A BARBER has become the first in the UK to be given a plaque recognising him as a ‘master barber craftsman’.

Mike Taylor is on a mission to raise standards in the industry and has an ambition of establishing the UK’s first national barbershop chain.

He received his master barber craftsmen plaque from the Hair Council, which is backed by the government.

Mr Taylor, who has been in the business 23 years, is a director of the British Barbers Association, which was established four years ago and aims to get a national register of barbers.

“Anybody can set up a hairdresser or barbershop, which is disgusting,” he said.

He is hopeful measures will be passed by parliament to set up the register, similar to the national register of hairdressers run by the Hair Council for decades.

“It’s become a big problem especially when barbering’s become so popular. Everyone’s trying to open barbershops,” he said. I love the trade but learn it properly and get proper qualifications.”

He said there were genuine risks in an unregulated industry, including the dangers of hepatitis if blades were not disposed of properly.

“I do think that with your hair, you’re trusting someone and someone should have to meet certain criteria to open their shop and offer their service,” he said.

Mr Taylor runs Master Barbers, a training academy for barbers at Wimborne Road in Poole, with a shop attached.

He will shortly open Bond’s Gentlemen’s Barbershop at 95 Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth. Innovations will include the facility for customers to book an appointment online.

“The new shop is going to be the best looking barbershop this side of London. I’m really looking forward to opening it,” he said.

He believes the business will be ripe for expansion. “There’s never been a successful barbershop chain in the UK and I’m hoping mine will be the first,” he added.