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'Pay-as-you-feel' barber wins hairdressing award

Posted on in Business News

A man who offers "pay-as-you-feel" haircuts has been named the UK's best barber.

Donal O'Leary, who works at the Apothecary 87 salon in the Doncaster suburb of Balby, won the Barber of the Year category at the 2024 UK Hair and Beauty Awards.

haircutMr O'Leary said he provided a vital service to people during the cost-of-living crisis by only charging them what they could afford. He was "in shock" after hearing he had won the title.

He added: "I never expected to win. It's something I've been striving for for a while." Mr O'Leary has been a barber for eight years and was encouraged to enter the contest after speaking to his girlfriend and family.

"I've always wanted to enter a competition like this," he said.

"But I've never had the courage to do it."

Haircuts with no fixed price are available once a week to both men and women.

Mr O'Leary added: "With how hard times are at the moment with the cost of living, we thought it would be great to give everyone the chance to have a haircut, make them look and feel good."

Customers include people who have been showering at gyms and sports centres because they were struggling to pay utility bills. Women, who often have to pay more for styling at female-centric salons, have also used the service.

"For some it's really been a massive thing," Mr O'Leary said.

"Being able to get a haircut for free or as much as they can afford is really beneficial."

Mr O'Leary learned to cut hair while he was a student at Trinity Western University in Canada, where he played for the football team.

He added that the pay-as-you-feel haircuts were "good for Doncaster".

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