At TechnologyAdvice, we start by defining business needs, determining the essential features required, and selecting a wide array of platforms to evaluate. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on its features, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and other relevant functionalities. Of course, pricing, customer support, and reviews are also important considerations. 

We rely on an internal algorithm to calculate star ratings based on many factors. I also used my first-hand experience managing busy spas and working the front desk at salons to find the best salon POS systems. 

The specific criteria I considered include: 

  • Pricing: POS software with low, transparent setup and ongoing fees and low payment processing fees received the highest scores. I also considered the overall value each software offers for its price. 
  • Hardware: What systems does the software operate on? Does it require proprietary POS hardware, or can you use your existing desktop, smartphone, or tablet? If the software does come with proprietary hardware, is it affordable and easy to set up and use?
  • Software features: In addition to standard POS features like payment processing, customer relation management (CRM), sales, and marketing tools, I also evaluated appointment scheduling, calendar management, and reporting and analytics. 
  • Support and reliability: I considered the quality, availability, and modes of customer support. I also considered the overall uptime and reliability of the software. 
  • User experience: I evaluated several important factors, including ease of use, appointment booking, checkout speed, online access, and software interface. 
  • User scores: Finally, I considered average user scores from sites like Capterrra, G2, and SoftwareAdvice to get a well-rounded view of how businesses and employees from dozens of businesses view the software.

Salon point-of-sale (POS) systems are a type of point-of-sale software designed for managing appointments, booking and charging clients, tracking retail products, and handling employee commissions. The best salon POS systems also streamline client communications, connect to marketing channels, and help optimize schedules with flexible and sophisticated calendar and appointment management tools.  

Choosing the right POS for your salon business is crucial. It will streamline your day-to-day operations, allowing you to focus on your clients and your craft. 

Top salon POS software 

The best salon POS systems on the market include: 

All of the solutions that made our list are cloud-based and offer online booking with a customizable website builder, multi-staff calendar options, chair-side checkout tools, tip and commission tracking, and both retail and back bar supply tracking. 

Our rating
(out of 5)
Monthly fee from Transaction fee
Fresha logo. 4.35 $0 2.19% + $0.20
Try Fresha
Square logo. 4.35 $0 2.6% + $0.10*
Try Square Appointments
GlossGenius logo. 4.22 $24 2.6%
Try GlossGenius
Meevo logo. 3.96 $139 Custom quote
Try Meevo
Vagaro logo. 3.95 $30 Starting at 2.2%
Try Vagaro

*Higher fees apply for online and card-on-file transactions 

Read more: Best POS Systems  

Fresha logo.

Fresha: Best overall salon POS

Overall Reviewer Score

4.35/5

Pricing

5/5

Hardware

3.5/5

Salon software features

4.79/5

Support and reliability

3.75/5

User experience

4.38/5

User scores

4.67/5

Pros

  • Forever-free plan
  • Unlimited appointments, employees, and inventory items
  • Low payment processing fees
  • Customer-facing marketplace
  • Automated marketing campaigns

Cons

  • Minimal integrations, including no accounting
  • No group booking capabilities
  • No client chat capabilities

Why I picked Fresha

Whether you’re managing a small team of stylists or multiple salon locations, Fresha has all the basics you need in an affordable, user-friendly package. Unlike Square, Vagaro, and others on this list, you can schedule unlimited appointments for unlimited team members in multiple locations, all for free. 

Its user-friendly interface, customer-facing business directory, low price point, and detailed booking features earned Fresha the top spot.

Fresha is popular salon software with a forever-free plan that includes online and in-person appointment booking, calendar management, native payment processing and point of sale, back bar and retail product tracking, reporting and analytics, and promotional tools. In addition to an unbeatable price point, Fresha also has a clean, modern user interface that is easy to navigate. 

The software is accessible from any browser or through dedicated iOS and Android apps available for smartphones and tablets. In addition to tools for businesses, Fresha also has a customer-facing booking app, similar to Square, that allows clients and prospective clients to find and book with your business.

  • Online booking: While every POS on this list has online booking capabilities, Fresha’s stands out for its proprietary marketplace and integrated Facebook, Instagram, and Google bookings. 
  • Detailed insights: More than 45 built-in reports across sales, appointments, finances, clients, inventory, and team. Plus, you can customize existing reports, build new ones, share data with your team, and export data as needed. Thirty-eight reports are included in the free plan; however, seven reports, custom team access, and report customizations are paid add-ons. 
  • Automated marketing: Set up segmented and automated email, text, and multichannel campaigns. Create and track deals and promo codes. Implement dynamic pricing that automatically adjusts your service prices, charging different amounts during more or less busy hours.
  • Low processing fees: Fresha charges 2.19% + $0.20 per transaction. Most POS systems charge around 2.6% per transaction. Fresha also has options to automate no-show and cancellation fees, save customer payment information on file, and receive next-day deposits.
  • Forever-free software: Unlimited appointment bookings, team members, emails, locations and venues, clients, reporting, and more. 
  • Payment processing: 2.19% + $0.20 for in-person and online transactions. 
  • New client fee (marketplace bookings only): 20% one-time commission, minimum fee of $6 per client. 

Add-ons:

  • Automated notifications: 20 free monthly texts, $0.02 per text afterward. Unlimited free email and in-app notifications.   
  • Marketing campaigns: $0.08 per text, $0.02 per email. 
  • Insights: $9.95 per month per team member for advanced reports and customizations. 
  • Team Pay: $7.95 per month per team member for payroll processing that tracks wages, tips, and commissions and allows for easy direct deposits.
Square logo.

Square Appointments: Best hardware options

Overall Reviewer Score

4.35/5

Pricing

4.38/5

Hardware

4.75/5

Salon software features

4.17/5

Support and reliability

3.75/5

User experience

4.38/5

User scores

4.67/5

Pros

  • Diverse and affordable hardware options
  • Free plan
  • Free online booking site
  • Plus plans to grow with your business
  • Square Go customer app

Cons

  • Variable support quality
  • Limited support hours
  • Google Calendar sync only available in paid plans

Why I picked Square Appointments

Square is an extremely popular and highly rated POS. Its touch-screen interface is incredibly intuitive, requiring minimal training, and is ideal for fast-paced salon environments. 

The other options on this list offer either a mobile card reader or a countertop terminal. Square offers both and everything in between, including a large touch-screen register with a customer-facing display, a sleek iPad stand, a handheld mobile terminal, and a mobile card reader. You can also simply opt to accept Tap to Pay directly from your smartphone. 


One of the best parts about using Square is that you have access to the entire Square ecosystem, including payroll, shifts, team management, banking, online store, inventory tracking, and more. This, along with the excellent hardware options, user-friendly software, and low price point, makes Square’s POS solutions not just great for salons but also one of the best POS systems for most small businesses.

Square’s ubiquitous card readers and checkout screen aren’t just for payment processing—Square also offers a top-notch appointment-based POS system for salons, spas, and beauty businesses. Square Appointments is an industry-specific POS with built-in payment processing, booking and calendar management, a free online booking site, automated reminder and messaging, client and employee management, and a decent number of software integrations.

  • Online booking: Every Square account comes with a free online booking site or option to add booking functionality to your existing site. Customers can book 24/7 and you can control whether to automatically accept appointments or to review and approve them first.  
  • Client portal: Save client data, including payment information, contact details, history, and messages. 
  • Client messaging: Easily text and email customers directly from Square POS, including for appointment booking and payments. Square Appointments also comes with Square Assistant, an AI chat tool that helps clients confirm, cancel, and reschedule appointments at any time of day. 
  • Diverse payment options: In addition to in-person, online, and card-on-file payments, Square also has free invoicing tools and comes with Afterpay, Cash App, and Tap to Pay.  
  • Flexible hardware: Square Appointments is available as an app on iOS and Android and through Square’s proprietary hardware devices. Square Terminal (a mobile touch screen POS), Square Register (a countertop POS with a client-facing display), and Square Stand (a countertop setup for iPads).
  • Forever-free plan: $0 includes POS, appointment booking, online booking and website, automated messages, product tracking, and basic reporting. 
  • Plus plan: $29 per month and includes all free features plus multi-location management, advanced scheduling options like waitlisting and processing time, custom notifications, and automated cancellation policies. 
  • Premium plan: $69 per month and includes all free and Plus features, plus resource management and booking options, staff scheduling and commission tracking, and custom contracts.  
  • In-person transaction fee: 2.5%–2.6% + $0.30 
  • Online transaction fee: 2.9% + $0.30 
  • Card-on-file transaction fee: 3.5% + $0.15
  • Afterpay transactions: 6% + $0.30
GlossGenius logo.

GlossGenius: Best mobile-first salon POS

Overall Reviewer Score

4.22/5

Pricing

4.38/5

Hardware

3.5/5

Salon software features

3.96/5

Support and reliability

4.38/5

User experience

4.38/5

User scores

4.73/5

Pros

  • All-in-one pricing
  • Custom website builder
  • Automated marketing tools
  • User-friendly client-facing tools
  • Excellent user reviews

Cons

  • Need to use GlossGenius’s payment processing
  • Calendar and schedule not as easy to navigate

Why I picked GlossGenius

The other software on this list are designed with browser-based dashboards and countertop payment terminals. GlossGenius, however, is mobile-first. 

GlossGenius’s mobile-first approach makes it a practical solution for busy stylists on the go. Its automated marketing tools (which can also be handled right from the app) help keep your schedule booked and busy. The easy booking tools and automated reminders help guarantee a great guest experience. 

Perhaps most importantly, GlossGenius has excellent reviews from stylists, salon owners, and clients alike, proving it is adaptable and user-friendly software.

GlossGenius is all-in-one software designed specifically for salons. It’s popular with solo stylists and larger salons alike. Stylists, in particular, like GlossGenius because it is easy to manage their entire business, including designing their website, right from the mobile app. 

In addition to visually pleasing mobile-first websites with online booking, GlossGenius offers automated reminders, including nudges to rebook, built-in payment processing with free same-day payouts, client management tools, and reporting on sales, expenses, and deductions.

  • Website builder: Customizable templates and ability to showcase portfolios and lots of images, create a detailed and bookable services page, and built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools. 
  • Marketing tools: Text and email marketing, automated prompts for clients to leave reviews, and easy social media sharing. 
  • Online booking: Clients can book directly from your website without having to sign-in. Collect deposits and/or cards-on-file, set custom booking rules, and easily toggle online booking on and off as needed. 
  • Built-in payment processing: One flat fee for all payments, with payouts as quick as 30 minutes. Custom tipping options, prompts for reviews and re-books, and retail sales right from checkout.
  • Standard: $24/month. Includes website, online booking, calendar and scheduling, unlimited appointment confirmations, client management, and reporting. 
  • Gold: $48/month. Includes Standard features plus waitlisting, multiple team members and staff calendars, commission reporting, and AI marketing tools.  
  • Transaction fee: 2.6% for in-person, online, and card-on-file payments. 
  • Contactless and chip card reader: $49.

Note: The card reader comes in over a dozen different designs and patterns, which is completely unique to GlossGenius.

Meevo logo.

Meevo: Best enterprise salon software

Overall Reviewer Score

3.96/5

Pricing

2.19/5

Hardware

3.75/5

Salon software features

5/5

Support and reliability

4.38/5

User experience

4.38/5

User scores

4.07/5

Pros

  • Robust, enterprise-level software
  • Customizable and configurable features
  • Real-time access to tips without processing fees
  • Excellent reporting
  • Easily manage memberships and walk-ins

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires excellent internet speed and bandwidth

Why I picked Meevo

As software built for large salons, multi-location businesses, enterprise corporations, and franchises, Meevo has the booking and reporting tools to manage it all. Whether you offer salon services or various treatments, Meevo can handle it. 

Unlike the other options on this list, like Square and Fresha, which are designed for small businesses, Meevo is exclusively designed for larger businesses. As such, its reporting is significantly more detailed and its feature set is designed to support an extensive client base as well as many different service providers. 

Meevo has more cutting-edge technology than the other solutions on this list (like the ability to book appointments via voice and a waitlist tool that automatically texts clients to fill openings). It also has much more granular controls, from the ability to book appointments down to five-minute intervals to providing individual employees access to itemized reports and register functions.

Meevo, specifically its parent company Millennium, has provided software for the salon industry since 1987 and is a well-known industry name. In addition to salons, Meevo supports spas, massage studios, medical spas, and beauty bars. 

It’s an incredibly robust system that has evolved extensively over the years, primarily focusing on business operations, client management and marketing, and detailed booking tools.

  • Appointment booking: Book in increments as small as five minutes, automatically fill schedule gaps with smart waitlist functionality, and embed online booking onto your website. Also features drag-and-drop appointment scheduling, color-coding based on services and providers, and a proprietary AI ad voice assistant to book appointments using voice recognition. 
  • Marketing suite: Includes a drag-and-drop email builder with client segmentation and A/B testing. Also allows you to automate campaigns, manage online listings and reviews on third-party sites directly from the POS, and post to social media directly from Meevo. 
  • Reporting: More than 150 pre-built reports, including key KPIs, client retention data, payroll, sales, and more. Dashboards provide graphs and visualizations. Plus, see reports on the go with a designated reporting app and options to automatically email reports at designated intervals, like at the end of each day. 
  • Security controls: Extremely customizable access settings, down to specific tasks and reports. Control or allow for off-premise access to certain functions. Get optional real-time notifications for actions like refunds. Detailed time-stamped activity logs track all actions performed in the software by employees.  
  • Meevo Academy: Extensive onboarding and training videos and courses tailored by role so new employees can quickly learn the system.
  • Up to 5 employees: $139/month. 
  • Up to 10 employees: $179/month. 
  • Up to 15 employees: $269/month. 
  • Up to 25 employees: $419/month. 
  • Unlimited employees: $529/month. 
  • Enterprise: Custom quote. 

Can add additional employees to any plan for $20/month/employee. 

Add-ons 

  • QuickBooks integration: $37/month.
  • Walk-in manager: $27/month.
  • Docs & Forms: $29/month.
Vagaro logo.

Vagaro: Best for booth and chair rentals

Overall Reviewer Score

3.95/5

Pricing

3.44/5

Hardware

3.25/5

Salon software features

5/5

Support and reliability

3.75/5

User experience

3.75/5

User scores

4.53/5

Pros

  • Automated rent collections
  • Online marketplace with no referral fee
  • Syncs with iCal, Google, and Outlook
  • Native loyalty program
  • Detailed reporting

Cons

  • Expensive hardware
  • Expensive add-ons

Why I picked Vagaro

More than ever, stylists are choosing to be their own boss, which means salon owners need software that can manage scheduling and renting out chairs and booths to independent contractors. Unlike the other options on this list, Vagaro has these tools built in. Business owners can set up automatic payments. If you offer product sales commissions, payments can be automatically deducted from rent fees.

Aside from rental tools, Vagaro also has robust appointment scheduling, embedded payment processing, and a popular customer-facing marketplace that doesn’t charge commission fees (unlike Fresha).

Vagaro is cloud-based appointment scheduling and point-of-sale software designed for beauty, wellness, and fitness businesses. This fully featured system helps handle scheduling, client accounts, marketing, payroll, and more. The software itself is robust, including features like booth rentals, loyalty programs, recourse booking, and individualized appointment notes in its base plan. However, Vagaro also stands apart for its online marketplace, which every business using Vagaro POS can take advantage of for no extra cost.

  • Booth rental tools: In addition to automatic recurring payments, Vagaro has onboarding communication, including rental agreement templates, options to require bank information for ACH payments, and automated 1099 forms. 
  • Online marketplace: Vagaro has a popular online directory that claims to have five appointments booked every second. Salons using Vagaro software get a free listing on the marketplace. Unlike Fresha, there is no commission fee for new customers who book through the marketplace.  
  • Versatile appointment calendar: Book by employee or resource/chair, custom appointment times in increments of 15 minutes, a waitlist feature to fill cancellations, and sync with Apple, Google, or Outlook calendars. 
  • Branded mobile app: Though expensive, Vagaro does offer businesses customized mobile apps that offer clients a complete branded experience to book appointments, track services, purchase products and packages, manage their profile, and receive notifications.
  • $30/month for one calendar and location.
  • Add an additional $10/month for each additional bookable employee, capped at $90/month for 7+ calendars. 
  • Multiple locations require a custom Enterprise quote. 
  • Transaction fees: Starting at 2.2%.

Add-ons: 

  • Text marketing: Starting at $20/month.
  • Live stream: Starting at $10/month.
  • Check-in app: $10/month.
  • Online forms: $10/month.
  • Prominent Marketplace listing : $10/month.
  • Online shopping cart: $10/month.
  • Branded app: $200/month.
  • Website builder: $20/month.
  • Payroll: $34/month + $5/employee.
  • QuickBooks & Xero integrations: $30/month.

Key components of salon POS

Having experience in the industry, I know how important it is for your POS system to have flexibility and a 360-view of business operations—including resource booking, backbar products, and commission tracking. 

Plus, advanced calendar tools and appointment reminders can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in front desk labor costs and missed appointment opportunities. 

Support hours are especially important, as salons are typically open after normal business hours and on Saturdays. 

In addition to the customers’ and the business owners’ experience, a good salon POS will also have employee management and employee-facing tools like calendar management and settings, the ability to view appointments and schedules from personal and off-site devices, and overall customization options. 

Read more: Types of POS Systems 

Benefits of using a salon POS

Using a dedicated salon POS allows for appointment booking, client management, and payment processing to happen all within the same system. This makes streamlining operations like cancellation and no-show fees, appointment reminders, and reporting easier. In short, the benefits are: 

  • Efficiency: Faster appointment scheduling and fewer manual processes for tasks like appointment reminders and confirmations. 
  • Cost savings: It reduces the need for multiple systems, minimizes manual errors and time in payment processing, and provides deeper insights for better operational and marketing efficiency in the long run.  
  • Scalability: Cloud-based POS systems are designed to scale easily as your business grows with more employees, clients, and locations. POS systems are also typically adaptable with new features and integrations. 
  • User-friendly online booking: Allows clients to book online 24/7 and sync to the appointment book within the POS. 
  • Better client management: Save customer information, including payment information, appointment history, and preferences, allowing for personalized service and marketing. 
  • Actionable reporting and analytics: Insights into sales trends, employee performance, VIP customers, and more. 
  • Easy employee management: Manage staff schedules, tip and commission payouts, performance metrics, and access levels. 
  • Better inventory management: Track bar product usage and stock levels and retail sales and trends, perform inventory counts, and manage reorders. 

Read more: POS Data 

FAQs

A salon POS system is software built specifically for salons to help them with payment processing, appointment booking, and client management. Essentially, it is what salon professionals use to manage their businesses.

Some salon POS systems are free to use. However, enterprise salon software can cost $500+ monthly.