Tokyo Insider: Hide Saiga

Tokyo Insider: Hide Saiga

We catch up with Hide Saiga, Toni&Guy International Artistic Director and owner/manager of Toni&Guy Tokyo about working life and the latest hair trends in Japan

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I joined the company in 1997 after finishing my hairdressing Beginners course at the Toni&Guy London Academy. My role is multi-faceted - I manage the Tokyo salon's business side, I handle creative projects such as shows, events and shoots. I work on the education side of things and I also work in the salon, styling clients' hair.

What’s the best part of your job?
We're all about professionalism, hospitality and team work – and our brand new salon is very high tech. I'm never bored – there is always something exciting going on. But the favourite part of any day has to be when I see a happy, smiling customer – especially if I've styled their hair.

Can you tell us what style is the most popular among female clients? 
It all depends on what 'tribe' you belong to here as there are more than 50 female fashion magazines on the newsstand – covering every demographic from teens to 50’s and over – but in general, feminine and cute styles are popular. In Japan everyone wants to look 'Kawai' – which means 'cute'.

What style is the most popular with male clients?
Younger Japanese boys are so feminine – even straight boys wear make-up and pluck their eyebrows. However, in our salons in and around Tokyo, I'd say that male hairstyles are actually getting more masculine.

What hair trends in general are bubbling up in Tokyo right now?
Among both girls and boys, there is a trend for trying to copy the European lived-in texture. Our perm service is up 20% across all clients. And so many more clients are going for blonde. Blonde used to be considered a very bad image (at school, anyone who had naturally light or curly hair had to acquire a certificate to prove that it was natural), but now there are so many trendy blonde looks around. 

How many customers does the salon see every day?
Over 1000 a month per salon! 

What inspires the salon to create new styles?
Everything – fashion shows from all over the world, tokyo's amazing street style, music, movies…

Any exciting ideas for the salon in the pipeline?
We are opening brand new salon in Harajuku (Tokyo's style mecca), inspired by Tokyo Toni&Guy Sloane Square. It's super high-tech throughout, with features such as two VIP rooms and heaters inside the foot rests.