A Llandybie barber has been named British Master Barbers' Barber of the Year 2018.

It has been a busy three years for Mathew Guerin after opening two salons in Ammanford and Llandeilo, a training academy and being a personal stylist to professional footballers but it was his team that encouraged him to enter the prestigious competition which provides a platform for live demonstrations, networking and continued education.

“With all the demand from the shops and the training academy I nearly didn't enter this year's British Master Barber of the Year finals, but my team begged me to,” said Mathew, who began barbering at 14 when his local barber finished to do carpentry and didn’t trust anyone else to cut his hair.

“Last minute I decided to send in my entry. Again, to my surprise I made it in to the top 10 and I was against big names in the industry.

“These people are at the top of their games with huge social media followings. I thought I didn't stand a chance.

“I knew I had to work hard and really pull out all the stops.

“After a morning of nerves and going sick with anxiety, as I have come close in big comps so many times but to always leave with second prize, I managed to produce a cut better than I had even imagined and the nerves worked in my favour.

“I was totally blown away with the response of the other competitors who were impressed with my cut and that was a win in itself.

“To then go and actually be named the new British Master Barbers Barber of the Year was mind blowing.

“I have worked so hard since qualifying as a barber to show people what I can do and finally after three years of grit and determination I was crowned number one.

“I still can't believe it and am really excited for the future and what it might hold for me and my team.”

The barber has even taken it upon himself to help other aspiring barbers get into the trade.

He said: “I started getting a lot of people message me from all over the UK to teach them barbering or help improve their current skills and the demand was so high I decided to set up my own training provider Hairducation UK.

“I have college training providers on board who I use to teach the hairdressing side and I focus on the barbering.

“I still work with the college and salon connection but Hairducation UK is now my main source of training business.”