When I heard the famous beauty salon La YAMANO in Ginza had been given a complete makeover, I thought it was time for myself to get one too. Aside from boasting a brand new interior, this esthetics institution has been renamed “Medi Beauty Salon La YAMANO with PHYTO Paris,” and the six-floor building just reopened its doors on June 24 to welcome international customers in a peaceful and luxurious environment.
By Ingrid Dubreuil
A short walk from Ginza station, the eye-catching botanical wall at the front of the salon can’t be missed, and provides a sneak peek of what’s awaiting you inside. As soon as you step in the door, the professional staff of La YAMANO will warmly greet you and offer a consultation in English, giving you a personalized recommendation of the best customized options from a wide range of treatments.
I saw that the company offers head-to-toe beauty solutions, including four areas of care expertise: hair and scalp care, aesthetic treatments, nail beauty, and aroma courses. All these services are available under one roof and can be booked on the same day, for a full course of indulgence. The laid-back atmosphere of the salon will make you feel instantly comfortable and relaxed, as you get ready for hours of pampering in the sleek, modern space featuring state-of-the-art equipment.
The internationally minded salon exclusively uses reputed foreign cosmetic brands such as PHYTO Paris (France), BIOMARIS (Germany) and LADY GRACE (Finland), ensuring first-rate treatments with premier products.
In order to wallow in some luxurious primping, I settled on a hair oil-aroma treatment and haircut with blow dry, entirely executed by AKIRA, La YAMANO’s official hair and makeup artist—I felt like I was in good hands from the beginning.
While I was comfortably stretched out in an ergonomic seat, my hair treatment started with the calming scent of aroma oils and was followed by a 30-minute scalp massage, the first step in working away the tensions of day-to-day life. The main benefit of the aroma oil treatment is to restore the scalp balance and to help protect the hair against external aggressions.
The following shampoo and conditioning session—which gives you another divine massage—is also personalized according to your hair texture and condition. For my damaged and previously bleached hair, AKIRA selected the PHYTO Paris PHYTOKARITE Ultra-Repairing Mask. The keratin filling treatment not only repairs dry, damaged and weakened hair, but it also rebuilds inner hair substance while moisturizing for sleek and shiny results.
After the washing and deep conditioning, it was time for the pivotal stage of the treatment: the haircut. This can be a hit or miss at any given salon, but I felt confident in AKIRA’s hands. But at La YAMANO, every stylist takes the time to carefully listen to your wishes and will advise you on the look that would suit you best. Instead of pushing for whatever is in vogue on this season’s hair scene, they will suggest the best hairstyles based on your hair texture and face shape. That spirit of omotenashi, or that particular brand of Japanese hospitality, is definitely something you can feel at this salon.
Right after AKIRA finished his work with the scissors and blow drier, I could immediately notice a difference: my hair, usually so dry and dull, was exceptionally shiny and soft (sarasara in Japanese). The cut itself looked great: it was the kind that makes you want to go out on the town instead of heading back home. I felt thankful to have met AKIRA, because even after several years in Japan, finding a good hairstylist able to work on specific hair issues can feel like a quest for the Holy Grail.
La Yamano’s Philosophy
Delighted with my new style, I asked AKIRA about his experience at La YAMANO. As an accomplished beauty creator at the salon for more than 21 years, AKIRA underwent several years of training in the UK and in the US (like many of his fellow stylists at the salon), before returning to Japan.
This international experience makes him comfortable with non-Japanese hair, and has given AKIRA an interesting definition of beauty. To him, real beauty is “not only about the physical appearance, but is a subtle harmony of inner spirit and exterior appearance. Women have to find a good balance between their inner beauty and physical looks to feel beautiful and blossomed,” he explained.
This is the general philosophy at the salon, in fact; pamper both your body and your mind. Part of this pampering shows up in the unique product selection of La YAMANO, which is the first and only Japanese salon to use the PHYTO Paris products. Created 40 years ago by famous hair stylist Patrick Ales, who was the hairdresser for such iconic actresses as Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, the brand is fully produced in Paris and is considered a plant-based haircare pioneer. All their products contain more than 95% natural, botanical ingredients, in addition to being ecologically friendly and not tested on animals. With a high concentration of active ingredients, the brand offers a wide range of high-quality products (including shampoos, conditioners, masks and serums), suitable for all hair types.
The choice of an exclusive partnership between La YAMANO salon and a major botanical brand is not a coincidence; instead, it is the result of a global trend observed in the esthetics world today; in many ways, the success of “Medical Beauty” can be seen as the future of wellness.
According to AKIRA, this new beauty care products trend can also be explained by women’s willingness to feel beautiful, not only artificially, but in a sustainable and a longer view, thanks to reliable products. Looking more closely at this theory makes a lot of sense, and so does PHYTO’s leitmotiv: “Beautiful hair grows from a healthy scalp.”
Spending few hours at La YAMANO salon definitely made me agree with this philosophy, and undoubtedly will do the same for you. Taking time for yourself is essential, to nourish your body and soul and for a much-needed escape from the stress of the city. Among Tokyo’s many salons, La YAMANO is one of the few to offer tailored care and specific treatments for non-Japanese hair; whether you’re touching up blonde highlights or changing your look with a new hair color, you can relax in the skilled hands of the professional, English-speaking staff at La YAMANO.
La YAMANO Ginza
Address: 104-0061 Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku,
Ginza 3-4-8 Yamano Bldg (see map)
1F ~ 4F (Beauty & Nail)
5F–6F (Spa & Beauty)