Highest scoring barbers to face off in boxing ring quarter finals at first ever Barber UK
It’s been a busy few months for British Barbers’ Association directors Mike Taylor and Sheriff Mehmet, who have been travelling the length and breadth of the nation in a van in a bid to track down Britain’s best wet shaving barber.
In a competition run by The Bluebeards Revenge together with the aforementioned BBA, regional finals have been taking place across the UK, following the announcement of our 100 shortlisted barbers back in early February.
With the nation’s top barbering talent battling it out in a bid to claim their place in the final, the past few weeks have seen an unbelievable level of skill and expertise come to light, and now that the regional rounds have drawn to a close, we can finally reveal seven of the eight barbers who have made the final cut.
Luigi Caterino (Scotland), Phil Christodoulides (North West), Kevin Voyse (Yorkshire & the Humber), Mido Soliman (London), Elvis Gjokaj (South East), and Shakar Bakani (Midlands) were all amongst the highest scoring regional winners, and will join last year’s defending national champion, Parsa Rad, of The Refinery, Mayfair, in the quarter finals.
The eighth and final place will go to either Wales champion Sean Sweeney (Sweeney’s Barbershop, Dina Powys), or South West winner, PJ Shepherd (Sandyman Chop Shop, Exeter), who were each awarded equal scores in their respective regional finals, and will face each other in a crunch-time play off to decide which of them will progress onto the next stage of the competition. The winner will then face the ultimate challenge, taking on defending overall champion and king of the wet shaves Parsa Rad in the quarter finals.
The long-awaited finals are due to take place in the new and exciting setting of the first ever Barber UK on May 10. The event, which is part of the industry-renowned Hair UK event at the Birmingham NEC, will see the finalists participating in a dramatic showdown inside a boxing ring, with the quarter finals narrowing eight down to four, and the semis revealing our final two.
Judging the barbering skills on show will be industry experts Patrick Brien, Gary Machin and Garath Clark, who will be paying close attention to shave preparation, razor technique, post-shave routine, health and safety and overall efficiency.
The winner of the competition will land the coveted title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber, walking away with £500 worth of The Bluebeards Revenge grooming products and merchandise.
Nick Gibbens, marketing manager at The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “The level of talent in last year’s competition was extremely high, and this time around, the bar has been raised even higher, with some fresh new faces proving a real force to be reckoned with for last year’s top contenders.
“The aim of Britain’s Best Shave is to raise barbering standards across the industry as a whole, inspiring young barbers to reach the top of their game, but also enabling experienced barbers to put their skills to the test and see how far they have really come.
“Figures showed that the number of barbers performing cut-throat shaves had jumped by a whopping 50% in 2014, and the number continues to rise steadily as we see wet shaving making its way firmly back into favour.
Unfortunately there is only room for eight of our ten regional winners in the boxing ring, but we couldn’t go without saying a huge congratulations to Liza Schwartz, of Spencer’s hair salon in Walton, Peterborough, and Sam Wall, who hails from U Salon, Tyne-and Wear. The talented two walked away with the prestigious titles of East Anglia and North East Champion respectively, which is an incredible achievement in itself.
Britain’s Best Shave Quarter Finalists 2015:
Parsa Rad (*defending champion) – The Refinery, Mayfair (LONDON)
Luigi Caterino – The Italian Job, Galashiels (SCOTLAND)
Phil Christodoulides – Burgundi, Salford (NORTH WEST)
Elvis Gjokaj – Alley Barbers, Epsom (SOUTH EAST)
Kevin Voyse – ESG Group, Sheffield (YORKSHIRE & THE HUMBER)
Shakar Bakani – Mojo Barbershop, Rugby (MIDLANDS)
Mido Soliman – Jacks of London, Wimbledon (LONDON)
Play off (for remaining place in the final):
PJ Shepherd – Sandyman Chop Shop, Exeter (South West)
Sean Sweeney – Sweeney’s Barbershop, Dina Powys (Wales)
Quarter Final draw:
Luigi Caterino (Scotland) vs Phil Christodoulides (North West)
Shakar Bakani (Midlands) vs Mido Soliman (London)
Kevin Voyse (Yorkshire) vs Elvis Gjokaj (South East)
Parsa Rad (Defending Champion) vs Winner of qualifier
Other regional champions:
Liza Schwarz – Spencer’s Hair Salon, Walton (East of England)
Sam Wall – U Salon, Tyne & Wear (North East)