Peterborough stylist Liza Schwarz has got a lot to be proud of at the moment.
Not only has she made it to the final of the hunt for Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber, but she is also the only woman to have made the cut, after beating off razor sharp competition from fourteen other talented barbers to take the East Anglia regional title.
The final event, to take place at Barber Connect 2014, at the prestigious Celtic Manor hotel near Newport, Wales, will feature a gruelling speed shaving challenge. Liza will face cut-throat competition from a mix of experienced barbers – some of whom have been practicing the skill from a very young age after being born into the family trade.
Liza, who runs Spencer’s hair salon on Lincoln Road, first picked up the razor just six years ago, but has quickly managed to hone her skills after being in the salon business for more than 28 years.
“I decided I wanted to offer a new service in my salon, so I trained as a wet shaver”, she says.
“ And if I am honest it is the hardest thing I have ever learned to do. Lots of people do the training and then never carry it on.
“When I opened the salon I was giving male customers hot towel shaves for free because I needed the experience – and now I am the East of England’s best.
“I think a lot of men want to try it but maybe don’t know where to look, or are a bit nervous. It is, after all, such an intimate thing, and they have to trust you.
“But once they try it I have found they love it and we have men come from all over for the service.”
Liza opened her salon back in 2008, naming it after her autistic teenage son Spencer, and is known as well in the community for her charity work and support of local courses as for her impressive barbering skills.
She regularly provides work experience and employment for people with special needs, and has to date raised over £40,000 for disabled charities, primarily through organising a yearly charity ball.
It is safe to say that Liza will have the Walton community behind her as she gears up for the final event, and some will be making the journey to Newport to cheer her on at the final on May 25.
“It was fantastic to get as far as the regional final in the first place, so I’m absolutely thrilled to have won it”, says Liza.
“I know there have been lots of really talented barbers in the running so far, so to reach the final is a privilege, and I really hope I can go on to take the title.”
The search for Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber is run by the British Barber’s Association and luxury male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge, with the winner picking up £3k of products as well as a starring role in a commercial for the brand.