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The UK Beauty Career Index

11/11/2022

The UK Beauty Career Index

If you’re an aspiring beautician looking to take the next step in your beauty career, then you’ll need to consider a number of elements. These could range from the best area for your specialism, to where to do your training, to the location you’ll offer your beauty treatments once qualified.

With that in mind, our experts have created a beauty career index by analysing a number of UK cities to determine which is the best for ‘all things beauty’ by looking at the following:

  • The UK cities with the biggest appetite for beauty treatments and procedures, based on the number of hair and beauty spots
  • The top educational beauty accounts, on Instagram and TikTok
  • The best cities and courses for education and training
  • The most profitable cities to have a beauty career

The UK Cities That Love Beauty

Beauty is a key part of many people’s lives, with many of us frequently heading to our local salons for regular hair or beauty treatments. But for some cities in the UK, beauty is taken much more seriously, with different hair and beauty spots dotted around almost every corner.

London, Birmingham and Glasgow lead the way as the UK cities with the highest number of beauty spots to choose from, all of them offering a large selection of treatments.

cities that love beauty

The capital of the UK has been crowned the city that loves beauty the most, with London scoring an impressive 10 out of 10 on the beauty-loving scale.

The city is home to 2,119 hair and beauty spots, whether you’re looking for nail treatments, aesthetics, lashes, brows or makeup. London also has the highest number of hairdressers in the UK, with a huge 377 hair salons to choose from.

Birmingham follows closely behind as the second most passionate about beauty, with the cosmetic-loving hub scoring 9.6 out of 10.

Boasting 1,646 beauty-related salons in total, those living in Birmingham can get a wide range of beauty treatments from lashes and brows, nails, hair cutting and colouring, to aesthetics and makeup.

Glasgow secures its spot as the third biggest beauty-loving city with a score of 9.2 out of 10.

The Scottish city has 1,603 spots for residents and those visiting to enjoy a hair or beauty treatment, from hair styling to nails. The city also has the highest number of beauty salons in the UK, with 349 locations to visit for those must-have treatments.

The Best UK Cities To Start Your Beauty Career

There is a vast range of hair and beauty treatments that aspiring beauticians can undertake and master, from hairdressing, nails, lashes and brows, to aesthetics, and makeup, to long-lasting treatments such as microblading and permanent makeup.

So, which UK city has the best hair or beauty schools for beginner beauticians to hone their craft?

best cities to study beauty

London takes the title of the best UK city to begin your hair or beauty career, with an impressive total score of 20/20.

The bustling capital city scored 10/10 for its number of cosmetology schools, and 10/10 for its overall beauty score, making it the perfect destination to start your beauty career. The city of London has 71 schools scoring a rating of 4.5* and above on Google Maps.

Glasgow emerges as the second-best city to undertake your hair or beauty training, with a score of 18 out of 20.

Scoring 9.2/10 for its overall beauty score and 9.2/10 for its number of cosmetology schools, the Scottish city has an impressive 53 schools with a rating of 4.5 and above.

Securing its spot as the third best city to study and qualify in the beauty industry is Manchester, scoring 16.6 out of 20.

The Northern city received 8.1 for its overall beauty score and an 8.5 for its large variety of cosmetology schools. With 48 schools rated 4.5* and over on Google Maps, it is clear that there is a range of promising schools to study at.

The Most Lucrative Cities To Have A Beauty Career

If you’re a trained beautician or hairdresser looking to maximise your profits and promote your business in a lucrative city, then look no further than the booming beauty hubs of Liverpool, Leeds and London.

The UK Beauty Career Index - most lucrative cities to study beauty

Liverpool lands the top spot as the most lucrative city to have a career in hair or beauty, with a score of 26.6 out of 30.

The highest-earning type of career in this city is a hairdresser, with a salary score of 8.6/10 and the average person’s annual spending score on hair cutting, colouring and styling being 9.0/10 (equalling £435). The demand for hairdressers in Liverpool is also significant, with 9,122 Instagram hashtags dedicated to Liverpool hairdressing, giving it a popularity score of 9.0/10.

Leeds closely trails Liverpool and finds itself in second place as one of the most profitable cities to be a hairdresser, with a score of 26 out of 30.

Hairdressers once again lead the way as the most lucrative beauty profession, with Leeds-based hairdressers receiving a salary score of 8.8/10. The average person’s annual spending score on hair treatments is 9.2/10, amounting to £478 spent per year on average. Hairdressing also has a popularity score of 8/10, with the hashtag ‘hairdresser Leeds’ having 6,223 posts surrounding it.

The study also found that being a nail tech or aesthetician in Leeds would also be a fairly lucrative career, with clients spending over £600 a year on average on both treatments.

London secures itself in the top three, as one of the best money-making cities for beauticians with a score of 25.1 out of 30.

Earning the most in the city of London are hairdressers, with a salary score of 5.8/10 with a customer’s annual yearly spending score totalling 9.3/10 (amounting to £500 annually). With a popularity score of 10/10, ‘hairdressers in London’ has 6,612 hashtags, meaning hairdressing is widely searched for in London.

Whilst hairdressing came up as the top-earning beauty career overall, the study also found that being a lash tech or cosmetic aesthetician in London would earn you big money.

The Most Followed Educational Beauty Accounts


Looking to start up a side hustle sculpting brows or learn more about what it takes to become a cosmetic aesthetician? Then here are the most followed beauty accounts on social media for tutorials, education, and inspiration.

@hudabeauty takes the trophy for being the best social account to follow for beauty tips, tricks and education with a total score of 19.8 out of 20.

The founder of Huda Beauty and Wishful Skin, Huda Kattan received an Instagram popularity score of 10/10 with an impressive 51.3 million Instagram followers. Known for her unfiltered and unedited videos, the beauty account also has a massive 8.3 million TikTok followers, giving the blogger a 9.8/10 for TikTok popularity score.

@nikkietutorials emerges as the second biggest educational beauty account to follow on social media, with a total social score of 19.4 out of 20.

The popular beauty influencer Nikkie de Jager is known for posting in-depth makeup tutorials and reviews, with 16.6 million followers on Instagram and an overall 9/10 Instagram score. The beauty blogger and founder of Nimya also has a large fanbase on TikTok, receiving a 9.6/10 TikTok score and 6.3 million followers.

@mikaylajmakeup finishes off the top three most educational beauty accounts on social media, with a total social score of 19.0 out of 20.

The makeup artist renowned for creating the ultimate dramatic eye makeup looks has built up a large circle of supporters on her Instagram, with an impressive 2.4 million followers, giving her an Instagram follower score of 9/10. The beauty blogger has an even larger fanbase on her TikTok, with 13.6 million followers, making her TikTok score 10/10.

 

 

Methodology:

The UK Cities That Love Beauty: Looking into Google maps data, we determined the cities that love beauty the most based on the amount of ‘beauty spots’ each city has (nail salons, hair salons, lash techs, brow techs and cosmetic aestheticians).

The Top Educational Beauty Accounts: Based on TikTok and Instagram follower data, we determined the top educational beauty accounts to follow.

The Best UK Cities To Start Your Beauty Career: Based on how many cosmetology schools each UK city boasts, and how many of them are highly rated (4.5* and above) from Google data, we determined the best UK cities to get your credentials and start off your beauty career.

The Most Lucrative Cities To Have A Beauty Career: Using Glassdoor, we’ve looked into the type of beauticians making the most money in each city based on average salary reports, how much people are spending on different beauty treatments in each city and how popular each treatment is in each city using Instagram hashtags.