Photos: 5280 Custom Kuts and the first Mile High Showdown Barber Battle

It was a hair-raising experience. On Sunday the Denver Police Events Center in Jefferson Park played host to the first-ever Mile High Showdown Barber Battle, presented by 5280 Custom Kuts. Dozens of representatives of shops from all over the country came to town to compete -- and possibly win cash, other prizes and overall bragging rights. See also: Best Name for a Hair Salon 2014 -- Hair and Now

The ballroom was filled with vendors, food from Bubba Chinos, two cash bars and other entertainment beyond the contests themselves.With multiple categories to judge and prize money to give away, host MC Money did a good job of keeping the crowd entertained between competitions. And DJ Precizion kept the audience moving with Top 40 selections and rare remixes.

for many, the highlight of the event came during the first competition, for the fastest fade, when A.J. Gallegos served up two fresh fades within the fifteen-minute time limit. Gallegos was later crowned the winner of that particular contest, based on his speed, blend, cleanliness and overall cut.

The scene was lively, with many people wearing shirts representing their favorite local barbershop, 5280 Custom Kuts. And there were so many rare kicks on display that it almost seemed like a sneaker exchange; as a side show, awards were made to the Best Nikes and Best Jordans during the sixty-minute signature cut round and fade and beard round.

"We had to throw this event so the barbers could rep their shops," says David Casares of Mile High Jewelers, which sponsored the event. "We wanted to bring the opportunity to young barbers to showcase their skills against each other."

Other competitions included a freestyle round, in which the stylist could do whatever cut they desired in sixty minutes; taper fade and low fade. There was also the signature fade round, during which the barber could cut any design he wanted into his client's hair within sixty minutes.

Here's how Lici, aka "Lady Barber," explains her fellow judges' criteria: "We look at the blend of the fade. Are there lines? Nicks? Is there a consistency? And we emphasize cleanliness, how well they maintained their area and the client."

The winners of each round received $250 in prize money, a trophy and a premium set of Oyster hair clippers.

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