Long wait­ing list for the best male stylist in Wales

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - Christie Ban­non @christieba­n­non_ christie.ban­[email protected]­line.co.uk 01792 545522

YOU wouldn’t think you would come across the best male stylist in Wales in a small in­dus­trial unit just off a main road in Am­man­ford.

But even with­out a flashy sign or an invit­ing win­dow, Fraser Ben­jamin from Llanelli has a wait­ing list of men all des­per­ate to get a slot in his hum­ble bar­ber shop.

The 23-year-old has only been run­ning Lanky’s Bar­bers on his own for the last five months but has im­pressed so much that he has been named the best male stylist in Wales.

De­spite do­ing ev­ery­thing him­self and hav­ing no mem­bers of staff to lend a hand, Fraser hasn’t strug­gled to at­tract plenty of clients who keep com­ing back as he puts his suc­cess down to be­ing chatty with them.

After ini­tially start­ing a sports course in col­lege, he de­cided to move into the di­rec­tion of hair­dress­ing in­stead.

“I was al­ways re­ally fussy with my hair and into my im­age so I got into it through that,” he said.

“I trained for a year in Co­leg Sir Gâr one night a week while I was work­ing in the day so I man­aged to build up a clien­tele.

“I moved on to work in Geurin’s Bar­bers in Am­man­ford be­fore I moved to work on my own.”

Fraser had been rent­ing a chair in the Am­man­ford bar­ber shop for two years be­fore mak­ing the daunt­ing de­ci­sion to run the place him­self after his boss said they would be mov­ing some­where else.

“I was re­ally ner­vous but it’s the best de­ci­sion I’ve made,” he added.

“Work­ing there the boss showed me how to do things and now I’m con­stantly booked up, I’ve got a wait­ing list.

“I put in the hard work and was will­ing to work for it. I’m on my own at the mo­ment but am hop­ing to find an ap­pren­tice.” Just a few months be­fore tak­ing the plunge and tak­ing the bar­ber shop on him­self, Fraser’s dad passed away in Oc­to­ber after suf­fer­ing with men­tal health is­sues.

The 23-year-old de­cided to pay trib­ute to his late fa­ther, Huw Morgan, by re­nam­ing the shop in his hon­our.

He added: “I called it Lanky’s be­cause that’s what his nickname was as he was quite tall. “It means a lot to be able to do it and I think he’d be chuffed and re­ally proud.” Fraser ’ s mother, Char­lotte Rick­wood, added: “I am very proud of all of the hard work he’s put in over the last three years, he’s done ex­tremely well.

“It’s been a tough six months for him but to come through this is ex­cel­lent. Fraser is work­ing ex­tremely hard and long hours to ful­fil his dream and this is a huge achievemen­t for some­one so young and es­pe­cially after los­ing his dad.”

Many of Fraser’s cus­tomers are of a younger age, with his ser­vices be­ing most pop­u­lar with those be­tween 18 to 26.

His cus­tomers are so happy with his skills that many of them nom­i­nated him at this year’s Welsh Hair and Beauty Awards in Cardiff, where he went on to be se­lected in the fi­nal 10 male stylists be­fore be­ing crowned the win­ner.

“I en­tered my­self be­cause I wanted to bet­ter my­self,” he said.

“I had to send in pho­tos and videos of my work and they nar­rowed it down to the fi­nal 10 from across Wales.

“I think my dad would be proud to see me win that award.”

Pic­tures: Jonathan My­ers

Fraser Ben­jamin, from Llanelli, was named the best male stylist in Wales at this year’s Welsh Hair and Beauty Awards.

Fraser runs Lanky’s Bar­bers in Am­man­ford.

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