As a scheduling app made with service providers like hair stylists, nail techs, and estheticians in mind, we know you love what you do, and you love your clients. But is there anything worse than a no-show? Or a last-minute cancellation? 

For salon owners, no-shows and canceled appointments are a frustrating part of the job. There are ways to help reduce them, like requiring a deposit or a credit card on file to book.

However, the best way to protect you, your business, and your clients is to be clear about your salon’s rules and regulations upfront. 

In this blog, we’ll teach you how to draft up your own salon policies for no-shows, payment, and cancellations. Plus, we’ll share examples and free templates for some easy inspo!

How to Write Salon Rules and Policies for Your Clients

No-Show and Cancellation Policy

The dreaded no-show and the last-minute cancellation. They’re both frustrating, because you miss out on revenue, and that empty appointment slot can throw off your whole schedule. 

To help minimize the damage, let’s take a look at what you should include in your policy to ensure clients are on time, every time.

What to include:

  • Be clear about your cancellation policy: When drafting up your policies, make sure your cancellation policy is as clear as possible. Give your clients plenty of time to cancel their appointment before it’s too late.

    The easiest way to communicate this to clients is to ask them to give notice before they cancel their booking, such as 24 hours before the appointment time.
  • Be direct about your no-show policy: When laying out what your clients need to know about your no call/no show policy, there should be a clear disclaimer before clients book their appointment. This way, they’re less likely to take the repercussions personally, if they fail to show up and get charged. 

Pro Tip: With scheduling apps like Schedulicity, you can customize your scheduling policies, so clients are always in the know before they book their appointment.

Late Policy

Let’s be real: A tardy client can be just as frustrating as a client who doesn’t show up. It still sets your schedule back. Let’s talk about your should-have rules for late clients, as well.

What to include:

  • Clearly define lateness: We know buffer time is a welcome part of the client experience, because things happen, but how late is considered too late? You can likely deal with a 5- or 10-minute waiting period, but after that… you’ve got things to do!
  • Define lateness as how long you’re willing to wait for a client before it negatively affects your schedule. With a busy day of hair appointments, you can only wait so long before moving on from a tardy client. Let them know exactly how long that timeframe is in your late policy.
  • Be consistent: Of course, there are going to be times — maybe slower times of the year — when a late client isn’t a big blow to your day, and you can still fit them in.

    But! Repeat after us: Boundaries are important!

    Stay consistent in your late policy. If your policy at the time of booking tells clients they’re allowed to be up to 15 minutes late, you need to stick to that rule year-round and for each client, regardless of circumstance. 

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Payment and Refund Policy

As a business owner, how you handle payments and refunds is crucial. How much money do you want to collect upfront? Do you want clients to add a card on file to book?

Both are great ways to reduce no-shows and ensure you make money — even if your client is late, cancels at the last minute, or doesn’t show up at all. Here’s what to consider as a must-have salon policy for clients.

What to include:

  • Know how much to charge: First of all, you have to decide how much to charge clients in the event of a no-show or late cancellation. This could be a simple rebooking fee or a percent of the service price.

    If you happen to be using a scheduling app that has payment built right in, like Schedulicity, you can collect a deposit at the time of booking. A deposit is a safety net. If your client shows up, put the deposit toward the service. If they fail to make their appointment, keep the deposit to avoid losing revenue.

    Another great option is to require a card on file to charge in the event that a client breaks your policy.
  • Share your contact info: Boundaries are necessary, but so is empathy. If someone needs to cancel or will be late for a good reason, make sure your contact information is front and center on your booking page, so they can let you know. This invites clear, consistent client communication via a phone call, text, or email.

Privacy Policy

As a salon owner, private information, like a client’s health history or credit card details, are necessary to keep on file. But with that kind of info being shared, clients want to know that their private info is secure.

  • Create a transparent policy: The No. 1 rule with private client info is to be fully transparent with how it’s handled. That means laying out a policy that explains how their information is secured and who has access to it. Here’s a few common wording examples about privacy policies:
    • Your private information is never sold or shared outside of the salon organization. Only your service provider, salon owners, and necessary employees with traceable logins have access to your information, such as booking history, credit card details, and/or health history.
    • Your private information, including but not limited to appointment history, payment details, and/or health concerns, will be securely stored in our salon database. It will not be misused or shared outside of the organization.
    • Your contact information is required in order for the salon to clearly communicate appointment details and reminders, product and marketing initiatives, and business announcements.

Other Salon & Spa Policies

At the end of the day, these policies and procedures are to protect you, your clients, and your business. They reinforce boundaries, which is critical as a small business owner or solo service provider. Here are a few less common policies we’ve seen in some salons: 

  • Age Requirements. Dying, shaving, chopping your hair off – all are a big deal! It’s a huge change, and some hair stylists want to ensure their clients are old enough to make that decision or have approval from a parent or guardian first. 
  • Food & Drink. Salons are one of the most hygienic places. They’re held to strict health codes, and many owners want to ensure outside food and drink don’t cause an extra mess. (That being said, lots of salons also offer their clients in-house snacks and beverages, which boosts the client experience.) 
  • Pets. Unless you run a pet salon or work as a dog groomer, you might want to let clients know if their furry friend is welcome during their appointment. This is also a good policy to talk about service animals in the salon.
  • Right to Refuse Service. Remember those boundaries? The Right to Refuse Service seems scary, but it’s really a protective layer that ensures you and your employees work in a safe, cooperative environment with clients who understand how to act in your salon.   

Simple Salon Policy Examples

Cancellation and No-Show Policy Example

Every client is important to us, and we understand things come up that may cause you to miss your appointment. With that in mind, we also want to give your appointment the time and attention it deserves.

As a result, we respectfully request at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel or make changes to your appointment time. Failing to give 24-hour notice will result in a 50% charge of your booked service. Any no-shows will be charged 100% of their service amount.

Late Policy Example

Please be sure to arrive on time for your appointment. Arriving late may result in your appointment being canceled or rescheduled. Please call us on (phone number) if you know you are going to be over 10 minutes late, so we can advise you on whether or not to attend your appointment.

Refund Policy Example

Our goal is for each client to love their results. In the event that you are dissatisfied with your service(s), our refund policies are laid out as such:

1. Services received cannot be refunded. We will gladly adjust any service you receive within three (3) days of your appointment. If you are not satisfied with the work performed, please return to the salon, so your hair can be visually inspected. At that time, we will make every effort to correct any problems to your satisfaction by rescheduling you with the stylist who performed the initial service, at no additional charge to you.

2. Refunds for products purchased will only be considered if presented within seven (7) days of purchase. Products can only be refunded if unused and in its original packaging. If a product is opened or used, it is possible that a restocking fee will be charged. For all product refunds, a receipt is necessary.

Privacy Policy Example

Information collected from our booking page or website is only used if we need to contact you for further information regarding your appointment. Only employees with traceable logins have access to your appointment, contact, or payment history. Your information is never sold or shared and is always kept private for your protection. We greatly appreciate your cooperation in providing us with the information we need to best serve you.

How Schedulicity Can Help

With salon scheduling apps like Schedulicity, there are tools you can utilize to reduce no-shows and keep your booking policies in front of your clients when they book.

Make Rebooking Easy

While cancellations are a part of the job, you can help eliminate late cancellations and no-shows by making the rescheduling process easy for your clients. With Schedulicity, we make it easy for clients to reschedule their appointments — because, well, we know life happens, and clients may need to adjust their appointment.

Try Deposits or Prepayments

Schedulicity’s built-in payment processor allows you to set up payment requirements on your services, so when clients book, a credit card is required. This goes hand-in-hand with your no-show and cancellation policy, and, in the event that a client doesn’t show or cancels late, you already have their credit card information (or deposit) to ensure you don’t lose out on revenue.

Display Scheduling Policies on Your Booking Page

With Schedulicity, all your booking and scheduling policies are visible for clients before they book. From the Settings of your account, you can customize your cancellation policies, booking policies, and you can even create a waiver for clients to acknowledge before they book with you!