Eight barbers are celebrating this morning after securing their places in the final of a competition to find Britain’s best wet shaving barber.
The group of hopefuls trounced scores of other talented barbers in heats across the country to be named regional winners – and were then whittled down from 12 to just 8 based on their overall scores, in order to get the green light for the final.
The successful barbers will now come face to face in a nail-biting shave-off, to be held inside a boxing ring at this year’s Barber UK. Finalists will battle it out to impress judges on a range of criteria – including preparation, razor technique and post-shave routine, making a final bid for the crown – and the prestigious overall title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber.
The final of the competition, organised by the esteemed British Barbers’ Association and premium men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge, will take place on the first day of the popular Barber UK trade show at the Birmingham NEC over the 22nd and 23rd May. Scores of spectators are expected to turn out for the event, which will see wet shaving expert and 2015 champion Luigi Caterino return to defend his title
This year’s Best Shave winner will walk away with £500 worth of The Bluebeards Revenge grooming products and merchandise, and a chance to become an ambassador for the brand – as well as the much-coveted title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber.
Nick Gibbens, marketing manager at The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “The level of talent in the first year of the competition was extremely high, but our 2015 entrants managed to exceed that to an impressive degree. 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 2013, and the number has continued to rise over the past couple of years as we have seen wet shaving making its way firmly back into favour.”
Mike Taylor, director of the British Barbers’ Association, said that this year’s heats were a close call.
He explained: “When it came to the scores on the doors in some of our regions, there were barely a couple of points in it. The standards were consistently high – and even more so than we have seen in previous years.
“It’s clear that the word is getting about the competition, as we were inundated with entries this year. It’s a really positive sign, and shows us how much those in the barbering industry want to be at the top of their game. They want to be the best, and that’s what this competition is all about – not just being good, but being the very best that you possibly can be and offering clients an impeccable level of skill as well as incredible service.”
The regional winners of Britain’s Best Shave 2016 winners are:
London – Elvis Gjokaj (Alley Barbers, Epsom)
South East – Enver Yeshilbullut (Kings Barbers Male Grooming, Kent)
East Midlands – Shakar Bakani (Mojo Barbershop, Rugby)
West Midlands – Sadik Khalifa (Style Hair Arts, Nuneaton)
Scotland (and defending champion) – Luigi Caterino (The Italian Job Barbershop, Galashiels)
East Anglia – Liza Schwartz (Spencer’s Hair Salon)
Northern Ireland – Barry McCafferty (The Derry Barber Company, Derry)
Wales – Sean Sweeney (Sweeney Barbershop, Dina Powys)
Yorkshire & The Humber – Kevin Voyse (Distinction Training Academy, Doncaster)
North East – Dan Ryan (Kutz Barbers, North Shields)
North West – Phil Christodoulides (Burgundi Male Grooming, Salford)
The line-up for the national final at Barber UK – Sunday 22nd May 2016
The draw is as follows:
QF1 – Luigi Caterino (Defending champion) vs Sadik Khalifa – (West Midlands Champion)
QF 2 – Liza Schwartz – (East Anglia champion) vs Sean Sweeney – (Wales champion)
QF3- Elvis Gjokaj (London champion) vs Barry McCafferty (NI champion)
QF4 – Shakar Bakani (East Midlands champion) vs Enver Yeshhilbulut (South East champion)
SF1 (QF1 vs QF2) – 2pm
SF2 (QF3 vs QF4) – 3pm
Final (SF1 vs SF2) 4pm