Information about the Dutch beauty industry for internationals living in the Netherlands, including names of trade associations, professional certifications for beauticians and hairdressers, types of treatments to be administered by a doctor and Dutch terms for specific beauty services.
Dutch Beauty Salons & Beauticians
The overall appearance of a typical beauty salon in the Netherlands is not unlike that seen in other countries, with the exception of course being the name outside the shop. ‘Salon’ will be recognizable, but this is usually preceded by the term ‘schoonheid’ rather than ‘beauty’. The Dutch word ‘schoonheid’ translates to ‘clean skin’. As for the place one visits for a beauty treatment, these are known as either ‘schoonheidssalons’ or ‘schoonheidsinstituuts’.
Beauty treatments on offer at ‘schoonheidssalons’ in the Netherlands typically include facials, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, hair removal/waxing and makeup applications. More intense treatments, such as micro-dermabrasion, LPL permanent hair removal, chemical peeling and permanent makeup, are also popular but aren’t offered in all salons because they require a specific training certification to administer.
The beauty industry in the Netherlands is not regulated by the government which means anyone can open a beauty or hair salon. The government leaves it up to private organizations, such as ANBOS, the Dutch training certification association for beauticians, which has over 5,000 member salons. ANBOS requires members to have completed a structured beauty education program. The ANBOS logo will often be displayed on the website and/or on the door of a member salon. When planning to visit a schoonheidssalon for the first time, it is a good idea to look for this logo.
Beauty treatments in the Netherlands…
- gezichtsbehandelingen –> facials
- huidverbetering –> skin improvement
- huideverjonging –> skin rejuvenation
- behandeling –> treatment
- ontharen –> hair removal
If you previously received Botox treatments or Restylane injections prior to arriving in Holland, these are readily available in the Netherlands. It’s completely normal when first living in a foreign country to have a bit of trepidation about injections. Everyone has heard those horror stories about a botched treatment leaving a patient with a drooping eyelid or over-inflated lips. Poor Botox® or Restylane® results are far harder to disguise than say a bad haircut.
You can put your mind at ease living here in the Netherlands. Most anti-aging injectibles are categorized as controlled substances by the Dutch government. These include botulinum toxin (the active ingredient in Botox®) and hyaluronic acid (the active ingredient in Restylane® and Juviderm®). These can only be sold to, and administered by, licensed medical professionals who must be listed in the B.I.G. registry.
The Dutch term for a doctor specialized in such treatments is ‘cosmetisch arts’ (cosmetic doctor). That’s not to say every doctor which administers Botox® will be a cosmetisch arts. A general physician (huisarts) or dentist (tandarts) can administer these injections as well.
In Holland, beauty salon owners often partner with a licensed cosmetisch arts who is able to administer those treatments which require a B.I.G.-registered doctor or nurse.
The Dutch word for hair is ‘haar’, but a hairstylist is more commonly referred to as a ‘kapper’. Likewise, a hair salon is commonly referred to as a ‘kapsalon’. There is not as much a distinction in the Dutch language as there is in English between a barber, haircutter or hairstylist. In Dutch, the common term is ‘kapper’.
The haircutting trade, like the beauty industry, is not regulated by the Dutch government. A specific degree or certification is not required for a person to call themselves a kapper or to open a kapsalon. But most Dutch people are aware of the moniker ANKO (Algemene Nederlandse Kappersorganisatie), the Dutch trade association for professional haircutters (those who have completed a recognized training program). So they expect to see the ANKO logo on a hair salon’s website or on the front door of the boutique. Expats should look for it as well.
Aside from haar and kapper, some other Dutch terms commonly used is association with hair cutting are:
- knip –> cut
- wassen –> wash
- drogen –> drying
- fohnen –> blow dry
- krullen –> curls
- kleur –> color
- kort –> short
- lang –> long
Dutch Trade Associations
The Nederlandse Vereniging van Huidtherapeuten (NVH) is the Dutch national association of skin therapists.
The Nederlandse Vereniging Cosmetische Geneeskunde (NVCG) is the Dutch national association of cosmetic medicine
The Koninklijke Algemene Nederlandse Kappersorganisatie (ANKO) is the Dutch national association of hairdressers.
The Netherlands Samenwerkingsverband Artsen Schoonheidsspecialisten (NLSAS) is the Dutch national association for two different guilds: Het Gilde van Cosmedische Schoonheidsspecialisten (GSC) and the Gilde van Medisch Esthetische Specialisten (GMES).