A South Tyneside barber has become a master of his profession after his skills were recognised by an national body.
Allan Stone has been cutting, shaving and styling men’s hair for almost 27 years.
There’s are a lot of new shops opening and it’s hard trying to keep one step ahead of everyone elese, so to achieve this - this is the best Christmas present.Allan Stone
This week, the 42-year-old, who owns Stoney’s Barber Shop in Laygate, South Shields, was handed the Grandmaster Barber accolade - the highest honour that can be awarded to a barber.
It is thought Mr Stone is the first barber in South Tyneside to receive the award.
To achieve the accolade, he had to meet a set of criteria set by the British Barbers Alliance and submit a video of himself at work as he carried out a cut on a client.
Mr Stone, who started his career as a Saturday lad at the age of 15, said: “I had to send in all my qualifications and submit a video showing how I work.
“It was an anxious wait, then they contacted me to say I had achieved the level of Grandmaster Barber.
“I was just ecstatic – you can’t get any higher than this.
“There’s are a lot of new shops opening and it’s hard trying to keep one step ahead of everyone else, so to achieve this, it is the best Christmas present.”
As well as running his barber shop, Mr Stone has also turned his hand to styling for magazine shoots and is a lecturer at South Tyneside College. He also attends conferences and demonstrations across the UK.
Mr Stone added: “Being a barber is a completely different world to the one I started my career in. We are doing a lot more, in terms of colours and even perms.
“I’m really lucky, I do a job that I’m passionate about and that I love. Since I started in the profession, it was always something I wanted to do and that is something I pass on to the students I teach. “
A spokesman for the British Barbers Alliance said: “This award is very hard earned and not given out lightly.
“Currently, there are a small number of officially recognised master barbers around the UK.
“We are pleased to announce Allan Stone is one of very few to achieve this high level. His name has now been added to our growing list of extremely high standard British barbers.”
Stoney’s barber shop is open 8am-5.30pm, Monday to Wednesday, 8am-7pm on Thursday, 8am-6pm on Friday, and 7.30am-4.30pm on Saturday. People can make an appointment on 0191 420 2848 or call in.