Long waiting list for the best male stylist in Wales
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.”
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.