Personal appearance services

Operators of higher risk personal appearance services require a licence under the Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003. Higher risk personal appearance services include:

  • body piercing, other than closed ear or nose piercing
  • implanting natural or synthetic substances into a person's skin e.g. hair or beads
  • scarring or cutting a person's skin using a sharp instrument to make a permanent mark or design
  • tattooing including cosmetic tattooing or synthetic makeup.

The Act also contains requirements for non-higher risk personal appearance services. Non-higher risk personal appearance services include:

  • hairdressing
  • beauty therapy.

Operators of non-higher risk personal appearance services are required to comply with hygiene and infection control requirements but are not required to be licensed. 


If you wish to report a concern about a Personal Appearance Services business, you can lodge a request online.

Council investigates concerns such as:

  • unsafe or unhygienic practices (e.g. not wearing gloves, inadequate cleaning)
  • unlicensed premises.

Council does not investigate concerns about body piercing or tattooing of minors (under 18 years of age).

These complaints should be referred to PoliceLink on 131 444