A cut above: How barbers are making a high street comeback

 

The triumphant return of the short back and sides as the hairstyle of choice for Britain’s top male celebrities has helped boost the number of barber shops across the country.

Our high streets might be reeling from the loss of bookshops, music shops and technology retailers, but more than 150 barber shops opened last year in the UK, according to the Local Data Company.

While two years ago men may have preferred visiting a women’s salon to artfully recreate Bieber’s famous layered bowl cut or straggly indie-band locks, these days they’re heading to the barbers for a close and precise finish.

Among the popular new styles is the “Ivy League” – a classic crew cut favoured by George Clooney and Robert Pattinson. David Beckham’s quiff is also popular.

“Whatever Beckham has, people follow him,” Paul Taylor of Sheffield’s Taylor Taylor barbers told The Observer. He said men are recognising that barbers have skills that are “quite different from a women's hairdresser’s”

Mike Taylor, director of the British Barbers Association, told the paper: “Men are looking after themselves a lot more and have finally realised that the barber is the best person to cut their hair, not a hairdresser.”

Also gaining ground is the adventurous “Fusey” haircut pioneered by The Only Way Is Essex star Joey Essex. The radical hairdo requires the close shaving of the lower part of the head.

Earlier this week it came to light that pupils at Billericay School in Essex had been banned from coming into class with the “extreme” hairstyle.

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