Byline: TRICIA PHILLIPS
HAIR today, gone tomorrow? Not the beauty business, which is bucking the economic trend and showing strong growth.
Purse strings are tight across the country but experts say that one place we're not cutting back is hair and beauty - where more than 5,000 attractive jobs are up for grabs at any one time.
Hotel and city spa development is still on the up and women, in particular, are spending more than ever on hair and beauty products, so this multi-billion pound industry really needs the right staff with the right stuff.
The business offers jobs in locations from salons to spas, hotels or cruise ships. You could even work in a hospital, a prison, an airline or on a military base
"Hairdressers and beauty therapists can take their pick from many top jobs, whether it's preparing supermodels, working on magazines and photoshoots, or tending to the rich and famous," says Alan Goldsbro, of Habia, the hairdressing and beauty industry authority.
It could also lead to setting up your own business with a salon or visiting clients in their homes.
"It's a career with a clear progression from salon trainee onwards," says Alan. "The hours can be long and unsociable, and wages can be low to begin but the long-term rewards more than make up for it.
"After all, there aren't many professions were you have the chance of running your own business within a few years."
And the great news is that once you start working in the industry you'll feel the benefits: hairdressers and beauticians regularly top polls of happiest workers.
Trainee hairdressers earn the national minimum wage, which varies depending on age. Fully trained hairdressers can earn up to pounds 20,000 a year and top hairdressers and stylists can earn pounds 30,000-plus.
Beauty therapists typically earn between pounds 12,000 and pounds 17,000. Salon managers can earn over pounds 20,000 while experienced nail technicians can earn up to pounds 25,000.
You can train for a career in the hair and beauty industry either full-time or parttime at a college, by working as a trainee or learning on the job. To become a fully qualified hairdresser you must complete the following. …