Tuesday, June 7, 2016

nykeiko plays: Garden NYC - Getting a haircut in Tokyo…well, almost.

A bathroom selfie with new haircut

There are over hundreds of hair salons in New York City and picking a place to try is usually based on a friend’s recommendation or looking at Yelp reviews. I’ll be your friend and help you out. I recently visited Garden NYC and I think you should try it too!

Now, what makes this hair salon a little different from others out there is that most of the hair stylists are part-timers. They travel back and forth between Tokyo to New York every couple of month. They have multiple salons in Tokyo and Garden NYC is their first salon outside Japan. So in some ways, you’re basically getting a haircut in Japan..without having to go to Japan

Over two months ago, when I decided to get a haircut before going back to work, I decided I'd finally give Garden a try. I picked Shogo as my stylist based on a friend’s recommendation and also, he happens to be in NY at the time. The stylists do it all there, from the hair wash to the cut (You don't have to worry about tipping multiple people). My favorite part was the head massage during and after the wash, which is a typical service you get in Asia.  

Everything was taken care of to make me feel comfortable from the very start. I was offered tea, coffee or water. They plopped a pillow on my lap so I would have something to rest my arms on while reading a magazine or playing on my phone.  They even gave me a case to put my glasses in. All these small details make the experience kind of top-notch. I didn't feel too adventurous and wanted to keep my hair long so I asked for a trim to get rid of the dead-ends and to shed some hair weight. My sister says every time I get a haircut, it looks the same. That is quite true. I told her that even when I tell the stylists to do whatever they feel like with my hair, they never stray too far from my original hair cut. 

Finally, while doing the final blow-out, I appreciated Shogo giving me a few pointers on how to make my hair look more voluminous in two easy steps and also gave me some styling tips.

During the haircut, I decided to add him on Instagram (and immediately stalk him in front of him). I find out that he loves to cook and has a mini pet poodle. I wanted to know a bit more about him so I reached out to him to ask a few questions:

1.             What is your favorite part about your job?
Favorite part of the job is having satisfied customers. Cutting hair is my passion!

2.             How are customers in NYC different from in Japan?
There are no real difference between customers in Japan and NYC. I am just concerned about the different hair type and the styles they want.

3.             While in NYC, do you have a favorite go-to places? What about in Tokyo?

In New York, I like the Standard’s beer garden in the Meatpacking district, which is close by to the salon. I also like Kinokuniya bookstore (great selection of Japanese books!). Zundo-Ya is my go-to ramen joint.

In Japan, my favorite restaurant is a grilled meat joint called Yakiniku ToukyoenA cool bookstore to check out is Daikanyama Books.

4.             If you can cut one celebrity's hair, who would this celebrity be
Taylor Swift or Amanda Seyfried.

5.             If you were not a hair stylist, what would you be?
A veterinary.

6.             Since you travel back and forth from Japan to NYC so much, what is something you ALWAYS bring with you?

I always bring a picture of my family and dog and some Japanese snacks.


Spreading the word is good for any business and that is why they will offer 10% off any service when you mention my referral. Just give them my name! I absolutely get nothing from this, just good karma I guess. Also, don’t forget to check their Yelp page as they sometimes offer limited time promotions such as free hair treatments or discounts as well!


  1. Replies
    1. Shogo was $70. I had 10^% off for my first visit. The price menu is on their website and you can call beforehand to schedule and find out the price of your stylist. That's what I did :)