My hair had been looking really raggedy (to put it nicely) lately, so when I got the opportunity to visit a salon I’d been reading about, I jumped at the chance. Yoshi Hagiwara has been a staple on the Los Angeles hair scene for the past 25 years, working at some of the most prestigious salons in the city, but this January he opened his own salon, Yoshi Hair Studio, in Beverly Hills. Located right on Canon Drive (conveniently directly across from a parking structure, for those of you familiar with the area) the salon is warm and welcoming, busy, yet intimate all at the same time.
Because my hair was so dry and limp, Yoshi decided that our first move would be to give me a conditioning treatment. My hair was washed and then covered with a thorough spraying of Yoshi’s Magic Water, followed by Yoshi’s Conc Magic Treatment (Yoshi’s famous products) and then saturated with a deep conditioner, which was left on for approximately ten minutes before being rinsed out. It was exactly what my hair needed to get it back into shape. Yoshi’s products (which I was able to leave with samples of – they’re exclusive to his salon) are fantastic. I’ve been putting them in my hair since I got them and I highly recommend them – they’ve kept it in great shape this past month.
After the deep conditioning, it was time to decide what I wanted to do with my color. I’d been wanting to try sort of an ombre look, so my colorist Colette recommended that we try Balayage on my hair. Balayage is a hair coloring technique that’s used to create natural looking highlights that grow out easily, so it doesn’t demand a lot of upkeep. To do this, Colette teased my hair first to give her the canvas on which to work. Then she painted on the color by hand in various places on my head, which is what gives it the appearance of highlights from the sun, as opposed to the uniform “stripes” that sometimes result during highlighting. We decided to go more natural with the look, painting on lighter shades of brown onto my dark brown hair. As Colette said, if you like it, we can always make the look more dramatic the next time, which was the perfect thing to say to someone who’s always petrified of change when it comes to her hair. And she was totally right – I absolutely love the way it turned out. It’s so natural and pretty – it makes me look like I’m someone who hangs out at the beach surfing (when really I’m someone who spends most of my time indoors!) I definitely want to make it even more dramatic the next time though because I think a little more contrast will make it look even prettier.
After my coloring, I was turned over to Yoshi himself for my cut. I’m always kind of surprised when stylists understand what I’m trying to tell them I want because even I know I’m confusing – I sort of waver between saying “I definitely want a change” to “But I definitely don’t want short hair!” in about five minutes flat. Fortunately, Yoshi told me he knew exactly what he wanted to do, so I turned myself over to his competent hands. He really is like an artist when he works – he frequently had me stand up so he could circle around me and check out his work as he was cutting, which made me feel very secure in what he was doing. When he was finished, he’d cut about four or five inches off my hair (which was scary, but it definitely needed it) leaving it a little bit below my shoulders. He also put in some longer layers (leaving the shortest one still long enough for a ponytail, which was important to me) and thinned it out a little for movement. When he was done, my hair seemed so much fuller and bouncier – it just seems to naturally fall so much nicer now and it looks like an actual style as opposed to just long hair. I absolutely love it. And Yoshi himself couldn’t have been nicer – for someone whose client list includes a long line of celebrities, he was delightfully down to earth and funny. Definitely someone’s chair you want to be seated in.
Yoshi Hair Studio is located at 450 North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills. To make an appointment, call (310) 285-9910. You can visit their website at www.yoshihairstudio.com.