Groundbreaking Report Reveals Economic Value of the UK Hair and Beauty Industry

by laurahusband / last updated May 23, 2019

Economic Value Report

An economic value report by the Hair and Barber Council and BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology) has found the hair and beauty industry is worth £6.6 billion to the UK economy.

This equates to at least 8% of the total retail sector and highlights the significance of the professional hair and beauty industry within the UK.

The aim of ‘An Economic Impact Assessment of the Hair and Beauty Sector on the UK Economy’ was to show the UK Government how much money the hair and beauty industry brings to the UK economy. Plus, it highlights the need for mandatory licencing to ensure high standards and adequate protection is given to consumers now and in the future.

Keith Conniford, the Hair and Barber Council’s CEO told HJ exclusively:

“One of the things I was told by the corridors of power when I first became registrar of the Hair & Barber Council was that we needed evidence to support how much the UK hair, barber and beauty industry contributes to the UK economy.”

Keith added:

This report, which has been peer-reviewed shows the UK Government needs to take our industry seriously in terms of regulation. It shows that we are a significant player in the world of retail and everything that is connected with it. From our perspective, the government needs to realise how significant we are and stop undervaluing us.

The report also found the hair and beauty sector is an important UK employer with a significant number of businesses making notable contributions to the gross value added in the UK every year.

Key findings of the economic value report


  • Between 286,889 and 337,687 people were employed by the UK hair and beauty sector across 49,371 businesses in 2017

Economic Value:

  • Between £5.6 billion and £6.6 billion was the total gross value added generated by the UK hair and beauty sector in 2017.
  • The gross value added per worker in the UK was estimated to be £19,398 in 2017


  • Over 16,000 apprenticeships in hair and beauty were undertaken in the UK during 2017 and 2018.

Key recommendations of the economic value report

 Introduce mandatory licensing

  • The UK government should introduce mandatory licencing of hairdressers, barbers and the beauty sector throughout the UK

Include hair and beauty in the Creative Industries Sector Deal

  • The hair and beauty sector should be rightly recognised as a creative industry by the UK Government and as a Foundational economy sector in Wales and given the associated support it needs to continue to thrive.

Improve hair and beauty careers advice

  • The UK Government should improve careers advice to accurately represent the realities and excellent professional opportunities available. We also call on Ministers and policymakers to reflect this in the comments they make about careers in the sector



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