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Top Tokyo hair salons

Where to get a brand-new look (and a close shave) in English

Photo by Keisuke Tanigawa
Ridicule

By Vivian Morelli and Reiko Kuwabara

Salons for ladies

Watanabe Hair Dressing

Watanabe Hair Dressing

Boasting over 20 years of experience, Watanabe Hair Dressing is a reassuring fixture on Tokyo’s salon scene, where you can relax and leave your mane in the hands of highly qualified stylists. Located in the midst of Harajuku, it also offers an escape from the hectic city centre: each haircut includes a soothing shiatsu head massage, essential-oil-scented hot towels, complimentary beverages, the latest English-language magazines and lots of time allotted for consultation. We recommend booking an appointment with style director and manager Kenichi Momoi, who speaks fluent English and confidently handles any kind of tresses. After examining your hair, he’s happy to give recommendations for your locks’ particular texture and hairstyles that will suit the shape of your face. He even factors in climatic conditions for the time of year – such as rainy season or August humidity when formulating a style strategy. In addition to the comprehensive hair-related services, his staff also offer manicures, pedicures and makeup should you want head-to-toe pampering.

Sun Beauty Harajuku B1F, 3-25-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (Harajuku Station). 03 3405 1188. watanabe-hair.com.

Gold Salon

Gold Salon

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Gold Salon owner Howard Lee Regner has more than 30 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry, and a team of skilled and dedicated stylists who are experts in all hair types, from silky straight to thick and frizzy. A bright, sunlit space overlooking Azabu-Juban, Gold prides itself in its precise colouring work, which can be tricky to achieve in Japan, especially for those with light hair. Whether you’re after a few sun-kissed highlights, a painted balayage, a semi-permanent dye or the trendy ombré look, the staff have been trained to handle any request, and deploy the latest techniques and products. Gold Salon also offers the Brazilian Keratin treatment and Japanese-style hair straightening to smooth out your hair for several months, as well as hair extensions for lengthening or volumising. Visit the website for detailed information about those treatments, or call to book a free consultation.

6F, 4-1-9 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku (Azabu-Juban Station). 03 6436 0228. goldsalontokyo.com.

Assort International Hair Salon

Assort International Hair Salon

If you’re busy and looking for a convenient way to book a haircut with an English-speaking stylist, Assort Hair might just become your go-to. The salon has been featured on national television, and has branches in New York and Hong Kong, in addition to the Tokyo salon near Gaienmae Station. Before you make an appointment, though, do some light research on their website: you can scroll through their staff list and see each stylist’s English fluency level. Pick the best match for your own Japanese skills, then fill out the reservation form online. Although Assort Hair probably boasts the highest number of English-speaking hairdressers under one roof, their services are not just about the language, but also about the team’s precision and design skills – which are at the cutting edge, so to speak, of international trends and techniques. First-time clients get a free treatment and a ¥1,000 discount, and the biscuits served with your complimentary beverage are a nice touch.

B1F, 2-10-28 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku (Gaienmae Station). 03 5772 6461. www.assort-hair.com/english.

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Éclat Daikanyama

Éclat Daikanyama

Tucked away in the hilly streets between Daikanyama and Ebisu, this little haven is a favourite of Japanese celebrities. Whether you’re hopeful to run into one or just want a stylish haircut, Éclat Daikanyama has an excellent reputation with its foreign clientele as well. Their master colourist Kyosuke has extensive experience, having worked in London, Paris and Bangkok. Their stylists do not use thinning scissors, which work great on Japanese hair but can be disastrous on many non-Japanese hair types, as anyone who’s had the unfortunate experience will know. They also cut dry hair, a technique several stylists swear by as it allows them to see precisely how the hair falls and gives the hairdresser a better sense of the texture. It also eliminates shrinkage, which means if you ask for a 3cm trim, you’ll get exactly that and no surprise short cut. Éclat offers all the usual cutting, colouring, perming and straightening services, on top of soothing and detoxing head spas and kimono or yukata-dressing. You can easily make an appointment in English by phone, or use their online booking form if you’re comfortable enough in basic Japanese.

2F, 1-30-13 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku (Daikanyama Station). 03 6455 0614. eclat-daikanyama.com/english.html.

Twiggy Your Sanctuary

Twiggy Your Sanctuary

Founded by Miho Matsuura, famous for styling model and Wolverine star Tao Okamoto’s 2009 bowl cut, the salon was nominated by Harper’s Bazaar as one of the Best Salons in the World 2014. Taking a lifestyle approach to beauty, the salon offers personalised services with a contemporary edge. Hair colourists are also on hand, offering a variety of techniques and the latest colours. You can look forward to head-to-toe treatments for hair, make-up and nails, as well as a juice bar, personal training sessions, head spa, reflexology and facial/body treatments. You can also have the salon experience at home by picking up original organic products from their own range, Yumedreaming Epicurean, available in stores. We highly recommend the Hair Tonic, which cools the scalp and helps improve the roots. 

3-35-7-001 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (Gaienmae Station). 03 6413 1590. www.twiggy.co.jp.

Bloc

Bloc

Hiding in the backstreets of Shibuya, this three-storey salon features different themes on each floor. As for clientele, you’ll be mixing with street-style icons and models who visit regularly to maintain their trendy tresses. The hairstylists are fearsomely fashionable but also friendly and cater to different hair types. Consider looking into extensions and original hair-care range Denphalae, which consists of no-rinse treatments, super-hard wax, silicone-free shampoo and treatment made of collagen, hyaluronic acid and ceramide.

1-5-19 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku (Shibuya Station). 03 5784 3228. bloc.co.jp.

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Ridicule

Ridicule

A mixed-cultural space influenced by La Ruche (‘The Beehive’), an artist’s residence in Paris, and beehive hexagonal motifs. Traditional Japanese references are also seen in the shoji-like screens and retro furnishings. The owner lived in Paris for many years and has worked with various artists and celebrities including Jane Birkin. She'll help you enhance your natural beauty with eco-friendly products, and also offers head spa and make-up services, cute charms and accessories. Remember to take along a photo as their English is limited – if you’re contacting them in English, email via www.facebook.com/salonRidicule or the enquiry form at ridicule.jp.

3-31-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (Harajuku Station). 03 3478 7332. ridicule.jp.

Shiseido the Ginza

Shiseido the Ginza

Always up to date with the latest trends and techniques, the salon makes full use of beauty giant Shiseido’s quality products and expertise so as to cater to all needs. Based on the concept of ‘the place to find the undiscovered you’, they offer a variety of extra services, not to mention some of the best skincare and cosmetics we’ve had the pleasure of trying. English and Chinese-speaking staff are available at the Beauty Marché, while the Beauty Boost Bar offers chic hairstyling and make-up sessions by professional artists. Catering to different hair types, they carefully consider which products and blow-dry techniques to use for each customer.

7-8-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku (Ginza Station). 03 3571 7735. stg.shiseido.co.jp.

Barbers for boys

Barber Shop Takeda

Barber Shop Takeda

Never mind that it’s hidden far out in the western suburbs: Barber Shop Takeda is the salon of choice for discerning (and mostly bearded) Tokyoites looking for a close shave in distinctly old-school surroundings. On the other hand, if it’s one of those spiky anime hairstyles you want, go elsewhere – the cheerful Mr Takeda is all about keeping it real, from the techniques and banter down to the vintage tools he so skilfully utilises.

Order the ‘gentlemen’s regular’ (¥4,000), and you’ll first be treated to a tender noggin wash. Then comes the haircut, which displays the best of Takeda’s craftsmanship: shaver use is kept at a minimum, with scissors instead employed even for the finest trimming. For the final touches, any extra hairs are taken out with a straight razor, resulting in a pleasant, smooth feel around the neck and ears. Any tension you might have felt is then blown away with an efficient shoulder massage.

Last up is the beard shave, which makes for a spa-level experience in itself: you’ll hardly feel the razor on your skin, but the result speaks for itself. Finally, the steaming hot towels used to warm your chin are simply addictive. After one visit to Takeda’s, going back to your neighbourhood barber will definitely feel like a letdown.

2-31-16 Kikunodai, Chofu-shi (Shibasaki Station). 042 483 1145. barber1969.com.

Barbershop King

Barbershop King

Located in the residential area near Setagaya Park, this barber takes a more casual approach to traditional haircuts and shaves. Celebrating its 18th anniversary in 2017, the store rocks a rockabilly vibe with motorbikes, pomade, bowling shirts and other retro influences. Cut-and-shave combos start from ¥4,800.

1-39-8 Shimouma, Setagaya-ku (Sangenjaya Station). 03 3422 9951. www.barbershopking.com.

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Comments

23 comments
Nat G

I had an amazing haircut from Tomoyuki at Eclat Daikanyama. He was a perfectionist and delivered a trendy cut for me. I picked the salon on a whim from reading this article and made the right choice. I highly recommend this salon.

Lucia L

I had an amazing experince at éclat daikanyama. The staff spoke english and was super friendly, and the stylist, Oyagi, was really good. I definitely recommend this place!

Megumi M

Eclat Daikanyama was an amazing experience with impeccable service. I got exactly what I discussed with the stylist. They are all so kind and welcoming. I definitely reccomend to foreigners since some of the staff can speak Japanese.

Elisabeth J

Éclat Daikanyama is a great hair salon that my Japanese colleagues recommended to me. Yumi, my hair artist was able to deal with Westerner thin and flat hair and The whole experience was great: Super nice hair massage and very kind staff! I definitely recommend 👍🏻

Grace K

My experience at Éclat Daikanyama was wonderful. I came here to get hair color done by the specialist Kyosuke Yoshinaga. At first I was afraid that I could not express fully what I was looking for but Kyosuke speaks fluent English so we had good communications, and I love my hair color and also the condition now!! The service here is excellent!! I am confident to recommend this salon to the readers.

yanni r

Read about eclat daikanyama from timeout magazine and decided to pay a visit for a hair trim by Makiko-san and highlights by the one and only Kyosuke. So happy with the results!!! Kyosuke definitely the guy to do your hair color, his knowledge about hair is awesome. Looking forward for the next experience at eclat daikanyama xoxo Yanni

Qinjie L

Éclat at daikanyama is one of the best hair salon in Tokyo so far I have visited. Tomoyuki-san cut really gave my hair some fresh air!!!

Elsye H

Ecalt daikanyama is a great salon. I would recommend tomyuki oyagi for a hairstylist. He do a nice hair cut

Ana C

After reading the post I've decided to pay éclat a visit and couldn't have been happier! I went for a hair cut and highlights! If you lived in japan lobg enough and have european hair you know.how hard how it can be to fibd a place that can color and cut your hair properly! I am really glad to have found them! The highlights were dobe by the amazing Kyosuke and I live the result! He took the tine to listen to me and gave me the exact result I wanted, natural looking platinum highlights! If you are looking to have your hair highlighted, Kyosuke is the guy to look for! My hair cut was done by the talented Oyagi; he also listened to what i had in mibd and gave me his opnion and gave me a super cute bob for the summer! Im definitely coming back and recommending éclat to my japanese and foreign friends! Thanks Kyosuke and Oyagi!

Cheeying L

Wonderful hair salon in a quaint area! Really like enjoy getting my hair done at this place! Friendly staff, lovely English speaking staff to sort out your needs!(:

Rebecca R

Salon is very clean and staff is very friendly

Oyagi did my cut and I am very satisfied, exactly how I wanted

Go and enjoy it !

Rosie B

Highly recommend Eclat Daikanyama as an amazing hairdressing experience. I had been slightly apprehensive about getting my hair cut in Japan because I can't speak Japanese, but at Eclat I was in perfect hands. Staff are super friendly and professional, Makiko Nonaka did my hair and the cut was exactly what I wanted!! Super pleased.

Shuwan L

Eclat offers super nice salon service. Very hospitable and comfortable environment and very foreigner-friendly. It is very easy to describe your demand in English. Also, the head massage is awsome! Yumi Hosaka did my haircut. I was very satisfied with her techniques. I will definitely return if I need a haircut in Tokyo!

Harris F

Had a fantastic experience getting a haircut from Yagi at éclat daikanyama. The salon offers a truly memorable customer experience, with friendly and talented stylists and staff. I highly recommend visiting if in need of a quality haircut when in Tokyo. Staff and stylists speak great English, so no need to fret over a language barrier.

traci c

I've been to a few salons in Tokyo but had by far the best experience at eclat idaikanyama. Stylist Yumi Hosaka listened to exactly what I wanted and made suggestions - including how to better style my bangs. Highly recommend!

Rachel C

I'd been looking for the right colourist since I moved to Tokyo 18 months ago and Kies at eclat is AMAZING! He listens carefully and gets my pinky/peach tones juts right. Oyagi is a fantastic stylist too.

Charlotte Y

Fabulous experience at éclat daikanyama.. Thank you Kyosuke for the friendly welcome and Yumi for a great haircut! Loved it!

Liz Y

Great experience at Eclat Daikanyama hair salon! My stylist makiko was very precise and was patient in explaining what she wanted to do with my hair. Wished i had enough time to perm! Will try it next time in tokyo!

Patricia H

Fabulous! Loved it! Thank you Kies and Yumi!

Daniela S

Thanks much for a great experience at Eclat Daikanyama in Tokyo to Kies, the colorist, and to Yumi, the stylist.

Both took a lot of time to advise me as I wanted to change style and then the whole team took wonderful care of me ! And I get out of the salon with a really nice style ... and totally relaxed!

Elena B

My experience at Eclat Daikanyama hair salon was great. My stylist Oyagi understood perfectly the style I was going after and so I let him do his job. Impeccable dry cut (first time for me) and total new look that I love!!

Would definitely come back!

Oxana K

Eclat Daikanyama hair salon, colorist Kyosuke Kies and hair stylist Tomoyuki Oyagi

I had a great experience today at the Eclat salon, big change in color for me, it took a long time, but I couldn't be happier with the result! Thank you!

Katie D

I've been living in Tokyo for 1 year and took my time selecting the salon to have my hair cut/colored. I wanted a location near to home, and a place where I could speak English with someone well enough to make sure my preferences were understood. I found both things in éclat daikanyama.

On two occasions now I have had beautiful color treatments, excellent service and a relaxing environment. I recommend you ask for Kyosuke Yoshinaga - his English is excellent and his color experience is extensive having worked himself all around the world. Enjoy!