Inside the mind of an Award-Winning Barber
Ross ‘Blue Steel’ Mathieson, of luxury Norwich barbershop Son of the Bear sits down for a chat with Dark Stag founder Andrew Wiseman before a crazy day of filming 4 different hairstyles.
We invite you along to watch and find out the answers to questions such as:
- How does Ben Stiller fit into all this?
- Should you have a 10 year plan?
- Are awards really worth anything?
- Barbering comps – waste of time or great fun?
- What does Ross love about our styling range?
And much, much more!
The Full Interview!
Ross, 'Blue Steel'—what's that all about? Are you a Ben Stiller fan?Yes! Good question Andy. "Blue Steel" is a reference from the movie Zoolander. When I was younger, I was a bit of a poser and I adopted the looking good feeling good ethos, and took it into the barbershop world, so thats where the ‘Blue Steel’ nickname comes from!
Can you take us through your career journey from starting in barbering to opening your own shop?I began by getting a full qualification in college, then transitioned from women's hairdressing to barbering. I set small goals over ten years, building a clientele, gaining teaching qualifications, winning awards, until I felt confident to open Son of the Bear Barber Shop.
So, your barbershop Son of the Bear, what's the concept behind it?Son of the Bear opened as a luxury men's hairdressing salon, offering a range of hair services and prioritizing customer service. We also have an academy and offer hair replacement services, which are unique in Norwich.
Why do you compete in barbering competitions, and what do these awards mean to you?Competing started in college, and winning drove me to push harder each year. While winning is rewarding, it's also about self-improvement and recognition of hard work. I've won awards like the British Barber Association Hall of Fame and Salon Barber of the Year in London.
Finally, as a Dark Stag Ambassador, what do you love about the brand?Well, I approached Dark Stag because I genuinely love the products. The branding, the variety of styling options like powder, salt spray, pomade, and clay—they all resonate with me and my clients at Son of the Bear.