Hairdressing, Beauty and Wellbeing

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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.

There are 260,000 people working in this industry in the UK, across some 42,000 businesses.

Fashion trends and the development of new cosmetic, beauty and hair care products are important factors for change in the industry. Recent trends include an increase in male customers (in some areas), and increasing demand for anti-ageing treatments and products.

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).

What kind of companies can I work for?

Possible employers include:

What’s the job market like?

This industry is dependent on how much money people have to spend once they have paid for the ‘essentials’, such as food and fuel bills, however there are predicted to be some growth areas.

Summary statistics quoted by Business Gateway state that the spa, salon and in-store treatment sector is expected to grow by 8.1% by 2022 and that in the hairdressing and barbering sector, the demand from the male market is expected to increase over the next five years.

Self-employment is popular in this industry, with 58% of people in hairdressing and barbering and 53% in beauty.

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.


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