Cutting one’s hair can symbolise new beginnings, a fresh start or simply change; and South East Asian upbringings taught me that there are sacred events in a woman’s life for when her hair should get cut. Such events are before the New Year, one’s birthday, after a funeral (of a family member or loved one), before her wedding, when expecting a child, or when change be necessary. So imagine a joyous and sacred celebration coming up, but your hair has grown out so now ready to be chopped and just in time for summer’s arrival.
Sweet humidity in the air and my falling hair across the floor trying to find a hair stylist I can trust. I’ve only ever let two people cut my hair – my mother and Mario of Clique Hair Nail Salon in Cebu City, Philippines, and so the search began, and I felt very blessed to have found Ai Nomura-san, 野村歩惟 through Tokyo Cheapo.
I was so touched by the story, I had to have her cut my hair!
表参道の晴れた日。A bright sunny day in Omotesandō and with the help of my Google Maps, I was able to navigate passed cafés, combinis, and the residential area to easily find the two-story structure sandwiched on a dead-end turn.
Up the curling staircase I went and into the receiving area where a toilet and lockers to my left, 3 chairs aligned by a window on my right, and ahead stood Ai-san at the reception desk. Joyous my spirit as my gaze met her beautiful brown and green eyes, she smiled and gave me a locker for my bag and guided me towards our station.
Sat at a wide window sill on the left most end, Ai studied my face and my present hairstyle. She then asked me, “what would you like to do with your hair?” and I responded, “a simple trim of about 2 to 3 inches at most and light layering to suit the summer humidity.”
Ai-san then touched the texture of my hair, and to her shock expressed how alive my hair is. I giggled, and explained how I tried to cut it myself earlier in the year, but for my occassion this week, I needed a professional, and so, I put my trust in you, Ai Nomura.
We then walked to the hair washing station. I sat down like a child with my feet off the ground, Ai-san wrapped me with a towel and to my surprise as I laid on the chair, I discovered how incredibly high-tech and advanced their equipment is. Through a few buttons out of my sight, Ai-san brought me closer to her through a simple elevation and slide through the click of a button.
A comfortable-temperatured hair wash consisted of thorough shampoo lathering and conditioning. It was perfectly paired by the thin sheet covering my eyes as I soothingly relaxed into the soft-cushioned throne. Once we finished, Ai-san guided me back to our hair cutting station, and the pleasant moments shared conversing and hair-cutting went by so fast!
By the end of it, she rubbed a sweet-smelling oil across my locks and though we came to an end for today, I know I will see Ai-san again.
Images courtesy of Ai Nomura and Baroque Tokyo
You would never guess how much I am laughing and giggling with Ai-san over the photos we took on our phones. She’s such a sweetheart. A memory I will cherish and definitely worth every yen!
Location & Directions
From the Omotesandō, exit A2 and follow the map accordingly and as directed.
Address: 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 3 Chome−5−10 ２F