'Never too old': Barber who joined industry at 29 named best in region

Ross Mathieson, from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021.

Ross Mathieson, from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021. - Credit: Daniel Mason

A Norwich barber who ditched a career in engineering to follow his passion for hair has been named as the best in the region.  

It has been a busy year for Ross Mathieson, who has been nominated for multiple awards, featured in top barbering magazines and worked towards opening his own teaching academy. 

And now the 38-year-old, based at Trumans barbershop in Norwich’s Elm Hill, has won best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021. 

Ross Mathieson, from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021.

Ross Mathieson (middle knelt down), from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021. - Credit: Daniel Mason

Mr Mathieson, who quit his job in engineering to become a barber when he was 29 years old, said: “I entered it online and you had to send in your own report of what you have achieved, future goals and your best work.  

“I was supposed to go to the award ceremony but decided not to go, as I didn’t think I would win. 

“On the night, I was laid in my bed and I got a notification on my phone and I had won. I thought ‘maybe should have gone’. 

“It’s absolutely amazing.” 

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Mr Mathieson won the British Barber Association’s Hall of Fame competition in 2017 and was a runner up in the competition in 2019.  

This year he was a finalist for the Josh OP International Hair Awards. 

He also featured in seven publications including BarberNV Magazine, The Barber Magazine and the Barber Society Magazine. 

Ross Mathieson, from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021.

Ross Mathieson, from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021. - Credit: Daniel Mason

While salons and barbershops were forced to close by lockdowns Mr Mathieson, from Sprowston, completed a teacher training course.

He said his dream for the future is to open his own barbershop and academy. 

“It has been the best year I have had so far and I'm looking forward to the next step and adventure," he said.

“I would like to aim to open my shop and academy this time next year.

Ross Mathieson, from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021.

Ross Mathieson, from Sprowston, was named best barber in East Anglia at the Salon Awards 2021. Pictured is a model styled by Mr Mathieson. - Credit: Daniel Mason

“I have always wanted to do barbering, since I was 17, but I got side-tracked.  

“It wasn’t until my girlfriend encouraged me to go for it and I didn’t look back. You are never too old to retrain or change career.” 

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