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UK’s Top Beauty Hotspots and Rising Trends Revealed by Recent Study

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From dodgy haircuts and botched bleach jobs to wonky nail extensions, many of us have tales of beauty mishaps experienced while searching for the ideal salon. While choosing a beauty salon frequently depends on elements like cost, level of service, reviews, ratings, and word of mouth, it also heavily depends on the resources you have at your disposal.

A recent study by Currys uncovered the UK’s beauty hotspot destinations, analysing the offering of hair, nail and massage locations listed on Treatwell compared to the population of those areas. It also uncovered the average rating of the service to crown the best places to live if you are a beauty buff. 

The data revealed that in joint first place was Salford and Edinburgh. Both ranked highly when it came to their hair and nail offerings, with Edinburgh coming out as top overall for its quality and quantity of hair locations in the city, with an average rating of 4.92 for its hair salons. Both cities also scored well for massage, with Salford ranking 3rd for massage businesses and Edinburgh not far behind in 4th, with an average review rating for massage services of 4.93 and 4.95, respectively. 

Close behind in third place was Stockport, which came in first place for nails and joint massage, along with Oldham. Only the quality of hair salons, which placed this city seventh overall for this beauty service, let it down.

Top 20 UK locations for beauty and wellness

Overall Beauty and wellness rank 

Location Hair rank Nail rank 

Massage rank 

Salford 

Edinburgh 

Stockport 

Oldham 

Glasgow 

Manchester 

10 

Luton 

13 

Birmingham 

10 11 

Liverpool 

15 

12 

10 

Warrington 

16 

11 

Leeds 

11 14 

11 

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 

22 

13 

London 

12 11 

10 

14 

Bristol 

18 

15 

Wakefield 

13 13 

17 

16 

Sunderland 

14 18 

19 

17 

Peterborough 

15 21 

20 

18 

Cardiff 

29 16 

14 

19 

Bradford 

22 21 

17 

19 

Bolton 

17 28 

15 

19 

Leicester 

18 27 

15 

Cutting-edge styles: The 80s are back

When it comes to the styles Brits will be asking for when they sit in the chair, it seems we are in for a blast from the past. Searches for “mullet haircut” and “emo hair cut” are both rising in popularity to become breakout trends on Google Trends this year. The throwback hair styles don’t just stop there though – there has also been a 170% rise in searches for “uniform layer haircuts”, which closely resembles iconic “The Rachel” cut from the 90s sitcom Friends.

Celebrities have always had an influence on the latest trends, particularly footballers, which we are still seeing today. There has also been a rise in people searching for “Garnacho hair cut” in relation to Manchester United winger Alejandro Garnacho. Barbers have said the correct thing to ask for, if you are looking to recreate the look, is “Burst Fade with a French Crop”.

Here are the hottest hair searches at the moment:

  1. Fringes haircut
  2. Uniform-layer haircut
  3. Mens haircut styles
  4. Curtain bangs haircut
  5. Modern mullet
  6. Mushroom haircut
  7. Bowl haircut
  8. Bixie haircut
  9. Mermaid-cut hair
  10. Garnacho haircut
  11. Textured crop
  12. Mullet haircut
  13. Emo hair cut

Top 5 cities for Afro-hair services

There has been an increase in demand for hair salons that offer Afro-specialising services. In fact, searches for “african hair stylists near me” and “black hair stylists near me” have increased by 53% and 50%, respectively. But not all locations cater well to this requirement.

The research also analysed the catering to diversity from these locations. Out of 35 cities looked at, only 20 have establishments which offer Afro-hair services. 

The study looked at how many salons on Treatwell were offering Afro hair services in each city and then worked out the number of potential clients served based on ONS ethnic group data in the same areas. This was used in conjunction with the average rating to find the best locations in the UK for those with Afro hair. 

Oldham came in at number one overall, with the best average rating for Afro-hair services in the area, and the fifth-best offering of establishments to ethnic group population.  In second place is Edinburgh and in third place is Gateshead.

Rank Location Afro-hair to serve rank 

Afro hair ranking rank 

Oldham 

Edinburgh 

Gateshead 

Salford 

Stockport 

13 

Bournemouth 

Top tips: the best places for nails

Whether you opt for a chic French manicure, a cool chrome look, or prefer intricate nail art, the right nail technician can transform your nails into beautiful works of art. But nail trends move quickly, from glazed doughnut nails to coquette nails. So, it’s important to have access to skilled and experimental technicians who can keep up with the latest trend. Head north for nails, as the top six places are all located there.

Stockport, Salford, and Oldham

Stockport takes gold with an average review rating of 4.9. Other cities that have been mentioned more than once are Salford takes which take joint second place with Edinburgh and Oldam takes fourth place. Both offer a huge range of nail services and personalised treatments. In fact, the northern cities have the south beat!

Luton

Luton takes eighth place and is the first southern town on the list. Cities and larger towns often place a higher importance of self-care and personal grooming and, as a result, offer the most skilled nail technicians, higher quality products, and better training opportunities to keep up with demand.

Summer nails here we come

As we approach summer, there has been a rise in searches in the UK for summer ready nail art. In fact, in April 2024, there was a 200% rise in Google searches for “summer nail art”, but what is everyone going to be sporting this summer?

Here are some of the rising, breakout searches when it comes to nail art:

  1. Orange nail art
  2. Daisy nail art
  3. Cherry blossom nail art
  4. Flower nail art designs
  5. Swirl nail art
  6. French manicure nail art
  7. Black nail designs
  8. Tulip nail art
  9. Cherry nails
  10. Lemon nail art
  11. Flame nail art
  12. Star nail art
  13. Neon nail art

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