You may recall a recent visit to your hairdressing salon. While you sit in the reception area waiting for your appointment, either reading a book or leafing through a magazine, you watch as each stylist cuts a client’s hair, finishes a setting, or works on someone’s hair color. Each of these activities requires specific lighting needs. Here are some tips to ensure efficient lighting for a hairdressing salon.

A hair stylist needs proper lighting to cut a client’s hair with precision or to select the appropriate dye color. Clients must be able to consult hair styling magazines to decide on the cut or color that is most suitable for them. Appropriate lighting will allow them to enjoy the result.

The lighting for a hairdressing salon is a scenario that requires the following elements:

  • The illumination level
  • The colour rendering
  • The colour temperature

Hairdressing salon lighting

An Excellent Illumination Level

The illumination level indicates the amount of light dispersed over a given space.

The lighting for a hairdressing salon needs to be consistent and the level of illumination must be high enough to allow hair stylists to vividly see the work they do, and their clients should be able to have a clear view of themselves.

In addition, an elevated illumination level provides visual comfort for stylists and clients alike throughout the day. When the space is too dark, the human eye must strain to get used to the obscure environment.

This is why it is usually recommended that the lighting for a hairdressing salon’s space maintain, overall, a minimum illumination level of 500 lux.

A Superior Color Rendering Index

If a hairdressing salon wishes to offer its clientele and staff the most favorable environment, it needs to make sure the lighting system diffuses an elevated colour rendering index (CRI).

The CRI measures a light source’s capacity to reflect the colors of the spectrum of a given light source.

This capacity allows us to clearly distinguish colors and their various shades. What would you say if you were to walk out with hair a deeper shade of red than you expected simply because you and your stylist could not perceive the right shade while you were inside the salon? Colors should obviously be the same under the artificial light of a hairdressing salon as they would be outside, in the daylight.

For this reason, a CRI of at least 90 is the preferred setting.

Optimum Color Temperature

The color temperature is the lighting system’s power to diffuse a warmer light or a colder light beam.

It helps to create the ambiance for a given space. The lighting for a hairdressing salon must be bright, vivid, and stimulating. This is to highlight the stylists’ work and ensure the well-being of their clients. Moreover, this light should easily reflect the clean, modern look of the space.

Specialists will usually recommend the installation of luminaires that simulates natural light, such as “natural white” or “daylight white”. Color temperature should vary between 4,000K and 6,000K.

A Few Other Tips for Lighting a Hairdressing Salon

Each hair styling space, whether it is the hair cutting module, the coloring space or the hair washing podium, should have its own lighting system. That way, the work done in each zone is properly highlighted to ensure visual comfort for the stylists. The recommended luminaires in these areas are those that offer a color rendering index that reaches close to 100, which is that of natural daylight.

The public areas in hairdressing salons may have more subdued lighting than the work spaces. However, they should have sufficient lighting to ensure people’s safety. Also, lighting between both areas in the hairdressing salon should not be unpleasant.

Optimal lighting in the public areas of a hairdressing salon can be achieved with the use of directional recessed lights. You may install wall sconces to further enhance the atmosphere of the facility.


  1. What is the standard code for lighting in a nail salon that is in a hair salon. The girl’s are struggling at the salon, and I hate to see them squinting !

  2. Hi. Totally agree about lighting.
    I’m now experiencing same problems again. Re-furnishings my barber shop. Lack lighting.
    Looking to instal led strip lighting which don’t go with the look.
    Need help ideas.

  3. Light at salon’s must be equally divided so that it’s helpful to the hairdresser to do the work properly.Each space must have its own lighting which can be useful for the hairdresser. You provided good information for this topic.keep it up its a good work..

  4. I like that you mentioned that a salon should have proper lighting because the stylists should be able to identify the shades of the color properly. With that in mind, I will make sure to choose a salon with ample amount of lighting. I just need to make my hair light with touches of red and blue because I will be imitating a character in a movie since my colleagues chose me to represent us in a competition.

  5. Thanks for pointing out that the lighting in a salon must be illuminating enough so the stylists can vividly see what their doing. My sister-in-law has had a lot of success as an in-home hairdresser, so she’s looking for a venue to open up shop in. I’ll definitely suggest that she is careful and precise with the lighting so that she can clearly see the work she’s doing.

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