General information on lighting in a beauty salon

Updated February 21, 2017

People enjoy going to the beauty parlour because it is such a self-esteem booster to look attractive and be physically noticed. Even if the service from the beauty parlour stylists and beauticians is more than stellar, poor lighting in a beauty parlour can make results look disastrous. There are general lighting recommendations that those who own and work in beauty parlours should follow in order to minimise problems.


Lights in beauty parlours should be indirect (diffused). Diffused lighting means that the light coming from the fixture is scattered in many different directions. This is achieved by putting the light source behind something translucent. You can do this by using frosted bulbs rather than clear, putting the lights behind screens or curtains or by using frosted light covers and lamp shades. The result of using diffused light is fewer shadows and the ability to see colours more truly.


Bright lights tend to cast dark shadows that can affect the appearance of colour. Instead of using a few large lights that are very powerful, it's better to use many smaller lights and to keep the total amount of light low. In particular, this technique should be used in reception areas, since it can be calming to clients who are nervous about how their session will turn out.


If possible, sunlight (or a bulb that comes close to it in colour spectrum) should be utilised. Sunlight is naturally diffused by the atmosphere, so it isn't as harsh as artificial lights. Skylights and large windows are options for getting enough sunlight into the parlour space.

Supplemental Lighting

Beauticians shouldn't rely on overhead lights because they cause extreme shadows, particularly underneath the eyes. To combat this, a few soft frontal lights should be placed in each beauty station. For wash areas, some lighting directed toward the wash bowls is helpful.


Certain types of bulbs provide a better colour spectrum then others. Most beauty parlours use halogen bulbs for this reason, but if these are used, they need to be replaced often because they tend to dim over time. The one type of lighting that should be avoided at all costs in beauty parlours is fluorescent lighting. Even though fluorescent bulbs are not very expensive to run, they are extremely harsh and tend to make people look very washed out. Additionally, because so many bulbs are used in beauty parlours, it's advisable to look into "green" bulb options that are more energy efficient or that don't burn out as quickly.

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About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website,, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.