A new barbershop in Swindon is offering a unique experience.

Angel Russell opened Back & Sides opened in Victoria Road just over a year ago after the barbershop she used to work for shut for good in the wake of Covid lockdowns.

And what makes it stand out from the rest his her resident assistant, pet cockatiel Pippa.

Angel was given to Pippa by her former boss' daughter, who was unable to give her the care needed.

"She was locked inside her cage in a dark room for most days," Angel said. "Some days, her owners even forgot to feed her."

Pippa has lived with Angel for the last year and flies around the shop as Angel cuts hair.

Swindon Advertiser: Angel and Pippa at Back & Sides barbershopAngel and Pippa at Back & Sides barbershop

Having been quite timid when she first moved, Pippa now spends most of her time on Angel's head.

"She's quite the mummy's girl," Angel laughed.

Pippa attracts a lot of attention, with several people coming to the shop to take pictures and ask about her.

Angel was born in Swindon but grew up in Leicester.

She has worked as a hairdresser and barber for the past 30 years, starting as soon as she left school at the age of 16.

"Basically I had the choice of exams or work, and I chose work," Angel said.

"I went all around town looking for a job and found a salon who were looking for an apprentice, so I applied for the job."

But she soon realised that women's hairdressing wasn't for her, saying the products used caused her skin problems.

She then found a barbershop looking for a male barber - and got the job anyway.

"I told him all about how I knew how to dye hair and do perms, but that I wasn't very good at cutting," Angel said.

"He just laughed and said that that's what I'd be doing.

"He gave me the job anyway because he said I made him laugh so much."

Swindon Advertiser: Back & Sides barbershop (Photo: Angel Russell)Back & Sides barbershop (Photo: Angel Russell)

Her new boss then taught her how to cut hair within two weeks, and she's been doing that ever since.

Angel moved back to Swindon 15 years ago after and has been working as a barber locally ever since.

Having owned her own shop for the past year, Angel is hoping her feathered friend will help draw in customers who are just as fascinated by Pippa as she is.