King’s Lynn barber Yucel Olmezkaya named East Anglia’s best shaver
- Credit: Ian Burt
You've got to be sharp to beat Yucel Olmezkaya. For the King's Lynn-based barber has just been named East of England Champion in Britain's Best Shave tournament.
Yucel, who works at Gould Barbers, Hardwick, beat off 14 other hopefuls to win the prestigious title.
Now he's sharpening his razor for the national final in Birmingham against eight of Britain's finest barbers.
To win the regional contest, Yucel had to give a client a shave with points being awarded for difficulty, shave preparation, razor technique, overall efficiency and health and safety. He was given 30 minutes to complete the shave. He managed it in nine.
A former police officer, Yucel credits barbering with getting his life back on track after a breakdown. He also notes an increased popularity in male grooming.
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'It's become more trendy in the past couple of years,' he said. 'It used to be just a short-back-and-side every so often, now people are paying more attention. The barbering industry is starting to rival the hairdressing industry.'
There is also a large difference in barbering culture between Britain and Yucel's native Turkey.
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'Here shaving is a luxury service,' he said. 'But it's a day to day thing in Turkey, barbers open at 6am and people get a shave before they go to work.'
Proud of his heritage, he adds: 'In shaving, the Turkish are the best.'
The tournament is run by the British Barbers' Association and grooming brand Bluebeards Revenge and consists of several heats to determine the best barber in each British region.
The regional champions are then invited to the final at Barber UK in Birmingham where they will compete against each other and the national champion of the previous year.
Yucel said he was looking forward to the competition. 'It's a really competitive thing, but yeah I'm really confident.'