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Ampersand Inc. Hair Design - NYC

Years ago, in the heart of the East Village, my sad, weary follicles stumbled into a dojo of style and serenity called Lotus.  I was greeted by a lovely, bright-eyed young man with a friendly manner who looked like he just stepped off a concert stage in Shibuya.  Exquisitely coiffed and tastefully turned out, that stylist whipped on an amazing snakeskin utility belt full of straight razors and clippers that he wielded like a maestro around my sorry scalp and proceeded to resuscitate my desert-dry, bleach-battered locks to unbelievable health.

The brilliant Tom Yoshimura has branched out on his own and opened his own salon in Lotusí old space.  AMPERSANDís staff includes two recent Tokyo ťmigrťs, , work alongside him in the sleek, cozy space with whitewashed walls that feels more like a living room than a beauty parlor.  AMPERSAND isnít just a salon; itís a way of life, as Tom sees it.  AMPERSAND is only the first step in a cultural collective that promises the best of East-Meets-West and will eventually include forays into style & art & fashion & music... Geddit?

And damn, they do good hair.


Hereís my chat with Tom Yoshimura about his fab salon. 

LMD:  Why is your salon called AMPERSAND?

Tom Yoshimura:  Right now, Iím specialising in doing hair, but I called it AMPERSAND because I also do DJ-ing and I like to combine different people with good energy.  So, itís hair design ďandĒ - or ampersand - whatever makes them happy.


LMD:  Before you set up AMPERSAND in April 2008 and before you styled hair in New York you worked in Tokyo, didnít you?

TY:  Yes, I worked in salons in Aoyama and near Yokohama for four and a half years.



LMD:  Do you style a lot of different types of people?  How do your clients find out about you?

TY:  Yeah, almost all American and European people.  They find us online through recommendations on Yelp.com and Citysearch.com and through word of mouth from other clients.  We havenít done any advertising.

We would also like to expand our Japanese clientele, so we have our two stylists {Tetsuya Yokozuka and Takashi} who came from Japan two years ago.  They have a lot of special skill, so I want to introduce them because they have real Japanese technique.  Japan is always changing a lot and both of them still have the fresh Japanese perspective.


While many of our readers want to look like their favourite Japanese rock star or anime character, one devoted AMPERSAND client, Arlene had a very different model in mind for her look.  Arlene asked Tom to make her coiffure resemble pop singer Rihannaís asymmetrical crop and was kind enough to chat with me and let me photograph her while Tom worked his magic.


LMD:  Whatís the best thing about coming to AMPERSAND?

Arlene:  They know what theyíre doing.  The people I usually go to, they donít know about R&B singers and their haircuts, so I came here figuring these guys would.  Where I used to go, they would use clippers in my hair and thatís not even cool.  If you have long hair you should most definitely come here, cos it grows so fast.   I didnít expect it to grow so quick, it was crazy.  Tom said to come every two months, so I said, ďOkay, Iíll make an appointment for two months,Ē but then I saw that I was getting a Ďfro {Laughs} cos it grew so fast, so I had to come sooner.



~ The Lady Miz Diva

May 8th, 2009




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