BABTAC calls on beauty industry to raise transgender awareness

The regulatory body has distributed guidance on how its members can better care for transgender clients


By Wendy Golledge

25 November 2022

Regulatory body the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) has distributed guidance on how its members in the beauty and spa industries can better care for transgender clients.

The Gender Identify Research & Education Society (GIRES) research has been sent to BABTAC’s 30,000 subscribers to highlight trans needs in the treatment room and calls on spas and salons to be more inclusive.

GIRES estimates around 1% of the UK population are now gender non-conforming, and the number of people seeking treatment for gender dysphoria is increasing.

Aesthetics studio Injectual is founded by sister duo, plastic-surgeon Dr Veerle and Joëlle Rotsaert

Promoting comfort in the treatment room

Demand for beauty services as part of a transformation process is increasing too, so as transgender awareness and acceptance grows BABTAC is calling on beauty therapists, salon and spa owners and therapists to better understand the needs of their trans customers.

“The treatment room is an intimate space where everyone should feel comfortable and at ease,” said Lesley Blair, chair of BABTAC & CIBTAC. “We need to take that responsibility seriously, even more so when treating those who need respect and acceptance as they transition.”

“Beauty plays a key part in many transgender people’s lives, and it’s essential that industry professionals are compassionate and sensitive, not only to their feelings but to the physical changes they’re going through.”

Lesley Blair


BABTAC has compiled advice for its members on what to consider when treating someone who is transitioning, and how best to support customers who could be going through a full transformation.

These include:

  • Making sure to use the correct name and pronouns
  • Being realistic about timescales and results
  • Being aware of pain management; hormone treatments may cause additional sensitivity
  • Being discrete
  • Considering specialist training on top of existing qualifications
  • Considering applying to be on the NHS funding list of practitioners

Gender, not ‘sex’

Joëlle Rotsaert, co-founder of a new open-to-all injectables studio in London, Injectual, said: “Growing up with gender dysphoria, I know first-hand just how empowering the world of surgery and aesthetics can be and why it’s so important for beauty salons and spas to educate themselves to cater for transgender clients.

“It’s so important to show trans and LGBTQIA+ people you’re a welcoming, educated and inclusive business. For instance, you’d be surprised how many businesses still ask for people’s ‘sex’ rather than ‘gender or preferred pronouns’ on guest intake forms.

“If you are part of the trans community, this doesn’t give you much confidence in how you will be treated, how open-minded the business is or the quality of service you’ll receive.

“Educating yourself is a really good way to become as inclusive as possible.”

Be educated...

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