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Salon Cancellation Policy Guide: Examples and Free Template

Protect your time and income with a clear cancellation policy. Get tips for writing yours and see examples of what information to include, proper methods of communication, and how to enforce your policy.
By Josephine Hulburd Schultz | December 16, 2022

Why is a salon cancellation policy important?

Your time is valuable and every unfilled appointment slot takes away from your earning potential. Having a fair but firm cancellation policy allows you to set expectations while safeguarding your income.

While no-shows and cancellations are inevitable, a well-written and communicated policy can reduce unexpected loss of income, encourage clients to follow through with their appointments, and even assist when dealing with chargeback disputes.

How to word your salon cancellation policy

When wording your salon's cancellation policy, be clear and concise. Don't leave room for any misunderstandings. Be fair—an overly strict cancellation policy can deter clients from booking or cause frustration if the policy is unreasonable. Be firm and make sure the language of your policy is definitive and enforceable. Avoid using phrases like "we ask" or "please allow" as this language can be misconstrued as a suggestion rather than a requirement. For further guidance, download our free Salon Cancellation Policy Template.

Ask yourself the following questions when writing your salon cancellation policy:

  1. How much time is needed to fill a canceled appointment?

    A 24-hour minimum notice is standard for most salons, but consider the specific needs of your business. This timeframe is best determined by how long it would take for you to fill the appointment or notify your waitlist about the open time slot.

  2. Should there be a cancellation fee?

    Decide if you want to recoup some of your losses by charging a fee for late cancellations. This can be a fixed fee, non-refundable deposit, or percentage of the service price. Consider the cost of an unused time slot for the duration of the service.

  3. What happens if a client no-shows or reschedules shortly before their appointment?

    You get to decide how no-shows and last-minute reschedules are handled. Often, no-shows are charged a higher fee than clients who cancel or reschedule late. Again, this can be determined by how quickly you can fill the opening with last-minute appointments such as walk-ins.

    Additionally, you need to decide at what point a late client is considered to be a no-show. Many salons have a 15-minute grace period before late arrivals are treated as no-shows. To determine a suitable grace period, consider the length of the appointment and how it would affect your schedule and other clients' appointment times.

Salon cancellation policy examples

Here are some great brief examples of salon cancellation policies. Feel free to tailor these for use at your salon:

  • For appointments canceled or rescheduled within 24 hours of the appointment time, we charge 50% of the service total. “No-show” appointments will be charged 100%.

  • For appointments canceled within 24 hours or “no-show” appointments, we charge 100% of the service total.

  • For appointments canceled or rescheduled within 24 hours or “no-shows”, we charge 50% of the service total.

  • For appointments canceled within 24 hours of the appointment time, we charge a $25 fee. For "no-show" appointments, we charge 50% of the service total.

Download The Salon Cancellation Policy Template

Whether you’re a busy hair salon or a luxury beauty lounge, every business has its own needs and expectations for its clients and staff members. Creating and enforcing your policies is essential to maintaining those standards. To make a salon cancellation policy for the unique requirements of your business, download our free template.

How to communicate your cancellation policy

During booking

Communicate your cancellation policy while the client is scheduling the appointment. This way, clients are made aware of your policy at the time of booking so expectations are set and misunderstandings are avoided. For example, My Little Beautique's online booking states, "By booking this appointment you agree to our cancellation policy" and gives a concise version of their policy.

It’s important to share your cancellation policy even when clients call in to book. You're no doubt well aware of how much of a chore it can be to do so over the phone, and how time-consuming it is for your staff. This is what makes Express Booking™️ such a beneficial feature for salons.

Express Booking™️ makes it simple to ensure your clients agree to your cancellation policy without ever having to repeat it over the phone. When a client calls to make an appointment, Express Booking™️ allows you to text them a link where they can review their appointment details, safely enter their personal information, put a card on file, and accept your cancellation policy to complete the booking.

After booking

Reiterate your cancellation policy in your appointment notifications. Your policy can be included in your booking notifications, confirmation requests, and appointment reminders. Be sure to use a system with automated messaging so your client communication is reliable and handled without any manual work.

For appointments that require clients to submit a form, insert your cancellation policy at the end of the form and require clients to acknowledge it with a toggle or signature field (or both). This is perfect for client intake forms, hair extension contracts, membership agreements, and client applications.

Your website

Detail your full cancellation policy on your website. Provide a link for clients to view the page upon booking and prompt your clients to visit the page in your appointment notifications.

How to enforce your cancellation policy

The cost of unfilled appointment slots can add up, so you should never feel guilty for protecting your time and income. Firm cancellation policies encourage clients to show up and respect your time. Think of your cancellation policy as an incentive, not a penalty.

Clearly state your cancellation policy during booking

Communicate your cancellation policy and require clients to effectively agree to the policy by booking and confirming their appointment.

Make sure to remind clients

Send appointment reminders and give your clients notice of your cancellation policy at least once more before the minimum cancellation timeframe.

Require a card-on-file, deposit, or prepayment to reserve an appointment

If your booking system allows you to require a card-on-file in order to book, take advantage of that feature. This makes it easy to enforce your policy without having to go back and forth later. Alternatively, you can require a deposit at booking and use this as your cancellation fee. If you require full prepayment of the service at booking, refund the client in accordance with your policy.

This step can be streamlined with salon booking software that gives you the option to require a card-on-file or deposits before booking certain services.

Charge or invoice the client for the canceled appointment or "no-show"

Charge or invoice your client according to your policy. Send them a receipt notifying them of the fee. If applicable, offer them a way to reschedule the appointment.

Having a firm but fair policy is part of upholding the value of your salon and services. Cancellations and no-shows are inevitable but you can set yourself up for success with good communication and a strong cancellation policy that protects from lost income.

Manage Appointments with Mangomint

With industry-leading smart features that allow salons and spas to store cards on file, take deposits, and send intake forms, Mangomint makes it easy to communicate and enforce your cancellation policy the right way, right away. 

Mangomint’s Integrated Forms feature enables you to template, customize, and automate the sending of intake forms, waivers, and more to your clients. Share your cancellation policy and gather the client information you need automatically whenever an appointment is booked.

Our Express Booking™ feature significantly reduces the time it takes to book appointments over the phone while ensuring agreement to your cancellation policy. When creating an appointment in Mangomint, you can text a link to the client where they can review and complete their booking details, add a card-on-file, and accept your cancellation policy.

When cancellations happen, get alerts for openings with our Intelligent Waitlist feature. Mangomint automatically detects any cancellations or changes on the calendar and notifies you if any of the entries on your waitlist may fit.

To learn more about our Mangomint, please book a live demo or start a free trial. We'd love to show you what Mangomint can do.

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