There are lots of beauty professionals and salons to choose from, so finding the best one for you can take time. Often it's best to listen to recommendations from friends and family, however the following guide can also be useful:
First decide which treatment you require. Sometimes this will be easy, for example if you want a manicure or facial etc. However if you require specialised treatments such as botox or chemical peels, this will involve researching the treatment in depth first.
You can use the search on the homepage to find a beauty professional near to where you live. It may be that you're prepared to travel to find the best beauty professional for you, but just remember you'll have to do this each time you require a treatment! Some beauty professionals will work in a salon, others will work from a room in their home and some may be willing to come to your home.
3. Qualifications and experience
Checking qualifications is extremely important, and certificates should be on display in salons. Click here to find out what different qualifications beauty professionals should have. If you're having specialised treatments, it's vital that the individual you choose has the correct qualifications and experience so research this thoroughly before having the treatment.
Different individuals and salons will charge different prices. This is often due to the varying levels of experience and qualifications. You can compare fees directly in your area using our search.
5. Final Decision
Once you've decided upon your treatment, the price you're willing to pay and the level of experience and qualifications your beauty professional should have, make an appointment. Before allowing your treatment to proceed, ensure the individual or salon provides a hygienic environment and you're comfortable for them to go ahead with the treatment.
It is not required by law in the UK to register with any trade or professional bodies to practise in most areas of work within the beauty industry. However individuals should be qualified to at least NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or 3 (depending on their area of work). Although qualifications should be visible in salons, it's normally best to ask the beautician/beauty therapist if they have received training in the particular treatment you are considering before booking an appointment. Generally, individuals working in the beauty industry should have qualification(s) from the following awarding bodies:
* NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3
* VTCT (VAI, IHBC,IIHHT,IIST)
A beautician is an individual providing treatments for a range of beauty needs, such as skin care, eyebrow and eyelash treatments, make-up, waxing, massages and nail care. A beauty therapist will be able to advise on exercise and dietary control, as well as offer electrical treatments.
Beauticians usually work from a salon, but some may also be willing to come to a location of your choice to provide the treatment. A qualified beautician/beauty therapist will be trained to know if a client should be referred to another professional e.g. a dermatologist for skin problems.
Salon owners should have NVQ/SVQ Level 3 or 4, hair technicians or freelance hairdressers should have NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or 3 and general stylists/hair-dressers should have NVQ/SVQ Level 2.
Nail care includes manicures, pedicures and nail extensions including silk/fibre wraps, gel, acrylic & sculptured, nail art & airbrushing techniques. Those offering nail care should have NVQ Level 2 or 3, VTCT or ITEC qualifications.
Professional make-up artists should have NVQ Level 3, VTCT Diploma or ITEC Diploma. They may also do film and television freelance training to enable them to apply their skills.
Electrolysis is the only medically approved form of permanent hair removal. Electrolysists should have NVQ Level 3 in Electrical Epilation, BTEC National Diploma with Epilation or BTEC Higher National Diploma with Epilation.
Body therapy includes Swedish massage, aromatherapy, holistic therapy, reflexology, sports massage, Reiki and Indian head massage. Those offering these techniques should have a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology of the body, and be qualified to NVQ Level 3, or ITEC Diploma level.
Beauty therapists offer the same treatments as beauticians, plus specialist body treatments including body massage, electrical treatments as well as exercise and dietary control. NVQ/SVQ Level 3 qualifies an individual as a beauty therapist and learning typically lasts between 500 hours to two years.
Beauticians generally deal with skin care, nail care, applying and instructing on make-up, waxing, eyelash and eyebrow tinting, electrotherapy, face, neck and shoulder massages. NVQ/SVQ Level 2 qualifies an individual as a beautician and education typically lasts between 100 and 350 hours.