Doncaster barber hoping to be crowned UK’s best

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A Doncaster barber is hoping to prove a cut above after being shortlisted in a competition to crown Britain’s best wet shaving barber.

James Herrington, from The Gentlemans Retreat in Bawtry beat off fierce competition and will now go head-to-head with 14 other barbers for the coveted Yorkshire and the Humber Best Wet Shaving Barber regional title.

If James wins the Yorkshire and the Humber regional heat he will then go on to the national final and compete against seven other wet shaving experts in a special “speed shaving” tournament inside a boxing ring at Barber Connect 2014 at the prestigious Celtic Manor Hotel in Wales.

The Yorkshire and the Humber regional final will take place at Pro Hair in Manchester in March 2014, where James will be judged on a number of criteria such as preparation, razor technique, after shave routine, health and safety and overall efficiency.

The competition, dubbed ‘Britain’s Best Shave’, is being organised by premium male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge and the British Barbers’ Association.

Mike Taylor, director at the British Barbers’ Association, said: “The competition promises to be not only 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.”

James said he was delighted to have made the regional shortlist and was hopeful of progressing to the national final.

He explained: “Being shortlisted for Britain’s Best Shave is great news and makes me feel so proud. I feel all my hard work in the barbering industry has led to this and it’s great how The Bluebeards Revenge have started to recognise that the barbering industry is important and such competitions should be held to show case barbers across Britain. I’m so excited and can’t wait for the heats to start.”

The winner of the competition will land the coveted title of Britain’s Best Shaver, plus win £3k worth of Bluebeards Revenge shaving products and star in a shaving commercial for the leading male grooming brand.

Nick Gibbens, marketing manager at The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “We connect with the funky, young new generation of barbers who are the future of the industry. We aim to inspire these youngsters and create a legacy on the back of a re-birth of the almost lost wet shaving barber skills.”

Wet shaving is currently enjoying a remarkable renaissance, with the figures showing the number of barbers performing traditional cut-throat shaves in Britain has jumped by 50% in the past 12 months.

Research from the British Barbers’ Association and The Bluebeards Revenge shows that there is an estimated 14,100 barbershops in Britain, with 5,076 (36% of total) now offering cut-throat shaving to their male clients, up from just 3,384 (24%) in August 2012.

The British Barbers’ Association attribute this dramatic surge to a number of different factors, including rising barbering standards and greater innovation, better marketing of services, the rise of the ‘metrosexual male, the need for men to look good at work and guys wanting to look dapper in tagged photos on Facebook and Twitter.