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DATA STUDY: The Hair And Beauty UK Growth Market

July 12, 2023

The beauty and hair industry in the United Kingdom is experiencing a period of rapid growth. This is evidenced by the rise of new salons, spas, and other beauty-related businesses across the country. 

With this growth comes an opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs to capitalize on a booming market that is showing no signs of slowing down. 

To gain a better understanding of this market's potential, we conducted a study of the UK's beauty industry.

Why Is It Vital To Understand The Hair And Beauty UK Market Growth?

The Hairdressing & Beauty Treatment industry in the UK is thriving and a major part of our economy. It provides important services to people of all ages and abilities, as well as an avenue for creative professionals to express themselves through hairstyling and beauty treatments. 

Therefore, it’s important to understand the market growth so that businesses can tailor their salons to stay competitive with informed decisions from the data. Such as identifying opportunities, and analyzing consumer demands.

How We Worked The UK Growth Market Data Out

We had to consider certain factors to exactly work out the growth market scores, such as:

  • The Number of Salons
  • The Survival Rates
  • Identifying The Categories
  • Where The Hair And Beauty Salons Are Located

National Hair And Beauty Foundation 2019 Industry Statistics

The hair, nail, and beauty industry is a booming sector in the UK. In 2019, there were more than 49,000 businesses operating in this industry, a 3% increase from the previous year.

Sharp Increases

Most of these small businesses are run solely or with minimal staff; close to three-quarters employ fewer than five people and 94% employ fewer than ten people. Furthermore, 63% of those who work in this sector are self-employed.

  • The number of barbershops in 2019 was 13,046, which was an increase of 5,088 since 2014 making it a 64% increase over 5 solid years.
  • The number of hair salons in 2019 was 16,559, which was an increase of 2,865 since 2014 making it a 21% increase over 5 solid years. 
  • The number of nail salons in 2019 was 3,517, which was an increase of 1,262 since 2014 making it a 56% increase over 5 solid years. 
  • The number of hair and beauty salons in 2019 was 7,544, which was an increase of 2,516 since 2014 making it a 50% increase over 5 solid years. 
  • The number of beauty salons in 2019 was 8,677, which was an increase of 3,686 since 2014 making it a 73% increase over 5 solid years. 

The overall growth was strongest for barbershops and beauty salons, with hair salons particularly showing the best figures.

High Survival Rates

The hair and beauty market has been on a rapid growth trajectory over the past few years, with 54% more hairdressing, barbering, and beauty businesses opening in 2020 than in 2015. 

In 2019 there were 8,677 beauty salons in the UK; an impressive 73% increase since 2014 showing that entrepreneurs and small business owners still see a bright future in the beauty sector. 

However, their overall survival rate is a tad lower at just over 60% compared to more than ten percent more for other sectors in the industry.

  • Barbershops have had a 73% survival rate after 5 years.
  • Beauty salons have had a 60.30% survival rate after 5 years.
  • Hair and beauty salons have had a 66.90% survival rate after 5 years.
  • Hair salons have had a 76.80% survival rate after 5 years.
  • Nail salons have had a 75.50% survival rate after 5 years.
  • The hair and beauty sector has had a 71.90% survival rate after 5 years.

Where Are The Main Hair And Beauty Salons Based?

As reported by the Office for National Statistics in March 2020 there were 44,880 businesses offering such services all over England.

The geographical breakdown reveals that the greatest concentration of these establishments is in London which had 7,015, but every other major location has its own share as well.

North West leads with 5,425 salons, followed by South East with 5,425 as well. The North East with 2,020 salons stands third while Yorkshire and Humber come in fourth at 3,690. 

The East Midlands trailed very close at 2,980 while the West Midlands came fifth with 3,815 hair and beauty salons. 

Wales offered citizens, 2,155 such facilities, while Scotland had 3,810 and Northern Ireland 1,560. 

Why Does The Location Have An Impact On The Statistics?


It’s no secret that the better your visibility/access is, the more chances of attracting more walk-in clients and customers. Proximity to public transportation as well as available traffic on site all factor into this too.

Target Market

It is better for a business to be located in an area where its target market is well concentrated. More budget-friendly places may find more benefits in areas with more diverse demographics, for example.


A business can be both positively and negatively impacted by other salons being in proximity to their own. Clusters of salons can create a hub where more business can be conducted, however, this can create excessive competition too.


The main location will affect the costs of a business, such as the rent prices and tax. It’s best to choose an area with lower expenses overall to be able to allocate the resources of the business to other areas, such as training and products.

Complementary Businesses

Clothing stores and gyms can be massively beneficial as complementary businesses next to salons, as they can boost traffic, which can benefit all parties involved.

Local Regulations

There are some locations that may have restrictions in place that may impact the efficiency of operating a salon business. It’s important to be aware of these to avoid closure etc.


What Are The Hair Dresses And Barber Shop Statistics?

Around 83% of workers in this industry are female, according to 2019 statistics. There were 13,046 registered barbershops in the UK in 2019, up 64% from 2014 - making the industry quite lucrative for those wishing to enter it. 

On average, hairdressers can expect to earn around £8.57 per hour, with salaries ranging from £13k - £24k annually depending on experience.

Growth has been further bolstered by an increase in self-employment, as 60% of people working in hairdressing and barbering were recorded as self-employed by 2020 (up from 54% reported in 2019). 

In 2019, there were 16,559 hair salons throughout the UK - representing a 21% rise over five years.

Final Thoughts

The hair and beauty sector in the UK has seen significant growth over the past few years. The majority of those employed in this sector are female, with 94% of workers falling into this gender bracket. 

Factors such as competition, costs, target market, local regulations, and accessibility all play an extremely crucial role in the overall success of a business. By understanding these statistics further, stakeholders are able to make informed decisions.

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