Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-croydon-is-named-britain’s-beauty-capital:-south-london-borough-once-dubbed-a-‘concrete-hell’-by-david-bowie-has-more-hair-and-make-up-workers-than-anywhere-else-in-the-countryAlert – Croydon is named Britain’s beauty capital: South London borough once dubbed a ‘concrete hell’ by David Bowie has more hair and make-up workers than anywhere else in the country

Croydon has been named Britain’s capital of the beauty industry, boasting more hair and make-up workers than anywhere else in the country.

The south London borough, once described by David Bowie as ‘complete concrete hell’, can claim to have one in 32 people employed in beauty jobs, more than four times as many as the national average of one in 150.

According to research by Oxford Economics, more than 6,200 of the town’s 203,000 workers are employed in the industry – including 695 hairdressers, 580 beauticians and 95 salon owners.

Another 720 were employed by Superdrug in its headquarters or the retailer’s beauty chains, as well as dozens of other stores in the area’s two shopping centres and high street. 

Despite being the birthplace of supermodel Kate Moss, Croydon has a less-than glamorous reputation, being best known for its array of post-war tower blocks and car parks.

But in comparison, the boroughs covering Mayfair and Soho, which are more closely associated with a glitzy image, have less than half of Croydon’s number of people employed in the beauty industry.

Croydon can claim to have one in 32 people employed in beauty jobs, more than four times as many as the national average of one in 150

Croydon can claim to have one in 32 people employed in beauty jobs, more than four times as many as the national average of one in 150 

The south London borough is the birthplace of Kate Moss (pictured at the 2022 Met Gala) who previously said she had always been 'keen to get away' from the area

The south London borough is the birthplace of Kate Moss (pictured at the 2022 Met Gala) who previously said she had always been ‘keen to get away’ from the area 

Outside of London, Manchester, considered to be the fashion capital of the north, had one in 40 working in the beauty industry.

In 2021, Moss did not speak highly of Croydon, saying she had always been ‘keen to get away’ from the area and did not look back at her time growing up there fondly. 

The town ranks 98th in the list of most deprived areas of the country and has a lower than average rate of educational attainment.

It is one of the most culturally diverse parts of the UK, having a 52 per cent non-white population compared with the national average of 18 per cent.

Despite this negative image, celebrity hairstylist James Brown, who is from Croydon, claimed his home town environment played a major role in his success.

He told the Telegraph: ‘To me Croydon sums up the opportunities offered by the beauty industry.

‘What other job can a boy from an estate in Croydon [do and] 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.’

David Bowie (pictured in 1992) once described Croydon as 'complete concrete hell'

David Bowie (pictured in 1992) once described Croydon as ‘complete concrete hell’

TONI&GUY on Croydon High Street - one of the dozen national beauty retailers with stores in the area

 TONI&GUY on Croydon High Street – one of the dozen national beauty retailers with stores in the area 

Niha Cuts & Beauty on London Road employs some of the 695 hairdressers in the south London borough

Niha Cuts & Beauty on London Road employs some of the 695 hairdressers in the south London borough 

The research suggested that the beauty industry could be a driver for social mobility, as it had an equal or greater presence in areas of deprivation and areas of wealth.

Millie Kendall, the chief executive of the British Beauty Council, which commissioned the research as part of its new campaign, A Beauty Industry That Looks Like You, added: ‘It doesn’t surprise me that somewhere like Croydon comes out top — the beauty industry is uniquely inclusive and all-pervasive across the UK.

‘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.’