Beauty and wellbeing

If you are looking for a rewarding and diverse career that can bring you not just glamour and excitement, but the real rewards of hard work and dedication as well, then a job in the beauty and wellbeing industry may be for you.

Hair, beauty, nails and spa therapy are really diverse professions that can take you virtually anywhere and you could find yourself working in some unusual locations besides a high street salon.

Many hairdressers and beauty therapists operate as self-employed freelancers, running their own business and visiting clients in their own homes; others find themselves working in spas, health farms, holiday resorts, film and TV sets and even the theatre. Some airlines offer in-flight hair and beauty treatments and most cruise liners will have a hair and beauty salon on board.

Hairdressing services are also required in prisons and on military bases, and both hairdressers and beauty therapists are required in hospitals and care homes to work with people who may be very ill, especially those who are losing their hair through cancer treatment or who need make-up to cover scars, burns and other injuries.

Many people go on to work in sales, marketing, public relations and photography, while others choose to concentrate on the business aspects of running a salon rather than performing treatments.

Finally, if you have enough experience, you can choose to go into education, working as a tutor or lecturer in a training centre to pass on your knowledge and skills.

You will almost certainly have to start at the bottom rung of the ladder and work your way upwards but with hard work, passion and a determination to succeed you will quickly begin to make real progress in your career.

At a glance

The hair and beauty industry employs nearly 246,000 people working across 55,000 businesses – hair, beauty and nail salons, barbers and spas

The industry has an annual turnover of £6.2 billion

Around 90% of the workforce in the industry are female

Industry figures taken from


  • Have lots of stamina—you will spend a lot of time on your feet!
  • Be presentable and take care of your own appearance
  • Be a good listener and be sensitive to what people want
  • Enjoy working with your hands
  • Be motivated by doing a job for love not just for money
  • Have good time management skills
  • Enjoy new ideas and have plenty of your own

Useful contacts

Habia—Industry authority for hair and beauty

Skills Active—Sector skills council for active leisure, learning and wellbeing

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