Chloe Randall

Revealed: How self-employed hair & beauty pros adapt in post-pandemic world

By Chloe Randall | 21 October 2021 | Movers & Shakers, News

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According to a new report, up to 30% of self-employed workers in the hair & beauty industry have opted to convert garages and rooms in their homes or have gone mobile since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

The report, Self-Employment in the Personal Care Sector, was conducted by trade associations British Beauty Council, BABTACUK Spa Association and the National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF).

The findings demonstrate that self-employed workers account for almost two thirds of all workers in the hair & beauty industry, and 62% choose to do so because of career independence, while family life balance is also a major motive.

More than 80% of those surveyed said they would continue to work for themselves, with three in five workers earning more than they did when they were employed.

“The survey findings make it clear that self-employment within the personal care sector is a trend that is here to stay. The freedom and autonomy that working in this way gives to practitioners, who are predominantly women, to balance their careers and other commitments such as family is impossible to ignore,” reveals Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer at the British Beauty Council

“However, as self-employment grows, it is likely that practical learning opportunities in salons will decline, creating a worrying skills gap. This represents a new challenge to maintain the visibility, standards and level of service our sector needs to continue building its reputation with policymakers and wider society. Adequate skills, training and insurance and operating legitimately are essential to this,” adds Victoria.

Other key findings from the report show:

  • 40% of self-employed professionals have home-based salons
  • 60% of people working in the hair and beauty sector are self-employed
  • 32% have converted a space at home solely for work
  • 59% earn more freelancing than they did when they were employed
  • 82% of self-employed workers in the sector expect to stay working for themselves
  • 39% of freelancers’ training is from unregulated short courses or manufacturer training
  • 96% of self-employed workers in the industry had public liability insurance in place