How to use colour to market your salon on Instagram

Ever thought of colour as a clever salon social media marketing tool?

A tool that can ‘talk’ to your Instagram or Facebook followers and set your beauty or hair business apart from the sea of local competition.

Imagine if you could get your followers to see, feel and do what you want them to on social media.

Well, colour helps you do exactly that. It’s a powerful marketing tool once you understand how it triggers psychological reactions, influences mood, and prompts followers to take action.


Colour psychology: an emotional cue on Instagram

We all know attention spans are mega short on Instagram and Facebook.

Followers get distracted and bored in seconds, so that post you poured your heart and soul into must capture their attention fast.

A powerful visual is often the difference between your social post being read, or not. And colour plays a massive part this.

Why? Because different colours trigger different emotional responses in the brain.

Creating the right image and colour tones for each post can:

  • get you noticed
  • change how your salon business is perceived
  • trigger action.

It is as simple as that.

So, if you have a favourite go-to colour palette when creating your Instagram or Facebook imagery read on and check if it’s saying the right things about your business.


Choose RED on social media posts

1. If you want to grab attention fast and stop people in their tracks. Red is a powerful, dynamic colour which portrays:

  • energy & speed
  • youth
  • warmth
  • love
  • strong emotions

But there is a darker, aggressive side to red with its links with blood, stop traffic lights and horror films. So, tread carefully when using it on social marketing imagery.

HJi’s striking post in vibrant red is a brilliant example:


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A post shared by HJ (@hairdressersjournal) on

2. It’s the go-to colour for a salon promotion on social as pure, bright reds shout ‘sale’, ‘discount’ and ‘deal’. But, as I always say to my Course students, handle with caution as red can cheapen your brand with its bargain basement image.

3. Research shows red is overwhelmingly the favourite when it comes to depicting speed, so use it when talking about your express salon treatments on social.

4. If ‘understated, calm and holistic’ describes your beauty business then red probably isn’t for you.

Try softening its impact by adding a complementary colour. Add green for Christmas holiday promotion posts or blush pink for a romantic Valentine salon marketing campaign.

Should you offer salon promotions and deals? I take an in-depth look at offers, deals and promos in this blog.


Be BLUE on social media imagery

1. To evoke feelings of:

  • trust & professionalism
  • respectability
  • a safe pair of hands
  • reliable & dependable
  • healing
  • calm

It’s these emotions that make it the most popular colour with medispas, aesthetic clinics and holistic practitioners for branding.

Research shows:

Blue is the top choice (43%) for reliability, followed by black (24%)

Skin care specialist Dermalogica strengthen their clinical, professional credentials by positioning their products in front of a blue tiled background. No fluffy pink messages here.


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A post shared by dermalogica (@dermalogica) on

2. Make these emotions work for your beauty or hair business when creating social imagery for a new treatment, service or product launch.

Think about it:

Let me tell you about one of our Course students who recently launched a new micro-needling treatment. She chose red as the main colour of her Facebook and Instagram advert image thinking it would ensure it stood out. It did stand out, but for all the wrong reasons as red’s connotations of blood and cheap deals didn’t sit well with micro-needling.

I suggested she took the identical social post but made blue the hero colour instead. Immediately her new micro-needling treatment felt more proven, safe and clinical.  By evoking emotions of trust through colour she started getting enquiries and bookings to her social advertising.

Just a colour change. But a different marketing message completely.

3. But get carried away with blue and it can make your salon social feed look cold, unemotional and detached. And that’s not very sociable.


In research most chose the colour blue (34%), followed by white (21%) and green (11%) when looking for trust.


Embrace YELLOW on salon social

1. To make your Instagram followers feel:

  • happy and joyful
  • positive & optimistic
  • lift their spirits
  • cheerful & warm
  • friendly & youthful

2. Positive emotions are the ones most likely to make posts go viral according to a Harvard Business Review research. So add yellow to improve organic Reach and increase engagement: think daffodils waving in a spring breeze, fluffy chicks or the blazing summer sun. Are you smiling already?

Selfridges add movement to their striking canary yellow advert for Prada, with contrasting black text for maximum oomph.

Use sunny yellows to brighten a dank winter day with a friendly, upbeat message to your followers – a LED light therapy treatment promotion perhaps?

3. Yellow was chosen for the happy smiley face for a reason 😃, while red is angry face 👿. Neither image would feel right if you swapped the colours around.

4. But yellow does have a negative side. Psychologists tell us too much can make us feel anxious, self-critical and depress our self-esteem. So, don’t go overboard on yellow on your salon social.

Want to give your salon social media a boost? This in-depth Guide walks you through the 7 steps to create a Salon Social Media Plan for your beauty, aesthetic or hair business (no download needed).


Go GREEN on Instagram imagery

1. Add green to your social imagery to create:

  • harmony & balance
  • restfulness & peace
  • growth & renewal
  • stress busting
  • nature
  • tranquillity

2. Green is the colour of the moment evoking our planet, organic hair and beauty, vegan products and natural beauty.

If you’re talking about a natural, organic well-being treatment then choose green as your hero colour for your image. Combine it with a palette of earthy brown tones if you want your social posts to inspire balance and harmony.

This leafy green Instagram image reinforces Aveda’s sustainable, plant-based, natural ethos.


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A post shared by Aveda (@aveda) on

3. Green doesn’t pack a punch like red which is why it’s rarely used for sales and deal campaigns on social media.

But if you want your Instagram followers to feel the pull of nature, holistic therapies and renewal, blend shades of green on your social media image. Ideal as a Cover Photo on Facebook for a well-being retreat or spa for example.

Is your salon Facebook looking a tad neglected? Give it a quick spring-clean with these 10 practical salon marketing tips and get it working hard again for your hair or beauty business.


Plump for PINK on Instagram

1. Without doubt one of the most popular colours on salon social for beauty and hair businesses. And you can see why, as it inspires emotions of:

  • love & romance
  • caring & nurturing
  • empathy & sensitivity
  • gentleness & innocence
  • femininity

OPI have a thriving Instagram page and use colour brilliantly. While the rest of us don’t have OPI’s massive marketing resources we can learn from their great use of colour. I love this pop of neon pink.


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A post shared by OPI (@opi) on

2. It might be a shade of red, but pink doesn’t demand attention in a social feed in the way its grown up sister red does.

A delicate, girly pink is soothing, feminine and pretty. Perfect for treatments and services designed to beautify clients such as makeup, bridal or relaxing facials and nails.

But if you’re talking about a chemical peel on social media avoid pink. Opt for blue with its trustworthy, health and dependable associations.

3. Want to create a vintage or retro vibe with your imagery? Then pink’s your bestie. Who could resist this mix of vintage pastel sorbet hues?


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A post shared by OPI (@opi) on

Evoke the 1950s by combining blush rose with powder blue or echo the 1960s with Barbie bubble-gum pink.

4. Whoever chose pink for breast cancer’s ribbons and Pink October was inspired. It’s a mastermind stroke as pink evokes feelings of hope, empathy and nurturing.

5. But be slightly cautious with pink. Too much can err on being too girly and immature, so if you love pink introduce a contrasting or complementary colour to some of your social images. Red works surprising well with pink.

Are you struggling to find the time and energy to market your business on social?Been using social media for some time, but your engagement is low and you’re not converting followers into paying clients?You know there must be an easier way. And there is. My NEW Salon Social Club with ready-to-post social graphics, daily marketing advice, actionable tips and guidance plus social marketing education and a private community of like-minded hair & beauty business owners. Have a look here.


Paint it BLACK on social media

1. If you want your social image to look and feel:

  • sophisticated
  • contemporary yet elegant
  • luxurious
  • powerful & authoritative
  • glamorous & high end

2. Often more popular with hair salons than beauty and aesthetic businesses, black makes a bold statement, especially on social media and websites.

A black and white image can stand out from the crowd on Instagram or Facebook, just be careful what you mix it with.

If your profile is brimming with pastel shades and pretty, girly photos adding a heavy black image might look overpowering. But a nostalgic, sepia-tinted image or a grey based image like these from Toni&Guy ones below can work well.

3. If you stick to just black & white, your profile may feel a little negative because of the emotions of sadness black can create.

And not including any colour photos or imagery is very restrictive when you’re marketing your business and want to showcase your services. So, think about ringing the changes.

In a survey questioning what says ‘high quality’ best, black was the clear winner (43%),  followed by blue (20%).


Add zing with ORANGE on social

1. A mellower version of red, orange suggests:

  • fun & extrovert
  • energy & vitality
  • warmth
  • positive & optimistic
  • freedom
  • good value

2. Okay so maybe you’re not an orange fan, but it’s a must-have when marketing your salon business on social media.

Let me explain:

On the colour wheel, orange is created by mixing red and yellow. So psychologically it combines the best of both colours: the happy, fun associations of yellow with the power and excitement of red.

These posts from CND jump off the screen with their pop of orange, drawing the eye.


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A post shared by CND (@cndworld) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by CND (@cndworld) on

Use it when you want to introduce fun, zest and zing into your social imagery – think of a juicy Orange fruit – perhaps for a Facebook or Instagram contest.

I walk you through setting up a successful Facebook giveaway contest here – from ideas to launch.

3. Want your salon offer to look less aggressive but still be eye-catching in your followers’ feed? Then try orange, rather than red, to introduce a more playful, light-hearted element.

4. As with red, use orange sparingly. Too much can cheapen your brand and make your social look desperate.


Pick PURPLE imagery on social

1. When you have something deeper to say on social media:

  • spirituality
  • luxury & sophistication
  • creativity
  • individual
  • intuitive

2. If you have a holistic or well-being business then purple should be in your social media armoury a with its associations with spirituality, energy and creativity. Not so good for an aesthetic clinic where clinical blue would usually work better.

3. Purple is also associated with royalty and luxury goods so it’s a popular colour with high-end cosmetic houses. Purple works well for top-end spa resort’s social imagery but if you want to create a down-to-earth feel to your Instagram then purple is probably best used sparingly.

This rich, velvety background for LVL Lashes just oozes glamour and high-end luxury, creating the perfect background for the Christmas marketing message.


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A post shared by Nouveau Lashes (@nouveaulashesuk) on


Win with a WHITER shade of pale

1. White may seem a non-colour or at best neutral, but it speaks volumes:

  • purity & innocence
  • simplicity
  • luxury
  • cleanliness & calm
  • sophistication & exclusivity

2. White is probably the most important ‘colour’ you can use on salon social.

White is clean, calm and ordered (which is perhaps why doctors wear white coats – as being blunt it’s not the most practical of colours).

Use it to create contrast and white space on your social media. A plain white background with a distinctive font stands out from the crowd for its simplicity. And it speaks volumes.

3. Use white on social posts when you want to evoke luxury, exclusivity and purity whether for organic pure products or top end retail.

Another classic from OPI with white nails and accessories which shows how white can create that glamorous, luxurious mood.


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A post shared by OPI (@opi) on

4. Just don’t get carried away with white as too much can cause feelings of isolation, loneliness, and emptiness.


Colour is powerful in salon marketing

Still wondering whether the colour of your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter image (or video) needs careful thought when beauty or hair marketing your business?

Take a look at the research:

Researchers asked which colour people associated with certain emotions:

  • Safety: Blue came out on top (28%), followed by black (16%) and green (12%)
  • Cheapness: Orange came first (26%), followed by yellow (22%) and brown (13%)
  • Fear/Terror: Red came in first (41%) followed by black (38%)
  • Trust: Blue (34%), followed by white (21%) and green (11%) when looking for trust
  • Fun: Orange was the top choice (28%), followed closely by yellow (26%) and then purple (17%)

This is why understanding colour psychology then using it correctly on your social is crucial to the success of your salon marketing.

Get it wrong and you may send the wrong message out about your beauty, aesthetic or hair brand.


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