Getting a quality haircut in Iqaluit is easier than ever thanks to the opening of Blue Ice Barbershop.
The city’s newest barbershop, which is situated behind the Legion, officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
“The excitement is real,” said Mohammed Osman, who founded the shop with fellow Iqaluit residents Samson Mattews and Surafel Asres. “People are excited for something different.”
Osman and his colleagues, all experienced barbers, decided to open their new shop in response to growing demand for haircuts in Iqaluit.
There are now roughly 8,000 people living in the Nunavut capital, but until recently, there were only a few places to get a haircut in the city.
“The community is large, and there’s a lot of people in town and a lot of people who come in and out who need a haircut,” Osman said. “People kept saying that they wanted to go down south, or they were waiting for a haircut. We decided to come together to meet the growing demand of a growing community and put up a barbershop to make people feel like they don’t need to go somewhere else.
“We want them to feel like everything they need is here in Nunavut – the professionalism, the atmosphere,” he added.
Blue Ice Barbershop opened with all new equipment on site, and specializes in all hair types, according to Osman. He and his colleagues will even offer free cuts to residents who can’t afford to pay.
“We do every type of haircut, every type of design,” he said. “There’s so many different people that come together here.
“We’re all one big family here. If somebody needs a haircut and they can’t afford it, we’ll give them a free haircut to help them out.”
The shop’s founders also intend to offer training to local young people.
“We’re also going to be doing training for the locals, for any young kids, to help them learn to cut hair,” said Osman.
The shop’s community-minded ethos is reflected in the outreach Osman, Mattews and Asres did ahead of their grand opening.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the trio delivered dozens of meals to needy Iqalummiut as a way of thanking the city for allowing them to open their new business.
“When people are thinking of grand openings, they’re thinking of making their quota for the day and how many clients,” he said. “We thought we should take a different approach by giving thanks to the community for giving us the opportunity to open.”
“We’re part of the community and we want to show our gratitude and communication however we can.”