By Tina Bell

Here at Totally Polished, we have worn uniforms since we first opened. These consisted of t-shirts, dresses and hoodies all embroidered with our logo on. Since we have returned after the third lockdown, we sadly no longer fit in them!

We have been left with the dilemma of what to do now. Do we go back to the original t-shirt etc or do we become more professional and go down the traditional route with a beauty tunic? I think there are pros and cons with both, and this is why:

For beauty therapists that work with hot wax, tanning equipment, and massage oils, it is important that their skin and clothes are protected by their uniform, but is branded always needed?

Uniforms allow each member of staff to be identified easily in a busy salon, especially for new clients, but it does leave no room for individuality. When working in such a creative environment, personality and individuality is extremely important, so where do we draw the line?

Appearance is also extremely important when working in a beauty salon. Hair, makeup, nails etc should always be immaculate, tidy, and professional. Jewellery should be kept to a minimum and hair should be kept neat, tidy, and always clean. Sometimes implementing an all-black clothing policy can work just as well, as long as the staff follow the rules i.e., no cleavage, mid riff tops or anything too short. An all-black clothing policy can also allow staff to express their own unique individuality that suits their personality. But who would be responsible for paying for this?

With a beauty tunic, I would pay for two per person. If the staff require more, they can purchase them themselves. The downside to this, is a beauty tunic doesn’t suit all body types. People are different shapes, so what suits me, probably won’t suit my beautician. Perhaps having an all-black uniform will work, but does this mean I, as owner of the salon, would be responsible for buying their all-black uniform, too?

As we have already touched on, everyone has their own style. This could mean they shop at Gucci and YSL or H&M and Primark. Regardless of what others think, beauty salon owners are not millionaires, and we don’t lie on a bed of cash in our big houses with Bentleys on the drive! We earn a living and enough to keep the staff and salon going, and that’s about it. I don’t think I will be paying for any Gucci uniforms any time soon!

How can we make this fair? After thinking about this for a while, I finally decided to hold a staff meeting and see what the girls thought. The options were as below:

  • Beauty Tunic
  • All black clothing/own style
  • T-Shirts etc (what we already had)

I decided to offer the girls a cash budget (the cost of two tunics) to help towards buying their own black clothing if that’s what they decided. However, they needed to consider that this option could get damaged quicker, as the material is not as strong as a purposely made beauty tunic.

After much careful consideration, we decided to opt for the classic beauty tunic, but as a collection of tunics, dresses, and trousers so that each staff member could choose something they felt comfortable and most themselves in. Whilst you can still clearly make out that we’re a team, this allows the staffs personality to shine through a little more, rather than all looking identical.

Deciding on uniform as a team shows you value your staff’s opinions and want them to be as happy and comfortable as possible. Giving them the option to express themselves is so important; when they are content with the way they look, they will thrive in the workplace.

At the end of the day, it’s your salon and you can dress your staff however you like. When the time comes to deciding on your staff uniform, I hope this blog has come in handy on helping you choose!