Men are going back to their roots and abandoning salons in favour of the traditional barber.
Research shows that the barbershops are making a comeback to Scotland’s high street, with a surge in openings of 15% over the past 12 months.
There are now a total of 1,345 trading in Scotland, an increase of 175 compared to this time last year, according to a study by the British Barbers’ Association and grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge.
It appears business is booming as men go retro, copying the styles of famous sportsmen.
Mike Taylor, director of the British Barbers’ Association, said: “The return of the short-back-and-sides hairstyles made popular by the likes of celebrities Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Gareth Bale has sparked a rise in the number of men paying frequent visits to their local barbers, with such high-fashion looks requiring regular maintenance to keep them in shape.
“With men now willing to put a greater level of trust in their barbers thanks to the rising standards driven in part by the British Barbers’ Association, many are also choosing to part with cash for more indulgent treatments such as the hot towel shave.”
He suggested that the ever-flourishing trend for men’s grooming was continuing to add fuel to the fire, adding: “Men are looking after themselves a lot more and have finally realised that the barber is the best person to cut their hair, rather than a hairdresser.
“There is also a rising demand for hot towel shaves, and salons fail to offer this service.”
The research show that Scots are now even willing to pay more to maintain their improved image, with the average price of a haircut now standing 90p higher than a year ago, at £12.05.
To coincide with the new findings, the British Barbers’ Association and The Bluebeards Revenge have joined forces to launch a new competition to celebrat the nation’s outstanding barbering talent.
Scotland’s Best Barber will see a search the length and breadth of the nation to track down the ultimate skill in men’s hair cutting and styling, with Britain’s Best Shave 2015 winner Luigi Caterino, of The Italian Job barbershop in Galashiels, preparing to take his place on the judging panel.
Luigi, who was crowned king of the wet shaves earlier this year in a competition run by the same duo, has since been named official barber for Rangers FC - and his success is a testament to the honour that comes with receiving such an industry-respected accolade.
The competition is open to anyone currently practicing their trade on Scottish soil, with the top 25 barbers facing an online public vote where examples of their work will be up for scrutiny.
The top three scoring barbers will then go on to perform in the national final at the 2016 Scottish Barber trade show, held at Edinburgh’s RHC in April.