South East named UK hair and beauty capital

By Kat Hill | 20 April 2017 | Expert Advice, Feature, News

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New research from Direct Line for Business has revealed that nearly one in three hair beauty and nail businesses operate in the South East of England.

The small business insurer found that there are nearly 29,000 of these businesses based in the South East – seeing one salon for every 252 adults in the region. Looking at the number of beauty salons, hairdressers and nail technicians across the UK, the research also found the hair, nail and beauty industry makes up over 3% of all SMEs in the South East region.

The huge number of businesses in the area dwarfs the next closest region, the North West, which has around 11,000 hair and beauty businesses. The full table of figures can be seen below.

The research also shows that the industry has been booming in recent years, with its turnover growing from £6.2 billion in 2011 to almost £7 billion in 2016, an increase of £800 million, or 13%. This growth has been boosted by the unprecedented rise of hair salons and nail bars on the UK’s high streets, with 25,000 more people employed in the industry last year than the five years before that.

“The beauty industry has been greatly boosted by rise of social media celebrities, such as Zoella and Kylie Jenner” explains Jane Guaschi, business manager at Direct Line for Business. “Coupled with this, the looks being popularised by the cast of TOWIE have increased the demand for treatments in recent years. On the high street, we’ve seen an explosion in growth with new nail salons and hairdressers opening across the UK to cater for the increased demand.

“With so many hair, nail and beauty businesses popping up across the nation, owners should ensure that they have the right insurance to cover them as they grow.”

See the full list of regional result below…

Region Number of hair and beauty businesses Hair and beauty businesses’ share of the region’s SMEs Number of UK adults per hair and beauty company
South East 28,797 3.2% 252
North West 10,868 2.1% 536
South West 7,911 1.5% 571
Yorkshire and The Humber 7,867 2.0% 556
Scotland 7,602 2.3% 587
London 6,828 0.7% 1,012
East Midlands 6,488 1.8% 588
West Midlands 4,853 1.2% 954
Wales 4,196 1.9% 606
North East 3,703 2.5% 583
East Anglia 3,472 0.6% 1,417
Northern Ireland 2,912 2.4% 504
UK total 95,497 1.7% 553

Source: Direct Line for Business, 2017