Razor sharp skills! Colchester barber in Britain’s Best Shave final
- Credit: CLAARK BARBERS
A Colchester barber has shown she is a cut above the rest after making it to the final of a national shaving competition.
Claire Cant, 53, first trained as a hairdresser when she left school - and is now one of the finalists in the prestigious Britain's Best shave competition.
She hopes to lift the crown at the live finals at HJ Live London, one of Britain's largest hair and beauty shows, on March 29.
Mrs Cant said: "I was narrowly beaten in the regional heats a few years back and I've been refining my skills ever since.
"I would be elated if I won. I'd be absolutely delighted.".
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The showdown takes place in a boxing ring, with the winner walking away with a championship belt, £2,000 prize money and £500 of men's grooming products.
"It's great to see that my hard work has paid off and I can't wait to step into the competition's iconic boxing ring for the finals," she added.
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Mrs Cant's career in hair and beauty began at the age of 16, when she trained as a hairdresser before opening her own successful salon at the age of 21.
After a break from the business, raising a family and working in schools, she returned to the clippers six years ago with a three-month barbering boot camp.
"I'd always had an interest in men's hair, but in those days it wasn't really an option for me," she said. "But I wanted to push myself, so I signed up for a barbering course at Total Barbers in Shoreditch.
"I did a day's wet shaving with a balloon and I've never looked back."
To make the final cut, Mrs Cant wowed the judges, all barbers, across a number of strict disciplines including shave preparation, razor technique, client aftercare and health and safety.
Head judge Gary Machin said: "The participation and standard of work gets better year after year and fills me with such pride that our industry is heading in the right direction."
Mrs Cant is the co-owner of Claark Barbers in St John's Street, Colchester and has been in business there since September 2019.
"Me and my business partner Mark saw a property and had to go for it," she added.
"It's a perfect spot in the town.
"The building next to it used to be a butchers. I'm sure if they were still open it would all look a bit suspicious, a bit Sweeney Todd."