Inverclyde barber makes final six in hunt for Scotland’s Best Barber
Heather Atkinson, of Barber & Groom, Kempock Street, Gourock is celebrating this morning after being shortlisted in a competition to track down Scotland’s best barber.
Heather beat off razor-sharp competition from hundreds of other talented hopefuls to make the final six, impressing judges with her range of versatile barbering skills and an array of creative haircuts. She will now go on to face five of the nation’s very finest barbers, going head to head in a gruelling online public vote where the selected candidates will showcase some of their best work in the hope of gaining support from the general public.
The top three highest-scoring barbers at the end of the vote, which runs until 20th March, will then go on to compete at the competition’s prestigious grand final, set to be held at the 2016 Scottish Barber trade show at Edinburgh’s RHC over Sunday 24th and Monday 25th April.
Brains behind the competition the British Barbers’ Association has joined forces with leading men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge in their bid to track down the country’s king or queen of the cuts, scouring Scotland in their search for the ultimate talent in a true celebration of Scottish barbering.
The winner will be given the coveted title of Scotland’s Best Barber, walking away with £250-worth of grooming products from The Bluebeards Revenge and the chance to become an ambassador for the brand.
Heather, 30, who has now got just one month to drum up support via the online vote, said that she was excited to have been shortlisted – and that she now faced a tough battle to make it through to the final.
“Everyone dreams of having a job that they want to make up for each morning, and that they truly love doing, day in, day out. Barbering, for me, is exactly that, and I put nothing but 110% into every haircut I do.
“My customers have been great and have already promised to go online and vote for me, but I know that I’m up against some really stiff competition so I’m really crossing my fingers that the general public do the same.
“Hopefully, the people of Inverclyde will be keen to support someone local, and if they look at the examples of my work on the voting page then I hope they will see that I’m worthy of competing in the final. Of course, anyone outside of my local area is also more than welcome to vote for me, and the support would be really gratefully received.”
The competition comes at a time where business is booming for Scottish barbershops, as they continue to make a welcome return to high streets across the country, with men seemingly going back to their roots in search of a more traditional grooming experience.
Research conducted by the British Barbers’ Association together with The Bluebeards Revenge has revealed a surge of 15% in barbershop openings over the past twelve months, with the total number of those trading on Scottish high streets now standing at 1,345 – an increase of 175 compared to this time last year.
The return of the short-back-and-sides hairstyles made popular by the likes of celebrities Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Gareth Bale has sparked a rise in the number of men paying frequent visits to their local barbers, with such high-fashion looks requiring regular maintenance to keep them in shape.
With men now willing to put a greater level of trust in their barbers thanks to the rising standards driven in part by the British Barbers’ Association, many are also choosing to part with cash for more indulgent treatments such as the hot towel shave.
Mike Taylor, director of the British Barbers’ Association, suggested that the ever-flourishing trend for men’s grooming was continuing to add fuel to the fire.
“Men are looking after themselves a lot more and have finally realised that the barber is the best person to cut their hair, rather than a hairdresser. There is also a rising demand for hot towel shaves, and salons fail to offer this service.”
Andrew Brewster, founder of Scotland’s Best Barber media partner, Barber NV magazine, suggested that the new trend was just the beginning for the nation.
“It's been an exciting year for barbering in Scotland. We've seen the emergence of some top talent north of the border that has helped put Scottish barbering well and truly on the map. 2016 is looking to be a massive year for barbering in Scotland and I can only see it going from strength to strength.”
The Scotland’s Best Barber competition marks an exciting year for those working in the trade, and The Bluebeards Revenge’s marketing manager Nick Gibbens said that it was hoped to be the first of many.
“It’s great to see the birth of a new wave of barbershops that are opening up across Scotland. Industry standards have been rising and rising for some time now, and it’s clear that those who choose the profession have a lot of passion for what they do. That is what drives them to continue to learn and improve, and Scotland’s Best Barber is a real celebration of that.
“It’s all about raising those standards further still, and inspiring Scottish 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. This might be the first time we have run the competition in Scotland, but it certainly won’t be the last.”
To cast your vote for Heather, please visit http://www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/scotlandbarbervote/
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About the British Barbers’ Association
The British Barbers’ Association is committed to raising professional standards, highlighting and celebrating talent and facilitating the professional and commercial development of barbers, male grooming salons and men’s hairdressers.
They are currently working with leading professional male grooming brands and professional services providers to give members access to great deals on products, tools, training and other services including preferential premiums on a range of financial services products including bespoke insurance and tailor-made pensions.