JAMIE Crawford knows all about close shaves.
The Rugby barber has just been named best cut-throat shaver in the Midlands, and is now in the running to be crowned British champion of the wet shave.
The 26-year-old, who works at Legends Barbershop in Castle Street, beat off razor sharp competition at the Midlands regional final in Northampton in Britain’s Best Shave 2018.
Jamie, who has been a barber for 13 years, impressed the judges on a number of criteria, including shave preparation, razor technique, post-shave routine, health and safety and overall efficiency.
Jamie will compete in the national final against seven other barbers from across the country at this year’s Barber UK at the Birmingham NEC in May.
Jamie told The Observer: “I got into barbering really young. I was always fascinated by hair and grooming, especially the magic you can create with just a few tools. I love the way you can make a client feel in such short space of time; it’s so rewarding.”
Jamie’s skills within the industry were passed down to him by his great grandfather, who taught him to shave with a straight razor at the age of 12.
Jamie, who grew up in Woodford Halse near Daventry and moved to Rugby six years ago, added: “I’ve been hooked on cutting hair and shaving ever since then.”
Now in its fifth year, the annual competition, run by industry watchdogs the British Barbers’ Association and male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge, is fast becoming the most coveted competition of the barbering industry.
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. 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 the trend for men’s grooming was showing no signs of slowing down.
He added: “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.”
This year’s Britain’s Best Shave winner will walk away with £500 worth of The Bluebeards Revenge grooming products and merchandise, and a chance to work with the brand – as well as the title of Britain’s Best Wet Shaving Barber.