January 27, 2023

Growth in the self-care and beauty categories is proving resilient in the current economic crisis. The salon industry, which took a hit during the pandemic, is a £5.5 billion industry and employs more than 150,000 people.

Consumer goods company Kao, the world’s fourth largest supplier of salon products, commissioned a YouGov survey and BBC StoryWorks to highlight the social and psychological benefits of salon visits and underline the importance of the hairdressing profession.

The (non-hair) Highlights

While the results provide insight into the overall social relevance of an industry that offers more than just a simple haircut, more than half of UK respondents say they plan to spend as much money as before on a trip to the hairdresser. Nearly 70 percent consider salon visits an essential self-care opportunity, while a third go to appointments on purpose to gain confidence. An important part of this is the close bond between hairdresser and client, 51 percent find the relationship they share with their hairdresser as close as that of a friend.

“The hairdressing profession needs to be more appreciated,” said Peter F. Pfister, president of the international trade association Intercoiffure Mondial. “One thing is clear: hairdressers are masters of their craft. At the same time, they bring a high level of passion, creativity and empathy to their clients. When people go to the salon, they pay not only for a good haircut, but also for “in being pampered” or for a “time-out from everyday life”.

Dominic Pratt, Global President Kao Salon Division comments: “The survey results confirm that hairdressing is about more than just craftsmanship: it’s about relationships and making people an offer that makes them feel good on the outside and inside. The pandemic has hit the business hard, but at the same time it has shown how much people value the services and trust they have with their hair salons. We want to show that the industry not only has economic value, but also social value and how satisfying working in this profession is.”

According to the National Hairdressers Federation (NFBH), there were over 46,000 hair and beauty salons in the UK in 2020. The post-pandemic growth rate has been slower in the number of hairdressing, hairdressing and beauty stores than in previous years. Only around 6,600 people started hairdressing and hairdressing training in England in 2020/2021, compared to around 7,000 in 2019/20.

The film “Confidence Through Craftsmanship” was produced for Kao by BBC StoryWorks as part of the “In Pursuit of Wellness” series presented by the Global Wellness Institute.

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