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What Insurance Does a Hairstylist Need?

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hairstylist posing in front of salon chairs

Last updated on May 28, 2024.

Do you need insurance as a hairstylist?

Well, imagine yourself in this stylist’s shoes.

“I think I just need to get used to it, maybe,” Maddy’s client says while nervously trying to conceal her disappointment over her new blonde hair color. It’s a dreaded scenario. You think you understand precisely what your client wants and deliver, but the reveal isn’t met with happy tears or a “Wow, you nailed it!”

@maddhair’s comment-fueling TikTok was later revealed to be a skit, but real-life mishaps like this can lead to expensive lawsuits. From perceived unmet expectations to bleach-induced injuries to client property damage, you face numerous risks every time you show up to work your hair magic.

As a hairstylist, you need insurance to protect your business when things take an ugly turn. It’s what keeps you—and the career you’ve worked so hard for—feeling covered and confident. This blog will cover what insurance you need to be a hairstylist, why you need it, and the common claims it can protect you from.

5 Types of Insurance Every Hairstylist Needs

So, what kind of insurance do hairdressers need? There are five main types of insurance you should carry. Let’s explore each of them further.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance covers claims that happen because of your business operations. This includes clients getting hurt or having their property damaged while on your premises. Here are some examples of general liability claims:

  • A client slips and falls after getting their hair washed due to water collected on the floor
  • A client’s expensive leather bag is stained after hair dye drips onto it

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance is a shield that protects your professional services. Every time you perform a service or make a recommendation, this is the coverage that can help you if you happen to make a mistake.

Even if you executed everything perfectly (remember Maddy’s color scenario above?) an unhappy client could still decide to sue, claiming they’ve suffered emotional damage or loss of income. Professional liability insurance would step in here to keep your business on track.

Here are some examples of professional liability claims:

  • A client “forgets” to disclose their color history; their hair breaks off after you apply bleach to achieve their desired look, but they blame you
  • You recommend a scalp treatment for your client, but they immediately break out in hives due to one of its botanical ingredients

Products and Completed Operations Coverage

Products and completed operations coverage is similar to professional liability coverage, but it focuses instead on claims that happen after your clients leave your business and after the service is complete. These include client injury or property damage due to a product or service you performed.

Here are some examples of claims this coverage can help cover:

  • A few days after getting their hair colored by you, a client claims they’re experiencing a burning sensation on their scalp and neck due to the hair dye
  • A week after you’ve installed a set of hair extensions on a client, they claim their hair is falling out in clumps due to your completed service

Personal and Advertising Injury Coverage

Personal and advertising injury coverage helps protect you from claims of libel, slander, false advertisement, or IP (intellectual property) infringement. Think of this as coverage for non-physical injuries brought onto your clients or competitors.

Here are some examples of claims this coverage can help cover:

  • You unveil your new business logo on Instagram, but a competitor quickly accuses you of stealing their design
  • Your client comes in for your seasonal promo, but when it’s time to pay they say you forgot to include an important stipulation in your ad

Tools and Supplies Coverage

Tools and supplies coverage, also known as inland marine, helps to cover any of your movable gear if it gets lost, stolen, or damaged. As a hairstylist, you rely on your shears, hot tools, products, and electronics to provide the best possible service for your clients, so safeguarding your business supplies is a smart choice.

Here are some examples of claims this coverage can help cover:

  • You’re traveling to a client’s home and stop for gas, but the tablet you use for transactions is stolen from your car
  • While styling hair for a bridal party, your hot tools become damaged when someone accidentally spills champagne on the cords
A female hair stylist smiles while blow-drying her client's hair with a round brush.

Real-Life Claims Showcase Why Hairstylists Need Insurance

Let’s put hairstylist insurance into perspective. Here are some real-life claims* filed by Beauty & Bodywork Insurance (BBI) policyholders that demonstrate why you need insurance for your hairstylist business. Could you afford these “it could happen to you” moments?

Eye Injury – $25,222

Liya, an experienced hairstylist, was performing a perm service on a client when another client’s child bumped into Liya’s arm. Unfortunately, the perm rod that Liya was holding struck her client in the eye, causing irritation and swelling for days afterward. Liya’s client sought medical treatment and decided to sue Liya over the injury.

No matter how mindful you are as a professional, accidents can always happen. Thankfully, Liya had a BBI policy to help cover the costs and take care of her client.

Total payout: $25,222

Exploding Aerosol Can – $105,147

During a routine styling session, Harper was engaging in lively conversation with her client as she worked on creating beachy waves in her client’s hair. In a second of distraction, Harper accidentally placed an aerosol can of hairspray too close to a powered-on curling iron.

Due to the heat, the aerosol can exploded and caused Harper’s client to become dizzy, fall down, and sustain an injury on her left hip. Harper’s client decided to pursue legal action, but that’s when BBI came in to help get Harper’s client the help she needed.

Total payout: $105,147

Chemical Burns From Bleach – $265,217

Miki specializes in dimensional color and has a loyal client base for her work. One day, Miki was applying bleach solution to her new client’s hair. A few minutes in, Miki’s client began to complain of intense pain on her scalp. Miki worked quickly to remove the bleach, but her client suffered chemical burns that led to scarring and permanent hair loss.

Miki had been unaware that the bleach at her salon had been swapped out for one of a higher developer strength, but the damage had been done. When Miki’s client decided to sue, BBI was able to pay for her medical fees and ongoing treatment to help make things right.

Total payout: $265,217

*These claim examples are inspired by real-life claims filed by BBI policyholders. Names and extra details have been invented.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Hairstylist Insurance

If My Salon Has Insurance, Why Do I Need Hairstylist Insurance?

Salon insurance typically only covers the business, not the hairstylists who work there. If something goes wrong at the salon you work at, the claimant may name the salon and you, specifically, in the lawsuit. If you don’t have your own hairstylist liability insurance, you would need to pick up these fees on your own. Carrying hairstylist insurance gives you the peace of mind to work confidently knowing you’re protected from risk.

Is Hairstylist Professional Liability Insurance the Same as Malpractice Insurance?

No, hairstylist professional liability insurance is not the same as malpractice insurance. In the context of the beauty industry, professional liability insurance, also known as “errors and omissions,” covers you from claims alleging you made a mistake or gave bad advice in the scope of client service.

Malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that applies to professionals who work in the medical field.

What Happens If I Work at Multiple Salons or Have a Mobile Business?

If you work at multiple locations or have a mobile business, your BBI hairstylist coverage goes where you go. That means you can go from your booth to an event to your client’s home without a lapse in coverage. Your work requires you to be flexible—that’s why we’ve made a policy that adapts to your business needs.

Can I Get Insurance That Covers Both My Equipment and My Workstation?

Yes, you can get insurance that covers both your equipment and your workstation. For an additional $13 to your BBI base policy, you’ll have coverage in case your work tools or supplies are lost, damaged, or stolen. If you rent a booth or station at a salon, your workstation is protected by Fire Legal Liability coverage (Damage to Premises Rented to You, included in your general liability insurance with BBI).

If you’re a salon owner and want to protect multiple workstations simultaneously, check out our Salon and Spa Insurance.

Why Choose BBI for Your Hairstylist Insurance Needs

Now that you understand what kind of insurance you need as a hairstylist, it’s time to get covered. At BBI, we make it easy to get a comprehensive hairstylist insurance policy at a price you’ll love.

Our base policy for hairstylists starts at just $9.99 a month and includes coverage for general and professional liability, personal and advertising injury, and products and completed operations. Get additional coverage for your essential tools and supplies for only $1.33 a month.

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