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Hair and Beauty




Beauty therapists carry out a range of treatments on the face, neck, hands or body of clients with the aim of improving their appearance and well-being.  Before treatment, beauty therapists would first check out any health problems (as some procedures might not be suitable) and explain what the various treatments involve, including prices.

  • Some treatments are short - for example eyelash or eyebrow colouring; others may be longer or need several treatments - for example removing unwanted facial or body hair by specialist electrical equipment
  • If working in a small salon, or as a mobile beauty therapist, beauty therapists may also have to do some reception and office work to make bookings, greet clients and keep records.
  • In the United States of America cosmetology is the term used to cover the whole hair and beauty sector - including hair care, manicure, beauty treatments and cosmetics - and the job title of cosmetologist is used for those working in the beauty and cosmetics sector.  In the UK the job title of cosmetologist may be used for those qualified to use cosmetic treatments, such as Botox and dermal filling, to remove lines from a client's skin.


This includes cutting, treating and styling hair. Some salons offer both male and female hairdressing, as part of the same business, whereas others specialise in a particular client or style. For example, there are specialist African-Caribbean hairdressing salons and male barber services. 

  • African-Caribbean hairdressers specialise in techniques such as pressing, braiding, plaiting and attaching hair extensions.
  • Male barber services offer hair cutting and styling but may also offer to trim beards, moustaches, ear and nostril hair.
  • Some hairdressers learn wig making or trichology (the study of hair and scalp disorders) and may specialise in this area.
  • In small salons in particular, hairdressers at all levels often have to help run the business - greeting clients, keeping the salon clean and tidy, answering the phone, taking payment, keeping records and making bookings.  Often trainee hairdressers start off by washing hair.


Nail services are all about caring for, repairing, and offering treatments such as extensions or nail art for clients' nails. Nail technicians usually give manicures and pedicures, improving the appearance of the nails on the hand or feet.  They will also:

  • Deal with more technical treatments, such as applying, repairing, maintaining and removing artificial nail systems and extensions. 
  • Prepare, clean and look after their work area.
  • Usually be responsible for helping to greet clients, answer the phone, take payments, keep records and make bookings.


Spa therapists offer a range of water-based and heat-based treatments (such as hydrotherapy) and also supervise the use of spa facilities such as whirlpools, steam baths and saunas. Other work could include:

  • If qualified, offering treatments also provided by beauty therapists, such as massages and facials.
  • Helping maintain the stock, cleanliness and equipment in the spa including, for example, setting up, monitoring and shutting down water, temperature and spa facilities.
  • Selling spa and beauty products to their clients.