Leather& lather: The Cut-throat Racer – BBC News

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Media captionRazor sharp-witted: Conquering a cut-throat nature

It looks like a barber’s shop should. The scissors, the combs, the clippers and mirrors. Shelves of mane ‘product’ and flasks of ‘barbicide’ disinfectant.

There’s a theme going on too – it hollered motorcycles. From the leather casing hanging on the wall, to oil and tyre paraphernalia, and biking photos.

It’s where males can come to relax. For a haircut, a whisker trimming, or even a full soggy cut-throat razor shave.

She is a 25 -year-old former hairdresser, who has swapped tints, blue-rinses and shampoo-and-sets in a small urban hamlet in north Wales for the male-dominated world of barbering.

It is four years since she set up store in the quiet, picturesque Gwynedd village of Llanbedr – a plaza whose claims to prestige are a campsite on the coast boasting it is the biggest in Europe, and an ex-Raf airfield that wants to become an international seat port.

But this spring, it is Sophie making the headlines in the hamlet, in north Wales – and beyond.

She has just been referred best available cut-throat shaver in Wales – the first dame to take the title.

It likewise intends she’ll become the very first female barber to make it to the UK finals of the competition, held in May in a boxing ring in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

“I’ve always wanted to do it – be a barber, ” replied Sophie.

“I was inspired by an old-fashioned sidekick. A gentleman I improved with, he actually taught me how to shave.

“I thought, you know, when I took on my own target, I wanted to be like the other barbers – demo myself off, depict the shop – enter tournaments – not feeling I’d get as far as have.

“I was quite shocked.”

Perhaps she is being modest. She is no stranger to rivalling in traditionally male arenas.

Outside of the barber shop, you are just as likely to find her donning racing leathers and taking her motorbike out on the track.

She is expending the Easter weekend in a line challenger where she will be up against her own father-god, who passed on his joy for velocity and motorcycles to her.

“He’s faster than me though, ” she laughed.

At the race fulfils up and down the country, Sophie is also known to set-up her own mobile barber’s shop, offering hardened bikers and hasten enthusiasts a trim or shave.

It is where she picked-up her nickname: The Cut-throat Racer.

And now she hopes her success can be an inspiration to other women who want to get into the industry.

“It’s actually forming the status of women out there speculate: ‘You know what – I’ve ever wanted to do it’.

“Maybe seeing myself win something like that, maybe it will encourage them to actually do it themselves – and not have to worry about being a woman invited to participate in a competition alongside men.

“Yes – it is daunting – but you’re just as good as them, and that’s how I felt on the day.”

But does the swaggering confidence restate back to the barber shop floor?

“When they come in and I get the razor out to shave their neck, they panic, ” confesses Sophie.

“They tend to have a gulp and grit their teeth, and I’m trying to tell them: ‘”Relax – it’s supposed to be relaxing for you.

With a smile and a sly glint, she includes: “A lot of them do get nervous.

“A woman with a razor? No – certainly? “

Yes really, the status of women with a razor who is on a mission to become one of the best cut-throat shavers in Britain.

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