Preston named one of the country's vainest cities
Move over Essex, Lancashire lasses and lads can show you a thing or two about trimming, tanning and waxing.
A new study analysing the location of over 60,000 high-street beauty businesses, including hairdressers, barbers, spas, hair-implant clinics and nail salons, reveals the northwest of England has the most salons per population, with Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn, Lancaster and Crewe all in the top ten.
Preston, with 657 of the businesses, is placed sixth.
“People in this area definitely want to take care of themselves”, said Jenny Rogers of Beauty and the Boutique in Penwortham, which was set up by former Apprentice contestant Jenna Whittingham.
“Without doubt our most popular treatment is semi-permanent lashes. They have always been popular and our customers want them the longest length.
“We go through about 50 gel pads every two weeks, and that’s quite a lot. Acylic nails are also very popular, as well as spray tans - the darker the better. That’s not a bad thing, people want to look healthy and will spend money on themselves.”
The vainest area has been revealed at West London, but this is the only southern area in the top 10. Experts say the north/south divide is thanks to the influence of celebrities including footballer’s wives Coleen Rooney and Alex Gerrard, the popularity of events such as Ladies Day at Aintree, and TV shows like The Real Housewives of Cheshire.
Misse Beqiri, wife of PNE goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, currently stars in the latest series of the ITV show.
David Cockrell, director at Mapmechanics, which produced the study, said: “Our research reveals a clear north/south divide in the density and popularity of hair and beauty salons across the UK.
“This popularity and demand is driven not only by the influence of regional celebrity icons, sporting events and shows on television, but also the desire to look younger, economic growth and the increase in real disposable income and differing tastes in how people want to spend it.”
The findings also support a recent survey of women by skincare brand Simple, which found that ladies in the northwest wear more make-up than anyone else in the UK.
In 2009, popstar Miley Cyrus was seen emerging from a tanning salon in Blackpool, while last year former X-Factor bad boy Ryan Ruckledge, from Blackpool, was rushed to hospital with chest pains and palpitations after admitting to using an illegal tanning hormone he’d been injecting for months.