How to choose the perfect uniform for your salon.

Girl deciding what to wear

Choosing a uniform for your salon that represents your business shouldn’t be stressful. It should be EXCITING!

But, how do you know if your uniform (or apron) is going to be long lasting and comfortable? Or that your staff will actually want to wear these items all day long? Or that they won’t be a total waste of money?

We’ve worked in both the fashion industry and uniform supply for over 20 years. That means we’ve designed a LOT of clothing and supplied uniforms to a LOT of clients. Through these collaborations, we’ve experienced many challenges that businesses face when choosing uniforms for their teams.  We’ve also worked with EVERY type of material you can imagine, so we’re able to share exactly how they perform when it comes to comfort, durability and affordability. It then comes down to choosing the number one priority for you and your business.

To avoid making the same mistakes that a lot of businesses make uniform shopping, here’s our “cheat sheet”. These tips will help you choose the right fit (pun intended) for your salon.  We’ve explained the pros, and exposed the cons, so that you can be fully informed before making any decisions.

Priority : Must be bleach proof.

Hello hair dressers…especially colourists …we totally understand your frustration! You want to wear the latest in fashion (as long as its black!), but you don’t want to cover up in something ‘cheap’ looking or ‘plastic’.

No one wants their favourite clothes destroyed by any wicked little potions! Once the colour or bleach has made contact with your clothing, they’re never the same again.

Natural fibres, like cotton or linen, are NOT bleach proof so always a risk to wear when colouring.

The types of materials that are bleach proof are generally synthetic, and well…a bit plastic-like. They’re made from NON absorbent, man-made materials. There are plenty of hi tech bleach proof fabrics developed now, some even look like leather, but are not made from animals! Winning – you get to be stylish and cruelty free.

Cons : Bleach proof products can be a bit sticky to wear as they don’t breath, but our planet and your designer wardrobe will thank you! Choosing bleach proof aprons is the best way to cover your clothing. 

The Uniform Stylist, Hairdressing apron

The Uniform Stylist, Hairdressing apron

Priority : Must be low iron.

Iron? What’s that?

For the non-ironers reading, it’s what’s used to press clothes so that your outfit looks smart when you leave the house, and will help you look professional when you go to work! We know it’s annoying to get the iron out every morning, or dust off the cobwebs if its been a while, but there are quite a lot of products in the work wear space that are “low iron”. Garments made from polyester are easy care, plus they are also low fade so in this respect, a great material for a work outfit.  Cottons and natural fibres that claim to be low iron, or iron free, have been treated with chemicals. They are not naturally iron free. So, be wary of these because you don’t know what’s really in those chemicals (and some have been known to be carcinogenic).

Cons : Before we high five the synthetic fibre Gods, Polyester doesn’t breath and will absorb body odour which will become stinky in no time. Try to find a material made of 50% polyester or less. Or, the kind of polyester that is used for active wear – these sporty polyesters are designed to breath.

Iron image from Pinterest

Priority : Must be Eco-friendly.

Eco-friendly can mean a number of things…

Long lasting – Durable, well made.

Slow fashion – Clothing that is modern and features on trend elements, but still classic.

Sustainably sourced – Using fibres that have been harvested with low impact on the environment, especially bamboo which doesn’t rely on much water to grow.

Vegan/ cruelty free  – Using faux materials such as synthetics or natural resources (cruelty free) to look like leather, fur and croc.

Ethically produced – using certified factories where staff are not exploited, and production processes are managed to reduce harm to the environment.

Cons : sometimes these products can be a bit more expensive. However long term, and big picture-wise…this is a small price to pay


Image via Patagonia

Priority : Must be breathable.

Natural fibres  that breath – like linen and cotton – are ideal to wear in warm climates, for staff comfort factor. In some cases, the natural crease of the material creates an ‘artisan’ or ‘rustic’ look that can suit some brands.  Linen and cotton are very absorbent, so spills do tend to absorb and may be harder to remove if allowed to sink in. However, clothing and aprons made from cotton denim, or heavy linens will wash and wear well long term.

Cons : Will absorb moisture – so sweat and other stains are common. More likely to fade quickly with repetitive wash, or if white, they will discolour…however this ‘sun bleached’ or ‘worn in’ look can be a desirable outcome. Especially if your brand is more casual, coastal or tropical. 

Linen dress natural uniforms

Custom design linen dress from The Uniform Stylist

Priority : Must be stylish and luxurious, easy care, eco-friendly and affordable.

We hear you!

That’s why we developed our EMBASSIE and NOIR NATION collections, as well as offer a custom design service that tick these all important boxes.

We’re passionate about incorporating solutions for salons, spas or clinics so that your uniform is not only stylish, it will perform for you on every level!

See more here : Shop Now

Hero image : @namastehannah instagram.

All others The Uniform Stylist, or Pinterest.


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