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

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Media captionRazor sharp-witted: Subduing a cut-throat world

It looks like a barber’s shop should. The scissors, the combing, the clippers and mirrors. Shelves of whisker ‘product’ and cups of ‘barbicide’ disinfectant.

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

It’s where husbands can come to relax. For a haircut, a beard adornment, or even a full soggy cut-throat razor shave.

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

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

But this spring, it is Sophie manufacturing the headlines in the village, in northern Wales – and beyond.

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

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

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

“I was inspired by an old-time friend. A gentleman I instructed with, he actually educated me how to scrape.

“I thought, you are familiar with, when I took on my own place, I wanted to be like the other barbers – indicate myself off, evidence the browse – enter rivals – not supposing I’d get as far as have.

“I was quite shocked.”

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

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

She is investing the Easter weekend in a racetrack contender where she will be up against her own father, who passed on his rage for speed and bikes to her.

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

At the race congregates up and down the two countries, 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 shaping the women out there fantasize: ‘You know what – I’ve always wanted to do it’.

“Maybe seeing myself triumph something like that, perhaps it will encourage them to actually do it themselves – and not have to worry about being a woman taking part in a competition alongside men.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes actually, a woman with a razor who is on a mission to become one of best available cut-throat shavers in Britain.

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