"Beautiful hair is healthy hair." Jimmy Takiyama, owner and master specialist of Aya Salon is originally from Japan. Being intrigued with style and influenced by the elegance of Asian simplicity, Jimmy took his creative yearnings into the beauty business. He acquired an in-depth education about hair and beauty and learned the unique Japanese technique of hair straightening.
Famous for his "dry-cutting" method, Jimmy sculpts stunning and unparalleled trend-setting styles by meticulously cutting small sections of dry hair at a time. Following each individual's natural wave or curl, he artistically creates volume, body and texture, resulting in hair that grows out beautifully. The precision and careful attention to the contours of the hair enable the cuts to maintain their beautiful shape and texture for a long time. "To cut and style hair, I follow the natural line of hair growth that can only be seen when the hair is dry, as hair hangs differently when it is wet", comments Jimmy. "By cutting it dry, I can accurately evaluate how the hair will flow." Masterfully bringing hair to life, Jimmy creates a classic and imaginative haircut combining definition and movement.
Jimmy's dry cutting has changed the way Aya Salon does hair. He has since developed and taught the practice as his signature technique. Aya Dry Hair Cutting has become his salon's brand and one of the many ways Jimmy and his team continue to revolutionize the industry. "Aya," the Japanese character for "beautiful colors" stands as Jimmy's motto and the inspiration behind Aya Dry Hair Cutting. "Anyone can cut hair after it dries, but it requires an eye for individuality to truly sculpt a unique and fitting style for each client."
Aya Dry Cutting: Your Beauty, Revealed
Haircut Rate: $250
Jimmy also offers the Brazilian Blowout as well as Japanese straightening.
Jimmy is highly coveted for film work and for photo shoots, and his credits include work for MTV, various high fashion runway projects, and red carpet events. Rates are available upon request, and his personal website and portfolio are located at the following link: www.ayajimmy.com
Michelle studied at Santa Barbara Cosmetology Academy where she excelled in Hair Artistry. She is currently training under Jimmy Takiyama in his perfected dry-cutting technique. Michelle's passion and dedication to art and beauty comes from her thirteen year commitment to Classical Ballet Training. Her love for dance and movement has inspired her own innovative techniques of hairstyling. She brings all of the grace and poise of a dancer into every cut and style she creates.
Michelle continues to educate herself in cutting edge classes and training seminars, in and out of the salon, which keep her styles forever fresh and youthful. She also spends time working to improve the beauty of the community by volunteering as a cut artist at Homeless Shelters and Youth Groups. Michelle prides herself on being able to take inspiration from her clients' needs and create individual, wearable, chic colors and styles. Her limitless knowledge and beautiful interpretative styles will captivate you!
Sora Kim has loved hairstyling ever since she was a young child. At the age of 18, she decided to follow her dream of becoming a hair artist by moving to Los Angeles and attending the Cosmetology Program of Santa Monica College. After acquiring her license, she has continued her education by attending advanced coloring and cutting classes with the best stylists from all over the country. After working at various salons in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, she has landed at the prestigious Aya Salon near 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica where she is currently still working to this day.
Upon arriving at Aya Salon, Sora has honed her skills of cutting hair by learning the technique of Aya Dry Haircutting from the master stylist and owner, Jimmy Takiyama. Sora now considers herself an Aya Dry Haircut Specialist and believes this method is the absolute greatest for achieving beautiful and healthy hair.
Sora approaches haircutting and coloring with extreme precision and attention to detail. Her passion shows in her constant pursuit of perfection. She believes that everyone's hair should act as an extension to their persona, expressing their inner beauty, while accentuating their outer beauty and complimenting their features. Sora's specialty is natural-looking, soft and elegant, beautiful and healthy hair.
Kaitlyn Addy's passion is to give her clients an artistic vision, an individualized style for their needs, and to exceed every client's expectations with a professional and positive attitude. She enjoys doing styles for weddings, special occasions, and print work. Kaitlyn has a talent for creating "sun-kissed"/natural highlights, along with any fun and creative color, placemants and techniques. Kaitlyn's precision cutting has developed from a strict apprenticeship, years of experience, and learning an advanced cutting system with SexyHair. Kaitlyn continually seeks opportunities to expand her expertice and always strive to help people feel and look their best.
Masako's philosophy on finding the right hairstyle for a client is to match the hairstyle to the client's own lifestyle and personality. Whether you want a short or long hairstyle, Masako implements the detailed and elegant Japanese haircutting techniques learned from Jimmy Takiyama- founder of Aya Salon, during her apprenticeship under his direction. Masako focuses on keeping the hair and scalp nourished and healthy, and teaches her clients how to maintain their styles and colors through their next appointments.
Natisse is a graduate of Paul Mitchell The School where she mastered the Paul Mitchell color line, precision cutting techniques, and additional training with the Paul Mitchell Advanced Academy. She was chosen for the Advanced Phase II Honors Program that included only the top 5% of the entire student body. She was involved in every aspect of her school, and she has become renowned for giving 110% to everything she does.
Natisse worked on set of TLC's The Napolean Perdis Project and, in addition, skillfully raised money for various charity events including Food for Africa, The American Forest Foundation, Larry King Cardiac Foundation, Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, and The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation. She adapts the Paul Mitchell culture not only into her career but also her personal life and will continue to participate in fundraising enveloping the Paul Mitchell Slogan "Giving back is the new black."
Natisse is an artist and works with many different forms of creative expression. "Hair is by far my favorite medium to work with when it comes to my art." She expresses her creativity through color and cutting, working with both together to compliment each other and construct unique and beautiful works of art. Natisse finds inspiration from the people she works with, her clients, and her mentor Jimmy Takiyama. She has a love for the retro looks of 1940's and 1950's and integrating classic hair in the modern lifestyle. "I believe in customizing every service to fit each client uniquely and individually."
Richard has been in the hairdressing business for 19 years. He started out in Scotland and trained with Rusk Hair care company then moved to the United States 14 years ago. His areas of expertise are precision coloring, cutting and styling. Richard pays special attention to details and builds each cut or color project with the skillfulness of an architect.
Kate has been at Aya Salon for the past six years. During this short time, Kate has demonstrated her talent and innovation in hairdressing. As a graduate of Pivot Point International, a Bauhaus theory-based school, Kate had the privilege of training with the most talented and renowned artists in the United States and from around the world.
Kate continually adapts her precision cutting, coloring and styling techniques to the ever-changing hair and make-up industry. Kate is also involved in the competitive world of hair and make-up for TV, films, theater and editorials, etc.
"I personally consider my salon work as rewarding an experience because of the close and personal connection to my clients and fellow colleagues."
Weddings and special event styling are a special treat for Kate.
Hair health and beauty are the principals by which Kate selects the style and color for each of her clients.
Jill Rivera has worked in Santa Monica for over 10 years. Her advanced training has included courses with Toni & Guy, Trevor Sorbi and Rusk. Jill specializes in color and highlighting techniques. Jill's experience has taken her on the set of commercials and music videos, creating not only hairstyles but enduring images of fashion and beauty. The salon environment inspires Jill's most fulfilling work. It's her haircutting and hairstyling creations that are as unique as each of her clients that bring out the artist in her. Jill's further inspiration comes from traveling around the globe and keeping up with the current trends.
YUSUKE A.K.A. "Mosquito"
"Hair dressing is my life" is Yusuke's motto. Yusuke began his hairdressing career in Tokyo, Japan. During his six years in Japan, his clientele grew to include many film and TV stars as well as professional sports athletes. His approach is to cut hair both wet and dry in order to make his clients' at-home maintenance routine quick and easy. Always seeking a new challenge, Yusuke came to The United States to enhance both his personal and professional expertise. Recently, Yusuke was awarded First Place in a Las Vegas hairstyling competition by blending traditional Japanese style and sensibility with modern day sophistication.
Josh began his career in Scotland, U.K. as both a hairdresser and college lecturer in further education. Upon relocating to Toronto, Canada, Josh managed one of Toronto's most creative and prestigious salons. While there, Josh began doing platform work for Wella in the USA and Canada.
After working in Canada for four years, Josh moved to NYC to become National Artistic Manager for Wella USA with responsibility for the company's image and artistic representation though shows, education, photographic media, and video.
Josh moved to Los Angeles in 2000, where he feels he is home, and his main focus is to continue to enjoy his craft and clientele within the salon.
Josh still travels, both nationally and internationally, doing shows and educational events, as well as editorial work for both consumer and trade magazines.
Whether it is on long, medium, short, wavy, straight, or curly hair, Josh's philosophy is to create individuality for each client.
Using his artistry, Josh strives to keep open to creating, learning, and experiencing new techniques and innovations, whilst pushing his limits to grow as both an artist and person.
Haircut and Color Specialist
Motivation, passion and originality best describe his unique style in interacting with his peers and clients. His extensive travels have given him a broad perspective and insight as to how art, fashion, architecture and technology can influence current hair trends. In addition to salon work in Santa Monica, Richard regularly consults as a bridal design specialist, as well as for print and video. Richard creates a classic look that is current and relaxed. As a teacher and platform artist, Richard shares his knowledge and techniques in a down-to-earth, enthusiastic style. His other passions include travel and volunteer work at various local charities serving children, the homeless and physically challenged.
Shannon first gained noticed as a stylist in Oregon for her work in commercial and fashion photography. In 1997, she was awarded the National Cosmetology Association's top prize, the Vogue Award for Best Hair & Make-up Stylist. Shortly thereafter, Shannon became Senior Hair & Make-up Designer at the Robert Cromean Salon in Las Vegas – the flagship artistic design salon for John Paul Mitchell Systems. Shannon then went on to become Master Stylist at Diva Studios; one of the Top 10 Salon in America, as voted by Allure magazine. She is the preferred private hair & make-up consultant for Barney's New York in Los Angeles and the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Her work has appeared on MTV, VH1, Glamour Magazine, in feature films, and in numerous national media campaigns. Since 2001, she has worked as a stylist and lead Bridal Designer and Make-up Artist at Aya Salon in Santa Monica.
While Shannon loves working with all styles, she specializes in "problem hair" – whether it is fine, thinning or damaged, has unmanageable curls or cowlicks, or has color that other stylists just can't seem to work with. Shannon will create a completely customized hair color solution for you. She works with all hair colors and styles; and is particularly adept at all shades of blonde hair.
Weddings and Special Events
As a recent bride herself, Shannon understands the challenges of preparing for a wedding. She has worked with countless brides and bridal parties to accentuate their elegance and beauty. With a background in sculpture, Shannon applies her understanding of form, balance, and motion to designing both traditional and unique up-dos and other formal hairstyles ranging from the classically beautiful to the breathtakingly creative. Shannon also uses her extensive experience in film and printed media to ensure that you will look beautiful in photographs and video as well as on your wedding day. Shannon works with you to create a completely individual style that works with your gown, and palette of your wedding site. She has worked with many of the traditional wedding venues in Southern California; whether in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Newport, Palm Springs, or San Diego. These sites include the Bel-Air Bay Club, The Ebell, The Hotel Bel-Air, The Biltmore, Shutters on the Beach, Casa Del Mar, The Jonathan Club, Ritz-Carlton Dana Point, Greystone Park, etc.
"If no one can get your look right, go to Shannon" – Paula Guild, Event Coordinator