5 Tokyo hair salons for the bold, the brave, and the beautiful
If your ordinary barber shop just isn’t cutting it for you
these days, give one of these Tokyo style-mongers a try. From Akiba geek to
Shibuya chic, stage-outrageous or dance floor dangerous, these salons will give
you something to flaunt. Click the image above to see many more shots.
Bloc de Zenith
“Even if you’re naked you can look great with great hair,” says Kaori Shinohara, a stylist at Bloc de Zenith. One of three locations run by fashion conglomerate Monde Corporation, the 1960s-70s mod salon is frequented by models, singers, and other “talento.” Do the invisible location, chic interior, and high-profile clientele make this place off limits? Not necessarily. But this isn’t the place to come for an automatic cool-transplant. “We don’t have a standard people need to fit. The staff and the customers all bring their own sense of style,” says Shinohara.
Price: ¥6,000 (cut), ¥7,500 (color), ¥12,000 (perm)
Hours: Weekends and holidays 10:00-20:00, weekdays 11:00-21:00
1-5-19 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. 81 (0) 3-5784-3228
Moesham“I’ve always been a nerd,” says one of Moesham’s frilly-frocked stylists. Welcome to the only hair salon where you can talk Evangelion plot twists while leaving the work of worrying about your looks to Sailor Moon -- or whatever the maid stylists happen to be dressed as that day. Every weekend the stylists here dress up to a different theme: you might be shampooed by an Easter bunny or buzzed by a bloody nurse. This is enough to draw both customers who are shy about maids (a haircut is a more legitimate excuse than a coffee) and those who wouldn’t come to a salon otherwise. There’s even a special makeover service for geeks who just can’t seem to get their fashion straight: after a consultation, your maid stylist shops for an outfit for you.
Price: ¥5,000 (cut / color)
Hours: Weekdays 12:00-21:00, weekends and holidays 11:00-20:00
3-6-17 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. tel. +81 (0) 3 3252 8688
You wouldn’t know it from the exterior, but this small salon in Harajuku is the ultimate place to take your hair for something drastic before a big night out. The ground floor looks like a space-age machine shop and the second floor a 1970's ryokan, complete with bonsai garden. If that's not enough to make you trust the founder and art director Masami Ujita’s wide-ranging aesthetics, the style books attest to what his imagination is capable of. Extensions and fibers turn patrons’ heads into loops of orbs, mushroom-shaped patties, furry braids, and otherwise outrageous shapes. Bringing your own “accessories” (i.e. a mini disco ball) is optional; a sense of adventure is required. After 15 years of sculpting hair, Ujita says he still enjoys trying to come up with new combos (though most of his daily customers just come for regular dos).
Price: ¥6,000 (cut), ¥7,000 (color), ¥5,000-9,000 (art style)
Hours: Tuesdays and 1st/3rd Mondays off
6-14-15 Jinguemae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. tel +81 (0) 3 3797 4005
Tritt für Tritt
With the name a Nazi catchphrase meaning “step by step,” it should come as no surprise that this is a dedicated goth/visual-kei salon (perhaps the only one in the country). The entrance is plastered with posters of client bands, testaments to the salon’s extreme art. Visual-kei beginners are also welcome. “I’d never heard of visual kei before I moved to Tokyo,” says one young patron in to get his platinum touched up. Now he and his band frequent the salon. “Hair is the most important part of visual-kei style,” he affirms.
Price: ¥4,000 (cut), ¥6,000
Hours: Weekdays 12:00-22:00, Saturday 11:00-21:00, Sundays and holidays 10:00-20:00
1-8-6 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo. tel +81 (0) 3 5960 9363
This "laboratory" off Omotesando is only for those who take their hair lightly. The young stylists dressed in oversized lab coats like to experiment, leaving you with a style that looks funky, fresh, and unfinished. “Personal philosophy is too heavy to be expressed in a hair style. A hairstyle is more like a toy,” says LIM’s founder, Kantaro Suzuki. He got his start 25 years ago in Osaka where he now has seven salons in addition to two in Tokyo and one in Singapore. It seems many share his love of play: locations are on the drawing board for Aoyama as well as Taiwan and Thailand.
Price: ¥5,500 (cut / color / perm)
Hours: 10:00-23:00, 10:00-17:00 Thursday, Closed Tuesday
4-28-11 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. tel +81 (0) 3 6440 0831