Hairdressing, Beauty and Wellbeing

Hairdressing, Beauty and Wellbeing Image

Would you enjoy helping people to look and feel good? Are you interested in developing your practical and creative skills? If so, this career area may be what you’re looking for.

Fashion trends and the development of new cosmetic, beauty and hair care products are important factors for change in the industry. The use of barber shops has been growing due to the trend for male grooming with beard grooming being very popular.

In 2022, there were around 222,500 people working in hairdressing, barbering and beauty in the UK (excluding salon owners/managers), a decrease of 18,900 on 2021 figures.

What areas can I work in?

This career area includes: hairdressing, barbering, salon management, beauty therapy, nail therapy, spa therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, make-up artistry and body art (tattooing and piercing).

Related work is also available in other areas such as: reception (although online booking is growing in popularity in larger salons and salon chains), sales, marketing, and hospitality and tourism (in health spas and holiday resorts).

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Possible employers include:

What’s the job market like?

Despite the decline in the number of people working in hairdressing, barbering and beauty, the number of hair and beauty businesses in the UK rose by 5% in 2022, to around 48,000.

The National Hair and Beauty Federation’s (NHBF) latest State of the Industry survey (May 2023) showed that more businesses reported making a small or good profit (48%), breaking even (38%) and fewer businesses reporting a loss (19%), which is an improvement on the survey from the first quarter of 2023.

From the same survey, there was also an increase in the percentage of respondents (21%) who were definitely or likely to take on new staff in the next three months (compared to 15% in January 2023).

Due to the nature of this work, average salaries are low and levels of self employment are high. 62.5% of people working in the hair and beauty sector are self-employed. More than 75% of hair and beauty businesses employ fewer than five people and 95% fewer than ten.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

You will find useful information on careers and qualifications in the industry on the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (Habia) website. Habia is now part of the SkillsActive Group.

SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being.



Courtesy of Lumia Spa Stirling

Career Pathway

Hairdressing, Beauty and Wellbeing Career Pathway
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