TWO Syrian refugees are set to open a barber shop in Alloa this week, rebuilding their lives after fleeing the war-torn country.

Mohamad Alwan, who was a barber by trade before hostilities broke out, is teaming up with Neehad Othman, with the duo set to open the doors to Alloa Barbers on the High Street this Friday, February 8, at 10am.

Having arrived in the Wee County with his family in the middle of 2017, Mohamad had to start from scratch with plenty of barriers to overcome.

He began working on his English language skills and received some "excellent support" from both the community and the council.

Mohamad told the Advertiser: "Without them, I wouldn't even be here, therefore, I'd like to thank everybody."

Soon, Mohamad was keen to get into work and started volunteering at a local Turkish barber shop where he picked up local customs and got an idea on what Clackmannanshire customers are looking for.

He says he has learned a lot in that time and, around a year-and-a-half after arriving, the Syrian man has gathered the courage to begin a new project.

The shop under 22 High Street, next to D'nisi Coffee, will be offering a variety of barber services to both men and women.

Hair cuts and hot shaves are a given, but Mohamad's experience goes well beyond that with waxing, colouring, styling and threading among his skills.

For now, plans are to establish the business with the pair working in the shop; however, Mohamad says he and Neehad are in it for the long-term and hope to grow their project in the future.

Support to get the business off the ground also came from the New Enterprise Allowance through the JobCentre.

Mohamad added: "Since I left Syria and Lebanon I had to start from scratch with a lot of challenges: the language barrier, a different society and being in a completely new country.

"But with determination I started to learn fast, met new people and made friendships.

"I now feel relaxed to start a new challenge."