13 mins


Beauty salons keeping British high streets alive, as focus shifts to experiences

Beauty salons and tattoo parlours have flourished on British high streets while banks and department stores decline, according to BBC analysis.

The full extent of changes to Britain’s high streets after two years of Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions were revealed in data from Ordnance Survey.

There were 9,300 fewer retail outlets in March 2022 than March 2020, as shoppers moved online.

The findings illustrate the changing face of UK high streets, from a place to buy things to a place to do things – such as getting a manicure and meeting friends for a coffee.

High streets and shopping centres have become a big draw for hair and beauty services in the past few years, with an additional 5,100 premises now operating compared with pre pandemic – an increase of 5.9%.

In the G1 and G2 postcodes of central Glasgow, hair and beauty services are now the prevalent type of business, overtaking pubs and bars, which were the most prevalent in March 2020.

This data comes from BBC analysis of 1.5 million records contained in the Ordnance Survey’s “Points of Interest” mapping data, a quarterly survey of businesses, facilities and services operating in England, Scotland and Wales.

Tattoo parlours and piercing studios have become notably popular with 350 more than before the Covid-19 restrictions – arise of 8.2%.

Debenhams and Beales were among the landmark high street retailers to close their doors during the pandemic, contributing to a 13.4% drop in the number of department stores. Meanwhile, the number of clothes shops is down 4,300, a fall of 8.5%.

More than 800 high street banks and building societies closed their doors during the pandemic (-8.1%) along with the loss of more than 6,000 cash machines (-13.2%).

Looking older linked to increased risk of health issues, says new study

New research, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, has shown a link between how old a person looks (their perceived age) and their risk of age-related health issues, including cognitive decline.

The study saw an independent panel estimate the ages of 2,679 predominantly north-western European men and women (with an average age of 65.8 years), based off high-resolution images.

Each image was scored on 27 assessors. Looking younger was linked with higher cognitive function and a lower risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (even after adjusting for smoking status), osteoporosis, cataracts, and age-related hearing loss.

The research’s lead author, Professor Tamar Nijsten, of the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, said, “We specifically investigated the link between looking young and various common age-associated health issues and found that youthful looks are linked with lower measures of systemic ageing. In other words, if you look younger than you are, then the health of your organ systems, body and mind are likely to reflect this.”

News in brief

For the Golden Globes, CND partnered with celebrity nail artist Vanessa McCollough for Jennifer Coolidge’s nail look. McCollough used CND Future Forms to sculpt the nails and Plexigel to build length, followed by Shellac gel-polish in Black Pool then a gold triangle embellishment embedded in the top coat.

A new “super clinic” has opened in Plymouth, housing four businesses under one roof. Eden Clinic offers peels, injectables, radiofrequency microneedling and more; Eden Clinic For Men focuses on men’s treatments including testosterone replacement therapy; Flow Aesthetics offers facials, semi-permanent makeup and other aesthetic treatments; and Menopause Decisions provides nurse or doctor-led menopause consultations.

New spa Royal Onsen is due to open in Bradford city centre this spring. The clinic and day spa will offer Turkish baths, a mud chamber and hydrotherapy.

Towels and robes supplier BC Softwear has added Yorkshire Spa Retreat; Laceby Manor, Lincolnshire; Manor House Alsager, Cheshire; The Lowry in Manchester and Breedon Priory, Derbyshire, to its growing list of UK spa partners.

Warner Hotels, known for its short breaks for adults, has just launched adults-only wellness breaks at seven of its countryside manor houses and castles. Each includes a choice of 40 activities including yoga at dawn, face fit and sound healing before bed, coupled with wellness workshops and expert-led seminars.

UK clients willing to travel 44 miles for a spa experience

Spa-goers are willing to travel an average of 43.75 miles for a spa experience in the UK, according to new research from Trybe.

Analysing 180,421 spa bookings taken in 2022, the spa software provider also revealed that 39% of bookings were made outside of 9am to 5pm hours and 31% were made by repeat customers.

It also showed that 33% of direct bookings were made through spas’ online booking engines.

The research also showed that spa reservations teams not using cloudbased real-time software spend nearly 53,781 hours a year manually taking phone bookings.

Trybe cofounder Ricky Daniels commented, “With Google searches for ‘spa and hotel breaks’ already up 110% within the first weeks of 2023, now is the time for spas to check their systems and cater for today’s customer’s needs.”

Body-contouring devices market to grow 14% a year until 2027

The body-contouring devices market will be worth £10.4 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% a year, according to new research.

The ageing population, global market expansion and advanced procedure launches are driving the rise in treatment demand, according analyst Arizton.

Microneedling and skin-tightening treatments are the services with the highest global demand.

Around 8.7% of extra revenue was generated annually by fitness facilities in the eight months to the end of August 2022.

This market growth is expected to contribute to the long-term development of other fitness-related products and services, with the increased interest in fitness driving the growth of the global body-contouring devices market.

Several companies are currently developing bodytoning machines that are light and portable. This development is expected to create huge growth opportunities for the global body-contouring devices market.

News in brief

In January, facialist and educator Andrea Simpson from Derbyshire attended CACI’s four-day training course in Elstree. Simpson won a competition held at Professional Beauty North in September to win a CACI Synergy+ system. “The training was fantastic. SJ is a real professional, so approachable and has a rare quality as an educator,” said Simpson.

Black beauty therapists and hairdressers are being asked to promote the uptake of NHS health checks among clients. The project, backed by the NHS Race and Health Observatory, aims to empower therapists to promote breast cancer awareness and other health issues that affect women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. An app will be rolled out from February.

Plans have been submitted for an inland lagoon with wave pool along with a 120-bed hotel and spa at a Kent country park. If successful, “The Seahive” will become part of the Betteshanger Country Park.

The International Sauna Association is calling on sauna lovers to support Sauna-Aid, a non-profit focused on bringing the healing power of sauna to war-torn Ukraine and its refugees. To date, Sauna-Aid has raised approximately €20,000 (£17,700). To donate, visit

In reaction to the cost-of-living crisis, Staffordshire spa Moddershall Oaks has launched two half-day packages to make the spa more accessible. The packages offer either a morning or afternoon slot, each including lunch, spa access, and a 25-minute treatment for £85. The spa has also unveiled a new sunken vitality pool [pictured].

What the Government’s new Energy Bills Discount Scheme means for salons and spas

The Government has announced the introduction of an Energy Bills Discount Scheme from March 31, 2023, to March 2024 – replacing the current discount system for gas and electricity unit prices.

The new scheme will give businesses with an energy contract discounts on wholesale prices of up to £6.97 per megawatt an hour for electricity and £19.61 per megawatt an hour for gas.

The discount will only come into effect when gas prices are more than £107 per MWh for gas and £302 per MWh for electricity. Businesses that fall under this threshold will not get any further support for their energy bills.

NHBF chief executive Richard Lambert said, “We are relieved…that the hair and beauty sector will at least receive some support…However, many will see the discount swallowed up in the first month or two of the energy price increases they are already facing.”

British Beauty Council chief policy officer Victoria Brownlie added, “Whilst we are grateful…it is disappointing that the Government has not gone further at such a delicate time for our hair and beauty salons and retail businesses.”

Wellbeing linked to finances, technology and planet, finds Accor white paper

Hotel group Accor has released a white paper highlighting key pathways to progress towards a global culture of wellbeing.

Emlyn Brown, global vice president, wellbeing, at Accor, said, “The Health to Wealth white paper demonstrates that wellbeing must be recognised as an imperative for all if we are to maintain the equilibrium of our lives, our society and our planet.”

Brown is speaking as part of the “Meeting the challenges of recession: How to prosper in tough times” panel at the World Spa and Wellness Convention at ExCeL London on March 5:

The paper identifies eight key pathways for progression:

1. Wellbeing is body and mind

2. Measurement can optimise wellbeing

3. Our wellbeing starts with our finances

4. Access to wellbeing needs to be fully democratic

5. Joined-up thinking is required

6. Technology must become a positive force

7. Our own wellbeing is entwined with our planet

8. Wellbeing transcends cultural differences

News in brief

Harrods has launched the H Beauty recycling scheme, allowing customers to return “unrecyclable” packaging such as nail polish bottles. H Beauty Milton Keynes will operate the MyBeauty Recycle & Reward pilot scheme as a trial for three months from January 14. Customers are incentivised to return used products to access beauty experiences and benefits.

In response to the recent prioritisation of wellness by consumers, Ragdale Hall Spa in Leicestershire has launched six three-night Wellness Retreats for 2023. Retreat themes include sleep, weight control, inner confidence and menopause, each with workshops, activities, talks and treatments.

US data company Fobi has launched a new membership and loyalty platform for the beauty and health market called Wallet Pass. It aims to help salons increase revenue by crossselling services and sending personalised messages based on data collected from each appointment.

Huddersfield’s Titanic Spa celebrated its staff with its annual awards. Winners included Rachael Morson, who won Employee of the Year, and Rebecca Bell, named Manager of the Year.

Italian skincare brand Comfort Zone has launched professional spa treatments at The Spa at Lythe Hill, Surrey. A curated menu of bespoke facials, body treatments and rituals are available, including the Sublime Skin Pro Lift treatment and Tranquillity Pro Sleep ritual.

Yoni steam and crystal healing named among biggest spa treatment trends

Yoni steam and crystal healing massages are the top trending spa treatments set to dominate the industry in the year ahead, according to

The booking site analysed internal booking data as well as consumer search data to reveal the treatments and experiences seeing the biggest increase in demand.

Topping the list is the yoni steam – also known as vaginal steaming. Searches for this controversial treatment increased 124% over the past year.

According to the research, massage treatments are also set to be extremely popular in 2023, with crystal healing massages up 91%, traditional Turkish bath massages up 85% and gold massages (a type of massage carried out using 23-karat gold to give the skin a dewy glow) up by 84%.

Entries open for Collective Pride Awards

The Collective Pride Awards will return this year, celebrating beauty and hair professionals who go beyond the call of duty.

Created by Lion’s Barber Collective founder Tom Chapman, these awards recognise professionals who help clients struggling with mental health and other challenges.

For the second year, Professional Beauty and sister titles Hairdressers Journal and Modern Barber are media partners for the awards, which are now open for entries with eight categories.

Beyond Business is for a salon team at the heart of the community; More Than Award recognises an individual who is “more than” a beauty or hair professional; Against The Odds is for a young person (under 21) who gives 100% in the face of adversity; and the My Saviour Award is nominated by a client who considers the practitioner their “saviour”.

There are also four Special Recognition Awards: Lifetime Achievement; Exceptional Educator; Exceptional College and the top accolade, Sam Wall Unsung Hero Award.

The award ceremony will take place on Monday, April 3, at London’s Barber Surgeons’ Hall. Entries close on February 24. Visit enter.

Diary dates

// February 20–21 Professional Beauty Dubai Festival Arena, Dubai

The biggest industry event in Dubai includes live stages, workshops and competitions. +971 (0) 4375 7300

// March 5 Professional Beauty Cape Town Cape Town International Convention Centre 2

Africa’s largest trade show for the beauty industry comes to Cape Town. +27 11 781 5970

// March 5 Professional Beauty and World Spa & Wellness Awards 2023 The Brewery, London

The biggest and most established awards for the industry. 020 7351 0536

// March 5–6 Professional Beauty London 2023 ExCeL London

PB London returns with stellar education, competitions, networking opportunities and some of the industry’s biggest brands. 0344 443 4411

// March 5–6 World Spa and Wellness Convention 2023 ExCeL London

Global networking event for group and independent spas and hotels. 0344 443 4411

// March 31–April 2 Beauty Düsseldorf Messe Düsseldorf

Trade fair for beauty, cosmetics, nails and spa. +49 211 4560 7602

Phytomer and Stobo Castle expand partnership

Scottish destination spa Stobo Castle is building on its relationship with marine spa brand Phytomer by making Phytomer its lead brand.

Phytomer said the association was “a new chapter in the relationship between two important brands in the spa industry”. Fiona Peerless, Phytomer’s UK managing director, added, “We have been working with Stobo Castle to deliver training on our treatments and products for some time now. With shared values and a common vision, we couldn’t be more excited [about] our partnership moving to a more exclusive basis.”

Stobo Castle marketing director, Jenni Watts, added, “We research thoroughly to make decisions that uphold the integrity of our brand, meet the approval of our therapists, and elevate the guest experience... We have identified Phytomer as a perfect partner to meet these criteria.”

Lumenis appoints new UK country manager

Laser and IPL brand Lumenis has appointed Andrew Greenwell as UK country manager.

Greenwell will manage Lumenis UK’s growing aesthetics and vision businesses with the overarching goal of improving service to existing customers and increasing the reach of Lumenis’s clinic accounts.

Commenting on his appointment, Greenwell said, “I’m very much looking forward to meeting our existing customers this year, to understand how we can improve our existing offering as well as working towards expanding our community of professional providers in the UK both this coming year and beyond.”

Greenwell was also present at Lumenis’s charity cheque presentation at Dr Tapan Patel’s clinic in December, where representatives from the Children’s Burns Trust were presented with the £28,000 raised at the Lumenis Cares Summer Dinner.

Dermalogica unveils new kiosk concept

Dermalogica has developed a new standalone kiosk concept, which has debuted at Westfield shopping centre, London. It offers consumers professional advice, treatments and access to expert therapists.

The kiosk at Westfield will offer the full range of Dermalogica products, as well as a treatment menu consisting of Face Mapping Skin Analysis, ProSkin Power and ProSkin Peel.

Four distinct areas have also been designed within the kiosk, called Engage & Learn, Decompress & Immerse, Treatment, and Retail.

These areas allow customers to consult with an expert and learn more about each of the products that best suit their personal skincare needs.

This article appears in February 2023

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This article appears in...
February 2023
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