Register or renew a hairdressing, beauty therapy or body art business

Hair, beauty and tattoo regulations

There are health guidelines for operators of the following businesses in the Northern Territory (NT):

  • hairdressing
  • beauty therapy
  • body art.

The guidelines aim to minimise the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, injury and other health-related complaints.


Hairdressing is any activity that is not a surgical or medical procedure that maintains, alters or enhances a person's appearance in relation to their facial or scalp hair.

Activities include doing any of the following for payment or reward:

  • cutting
  • trimming
  • removing
  • colouring
  • treating
  • shaving.

Beauty therapy

This includes the following activities:

  • treatment of the face or body
  • application of cosmetics, manicure or pedicure
  • artificial nails
  • semi-permanent make-up
  • cosmetic tattooing.

It does not include cosmetic surgical or medical procedures by a health practitioner registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

If your business does any of the above activities will need to be registered.

Find out how to register your hairdressing or beauty business.

Body art

This is defined as an activity that permanently decorates or adorns a person's skin or permanently alters their appearance other than a surgical or medical procedure.

This includes all of the following:

  • tattooing
  • ear piercing
  • body piercing
  • body modification.

Businesses carrying out any of the above activities will need to be registered.

Find out how to register your body art business.

Further reading

Get the Public and Environmental Health Guidelines for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Body Art from the Department of Health ePublications.

Read the Public and Environmental Health Regulations 2014.

For more information contact Environmental Health.

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Last updated: 01 March 2019

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