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NHBF warns of devastating future for hair & beauty without further financial support

December 03, 2020

The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) predicts boarded-up shop fronts, significant job losses and a major mental health and wellbeing crisis across the hair and beauty sector if the Government does not step up with additional support.

The results of the NHBF’s latest State of Industry survey, conducted across UK hair and beauty salons and barbershops highlights the significant impact of the current government-imposed restrictions on businesses and the financial and psychological impact on business owners and staff, as they see their bills and debts spiral.

The results will be used to strengthen the push for more government financial support for hair and beauty businesses as an industry that contributes so much to the economy and wider society, but which has received none of the additional support measures offered to sectors such as leisure, hospitality, sport and the arts during this difficult time.

The most significant statistics were as follows:

·         1 in 8 business owners (13%) had already made redundancies as a result of the pandemic.

·         56% could not rule out further redundancies without government support when the furlough scheme ends. 1 in 9 (12%) were certain that redundancies would be likely.

·         53% of respondents had cut staff hours in order to save costs. This rose to 61% when looking at the beauty sector alone.

·         62% could not be sure their business would survive until the end of the financial year, with almost a third of that number (18%) explicitly sure they would have to close.

·          2 in 5 (38%) of salons in the beauty sector were not earning enough to cover outgoings such as rent, overheads, staff costs and stock etc. Across the hair and beauty sector as a whole, only 2 in 5 are just about breaking even.

·         1 in 11 (9%) had not received any financial support

·         Only 4% were likely to take on new staff in next 3 months

·         Only 4% likely to take on apprenticeships despite recent government incentives.


Richard Lambert, Chief Executive of the NHBF said, “The responses to the survey starkly show that the future of hair and beauty sector is bleak without targeted help from the government. Without this, we could be approaching the next financial year with boarded-up shop fronts, significant job losses and a major mental health and wellbeing crisis.

“As a client-facing, service-based sector, the hair and beauty industry has been hit hard by continued closures and lockdowns without the ability to adapt and generate income through other means, such as online sales etc.

The Government can help the previously successful businesses survive through this temporary but difficult phase and get back on their feet by extending hardship grants, reducing VAT to 5% and extending business rates relief into next year. There also needs to be grants available to those who have not been eligible for other support.”

The NHBF will continue to shine a light on the issues faced by its Members and the wider industry and campaign for our sector to receive the assistance and recognition it deserves as a valuable contributor, both financial and socially, to the United Kingdom.

For more information and FAQs, please visit and follow the National Hair & Beauty Federation on social at @nhbfsocial.