Yes' had been answered for every question. 

The foundation for every rating is the training and qualifications achieved by the staff and management, and as you work through the questions the level required increases as the rating increases. This may be the percentage of staff having achieved, for example an NVQ Level 3, and we also take into account the number of years of management experience the owner or manager has. A salon with a five star rating will have more staff with higher qualifications and more experienced managers. The bottom line is that anyone can open a hair or beauty salon in the UK and Ireland without any training or qualifications, so our criteria is designed to protect the public. 

We also look at the salon itself - starting from the outside. We look at everything from the paint work and lighting through to reception seating and even magazines, as well as the size and scale of the salon. This combines with the training based questions, so you could have a lovely salon, which met all of the 5 star questions but met the 3 star questions for staff training, so would be awarded a 3 star rating. 


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

Colour accounts for a huge percentage of salon earnings, and with leading trends focussing on new techniques such as Ombre, Balayage and temporary pastel shades, the hair colour market is not 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. Good Salon Guide will need to see and confirm this qualification with you.

It costs nothing to have your salon inspected and we'll always discuss the rating with you, highlighting any areas that need work to get you to where you want to be, and any rating conversation would always remain confidential. 


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.