The Mane Man

What percentage of your clients want their hair cut like the stars?
Not a lot. Many come to try out our skills because of the name of the hairdressing salon, which takes after my Japanese boss Shunji Matsu. All the stylists here are trained in Tokyo to cut like Japanese stylists. That’s what the customers come here for.
Is the Japanese technique a lot different than the local style?
There is a difference. The Japanese are more daring and more ahead of us. Teenagers there are like … wow! They are dressed to kill and very advanced. Sometimes it’s a bit too much.
What do you mean by too much?
It’s not practical. It’s not how it is in reality.
Would you say this Japanese sense of adventure is a good thing?
I think that’s why Tokyo is the trendsetter for the Asian region.
Have you ever been asked to style someone’s hair like Tina Turner’s or Cher’s?
Yeah, but that was a long time ago. At my previous salon where we have a lot of upper class customers—mostly Indonesians and the so-called tai tais. They usually like the big hairdos.
Do you wish the ’80s never happened?
I remember the ’80s well because it was my hardest time to learn. It was fun, but it wasn’t easy to do that big hairdo. The technique needed for blowing hair and cutting was very hard.
Do you have customers who still want the style knowing it won’t be exactly like a celebrity style?
Usually people are curious. Even though you tell them it’s not 100 percent they still want to try it.
Have you ever made any mistakes when styling?
Only when there is a communication breakdown. Mistakes also happen when a customer comes in not knowing what they want.
What was the client’s reaction?
I haven’t had customers who have reacted very badly—touch wood!
Do you sometimes feel like telling clients “that style just won’t suit you?”
We will tell them beforehand what the outcome will be. And if they’re ok with that, then we’ll just have to do it because, after all, they are still our paying customers. And it is their hair!
Would you like to create your very own hairstyle?
Of course. It can be done, but will it be practical? If you want to invent a haircut that is your very own, it has to be something special and daring. A daring haircut is the only way you can look more distinguished. And not everybody can carry a daring haircut, so it’s about finding the right model too.