Popular barber who learned his craft as a teenager opens his own academy in Burnley town centre

It was on one of his first trips to have his hair cut as a child that Syab Raza became fascinated with barbering.

Watching the barbers he would drift off into his own world, fascinated by the professionals at work.

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"There was just something about it that held my attention," said Syab. And that fascination developed into an ambition to become a barber.

Syab Raza outside his new business HAYR Academy in Burnley.

A student at the former Edge End High School, Nelson, Syab, who is affectionately known as Sabz, went to Nelson and Colne College to study barbering and hairdressing and, at the age of 17, he became an apprentice barber at Burnley's Park Lane Hair Studio, combining his studies with learning the trade. Once he was qualified dad-of-two Sabz started working at the studio in Padiham Road full time.

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Sabz, who is married to his wife Saira, said: "My mum wanted me to go to university but I knew that barbering was what I wanted to do, I had a real passion for it."

The passion developed into a real flair and, once he was qualified, Sabz returned to college to gain his teaching qualifications and from that he took up private tutoring, helping many people with years of experience in the profession to update their skills.

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In fact he was a natural teacher and now, after 15 years at Park Lane, he has left to open his own barbering academy.

The stylish Interior of HAYR Barbering and Academy in Burnley.
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The newly launched HAYR Academy is situated in Hargreaves Street in Burnley town centre where Sabz will be running courses and cutting hair. And the new name not only represents his profession, it is also a play on Hayyan which is his three-year-old son's name. He also has a younger son Zayn who was born 10 months ago.

Sabz said: "This is something I've thought long and hard about as Park Lane Barbers has been my second home for 15 years. It wasn't a decision I made overnight.

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"But I am really excited for the future and the opportunities ahead."

Sabz says he will be forever grateful to the former owner of Park Lane Hair, David Owen, who took him on as a teenagerand the current owner Attiq Azam, who continued to mentor him. He has also thanked Karen Warne and Kathryn Walsh, his tutors at college who saw in Sabz the ability, confidence and attributes to be a great teacher.

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The exterior of HAYR Barbering and Academy in Burnley

Sabz added: "I would also like to thank all the customers who walked through the doors at Park Lane. I made friends for life and I will be forever grateful for the support throughout the years."