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Ipswich/Felixstowe: Beards grows in popularity as Suffolk men emulate the likes of Stephen Fry, Ben Affleck and George Clooney

PUBLISHED: 09:32 13 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:32 13 February 2013

Carlos Aziz and Jemal Ramadan of Erbils Barber Shop, Ipswich talk about the trend for beards after the BAFTAS

Carlos Aziz and Jemal Ramadan of Erbils Barber Shop, Ipswich talk about the trend for beards after the BAFTAS

Archant

FACIAL hair was out in force at the Baftas awards ceremony in London, with fuzzy-faced host Stephen Fry and fellow celebrities rocking well-stocked cheek and chin growth.

But the competition for the best beard isn’t just down to the likes of Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Hugh Jackman and Damian Lewis – because the trend is in full swing right here Ipswich.

The staff at Erbils Barber Shop in Tacket Street said they have noticed a surge in the number of customers seeking expert grooming for their facial hair in recent months.

Carlos Aziz, of the Turkish barbers, said: “We get a lot of people here wanting to have their beards trimmed or shaped.

“It is particularly popular with younger people who like to get lines.

“Over time we have seen beards become more popular and we have regulars who come to have them trimmed every week. Some come to have complete shaves after growing for a couple of weeks.”

Nikos Jones, 21, from Felixstowe, said he has noticed the rise of the beard, including a number of A listers with fashionable fuzz.

“I grow a beard because I can,” he said. “I have been growing a bread for a couple of years now. I probably last had a clean shave about two years ago.

“I have definitely noticed more people with beards, I even said to my friends about all the beards at the Baftas. I do look after my beard and I tidy it up every couple of days.”

Meanwhile, Byron Best, also of Felixstowe, has been growing his for two weeks.

“I do see a lot of people with beards,” he said.

They aren’t popular with everyone though. Former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward says beards hinder high performance – a claim which led England prop (and former beard wearer) Joe Marler to respond: “I haven’t got a beard anymore and have a bit of stubble because it apparently makes you go faster.”

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