A Portadown barber has been crowned the Northern Ireland champion in a national competition to find Britain’s best wet shaving barber – and secured his place in the final round of the tournament.
Gem Gul, based at Mulholland Barbering on the Dungannon Road, beat off razor-sharp competition from 10 other barbers at the regional final, held at the Salon Services store in Manchester.
Gem will now go on to compete in the national final against seven other top barbers from across the country at Barber UK at the Birmingham NEC on May 21 and 22.
Gem will attempt to impress judges on a number of criteria, including shave preparation, razor technique, post-shave routine, health and safety and overall efficiency.
The competition, organised by men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge and the British Barbers’ Association, is now in its four year.
It was a childhood fascination that led to a successful career for Gem. He said, “I am originally from Turkey where barbering - and wet shaving in particular - are very highly respected skills.
“We are proud to be known world-wide for what we do. From a very young age I would hang around the local barber shop in my hometown of Ismir. As a teenager, I got a job sweeping floors and eventually lathering up for the senior barbers to come along and shave.
“I was obsessed with the process and soon learned the ways. That’s almost 20 years ago and I feel I have honed in my skills enough to be able to compete with the very best barbers.”
The winner of Britain’s Best Shave 2017 competition will walk away with £500 worth of The Bluebeards Revenge grooming products and merchandise and will feature in the Barber Evo magazine.