A close shave with Magnolia barbers

In the olden days a traditional man’s treat day might have involved a football match followed by some kind of pie and a few pints of bitter.

Or if you weren’t a football fan you might have spent the afternoon catching a few bream down the canal with a can or two and a sandwich.

Andy Lakin, Magnolia Barbers Chesterfield shaving reporter Ben McVay.

Andy Lakin, Magnolia Barbers Chesterfield shaving reporter Ben McVay.

But things have changed a bit and with this being the 21st century it’s more acceptable for men to indulge what is known as male pampering.

So, when the Derbyshire Times got wind that one of Chesterfield’s own barbers was through to the regional heat of the Britain’s Best Shave competition 2017 I jumped at the chance of reclining in the barber’s chair with a cut-throat razor pointed at my skin.

What you come to realise as the minutes pass by and you chit-chat with wet shaving barber, Andy Lakin, at Chesterfield’s Magnolia Barbering, is that there’s a lot more to a professional shave than your own crude fumblings in front of the bathroom mirror.

First up, you have your face covered with steaming-hot flannels to soften your whiskers and open your skin pores.

And then after yet more preparation the scraping begins - I say scraping because the hair really is thoroughly removed from your face with the cut-throat razor. And I would hesitate to say that this is painful but it’s a little less than comfortable at times.

When all the hair and - literally - a layer of skin is removed you are given several post-shave treatments which include a face-massage to get the blood flowing under the surface of your newly-plump skin.

And if you pop down on a particularly cold and blustery January morning, as I did, you will probably find afterwards that every gust of wind feels like a bucket of icy water being thrown in your face - and this quite satisfying.

Thirty two-year old Andy faces-off against other top barbers in the East Midlands regional final in March.

If he secures the top spot in the regional heat, Andy will face the most crucial shave of his life at the national final inside a boxing ring at Barber UK at the Birmingham NEC on May 21.

To find out more visit http://www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/bestshave2017.