Takamichi Saeki brings his preternaturally precise stylings to the Bowery.
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“Three weeks,” says Takamichi Saeki. “You haven’t had your hair cut in three weeks.” I’ve never met the man before, but he’s right—to the day.
Takamichi, you see, is New York’s premier men’s hair cutter, with his own eponymous cut, the Takamichi cut, which you can get only at Takamichi Hair, his new 2,000-square-foot studio on the Bowery, just below Houston. (He’s spent the past few years working out of a loft on Great Jones Street.)
I’ve come by on the morning after his grand opening party to find out what makes a Takamichi cut so special—why everyone from music and movie producers to investment bankers and network news anchors trek down here. “Most of the men want to be stylish but don’t know how,” Takamichi tells me. “They’re looking for something they want, but they don’t know exactly what it is. So I can kind of read them.”
Perhaps even more important, Takamichi has a unique ability to give a haircut two key traits: staying power and versatility. Because of the way he texturizes hair, his cuts maintain their shape for as long as four to five weeks. “The shape is so important,” he explains. “After I texturize it, they can wear a formal side part during the week, and if on the weekend they want to mess it up, they can mess it up. Texture is what allows that to happen.”
The new studio, designed by Belgian architect Sandra Van Rolleghem, is the physical-space equivalent of a Takamichi cut. The stylist wanted it to look like 1960s Scandinavia meets Barcelona; in reality, the polished concrete floors and clean lines feel like much of the surrounding neighborhood—at once edgy and upscale. The custom mural by the Spanish artist Santi Moix adds a dose of wit. (“He told me it’s a ‘f--ked-up version of Marie Antoinette,’” says Takamichi. It also involves a goat, Thomas Edison, Marcel Proust, an octopus, and a pair of scissors.)
“Coming here is not just about the haircut,” says Takamichi. “It’s about a relationship. That’s very important for me. We have whiskey, red wine, white wine, beer—I want guys to come and have a drink, talk to me. I’m curious about everything, and I hear everything.” It all adds up to a highly entertaining place to spend an hour—especially if you walk out looking sharper than ever.
Takamichi Hair: 263 Bowery, 2nd Floor (between Houston & Stanton Streets), 212.420.7979
Takamichi specializes mostly in men’s hair, but several of the seven stylists who work for him also focus on women’s hair.
Takamichi cut: $180 Women or $150 Men
Senior Stylist cut: $140 Women or $120 Men