Psst! Hey ladies, I have a secret to tell you. If left untouched, my hair is really wavy and frizzy. I was born with silky straight hair but once I hit puberty, my hair started to grow out into a thick uncontrollable wavy mane. But that’s a whole other story. If you look at my blog pictures, besides the loose curls from a curling iron, my hair is pretty straight. So how did I turn my untamed frizzy mane into silky smooth tresses, you ask? Well, first let me say I get my hair straightened with the Yuko Hair Straightening System, which is a process of chemically straightening your hair, also known as a straight perm. Yuko treated hair remains straight until new hair grows out. There are several other straightening systems out there but Yuko is one of the originals and the one I’ve used for the past 7-8 years or so.
Now back to the real focus of my post, let me introduce you to my hair stylist and friend, Hiro. Every once in a while you meet someone who really cares about their craft and you can tell they have honed their skill to the point of mastery. Hiro is one of those people. He was even featured in the Chicago Sun Times here and referred to as a hair ‘hero’.
I was introduced to Hiro by a co-worker back when he was here in Michigan. Before I met Hiro, I had been getting straight perms for a little while at several different salons in Chicago, NYC and Toronto. Although the results had been satisfactory, I always felt that my hair was slowly being damaged in the process. When I heard that Hiro had trained under the Yuko System founder, Yuko Yamishita, I was impressed and excited to find someone in Michigan who could straighten my hair! He has since moved to Chicago (boohoo!) where he set up shop in downtown’s River North area. So you Chicagoans out there, take note! I go all the way to Chicago at least once a year to get my hair done with Hiro. He is that good!
I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A with him so you can get to know him better and hopefully come away intrigued enough to want to pay him a visit in his quaint French villa inspired, Anthropologie adorned little getaway of a salon where you can retreat to and relax, and let Hiro do his magic.
1) When and how did you decide to become a hair stylist?
I became a hair stylist when I was fifteen after I quit high school and decided to do something. But I did not want to do hair since my parents are hair stylists so I don’t know why I am still doing hair. (I guess it runs in the family.)
2) If you had to share one or two important tips about hair care, what would they be?
People should blow dry their hair after they shower. People think it is better not to blow dry because heat is really bad for you but finger drying with medium temperature makes the hair so much shinier and smoother.
3) What is the number one hair issue your clients complain to you about?
People often tell me how dry and damaged their hair is, and I have to say that it is not because of products, blow dryer or iron. It is all about how smart we do color, highlights and hair straightening. (He tells me it’s all in how skillfully you execute the process so as to not damage the hair.)
4) What is the best part of your job as a stylist?
I could change people’s lives by changing their hair. My philosophy is keeping my client’s hair super healthy and shiny. (Amen to that!)
5) Who is your hair style inspiration?
Courteney Cox and her super shiny long hair.
6) If you weren’t a hair stylist, what do you think you would be doing now?
Visual Effect Artist at Weta Digital in New Zealand. (Uh, can you be more specific?)
Did I mention that besides being a master of Yuko and natural looking highlights, Hiro is an extremely talented artist (you should see some of his drawings) and a self-taught 3D visual graphic designer (I’ve seen some of his work and it’s impressive to say the least). So now you see how his last answer makes more sense.
Ladies, if you live in Chicago or the surrounding area and have been looking for a hair stylist, or just want your hair looking fabulous for the holidays, Hiro is your man. Give him a call and tell him I said hello. His contact information is below:
46 E Superior St., top floor
Chicago, IL 60611
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P.S. The winner of the $650 Express Gift Card Giveaway is Sara L. Congratulations, Sara!