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The art of barbering
  • SB Barbering Academy

    Learning the art of barbering

  • learn a trade

    Let us help you succeed.

  • Build a future

    With our expert help.

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About Us



The SB Barbering Academy was created out of a burning passion for the Barbering Industry, and one woman’s dedication and vision to turn out highly skilled, newly trained barbers. Here at SB we concentrate on cutting using old school traditional techniques and incorporating them with modern barbering to create current trends and high quality haircuts. Quality over Quantity every time. Tried & True.

Our three staff collectively possess almost 50 years’ experience in the barbering industry between them and all 3 have worked together for many years and have developed an excellent rapport together. This all lends itself to give you a high standard of training, in a relaxed, fun and all the while professional barbershop atmosphere.

It is our mission to create a generation of highly skilled and passionate barbers. We feel too many training establishments have neglected our ethos of ‘Quality over Quantity’ and over the years this has led to many barbers leaving training establishments with qualifications that their practical skills can’t back up. Here at SB, we are here to change all this. This is a place where your progression, skills and ability are our only focus. We will use every asset available to us to get you to the point you need to be, and we hope you have a great time along the way!

Here, we like to keep things fresh and exciting, and with the help of our barber brothers and sisters from all across the UK, we aim to bring you a good selection of guest barbers to help you along with your training. It is the best opportunity to learn something from some of the best in the business.

Academy Courses



VTCT Level 2
Certificate in Barbering

The VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Barbering (QCF) is a qualification that has been specifically designed to develop your barbering practical skills in; The creative art of cutting men’s hair, the specialist work of cutting facial hair and how to offer a good thorough consultation that will allow you to perform the best services you possibly can to your clients.

Here at SB we work as a fully operational, student ran, city centre barbershop. This encourages all of your skills to be developed at a much faster rate. You will absolutely be cutting a live client on your first day. We get a wide variety of clients from the general public daily, stretching and challenging you to adapt your newly acquired skills to suit.

In every class there are beginners, intermediates and barbershop ready students. This gives students of all levels the chance to watch and learn from each other. We use peer to peer learning to help promote a deeper knowledge and understanding of certain techniques. This also gives our educators more 1:1 time with our newly enrolled students, which improves their rate of development.

Underpinning this qualification, you will develop a sound knowledge of the necessary health and safety rules and regulations that apply whilst working in the barbering industry. You will also develop a good knowledge and understanding of the practical skills learned throughout this qualification and be able to put them in to practise effectively.



VTCT Level 3
Certificate in Barbering

The VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Barbering (QCF) is a qualification that has been specifically designed to develop your practical skills to an advanced level through a variety of techniques in the following units; creatively cutting and styling men’s hair and the intricate specialist work of cutting facial hair and cut throat shaving.

Our working student barbershop is the perfect place for you to practise and hone your cutting, styling and shaving skills through this qualification. With expert help on hand from our excellent educating staff never more than a couple of steps away, we believe that your learning experience in this setting will be unparalleled. We truly believe that working together enhances your learning and understanding experience.

Underpinning this qualification, you will develop a sound knowledge of monitoring health and safety whilst working in the barbering industry. You will also develop a deep knowledge and understanding of the practical skills you will learn throughout this qualification. We enforce this through constant individual and group discussions on how your training is going, which allows us to cater to and suit all individual’s needs.

The purpose of this qualification is to develop your practical skills to an even higher level of occupational ability. This will enable you be able to perform your own barbering services to a high standard, with an assured level of confidence in your abilities. Here at SB we strive to provide a unique and individual learning experience for every learner.



intense 4 Day cutting course

This 4-day intensive cutting course is absolutely perfect for the already practising intermediate level barber. It is specifically designed for those who already have existing skills but would like the time and the place to be able to work on more advanced styles and techniques.

Throughout the 4 days you will get to work on multiple live models daily. Here at SB we have a variety of regular clients we have built up over our time in Sunderland who require more advanced cutting and styling. We work to each individual students needs and requirements, drawing up a ‘Learning Plan’ for the duration of your course, to ensure we get you exactly what you need out of the course. With skin fade, scissor work and styling specialists, we have you covered for anything!


Fading workshop
1 day course

This is the newest course on offer here at the SB Barbering Academy. This one-day intensive fading workshop will teach you to transform the trickiest of fades into perfectly balanced masterpieces. Aimed more at intermediate and already practising barbers, this one day fading workshop will give you the opportunity to see how the perfect fade is achieved step by step with 4 demonstrations in the morning. This will then be followed by your chance to try out these fading techniques for yourself on two clients on the afternoon. Under the watchful eyes of our educators the keys will be given to you to unlock your true fading potential!


2 day shaving course
NVQ Shaving Unit

This 2-day shaving course is designed to give you all the knowledge you need to make a start on your shaving career. This is a full Unit qualification, and is all you need for insurance to be able to perform shaving services in your barbershop or salon. You will spend the first morning of the first day watching demonstrations that will break down the sequence of the shave, show you how to hold a cut throat razor, and the preparation of the shave. Following this you will spend the afternoon of the first day, and the whole of the next day performing shaves on live models. Our shave tutors will be on hand every step of the way to offer to advice and give you a confidence boost! After the 2 days you should be on your way to giving the perfect shave.


Get in touch to find out more!!
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Our educators


All of our educating staff are working in the current barbering industry and are always pushing their Continuous Professional Development in this area to ensure all of our educators are up to date with the most current styles, trends and techniques! They all bring something unique and individual to the table to ensure that we can give you the best training possible. Collectively our educators have more than 50 years’ experience in the industry so you can guarantee anything you come up against, our educators will have seen and dealt with before.


Vikki Smith - 'queen vik'

Founder & Lead educator

Vikki is a very experienced educator and barber. A veteran of the ‘Old School’ traditional barbering techniques and with over 20 years in the game, Vikki is a fountain of knowledge and barbering wisdom! Vikki is personally dedicated to raising the standard of freshly qualified barbers who are new to this industry. She has developed her own techniques and training methods that are proven to work.

Sarah jonhson - 'sj'

A highly skilled and passionate barber, Sarah has over 14 years’ experience in the industry. She is one of the founding members of the SB Team and has work alongside SB Barbers Ryan Smith for over 7 years. All of this has allowed Sarah to develop a vast wealth of traditional technical skill and ability that she will be able to hand down to the next generation of barbers.

ry smith - 'RY'

13 years a barber have made Ryan into an excellent all-rounder. Specialising in traditional techniques and fading, he has worked at many festivals and events throughout the UK and Europe. His dedication to the industry has led to his vision becoming SB Barbers Barbershop, and ultimately the SB Barbering Academy itself. All of his experience and knowledge will be used to teach and inspire a new wave of highly skilled passionate barbers.



Here is a little insight into mad skills and the mad goings on at SB Barbering Academy!

Just have a SWIPE to view



What do our students think of SB Barbering Academy...? Just have a read through some of our testimonials and see for yourself...

"Jessica our apprentice has grown in confidence since she has been coming to your academy. She has gained so much experience from you and she can hold her own on the shop floor. She runs her own column now and does a brilliant job with every client!"

Gill – Bronzed, Farringdon.

"Thank you Vikki and the team, loved it, learned loads! If Vikki doesn’t make you want to cut hair then hang your clippers up, much respect!"

Matt Robeson – Week intensive course

"Vikki is a fantastic mentor and teacher, always supportive and knows what she is talking about. I learned and improved on my skills and techniques in such a short space of time. For a great way of learning, training here."

Stevie Ong – Stevie Cuts Barbershop, Gateshead.

"Amazing barbering school, learned tons, plenty of clients coming in, great teacher with great skills and I would highly recommend"

Emma McKenzie – Night class

"After being a client of the Academy for a couple of months, I started to express interest in doing a course with SB. After being encouraged by the SB Team and helped out with all my funding I started my Level 2 Programme. I felt nervous about cutting at first, but with the support of my fellow students and tutors, I grew more confident and quickly progressed."

Jordan Sawyer – Level 2 Student, Amir’s, Sunderland

"Best thing I ever did sending our Apprentice Tom here for his training!"

Jemma Bailey – Roots Hairdressing, Darlington

"Currently training at Sb barber academy doing my NVQ level 3!! Absolutely loving my time here!! My progress is really good for only being here a month. Everyone is some friendly and the atmosphere is awesome!! Place to train in the UK"

Claire Sevim – Level 3 Diploma Student

"Went to college back home and didn’t learn much. Found SB through Instagram and moved over for the course. After 8 weeks I never went home and ended up getting a job with SB Barbers. Best thing I ever did! Top class training!"

Jack Moore – Level 3 Student, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"Not enough words can describe my time at SB. It feels like one big family, with students and tutors alike willing to help you any time. The amount of hard work and dedication they show their students is unparalleled. Their passion for the trade makes for a very enjoyable learning experience and I left the academy a qualified, passionate barber. I cant wait to go back!"

Cameron Murray – Level 2 Student, Blind Pigs Barbershop

"SB Barbering came highly recommended to me by my barber in Edinburgh. Having made the decision to quit my job and move back down to the North East has comfortably been the best decision I have ever made. My time here has been as enjoyable as it has been educational, and this is a testament to the environment Vikki and Ryan have created. I cannot recommend it enough!"

Matt Lockwood – Level 2 & Level 3 student

"There seriously isn’t a more welcoming and friendly environment to learn the art of barbering. A completely new and modern way of training and thinking, every student walks away with skills far beyond their time. From cutting and clipper techniques right through to work ethic and life after training, SB cover everything to provide a first class leap into the industry. They are more than just an Academy, they are a family and take every student under their wing."

Colin Petrie – Hard Grind Barbershop & Lifestyle store



Contact Us


Get in touch using the contact form below or email us directly. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Where ARE WE?

Lambton Street

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Phone: 0191 567 3644

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