Barber Allan Stone is aiming to prove he is Britain’s best when he showcases his shaving skills at a national competition.
The 43-year-old narrowly missed out on the coveted title last year, but is determined to come out on top when he heads to London next month.
He has already beaten razor sharp competition from hundreds of entrants in a qualifying round held in Manchester for one of the eight available places.
The owner of Stoney’s Barber Shop in Laygate Lane, South Shields, was scored in his shave preparation, razor technique, post-shave routine, health and safety and overall efficiency.
The contest, run by industry watchdog the British Barbers’ Association and barbershop quality male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge, is now in its sixth year and will be held at the HJ Live London hair and beauty show at the ExCeL London on February 24.
Allan along with seven other finalists will take to the legendary BBA boxing ring where the competition will take place watched on by thousands of spectators and industry professionals.
Hopefully I can go one step further this year and bring the title back to the South Shields.Allan Stone
Last year, Allan, who worked his way up from apprentice to barber shop owner and college lecturer, was beaten into second place Kent barber Enver Yeshilbulut.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to the national final next month and hopefully I can go one step further this year and bring the title back to the South Shields.
“I got into barbering after serving my apprenticeship as a hairdresser at Saks.
“I’ve been barbering now for over 24 years and have had my own salon for the last 20 years.
“Barbering is my passion and I love the whole service. Traditional shaving now is a daily part of my routine at work. I’ve also been lucky enough to teach students at South Tyneside College to NVQ Level 2 and 3 on a part-time basis.”
Nick Gibbens, spokesperson for The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “Each year we’re blown away by the level of talent out there, and this year we’ve had a record number of entries and the standard has been the best yet. What this shows is that competitions like this, along with the good work of the British Barbers Association, help to drive up standards in the barbering industry – that’s the overall objective.”
Trevor Studd, director of the British Barbers’ Association, said: “Men are looking after themselves a lot more and have finally realised that the barber or a dedicated male grooming operation is the best place to go to get a decent haircut. There is also rising demand for hot towel shaves and beard trims, and barbers have fully tapped into offering these types of services.”
The winner of Britain’s Best Shave 2019 will take home £500 worth of products from The Bluebeards Revenge and the title if Britain’s Best Shaver.