2024.03.29 fri

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My Story With NARUTOSCISSORS | Memories

Instagram account 'memories_toshi.watarai' boasts 110,000 followers.
The before and after transformations featured are truly dramatic.
The hairstyles that bring out the charm of customers to the fullest extent are so impactful that they might change their lives thereafter.

Mr. Toshihiko Watarai, who owned Memories, the beauty salon overflowing with the excitement and joy of meeting the "ideal self," visited Naruto Scissors.

■ Thank you for visiting our company.
First of all, please tell us what made you decide to become a hairdresser.

During high school, I was troubled by my curly hair.
But one day, when I got a haircut at a local beauty salon, people around me said, "It looks good!" and "It looks really good!", which made me happy.

So, when I started styling my own hair and my friends' hair, it was so much fun that I thought, "If it's fun, I can do it!", and that's what prompted me to become a hairdresser.

■ So, you knew about Naruto Scissors early on?

Since I was a newly minted hairdresser, I had always admired them. Many skilled seniors and charismatic individuals used Naruto Scissors. Although I couldn't afford them at the time, I finally purchased them about four years ago!

■ Thank you. How was your experience using them?

Firstly, I felt the quality when I used them was exceptional. The hair would neatly come together after cutting. I was amazed at how they cut exactly as I wanted, so I gradually bought more over the next few months.

■ By the way, how do you choose your scissors?

For example, I consider the preferences of the customers who visit, such as "If a customer wants more volume, they would be happy with these scissors," or conversely, "If a customer wants less volume, these scissors would be good." Sometimes, during a haircut, I realize, "It would be nice to have scissors like this." Just like with coloring materials, there are times when I feel the importance of tools, especially when I feel like I'm reaching my limit despite my efforts. It's the same with scissors.

Before purchasing, I cut with them to confirm. Sometimes, I can tell the feel of using them with just a little cutting, but there are also times when I want to cut several customers' hair to check the finish. I make sure I'm satisfied before buying.

■ When I look at your scissors, I can feel your dedication to craftsmanship and customization.

Naruto Scissors can be customized to fit the user's hands and purposes, rather than just being good at cutting. That's what makes them great.

■ Please tell us about the scissors you use and in what situations.
From left to right in the image:

【5suki Cooperline】 *6 inches / Cutting rate approximately 60%
I use this for adjusting the volume of hair from the crown to the bottom for those with a lot of hair. Since it reduces the number of opening and closing motions, it feels more comfortable on the hand.

2suki Hennessy Lamool S31】 *5.8 inches / Cutting rate approximately 20-25%
This is my main thinning scissors. It's so easy to use that I sometimes finish with just this one pair. After creating texture with Dresslines, I use this to make necessary adjustments.

3suki Trente S26】 *5.8 inches / Cutting rate approximately 25-30%
I use this for adjusting the volume of hair from the crown to the bottom for those with a lot of hair.

Dressline】 *5.6 inches / Cutting rate approximately 20%
I use this when I want to create texture in layered styles and want to achieve a firm movement.

2sukiHennessyBoomerangS27Karakusa】 *5.8 inches / Cutting rate approximately 10%
This is the thinning scissors I purchased this time.
It's already proving useful for around the face and for adjusting the volume for those with fine hair.

FlexS Smart】 *6 inches
The blade is shortened to about 5.5 inches, and the handle is customized to add a camel hump on the shank. Both blades are customized to have a blunt edge from the tip to the middle of the blade, and I use it for slide cutting and chop cutting. After thinning the hair with thinning scissors, I use it for hair to come together from the softness of the hair. Although it's a cutting scissors, personally, I use it with the image of using a thinning scissors with a cutting rate of 20%.

New Hennessy Mini】 *5 inches
The handle is designed to hang down. I use it for base cutting, blunt cutting, outlining bob shorts, and around the face. It allows for a comfortable cutting posture without raising the shoulder, and it's great that I can focus on holding the panel with my left hand. When cutting, I feel like it's a powerful pair of scissors.

Duckboard ZⅡ】 *5.8 inches
The handle is customized to add a camel hump on the shank.
I use it for base cutting in medium and long hair. For short hair, I use it for cutting layers and chop cutting. In chop cutting, it can create texture that can't be achieved with slide cutting. The difference between using it and the Flex S Smart for chop cutting lies in the depth. Just a 0.3-inch difference makes a big difference. I also use this scissors with the image of using thinning scissors with a cutting rate of 50%.

■Have there been any turning points in your career as a hairstylist?

Yes, there have been two.

The first turning point was when the beauty salon I initially worked at closed down. I was shocked by the reality that "beauty salons can disappear."

Even in my 60s and 70s, I want to continue improving my skills and work as an active hairdresser who keeps up with the times. It was a moment where I strongly felt that I wanted to create a place where I could work for a long time.

The second turning point was in April 2020 when I started using Naruto scissors. It was also the time when the pandemic started, but Instagram was booming, and the number of customers increased.
As a result, we also increased the number of staff. Thanks to Naruto scissors. (haha)

■ From Mr. Watarai's Instagram, we can see your popularity. It's said that reservations come in from all over Japan, but what kind of salon do you think is in demand?

It's a salon that fulfills what people want and what they want to be. About 20-30% of customers leave their hair style entirely up to the stylist. However, even among those who leave it up to the stylist, there are those who have a desire for how they really want to be.  In order to fulfill that desire, the salon never skips weekly cutting seminars. This is to ensure that the skills never deteriorate and that they don't fall behind the times.

■ You're still making efforts every day.

I've never once thought about quitting being a hairdresser, no matter how tough it gets. Despite being clumsy, I could always put in the effort. I want to continue learning because I want to become better than anyone else. My goal is to be told that I'm "good at cutting" no matter how old I get!

Being a hairdresser is a fun job. As your skills improve, customers are pleased. Not only are they pleased, but your salary also increases.

I want the staff to practice firmly so that they can feel the joy of being a hairdresser. I also want them to do what they can freely to improve themselves.

■ Are there any particular practices that are being implemented?

Every three months, we have a hearing session. It's a place where we can discuss anything, from language use like "that way of saying things isn't good" to salon-related issues like "the nozzle is difficult to move" or "the pillow might be too hard," all aimed at moving the salon in a positive direction. I want the staff to feel like "I'm glad to be working at this salon."

■ We heard that you're opening a new salon.
Yes, that's correct. In addition to Ginza and Suitengu, a new salon will be opening in Omotesando in April!

■ We look forward to your continued success.

~ This time, Mr. Watarai chose the “2suku Boomerang S27 Karakusa"  for its cutting rate, thinning ability, bearings and the gentle angle of the handle. Karakusa is a design that the vine grows endlessly without being cut, symbolizing "vitality and prosperity." The exterior wall of the new salon is also adorned with rich vines. We felt like everything, Mr. Watarai's desire to continue to excel in the forefront and be known as a skilled hairdresser in his 60s, the scissors with the Karakusa design, and the new salon, all came together perfectly.