A Nuneaton barber has proved to be a cut above the rest after winning a national competition to crown the best wet shaving barber in Britain.
In the culmination of a gruelling competition spanning five long months, Sadik Khalifa, owner of Style Hair Arts on Croft Road, beat off razor-sharp competition from his opponents to take the coveted title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber 2016.
Sadik, who originally comes from India, beat seven other regional winners from across the UK in order to claim his place in the grand final, impressing industry renowned judges Gary Machin, 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 second annual Barber UK, which saw thousands of people turning out to watch the event at the Birmingham NEC on May 22. 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 Sadik progressing on to the semis along with London champion Elvis Gjokaj, last year’s runner up Shakar Bakani, and East Anglia champion Liza Schwartz.
The nail-biting final itself saw 2015 semi-finalist Elvis make an admirable attempt for the title, but he was unable to hold his own against Sadik’s superior shaving skills, who eventually reigned triumphant. Sadik had earlier shocked the barbering world when he defeated last year’s winner and official Glasgow Rangers barber, Luigi Caterino, in the quarter finals.
Sadik impressed judges on a number of criteria, including shave preparation, razor technique, post-shave routine, health and safety and overall efficiency.
The 33-year-old was born and raised in the poverty stricken village of Bhadeli in Gujarat, India, before moving to the UK in 2007. Sadik dedicated his victory to his father Kadirbhai Khalifa – who flew over especially from India to watch his son compete in the national final at Barber UK.
He said: “I can’t believe it; I’m absolutely blown away by this achievement. I grew up in a very poor part of India before moving to the UK in the search for a better life. This makes my achievement even more special and something that I will remember for the rest of my life.
“I’ve watched the competition from afar for the past two years and finally decided to give it a shot this time around. I keep having to pinch myself to remind myself that it’s not a dream! This has been a life-changing experience for me and I want to build on my victory and help to raise the profile of British barbering still further.
“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.”
Sadik’s history within the barbering trade goes back generations – even his great grandfather was a barber, so you could definitely say that it’s in his blood.
He added: “I’ve personally been learning the art since the age of ten, and specialise in Indian therapies like the Indian head massage, as well as cut-throat wet shaving.”
Sadik not only lands the coveted title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber 2016, but he also walks away with £500 worth of The Bluebeards Revenge grooming products and a role as an ambassador for the leading brand.
Nick Gibbens, marketing manager for The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “Sadik 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.”
Mike Taylor, director at the British Barbers’ Association, said: “The event has not only been a celebration of the most creative and innovative of British wet shave barbering, but also a showcase of the growing global reach and talent of the UK cut-throat shaving industry.”
All images used in this article credit: Gareth Clark Hair For Men