The dark side of nail bars

by | Jan 27, 2020

Horrifically in October 2019, 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in the back of a Lorry in Essex. Amongst the dead was a teenager reported to have paid the steep price to get into the UK to work in one of the many high-street nail bars.

In 2016 the Global Slavery Index calculated there are 136,000 people living in modern slavery in the UK. Of the 5,145 potential victims of modern slavery referred through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2018, almost 50% were being exploited for labour in sectors such as car washes and nail bars. Most likely you yourself have come into contact with another human being who has been trafficked or smuggled into the country.

This is exactly what journalist for the Guardian, Amelia Gentleman, is raising awareness of as she joined police on the raid of a nail bar suspected of human slavery and trafficking. It makes for bleak but hopeful reading as the police work hard to crack down on these establishments.

As reported in the article Millie Kendall, CEO of the British Beauty Council, says two decades ago she only knew of two nail salons in London, but new products, (extensions, fillers, shellac) and the rise of instagram sharing of nail art has made this a rapidly accelerating industry with multiple shops on most high streets. “The business has changed beyond recognition. Nail art has changed the game and made it a more creative industry. The flip side is that we are very under regulated and that’s a real problem for us. Bad products are being used, people get funguses, skin problems and there are slaves.” She hopes the government will move to license the industry.

Read the full article here:

Whilst the police continue to crack down on human trafficking and slavery there is only so much the limited funds can support. It is important that we as customers are also vigilant. You can watch out for the following signs when choosing your nail salon as described by Kevin Hyland, the UK’s first anti-slavery commissioner (who stepped down in 2018)

  • Does the price seem too good to be true?
  • Is a third party used to communicate? There should be some ability to interact with staff
  • Is there a man sitting at the door, behaving in a dominant way?

For more advice:

And if you suspect modern slavery? Ring this helpline and report it: 08000 121 700

Latest posts:

How to trade in China, according to beauty trading experts

How to trade in China, according to beauty trading experts

UK success stories in the Chinese market feel novel. Take British brand's Vitabiotics expansion which has seen 30-40% year on year growth in the market since 2015, or, Argentum Apothecary's launch into China Duty Free just a year after making the jump. BeautyMatter is...

How much filler did Alice Hart-Davis’ MRI reveal?

How much filler did Alice Hart-Davis’ MRI reveal?

Originally published by Alice Hart-Davis, founder of The Tweakments Guide and member of the Council's Policy Committee, this article explores how long dermal fillers really last in the face. Alice says herself: 'Just how long can temporary dermal fillers last in the...


Stay on top of what's happening across the British beauty industry with our weekly news updates, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to receive news updates from the British Beauty Council.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share this on social: