An Epsom barber has proved to be a cut above the rest after winning a national competition to crown the best cut-throat shaving barber in Britain.
In the culmination of a gruelling competition spanning five long months, Elvis Gjokaj, of Alley Barbers, Station Way, beat off razor-sharp competition from his opponents to take the coveted title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber 2017.
Elvis, the runner up in 2016, beat seven other regional winners from across the UK in order to claim the top prize, impressing industry renowned judges Luigi Caterino (a former winner of the competition), Alan Jones and Gareth Clark with his impeccable skills to prove that he really is a smooth shaver.
The drama unfolded inside a boxing ring at the third annual Barber UK, which saw thousands of people turning out to watch the event at the Birmingham NEC on May 21.
The competition, run by the British Barbers’ Association and premium men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge, involved Britain’s finest barbering talents battling it out in a round of quarter finals, with Elvis progressing on to the semis along with last year’s champion Sadik Khalifa, West Midlands winner Bulent Dogan and Welsh victor Sophie Collins.
The nail-biting final itself saw Sophie make an admirable attempt for the title, but she was unable to hold her own against Elvis’ superior shaving skills, who eventually reigned triumphant. Elvis had earlier shocked the barbering world when he defeated Sadik in the semi-final.
The 35-year-old impressed judges on a number of criteria, including shave preparation, razor technique, post-shave routine, health and safety and overall efficiency.
He said: “It’s third time lucky as I’ve entered on two previous occasion but narrowly missed out on both. I made the final in 2016 so I’m over the moon to have finally landed the coveted trophy and I’m already looking forward to defending my title next year.
“This is one of the most prestigious competitions in the barbering industry so I couldn’t be happier with the way things have gone for me over the past few days, and I’d like to thank all of my friends and family for their much-appreciated support.”
Elvis not only lands the coveted title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber 2017, but he also walks away with £500 worth of The Bluebeards Revenge grooming products and a role as an ambassador for the leading brand. He will also take part in a special interview with media partner Barber Evo magazine.
Nick Gibbens, marketing manager for The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “Elvis has put absolutely everything he’s got into the competition, and he makes a truly deserving winner. We can’t wait to have him as an ambassador.”
Research from the British Barbers’ Association and The Bluebeards Revenge shows there are now an estimated 14,502 barbershops in Britain, with 5,476 (38% of total) of these offering cut-throat shaving services to their male clients. In August 2012 there were 14,100 barbershops in existence, with just 3,384 (24% of total) providing cut-throat shaving.
Trevor Studd, director of the British Barbers’ Association, suggested that the ever-flourishing trend for men’s grooming was showing no signs of slowing down.
He said: “Men are looking after themselves a lot more and have finally realised that the barber or a dedicated male grooming operation is the best place to go to get a decent haircut. There is also rising demand for hot towel shaves and beard trims, and barbers have fully tapped into offering these types of services.”
A big thanks to Smithson Salon Solutions who provided the chairs for the national final of Britain’s Best Shave at Barber UK.
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Notes to editors:
• For more information on the competition, contact Nick Gibbens on 01752 898191 or email@example.com.
• The British Barbers’ Association is committed to raising professional standards highlighting and celebrating talent and facilitating the professional and commercial development of barbers, male grooming salons and men’s hairdressers.
• The Bluebeards Revenge is a premium male grooming brand supplying everything from pure badger brushes and shaving cream to quiff rollers and pomade.