Mika Fowler has emerged as one of the most sought-after Japanese drycut specialists in Los Angeles, but her fame wasn’t overnight. The Japanese-born hair stylist, Mika (née Sagara) has been elegantly styling the tresses of Hollywood stars and Angelenos for more than 20 years. As a senior stylist at Kim Vo salon in West Hollywood, her clients include actress Olivia Munn, Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung and style makers alike. Mika speaks with AsiamLuxe about her colorful career journey from Tokyo to Los Angeles.
Please tell us your background and how your career began in Los Angeles.
I started cutting hair in Tokyo when I was in my 20s. The Japanese are very strict about technique and they have a great, detailed teaching system. I was very interested in building my skills and learning the best methods. I also trained with Jack Dessange and Tony and Guy salons in Japan. I learned a lot from those classes. In 1999, I arrived in Los Angeles and continued my training at Vidal Sassoon. To be honest, having learned the Japanese technique and mixing it with the best European methods was what gave me strength in LA.
What are the benefits of a drycut?
We usually wear our hair dry every day. When the hair is cut wet, it shrinks a little when it’s dry. Some hair can also be curlier or moves very differently when it’s dry. When I do the dry cut, it allows me to follow your hair’s natural movement and texture. I can see how it falls and make the cut flattering to your face and bone structure. My clients love that they see the end results “as is.” There’s no surprises for both of us.
You’ve worked with many top clients, what are some career highs for you?
I have many great moments because I love what I do. If I must choose, I remember working with the Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung for her big day at the Oscars. She went on to win the Best Supporting Actress award for the movie Minari. Since I’m Asian, I was so honored to style her hair for the event.
When you’re not cutting hair or styling clients, what do you do for fun?
I love to take beautiful photos. I like sharing my vision and expressing them through visual arts.
Photos courtesy of Mika @MikaHairStylist