Barbercraft 2019 epitomises the saying ‘it was a close shave’ by showcasing the best that the world of barbers has to offer. Held on Sunday 13 October at the Muizenberg civic centre, Barbercraft is a men’s lifestyle and grooming expo that brought the best of South African barbering talent under one roof to battle for the day’s titles.The competitors are split into three categories: the Junior category for unqualified barbers under the age of 25; the Open Class category for both qualified and unqualified barbers; and the Master Barbers Class for professional, qualified barbers. Clinton Bester, a Bonteheuwel resident, competed in the Open Class shave category and won first prize. He has been cutting hair for roughly 16 years with more plans to develop his passion in the near future. “I had no formal training – I learned, myself. Up until now I just have experience, but I’m going to do my trade test in barbering next year, 2020.”Bester is not a full-time barber, and practices to compete in his spare time.“I’m a boilermaker and I render my services as a barber to the community; like the old age home, children’s homes, shelters and down syndrome facilities. I’m doing this so I can inspire others to do the same, not only just in barbering but in any trade,” he explains.Local barber, Hadley Block, showed judges that he is a cut above the rest this year. A Coniston Park barbershop is where Block, the winner of the Barbercraft Barber of the Year Award, makes use of his skills daily. He has been cutting hair for 10 years, most of which have been at the salon and barbershop, Nordien’s Salon, where he currently works.“I feel good. It’s a lifetime achievement for any barber to be able to say they were barber of the year. I’m very proud of myself,” he says.The qualified barber has been one to watch for the entire three years that the competition has been taking place in Cape Town, winning several awards every year.The community of barbers, despite many sporting tattoos and intimidating beards, have shown their compassion for the community by donating a portion of the proceeds to St Anne’s Homes for abused and destitute women and children, based in Woodstock.Barbercraft 2019 was considered a major success, with more than 60 barbers competing and showcasing their skills.