Hair, Beauty, Tattooing and Skin Penetration Business

The Department of Health and Human Services has recently released the new infection control guidelines for the hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries. The new guidelines replace the health guidelines for personal care and body art industries that were released in 2004. 

The information on this page is summarised in conjunction with the new guidelines to help the business owners in the hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries to comply with requirements in the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (the PHWA 2008) and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019.

If you are planning on taking over a business in an existing premises, you will need to ensure the premises has current registration with the local council. You will need to apply to transfer the registration into your name before you can start trading. If you plan to start your business in a new premises, you should consult with the council's Business Enabling department to discuss the proposal before you choose a site. Business Enabling has a dedicated team to help guide your business through the application process.

Note: Massage or muscle stimulation businesses are not required to be registered by local government but they are still required to follow the guidelines relevant to their industry.


On-going registration

Hairdressing services include cutting hair with scissors or razors, colouring and styling hair.

Low-risk beauty therapy includes the application of temporary make-up, henna tattoos, spray tans, eyelash and eyebrow tinting.

The proprietors of the hairdressing and low-risk beauty therapy business premises will be required to apply for new business registration and accompanied by an on-going application fee if a new business or business premises moves location or transfers their business to a third party.

The business premises will be inspected prior to granting an on-going registration. Council will continue to conduct a visit to the business premises if any complaints are received once an on-going registration is granted.

Periodic registration

If proprietors offer any of the following services, the business premises will be required to continue to renew their registration annually by 31 December, accompanied by a periodic registration fee and council will conduct an annual inspection prior to renewing the registration:

  • Tattooing
  • Piercing or other skin penetration service, such as ear piercing
  • Colonic irrigation
  • Beauty therapy services, such as permanent or semi-permanent make-up application (cosmetic tattooing), facial or body treatments, manicure/pedicures and other nail treatment, application or mending of artificial nails, or hair removal by electrolysis or wax.

If you need assistance with starting, running or growing your business, please visit our Business Enabling webpage.

If you are ready to apply for a new permit, please visit The Process for Obtaining a New Permit to start your business application process.


Premises general requirements

  • All equipment, furniture, fittings, floors, walls and ceilings should be constructed of materials suitable for the procedures to be undertaken in the area. The premises should be designed to provide separate function-specific client, staff and cleaning/sterilising areas. 
  • Hand-washing facilities - clearly designated for the sole purpose of washing hands, supplied with liquid soap and single-use paper towel (bars of soap should not be used), hands-free required if performing tattooing and skin penetration procedures
  • First aid - keep first aid kit on site. All staff should be trained in first aid for the types of injuries that may occur in your business.

Procedure-specific requirements

  • Hairdressing and barbering - razors should be single-use only.
  • Cosmetic application (including eyelash, tinting and spray tanning) - use only single-use sponges.
  • Waxing - If you use a multi-use container, use a new spatula each time you dip it into the wax. If using a multi-use container with double-dip into wax, you must keep wax undisturbed at a minimum temperature of 70-80℃ for a minimum 15 minutes between clients, keep records of temperature and time of holding, make them available for inspection. You will also need a thermometer suitable for dipping into the wax. 
  • Facials - dispense products from multi-use containers into single-use containers to prevent contamination of the product.
  • Eyelash extensions and tinting - be aware of the allergic reaction to adhesives or dyes, dispense product from large containers into single-use containers.
  • Manicure, pedicure and nail treatments - keep first aid kit on site.
  • Tattooing (including cosmetic tattooing)/body piercing and other forms of body modification (including ear or nose piercing) -
  • Use the aseptic non-touch technique
  • Sterilise or safely dispose of any equipment that penetrates skin or has blood on it
  • Provide a fact sheet about the transmission of infectious disease to each client. Copies can be obtained from the DHHS website or see related information on this webpage
  • Must keep a record of the name, address and telephone number of each client. (Businesses that do dry needling or ear piercing only are exempt from this record.) The information must be kept for at least 12 months and the information must be stored at the premises where the business is conducted and must take reasonable steps to protect the information contained in the records. 

Minimum age for tattoos and body piercing

  • Must not do tattooing, scarification, tongue splitting, branding, beading or intimate body piercing on a person under 18 years;
  • You must not do non-intimate body piercing on someone under 16 years without the consent of their parent or guardian;
  • You must not allow a staff member under the age of 16 years to do intimate body piercing.
Please make sure you read all the sections of the new guidelines that apply to your business as there have been quite a few changes that will affect your procedures. The Public Health Unit has summarised most requirements in Hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration business requirements factsheet(PDF, 241KB), it is best to contact us on 03 5358 8700 for clarification if you have any queries.

Home or Mobile Business

Home Hair and/or Beauty Salons

Hair and beauty salons can be located at your place of residence. However, the premises must be registered with council and must meet the same requirements as any other hair and/or beauty establishment/service.

To ensure your premises meets the necessary requirements, you should discuss your proposal with council's Business Enabling team before you get started. The Business Enabling Team will be able to facilitate the information that may assist you to prepare your application for approval.

Mobile Hairdressers and/or Beauty Treatments

If your business involves applying cosmetics or hairdressing only but does not involve skin penetration or tattooing, you may conduct a ‘mobile’ business in the client’s home or other settings (for example, a hotel, hostel, day care centre or nursing home), but you must register your principal place of business with council.

Mobile personal care and body art businesses that conduct skin penetration (piercing) or tattooing procedures are not permitted.

Mobile operators must be able to demonstrate compliance with the PHWA 2008 and the PHWR 2019 maintaining the cleanliness of equipment and personal hygiene standards; for example, the use of impervious and easily cleanable containers with lids for transporting equipment. Operators must ensure that all procedures undertaken are in accordance with the relevant sections in the new infection control guidelines.