The 2nd edition of the Battle of the Barbers competition returns to Beautyworld Middle East 2017, pitting the UAE’s finest barbers against each other in a live showdown, as they battle it out to become the undisputed champion.
Beautyworld Middle East sat with Trevor Studd, Director of the British Barbers’ Association, and the mastermind behind the Middle East’s premier barbering competition.
What can visitors and competitors expect to see at Battle of the Barbers 2017?
The interest already from the Barbers and Salon owner has been really exciting and encouraging. This year we definitely expect the standards to be raised as a lot of new Barbers have moved to Dubai from all over the world and new Barbershops in Dubai are far outgrowing New Salons. The Audience will be treated to great showmanship and artistry as the Barbers try to calm their nerves to produce winning styles and shaves.
Is there anything new planned for the 2017 edition?
We will be demonstrating Barber Patterning and will also take someone from the crowd to give them a makeover from Britain’s own Barber Council chairman himself, and Harrods Refinery Artisitc Director Chris Foster.
How was the response to Battle of the Barbers at Beautyworld Middle East in 2016?
We had to host two extra heats for the shave competition, we were really happy with the participation on the three days. Barbers came from all over the UAE to visit the Ring and watch both the competitors and also meet with the BBA team
What are your thoughts about the men’s grooming market in the UAE / Middle East?
Male Grooming in the Middle East and especially the UAE has really started to mature. We are seeing a lot more specific products being requested and purchased in the Barbershops, customers are driving the increase in the amount of products and different brands that the shops are carrying.
Men are moving more to buying from their Barbers and online whereas before it was mainly from supermarkets. This market has also seen a natural scale up of the amount of different products and the choice of brands.
Males are also looking to gain more value from their visits to the barbershop, a simple haircut now needs to be a great haircut and barbers need to step up their game to stay competitive against the new wave of shops opening.
Will the rise of the well-groomed man continue or will the hipster beard become just a fad?
The grooming boom will continue to develop throughout the full spectrum of men’s grooming. I think we have only just started to see which new categories can emerge like beard oils and beard washes. Skincare is an area that has so many areas of concerns and this part of the Grooming Boom will continue to lead the growth as men start to demand more from their daily grooming staples. The beard trend seems to have settled somewhat but does not seem to be disappearing anywhere just yet.
How does the UAE compare to the UK regarding barber skills and the barber profession?
Globally Barbering is one of those trades that doesn’t really change dependent on geography and I have worked all over the world. It all comes down to how and by whom the Barbers have been taught and nurtured.
On one hand you can have barbers that have received all the necessary institutional training and structured guidance and then on the other hand you have a third generation Barber who has received the experienced guidance and meticulous attention to detail and hands on experience. Both can come from the UK or UAE.
That being said, The BBA Team who judged the UAE Shave competition were blown away with the skill level of all of the entrants.
Any final words?
The aim of Battle of the Barbers is really to raise the profile and build the community of the Barbers in the UAE, These are the guys that keep the men of the UAE looking good and keep them feeling good! They should be proud of their profession and also be given praise for the long hours, passion and dedication they devote to their shop owners and most importantly to their customers.