All beauty salons are in the business of making their clients look better, but it’s a rare establishment that looks to improve the communities around them. That is, however, just what Hollywood Beauty Company founder Kiyoto Ushiyama had in mind with the business that he founded in 1925. Returning to Japan after working for seven years in Hollywood, Ushiyama recognized that Western-style beauty and hair treatments could be a hit.
But as Dai Ushiyama, third-generation president of Hollywood Beauty Company, explained, his grandfather wasn’t just looking to launch a successful business, he wanted also to address the needs of a growing class of women who were beginning to become more independent during the early part of the 20th century. “My grandfather was looking to help create new jobs for women who didn’t necessarily have a high level of formal education, and he wanted to found a school for these women as well. That’s always been a big focus for the company, and it remains so to this day: the Hollywood Beauty School now has an enrollment of about 1300 students.”
Along with the salons and schools, Ushiyama established a cosmetics manufacturing business at the same time. Here too, the family patriarch, as well as his wife, May, proved to be just as forward thinking as they had been when they decided to open the beauty school. These cosmetics factories stood out then, and now, as facilities that have never used animal testing for their products, which range from mascaras and hair tonic to masks and facial packs. Hollywood Beauty still prides itself on its extensive product line, made almost entirely in Japan from locally sourced ingredients.
The company has developed a steady—and very loyal—clientele over the decades, including many members of high society as well as quite a fair share of stars visiting from Hollywood, USA. But as Ushiyama explains, “We welcome a huge range of clients—from mothers who might come in with their children to our senior citizen clients who have been coming to our shop for decades. We even have some fourth-generation customers! Our oldest client, in fact, is more than 100 years old, and helping people look their best is something we believe is important for everyone.”
Given the strong sense of social responsibility that the salon has maintained over the years, it comes as no surprise that Dai Ushiyama found himself drawn to the world of NGOs, working for a decade with museums, national organizations, and the UN before taking up his position as president of Hollywood Beauty. Since taking up the reins in 2004, the company has broadened its social reach to include initiatives that support the communities of Tohoku (check our holiday gift guide for one example of these products).
This outreach has stretched beyond the borders of the country as well, while going back to the company’s earliest roots: “Our company has been contacted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ASEAN, to support and advise developing economies in countries like Myanmar or Indonesia. Giving women the chance to become beauticians is a great skill, and the equipment that the job requires is minimal—if you’ve got a pair of scissors and brushes, you can set up shop almost anywhere.”
The business may have an expansive and wide-reaching perspective, but dropping in at their flagship salon—May’s Garden Spa, in the Hollywood Beauty Plaza—you’ll feel right at home, regardless of the treatment that you’ve come in for. The salon offers a complete range of treatments and beauty spa packages, utilizing a broad range of skin and hair care lines, from imported lines to the company’s in-house goods. One particular standout is Hollywood Beauty’s full selection of entirely natural, Japanese-made aromatherapy products.
Hollywood Beauty Salon/May’s Garden Spa
106-0032 Tokyo, Minato-ku, 6-4-1 Roppongi Hills Hollywood Beauty Plaza 3F (see map below)
Hours: 9:00–18:00 | Tel: 03-3408-1613