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Industry Overview

The hair & beauty industry facilitates employment and training opportunities for a broad section of society, allowing both big businesses and sole operations to compete side by side in a creative and lucrative marketplace.

Habia provides an industry overview helping you to target your strategy for the future success of your business. Keep an eye out for our predictions on how technology will change the industry over the foreseeable future.
All information and statistics from this document must be credited*

To help you find the most relevant statistics to support your sector please see General Industry table below as well as new additional pages specific to Hair Industry Research, Habia’s Beauty Industry findings and Training & Qualification Statistics. Please note that these pages are currently undergoing a revamp with lots of important findings being added all the time. Join Habia’s Industry Mailing list to ensure you are always first to know of big changes in the industry.

Hair Industry Statistics

View Hair Industry Statistics – updated regularly with hairdressing trends, industry insights and upcoming changes to the sector.
Hair Industry Statistics

Beauty Industry Statistics

The latest Beauty Industry Statistics – To stay up-to-date with seasonal developments in Beauty enter your email address, we will update you on Habia’s latest findings as they happen.

Beauty Industry Statistics

General Industry Statistics

For a broader, less specific picture of the Hair & Beauty industry and it’s impact on the UK economy and population, please see statistics below.

Industry Size and Turnover

Annual Turnover £6.2 billion *(inc. spa)
Total Employment 277,333
0.87% of the total UK workforce
Hair salons 35,704*
African Caribbean hair salons 302*
Barbering 2,967*
Nail bars/technicians 1,512*
Beauty salons/consultants 13,107*
Beauty therapists -mobile 947*
Spas 400*

Geographical location (workforce)

England (overall) 86.7%*
North East 4.9%*
North West 13.5%*
Yorkshire and The Humber 8.7%*
East Midlands 9.1%*
West Midlands 6.3%*
East 11.3%*
London 10.3%*
South East 14.4%*
South West 8.1%*
Northern Ireland 2.8%*
Scotland 6.4%*
Wales 4.1%*

Geographical location

(businesses -doesn’t include Northern Ireland)

North East 4.2%*
North West 12.6%*
Yorkshire and the Humber 8.3%*
East Midlands 6.9%*
West Midlands 8.9%*
East 9.9%*
London 13.4%*
South East 14.8%*
South West 8.5%*
Wales 4.4%*
Scotland 8.1%*

Gender and Age

Male 10.7%
Female 89.3%
Age Number
16 – 24* 76,505*
25 – 34* 56,787*
35 – 44* 73,164*
45 – 59* 38,962*
60 and over 6,147*
Total 245,795*
Age % Hair & Beauty
16 – 24* 31.1*
25 – 34* 23.1*
35 – 44* 29.8*
45 – 59* 15.9*
60 and over 2.5*
Total 100.0*
Age %
UK Economy
16 – 24* 13.4*
25 – 34* 21.1*
35 – 44* 26.0*
45 – 59* 31.9*
60 and over 7.6*
Total 100.0*

Employment Status

Owner of salon:27.1%
Manager of Salon:8.1%
Beauty therapists and related occupations: 62.6%*
Hairdressers and barbers: 62.6%*

Current skills and qualification profile

Degree: 2.9%
Level 4 and above: 8.5%
A-Level (or vocational equivalent): 5%
Level 3: 37.8%
Level 2: 35.3%
Below Level 2 or none: 18.3%

Recruitment and skill shortages

Salons with vacancies (overall): 20.5%
Hard to fill vacancies: 12.1%
Vacancies due to poor quality applicants: 2.9%
Establishments with skills gaps: 12.4%

Size of workplaces

1-10 employees: 93.5%
11-49 employees: 6.4%
50-199 employees: 0.1%
200 or more: 0.0%


White: 93.3%
Mixed: 1.1%
Asian or Asian British: 1.6%
Black or Black British: 2.3%
Chinese: 1.1%
Other ethnic group: 0.7%

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Key trends

Consumer trends, the influence of fashion and the desire to look younger, coupled with economic growth and the associated increase in real disposable income. As the cost of many basic items now takes a smaller proportion of consumers’ budgets, there is increased scope for discretionary spending on services.
Ageing population in the UK will increase the need to cater for a wider age range of clients, but will also pose a threat through the reduction in the number of young people entering the workforce, made more severe by the higher proportion encouraged to stay on into higher education.
Globalisation and technology – the impact of these are expected to be muted and limited to use of ICT in the management of bookings, relationships with consumers and global trends in image and fashion.
Innovation rates are thought to be slight, with some innovation in products but with most hairdressing and beauty treatments remaining essentially the same.

All information and statistics from this document must be credited

Figures provided by VTCT and endorsed by Habia based on research conducted 2016-2017.
*Figures are from Habia 2011-2012 research.

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