Behind The Chair - Stewart Kwan
Stewart is a true Ruffian. He’s one of our longest serving barbers, keeping the good folk of Edinburgh looking sharp since our OG shop was in its infancy.
With his friendly banter and top shelf trims, he’s part of the furniture, in a good way.
Here we take a look at what makes one of the Scottish Capital’s busiest barbers tick, what he likes to do away from the shop floor, and why he got into the trade in the first place.
Hey Stewart, good to prise you away from the chair for five minutes. First of all, can you tell me why you got into barbering?
Haha! Yeah, doesn’t happen too often, eh?
The short answer was that I was bored. The long answer was that I studied spatial design, and although creative, it wasn’t hands on enough for me. I found hair filled that need to connect physically with my creativity.
Nice! Makes sense. And what are your trend predictions for the rest of the 2022?
So I think that whilst fades are still very strong, these last few months have seen a shift to less severe, more tailored takes. For example more soft tapers, more texture, and more lived-in looks.
I also think as we move from Summer into Autumn and Winter we’ll see some of the shorter, low maintenance cuts that have been so popular lately changing to shaggier, mid length styles.
And what does your ideal day in the shop look like?
My ideal day would be back to back clients, break for lunch, then smashing through until 7pm, lots of good tunes and a few tasty snacks.
Lucky for me really, as that is generally what most of my days do look like!
What’s your best kept Edinburgh secret, if you are willing to divulge of course?
Ten minutes walk from our shop, on Morrison Street, there is the THE BEST Japanese food spot called Chizuru Tei.
It’s unassuming, so not as many people go there as they should. The food is great, the prices are decent and you can take your own booze in! Be sure to get cash out first though as there’s no card machine.
And don’t tell everyone, I still want to be able to get a table, right?
If you could cut anyone’s hair, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’d love to give Timothée Chalamet a wee trim, his hair has such beautiful natural movement and texture.
If you could give just one piece of hair advice, what would it be?
Find a style that suits you at that particular moment in time, and that fits into your life and daily routine.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and evolve your style/look. Most importantly, if in doubt, ask your barber questions on what will work and what will suit you.
What is your favourite movie or series of all time?
There’s two and I cannot pick between them, it’s like choosing a favourite child.
It’s Star Trek and Star Wars. Not revolutionary but so, so good.
And if you could take one album with you to a desert island, what would it be?
Easy, Fleetwood Mac - Rumours.
If you could visit one place in the World, where would it be?
[With no hesitation] Tokyo again, fo’ sure.
You win the lottery jackpot tomorrow, what's your first purchase?
I’d make sure that all my immediate family, and Ruffians family, are well looked after before I set off on a shopping spree.
Quick fire round, one answer only, ready?
Nike or New Balance?
Cheese and onion or salt and vinegar?
Cheese and onion
Tea or Coffee?
Cats or Dogs?
Summer or Winter?
Indian or Chinese takeaway?
Ketchup or mayo?
City or Country?
Beard or clean shaven?
Football or Rugby?
So there you have it, a wee insight into Stewart’s world. If you want to find out more then book in with him at our Edinburgh outpost.