It is not without trepidation that I walk into a hair salon in Japan. I have been to good Japanese salons and come out with bad results and I have been to traditional men’s barbers and come out with a cheap yet cutting edge woman’s hairstyle, minus the face-shave. It has truly been luck of the draw up until now. Despite having a little Japanese salon vocabulary under my belt and a Japanese-English translator in hand, I would still struggle to get the cut I had imagined. This was even before I attempted to have my hair coloured in Japan. These bad hair days of my first year or two in Japan have caused the inertia in the years to follow of approaching salons for anything more than a basic trim, a little conservative layering or dare I even think it, a kawaii fringe.
Photo: banditob on FlickrSo many visits were spent saying no to sukibasami that I had very little hair vocabulary planned beyond those dreaded thinning scissors. When I began the search for the best salon in Tokyo for blondes I couldn’t imagine that the English words ‘creamy blonde’, let alone, ‘iridescent blonde’ would be heard. The fears of parting with a wallet full of cash for yet another below-par hairdo, were quickly abated by the images of past clients’ hair results and by the range of Japanese or international hair products formulated for my Western hair. In my case my hair is fine and I have plenty of it. The full-disclosure is that I have been known to crack open a box of hair-dye and get gloved-up and dirty with the best of them, but a professional job minus the brassy tones and the over-processed highlights from DIY jobs, admittedly drew me in.
These are 4 of the top hair salons in Tokyo for blonde hair maintenance and image transformations. The salons all have websites and bookings can be made online or by calling the stylist. Whether you seek blonde hair coloring and highlights, have curly hair en mass or need other specialist hair advice, you can make a booking in English or Japanese and perhaps even in a little French. English speaking staff have trained overseas and have a wealth of experience with foreign clients in Japan so can not just understand your needs but make suggestions, a most vital part of the hairdresser-client conversation.
Secret Garden (Jingumae)
Secret Garden was founded in 2014 by a British/Japanese hairdresser. Eiki started hairdressing in London and has been working solely for international clients for 15 years. His salon caters to modern women and men who are international, independent, and take care of their health and beauty. The salon specializes in modern Western hairdressing and the clientele has comprised 100% of foreign nationals since its opening. All of their techniques and care products are designed specifically for a wide range of hair types. English, French, and Japanese languages are available and it is essential to make an appointment for salon services. The team is located in a large salon venue in Meiji-Jingumae area.
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs, Friday 10:00-20:00, Saturday 9:00-18:00; Closed Tuesday and Sunday
Phone: 090 2111 1190
“I excel in blondes but I would rather be comfortable to say I create beautiful hues in all shades, rather than just saying 'I can do blonde', because blonde can be light creamy blonde or dark iridescent blonde just shy of brunette. One woman can go from dark to blonde, then blonde to brown, then back to blonde again all the time. I am an image maker and have a passion for every shade of hair colour and for every texture.” Eiki
One World (Azabu Juban)
Daisuke and Kei named their salon One World to convey the message that it caters to all hair types. They are located in the upmarket suburb of Azabu Juban where they hope to offer the best of Japanese hospitality and service, omotenashi, to meet the needs of non-Japanese families. With communication in English, the staff at One World hope to alleviate your concerns over bad dye jobs that you may have experienced at previous Japanese hair salons. Their long-standing careers and accumulative international experience as hair stylists endeavor to assure customers leave the salon satisfied.
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Tuesday-Friday), 9:00-19:00 (Sat, Sun and Public holidays); Closed on Mondays and the 3rd Sunday of every month.
One WORLD is a family-friendly space and is a place where customers of all ages are welcome to relax and unwind with a cup of tea and an English magazine while your hair care needs are cared for their hair experienced professionals.
Superstars was established by Tamio Sato in Daikanyama in Tokyo in 2002 and opened its Paris salon in 2008. The salon offers exclusive Japanese products that are used in store for their infamous head massages to ensure an unforgettable salon experience. Their Instagram account outlines their affinity for good hair, fashion show styling and a lot of cute kids with great hair in Tokyo. They have a largely foreign clientele who regularly visit their salon in Daikanyama.
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00; Closed on Wednesdays.
RPH Salon Tokyo (Shibuya)
Roberto Perozzi has been a hairdresser for the last 20 years and was trained in Italy and England before opening his Tokyo salon about 3 years ago. He has worked alongside Trevor Sorbie in the UK and has had a d ft hand in doing hair courses and hair shows all around the world.
RPH Salon is an intimate space where clientele are well taken care of. They are fully dedicated to delivering a high quality of hairdressing, from the colour to the cut, from keratin treatments to styling. Together with a detailed consultation you and the stylist can ensure that you love your hair and that it is easy to manage. Some good old wine or a cup of coffee ensure that you feel right at home in this modern salon. They are proficient in blonde highlights, ombré hair colouring techniques and colour tinting in a wide variety of shades.
Whether you are an expat in Tokyo for the long term or just passing through the capital city of Japan, maintaining a blonde head of hair is best left in the hands of some of these capable professionals. Whether your hair goals are mainstream or not, these trained hair specialists in Tokyo’s most fashionable districts will be able to guide you skillfully in the hair department. Lowlights, highlights, deep treatments and the like are in in a day's work for the best of Tokyo’s hair specialists.
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9:00-19:00; Closed on Mondays.