Pedro J. Gonzalez used his love of hair design to make the ultimate tribute to Auston Matthews.
Gonzalez recently turned heads by cutting the Toronto Maple Leafs forward’s face into a customer’s hair at his barbershop in Fergus, Ontario.
Gonzalez has been cutting hair for 25 years and has become renowned for putting lifelike and elaborate designs into people’s hair. His unique haircutting was borne from his love of drawing, which he started as a 5-year-old, before he switched from crayons and paper to razors and scissors.
“I started seeing these basketball players like Anthony Mason and Dennis Rodman coming up with crazy designs,” Gonzalez told NHL.com. “I said, ‘Wow, this is really cool. I think I can pull that off.'”
A reporter from CTV in Kitchener heard about Gonzalez’s talent and offered to profile him for the station’s news broadcast. Gonzalez brought in one of his regulars, Adam Haddock, who has volunteered his head for hairdressing competitions Gonzalez participates in, and offered to put either Matthews or Canadian pop superstars Drake or Justin Bieber on his head.
“We had the opportunity to do the interview with CTV, and we wanted to make a splash so we chose Matthews,” Haddock told NHL.com. “[The Maple Leafs] are on a tear right now, and I think if any year is going to be chance [to win the Stanley Cup] it could be this year. We definitely bleed blue over here, and it was an obvious choice.”
The service, which he calls advanced designs, can take between 90 minutes and two hours to complete, and he he initially shaves the face into the back of his customer’s head then colors it accordingly.
“When I see somebody looking for an advanced design, I send a message asking what exactly they are looking for,” Gonzalez said. “They send me pictures of what they want and then I start preparing the design for the whole process.”
Aside from Matthews, he’s also cut former local athletes Jose Bautista and Kawhi Leonard, as well as cartoon characters and tributes to actors Chadwick Boseman, Jim Carrey and Will Smith into customers’ heads. Gonzalez opened his shop, the Pedrito Navajas Barbershop, in Fergus in July and shares some of his most elaborate haircuts on his social media channels.
Haddock had Gonzalez remove Matthews’ face from his head because he had a job interview Tuesday. But it won’t be the last time he has Gonzalez cut a Maple Leafs player’s image into his hair, especially if Toronto can win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1967.
“When we bring home Lord Stanley this year we’re going to get the whole team in the back,” Haddock said. “If [general manager Kyle] Dubas makes some good moves around Trade Deadline, maybe I’ll get a Dubas in the back too.”