This south London neighbourhood has been named the UK’s beauty industry capital

Nails, hair, brows, London has tonnes of amazing choices if you want to treat yourself to a glow-up. But if you’re looking to get into working in the beauty industry yourself, there’s one south London borough that you should seriously consider, according to new research.

Croydon has just been named the beauty industry capital of the UK, thanks to the thousands of people working in the beauty industry who are based there. 

New research by Oxford Economics found that Croydon has the highest concentration of beauty workers in the whole country. In the south London neighbourhood one in 32 people work in the industry – more than four times the national average of one in 150. Of the 203,000 people working in Croydon, more than 6,200 of them have jobs in beauty – 695 of these are hairdressers, 580 beauticians and 95 salon owners.

The research was commissioned by the British Beauty Council, as part of its new campaign ‘A Beauty Industry That Looks Like You’ which aimed ‘to highlight the importance of representation and inclusion in British beauty’.

Millie Kendall, chief executive of the British Beauty Council, told the Times: ‘A lot of people might think beauty is a luxury but it is not. What places like Croydon show is that it is essential to everyone no matter their background or social standing.

‘In fact it often is more visible in areas of high unemployment and deprivation because it provides a service that enhances people’s lives and boosts their self-esteem.’

As well as being the home of Kate Moss, Croydon has bred home grown beauty talent including celeb hairstylist James Brown. ‘Croydon gave me a great start and I always find it inspirational. It is near enough to London to keep up with the latest trends but has its own scene which is slightly cooler, more down to earth,’ he said. 

‘To me, Croydon sums up the opportunities offered by the beauty industry — what other job can a boy from an estate in Croydon end up travelling the world cutting the hair of Hollywood stars? I am really, really proud that I started in Croydon. There were so many salons there when I started — I worked in four of them. It gets a bad rap but I think it is amazing.’

Croydon may have been named the ‘most depressing’ neighbourhood in London, but at least it’s got the most beautiful people, eh?

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the newest episode with Milton Jones in Richmond is out now.

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