What will come as a surprise to many is that some parts of the beauty industry are still unregulated, and most consumers have no idea how to check if their beauty therapist is trained and insured, never mind qualified. These issues stem much wider than aesthetics clinics and start in beauty salons and hairdressers.
A nationwide study has found a huge lack of knowledge about who we’re letting perform our beauty treatments, with 75 per cent of Brits admitting they had no idea the beauty industry was unregulated. A recent study by Salon Rated found that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed didn’t know if their beauty professional was insured or even trained (59%). Whilst 60 per cent admitted to not knowing how to do background checks on a salon, even though 64 per cent admitted to having had a bad experience at a hair or beauty salon.
In the UK, there is no legal requirement or formal assessment to perform treatments like intimate waxes or facial treatments such as lash extensions, brow tinting, and much more. The current lack of legislation has resulted in individuals with no qualifications and even little or no training establishing themselves in the industry. Beauty treatments, if performed incorrectly, can lead to devastating consequences.
The shocking stats show that even regular salon goers are unaware of the current lack of regulations in the industry, with 63 per cent of those surveyed visiting a salon 1-2 times a month.
The research* involved surveying a database of 1,000 female beauty consumers as part of the launch of Salon Rated, a brand-new platform to help consumers in the UK find professional, legitimate and qualified hair and beauty services.
With many beauty addicts turning to Instagram (87%) and relying on word-of-mouth (48%) for beauty salon recommendations and inspiration, it’s unsurprising that consumers assume the individuals they’re going to for treatments are qualified.
The owner and founder of Salon Rated and Navy Professional Rebecca Crawforth said, “It’s easy to see how people make assumptions around qualifications in the beauty industry as so many people are unaware of the lack of regulations.
“Having owned salons for many years, I want to support reputable businesses and pave the way for accredited and insured beauty professionals in the UK. Unfortunately, cutting corners and using cheap, damaging products has become the norm for some salons in the UK, giving the industry a bad name.
“Many consumers also wrongly assume that appointment booking platforms will perform checks on the individuals and businesses that are shown on their platform, but this shockingly isn’t the case.
“We want to help consumers to have peace of mind that they are in safe hands whilst attending their appointment, as client care and safety should be paramount when performing treatments. This research shows the immediate need for more regulation, and that’s why we’ve created a place where you can find compliant and insured beauty salons that offer a legitimate service, safe treatments and professional etiquette.”
Lesley Blair MBE, The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) CEO, added, “We have long advocated for the implementation of industry regulations and fit-for-purpose qualifications. We self-regulate our own members through our ‘Qualified, Verified and Insured’ program and welcome and support Navy Professional and Salon Rated as highly respected and professional organisations with their own campaign to raise the levels of excellence in our sector.”
As well as not researching their beauty therapists, 63 per cent had no clue what products their hair or beauty professional uses, having never asked. Whilst 42 per cent hadn’t received aftercare advice from their salon after having a treatment.
To get a complete picture of the lack of regulation, we reached out to practising medical aesthetician William Foley (shown below) for his thoughts on the lack of regulation in the industry.
He told us, “This is such a hot topic at the moment, and in my opinion, regulation needs to happen quickly to protect the public and the beauty practitioner.
Currently, there’s a lot of attention on beauty therapists performing injectables, but I think we should be covering all bases and all treatments. As the industry has no regulation, this allows anybody to perform a beauty treatment, which is unethical and unsafe for the consumer.
I see so many fast-track courses these days, which can sometimes be attractive for people to jump on, but in my opinion, slow and steady wins the race. Does anybody really have the correct anatomical knowledge after studying for 1-2 days? In my opinion, it takes need years.
My advice is to ask to see the certificate of insurance and ask what it covers. Ask about training and how long the person offering the treatment has worked in the industry. I have my certificate of insurance and educational certificates on the wall displayed for my patients to see. It should be like this everywhere.”
About Salon Rated
Salon Rated offers consumers the chance to find accredited salons and professionals through their approved industry database. All individuals and businesses on the list will have passed a thorough vetting process to ensure the right qualifications and insurance is in place. In addition to this, it also conducts random spot checks by a team of Salon Rated experts.
*Research conducted by Salon Rated LTD in association with Navy Professional LTD of an existing database of over 1,000 consumers.
Read more beauty news, guides, reviews and features here.