Hairdressing, regulation, personal professional services


This article considers the perhaps remarkable fact that there is no regulation, nor even compulsory registration, of the hairdressing profession in the United Kingdom. Part one includes a thumbnail history of its development, pausing to consider the colourful characters of fact and fiction which are part of the story. Part two examines the series of attempts at remedying the situation - up until the demise of the last effort - which failed because Parliament was more concerned on the day with banning foxhunting. It concludes that this apparently straightforward amendment of existing legislation is both necessary and long overdue

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  1. i Quoted by  Cohen, J. DAILY MAIL, December 29 1998,p.46
  2. ii Hicks, C. THE INDEPENDENT, October 28 1997, p.17
  3. iii For example, in Queensland Australia: and and across the United States: 
  4. iv A survey by the Good Salon Guide in 1994, for example, demonstrated that 85% of clients were of this opinion.
  5. v Ibid.
  6. vi A Short History of Hairdressing, Women's Issues, April 22nd 2008 accessed at
  7. vii Drawn in part from
  8. viii ‘Tu-aur’
  9. ix Sherrow, V. (2006) Encyclopedia of Hair ( p.112 , p.163) Greenwood Press
  10. x Ezekiel: Chapter 5, Verse 1
  11. xi The members of the joint corporation were to be known as “Master” -  thus ‘Mister’ - the title still used by British surgeons rather than ‘Doctor’.
  12. xii The Royal College of Surgeons did not receive its charter until 1800.
  13. xiii See generally:
  14. xiv patent US775134
  15. xv
  16. xvi
  17. xvii An expression used in the industry to indicate that the vertical list of timed appointments in a salon’s booking diary will be full
  18. xviii a wig for men that was fashionable in the 17th and 18th centuries
  19. xix
  20. xx A Short History of Hairdressing,(2008, April 22) Women's Issues, accessed at
  21. xxi Antoine by Antoine, 1946, p.19. London, W. H. Allen
  22. xxii Quoted in Cox,C. (1999)  Good Hair Days, p.82. Quartet Books
  23. xxiii Raymond, P. (1976) The Outrageous Autobiography of Teasie Weasie p.66. London: Wyndharn Publications. quoted in Cox, C. (1999) Good Hair Days, p.94. Quartet Books.
  24. xxiv Vidal Sassoon began his career as one of Teasie-Weasie's staff and obviously aimed to outstrip his master. In 1956 Diana Dors had caused press hysteria by flying Teasie-Weasie to the USA for a £2,500 shampoo and set. Twelve years later Sassoon flew to the US to give a $5,000 cut to Rosemary's Baby star Mia Farrow.
  25. xxv See: and
  26. xxvi The Bow Street Runners were London's first professional police force. They were founded in 1749 by the author Henry Fielding. They worked from the Bow Street magistrates' office.
  27. xxvii drawn from: Haining,P. (2007) Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Robson Books 
  28. xxviii
  29. xix
  30. xxx ‘The String of Pearls: A Romance’ was published in eighteen weekly parts, in Lloyd, E. THE PEOPLE'S PERIODICAL AND FAMILY LIBRARY, issues 7-24. 21 November 1846 to 20 March 1847
  31. xxxi a list at:
  32. xxxii Turner, E.S. (1948) Boys Will Be Boys: The Story of Sweeney Todd, Deadwood Dick, Sexton Blake,    Billy Bunter, Dick Barton, Etc., Michael Joseph.