SCOTLAND’S health and beauty salons expect to create more than 1,300 jobs over the next year after an explosion in the popularity of “male grooming”, according to a new survey.
More than half of salon managers feel more optimistic than they did a year ago, leading to a third of businesses planning to recruit more staff.
Half of Scottish salons have reported a rise in the number of men using their services in the past year, with haircuts still the most-popular service, followed by hair removal and massages.
A quarter of the salons that do not already offer male grooming are planning to get in on the act during the year ahead.
Alan Revitt, commercial and marketing director at Salon Services, which commissioned the Beautiful Britain report, said: “The results of this year’s survey tell a great story in Scotland and hint at the beginnings of economic regeneration sprouting.
“These salons are testament to the importance of innovation and expanding into new markets for defying the downturn.”
Andrew Cannon, managing director of the Ruffians chain of barber shops, believes men are starting to take more care of their hair and skin. His company launched a year ago in Edinburgh with backing from businesses angels in London, Newcastle and Rotterdam and has introduced its own range of shampoos, shaving gels and styling products.
Cannon said: “Men are taking more care in their appearance. Talking to the men who come into our shop, we find people are trying to look better and look like they’ve not been hit by the recession.
“People want to look and feel good about themselves. When they leave our shop, they’ve got their confidence back.”
Nearly half of Scottish men identified David Beckham as a “style inspiration”, according to the survey, with a quarter listing The Only Way Is Essex actor Mark Wright as an influence.
Cannon added: “We’ve been delivering a larger number of shaves than we expected.
“People are influenced by what they see on the telly, so when they see actors sporting beards or series like Mad Men then they come in and ask how they can keep their stubble or moustache or beard looking good when they’re at home. They want to avoid beard dandruff and so they’re more open to using different products.”
A third of Scottish women listed Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole as their style inspiration, with a similar fraction taking tips from The Only Way Is Essex.
The percentage of salons in Scotland that plan to recruit staff was higher than the UK average of 22 per cent.
The report’s authors pointed to lower prices for haircuts and beauty treatments north of the Border, which they said indicated Scottish salons were “making calculated business decisions, including reducing prices, to sustain footfall”.
On average, men’s haircuits in Scotland cost £14.90, compared with the UK average of £16.10, while women’s trims come in at £23.40 compared with £24.40.
Massages cost Scottish men £27.40 on average, compared with £29.30 in the UK as a whole.