The Beauty Academy, which has branches in London Bridge and Kings Cross published figures that reveal it trained 1,136 women and men last year.
According to senior make-up tutor for the company, Vanessa Rose’ Meyer; men’s styling has been a significant growth area and the academy is seeing an increasingly large numbers of men signing up.
In addition, she notes a quarter of beauty businesses are owned by men.
“The majority of beauty business SMEs are sole traders (62%), with 6% of owners under the age of 25, more than twice the rate of under-25s owning SMEs more generally (2.3%)," says Vanessa.
Eyebrow shaping most popular course for men
The most popular course for men at the Kings Cross branch of The Beauty Academy is in eyebrow shaping but numbers are also increasing on for manicure, facial, waxing and even make-up artistry.
One student, Andrea Tomeo, who completed his training this year, said celebrities such as David Beckham and the cast of TOWIE had made male make-up more mainstream.
The 27-year-old, who lives in Wimbledon, was scouted as a model as a teenager but decided to train as a beautician after seeing a gap in the market for experts who really understand male grooming.
Since completing his course he has landed a job as Business and Development Manager for a leading make-up artist who has worked for big clients to include Angelina Jolie.
He said: “I think there is a shortage of salons specifically for men which is probably why so many guys like me are choosing to train in this area.”
Vanessa adds that while most see the cosmetics market as saturated, it’s an industry that just continues to grow.
“People who train with us realise they can start up small with minimal costs, work for themselves, strike that elusive work life balance and grow in what is a stable and lucrative marketplace,” she says.
Beauty business in the UK
According to data from Barclays Business, the number of beauty companies in the UK has risen by over a fifth in the last four years.
The proliferation of businesses, which include beauty salons, hairdressers and tanning parlours, contributes £4 billion to the UK economy.
London has particularly seen the most dramatic rise, with 33%.