A HAIRDRESSER who learned his trade in Arbroath is now tending to the tresses of celebrities including Lady Gaga and the X Factor contestants, writes Jennifer Newton.
Ross Williams (29) was born and brought up in the town and was just 13 when he first got a job working with his grandad’s cousin, Stuart Falconer.
And after qualifying as a stylist aged 18 he followed his dream of moving to London where he works at the Percy and Reed salon on Great Portland Street and has a list of celebrity clients.
But despite constantly being whisked off to locations such as Miami or South Africa to style celebrities, Ross still remembers his roots.
He explained: “I realised that I had to be in London or New York where the fashion industry is based. You can’t do it in Arbroath – much as I love it.
“I thought if I’m going to be a hairdresser, I’m going to do it in London and do celebrities.”
And it was a chance meeting with singer Will Young that helped Ross land his dream job with Percy and Reed.
The Pop Idol winner happened to be sitting next to him at a London bar and passed on the number of one of his new employer’s Paul Percival.
Since then Ross has worked on the likes of Westlife, Sugababes and contestants from the X Factor and Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model.
But it was global superstar Lady Gaga who gave Ross the opportunity to really show what he could do, after she requested that her hair be styled like a mermaid.
Ross said: “Lady Gaga is great because you can be as creative as you want and she will really go with it.
“She had quite short hair but wanted it long, platinum white with pink iridescence and gun metal grey at the sides.”
But despite a list of celebrity clients Ross also has time to help develop the Percy and Reed product range as well as assist taking the brand to America and hopefully helping them with the opening of a salon in New York.
Ross added: “I’ve been doing this for 17 years now.
“It’s a part of who I am and what I do and sometimes you sit back and think about people whose hair you have done and how one minute I’m in Barbados and the next in South Africa, then back in the salon in London and I have to pinch myself.
“I’ve never wanted to do anything else.”