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The UK cities with the most top - rated hair & beauty professionals

When it comes to the world of hair and beauty, the importance of a good review should never be underestimated. Afterall, building up a bank of positive feedback from clients can really help to strengthen your reputation within your local area, as well as setting you apart from your competition.

But what can you do to help encourage your clients to leave a positive review after their service or treatment? And, which of the UK’s major towns and cities boast the most top-rated hair and beauty professionals per person, according to review data?

Our Research
We surveyed 2,000 UK consumers to learn more about what drives them to leave reviews for their local hair, nail, beauty, and complimentary therapy salons and establishments. We also asked them what is most likely to lead to a positive or a negative review.

Delving even deeper, we then looked at...
• The population in 32 major UK towns and cities (not including London)
• How many hair, beauty and nail salons in these places had four-star+ reviews
• How many mobile or freelance hair and beauty professionals in these places have four star + reviews

We used this to calculate where in the UK residents have the best access to a ‘top rated’ hair and beauty professional. So where exactly are the hotspots? Read on to find out more…

Norwich Claims the Top Spot Overall

According to our findings, the beautiful city of Norwich took first places, as the UK ‘hot spot’ for top-rated hair and beauty professionals per person.

In total - across hair, nails, and beauty - the city has 550 salons that have earned reviews with four stars or more.

Norwich was found to have the most 4-star+ rated hairdressers when calculated against the local population, with just 663 people sharing each top-rated hair salon.

Joining Norwich within the top five was the Scottish city of Dundee (825 people per top rated salon), Peterborough (1,111 per top rated salon), Stoke-on-Trent (1,129), and Hull (1,192).

Top-rated Beauty Salon Locations
Of course, we had to consider those all-important beauty specialists in our rankings too, and so next we totted up the four-star (or above) rated beauty salons.

Again, Norwich claimed the top spot with 660 residents per top-rated salon.

Overall, it has 213 beauty salons with four stars (or more) on Google Reviews.

Other major cities within the top five included Dundee (820 people per top rated beauty salon), Oxford (1,081), York (1097), and Hull (1,149).

Top-rated Nail Salon Locations
And finally, we moved on to nail salons and parlours.

Norwich once again took the top spot with 1,116 residents sharing each four-star+ rated nail salon. Overall, it is home to 126 nail salons with top reviews.

Also in the top five was Southampton (1,619:1), Hull (1,743:1), Stoke-on-Trent (1,780:1), and Aberdeen (1,786:1).

Top Rated Freelancers and Mobile Hair & Beauty Professionals
Of course, not all professionals working within the industry operate from a salon as a contracted employee, with many choosing to go freelance or mobile instead.

Overall, when combining hair, beauty, and nail freelancers with four-star+ reviews listed across all cities compared for the purpose of this study, Birmingham came out on top. The city boasted a total of 207 freelance or mobile professionals with four-star+ reviews or more across all categories combined.

It’s worth noting, however, that there tend to be fewer ‘mobile’ professional listed on Google, naturally there are also fewer with top reviews.

For example, we found that there were just 48 mobile hairdressers with four-star+ reviews listed in in Glasgow - which top the top spot in this category.

When comparing the ratings for mobile beauty professionals across the 30+ cities, Birmingham was found to be the UK’s hotspot, with 93 professionals listed with four-star+ reviews on Google.

When we examined the numbers of top-rated mobile nail technicians, it was the Welsh capital of Cardiff that claimed top spot, with a total of 87 professionals with four-star+ reviews based here.

What Influences Clients to Leave Reviews?
According to a 2022 study, 57% of consumers will visit a local business website after reading a positive review, with a further 72% adding that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

So, to learn more about what impresses people enough to leave a glowing review online for their hair and beauty professional, we surveyed 2,000 UK adults.

Above all else, 'good value’ is key, with six in ten (62%) UK consumers telling us that this would be the thing that is most likely to persuade them to leave a positive review online for their local hair and beauty business.

Participants in our survey also highlighted the other ways in which their hair, beauty, wellness, complimentary therapy, and nail professionals can impress them, and encourage them to leave a positive review of their experience.

This included:
• a positive overall experience (58%)
• being happy with the result(s) of the treatment or service (57%)
• if the person giving the treatment/service had a warming personality (41%)
• being offered nice complimentary extras such as a cup of tea, and a magazine (27%)

Perhaps understandably then, the thing that is most likely to earn hair and beauty professionals a negative review from a client, is if they end up leaving an appointment dissatisfied with the final treatment, look, or service (57%), and similarly, if the overall experience was not as they had expected (44%).

Other factors to keep in mind that may lead to negative feedback were:
• if the customer deems the service to be overpriced (45%)
• the client not liking the products used during your treatment (17%)
• if the person doing the treatment seemed to be multi-tasking at once and the client didn’t feel like they were their priority (17%)

How Many Clients Leave Reviews?
Finally, we also asked those Brits whether they were actually taking the time to leave those all-important reviews following their appointments with their hair, beauty or nail professionals.

We found that just a third of Brits (30%) ‘will always leave a positive review’ if they believe they had a good overall experience.

Women are more likely to take the time to review their positive experience too, with more than a third (36%) saying they will always leave a review if their treatment or service has impressed them, compared to just a quarter (24%) of men.

Sadly, although many UK consumers may have good intentions and say they are more than happy to leave a positive review, it seems forgetfulness often plays a key role in many not doing so. In fact, a fifth (21%) admitted that they only ‘sometimes leave a positive review of my treatment or service, if I remember to do so’.

Just 6% of Brits who were surveyed said they ‘will leave negative review every time if they are left unhappy or unsatisfied by their overall experience’.

Finally, you’d be forgiven for thinking the allure of a discount code (or similar) on a future treatment would be a great to gently encourage your clients to leave a review following their appointment, especially in light of the rising cost of living rising. However, we were interested to learn that just 12% of Brits would leave a positive review if incentivised to do so.

It is so encouraging to see the high number of positive reviews being left for hair, beauty, and nail technicians (and everyone else working hard within the industry) across the country.

It goes without saying that getting consistently great feedback from clients is invaluable to those working within in the industry, no matter how good your reputation already is.

As well as helping to draw in new clients, they also illustrate you’re offering a good service which is vital for client retention. We believe that each and every positive review should be celebrated and encouraged.

Whilst you’re never going to please everyone, it seems as though the little things such as making the effort to have a chat and ask about their day, or simply offering a cuppa or something to read whilst they wait can go a long way.

Sources & Methodology:    
• Survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted in May 2022 
• Reviews for each city were collated from Google Reviews in May 2022
• We searched for ‘hair salon’, ‘nail salon’, ‘beauty salon’, ‘mobile hairdresser’, ‘mobile beauty therapist’ and ‘mobile nail technician’
• We only counted those who had an average review rating of four stars or more
• UK population data for each city was correct as of 11/5/2022 and was taken from a combination of the latest ONS figures and World Population Review