Y.S. Park, an award-winning hair stylist, opened his first beauty salon in Tokyo in 1980. Shortly after, buoyed by the salon’s success, he launched his own line of hair products and tools. Today, his products are used all over the world and they’re beloved by elite stylists and consumers alike.
Y.S. Park was recently in New York for the International Beauty Show and MWS caught up with him for an exclusive interview. The timing couldn’t have been better as we just announced the arrival of new Y.S. Park products in our inventory.
Y.S. Park: An Interview
As the creator of the Y.S. Park brand, what is your routine like? How often do you travel?
“I’m always trying to be aware of recent hairstyling trends in other countries. In order to understand those trends I need to travel 12-15 times on average per year. Besides those business trips, I also like snowboarding so I often go to snow mountains, because it gives me new and fresh ideas.”
You’ve been in the business for many decades now. How do you think hairstyling has evolved over the years?
“Often hairstyles reflect the current state of society, and nowadays people prefer more and more casual styles compared to before. Therefore, in my opinion, there are mainly two types of fashion these days: one is the “super easy style” and the other is the “classical, formal style,” and there are not many in-between styles, which I used to see more often.”
How does the industry differ between Japan and New York?
“Cuteness and youth are more important for Japanese customers, while glamour and sexiness are more supported in NYC.”
Your hair accessories are both beautiful and functional. Who creates the designs and how are new items developed?
“I design all the products based on my experience and inspiration. I make products which I myself need and want to use. There is nothing similar in the market. All items are tested at my Y.S. PARK salons, and the average development period is 6 years per item. I always think about new functions, new design and new materials.”
Can you elaborate on the Y.S. Park technique with regards to styling and treatment?
“We try to make natural looks for customers, even though hairstyling itself is a very man-made process. Right now I am making a new educational program for the next generations. I hope it will be useful for those stylists who wish to start future trends and develop the beauty industry.”
Finally, can you talk a little about the book you wrote in 1998 “Producing Hair Tonic in Your Brain”?
“It is about how one’s feelings can change their beauty/life. Some people believe “products” can change their beauty/life, but I rather believe the most important thing in beauty is people’s feelings, if they want to change their life. This is my theory I wrote two decades ago, but I still believe it relates to many people around the world, because I think this idea is a universal thought.”
Here are a few of our favorite Y.S. Park products: