Sayuri Tsuchitani of Head Spa EN: “Bring positive emotions”

Meditation — Bring positive emotions Eat healthy — Feel great Sleep well — Productive Exercise — Healthy mind Gratitude — Be kind to yourself As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sayuri Tsuchitani. Head Spa is one of Japan’s most popular wellness and beauty treatments. It’s rooted in the belief that healthy hair isn’t achieved from conditioning treatments and […]

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Meditation — Bring positive emotions

Eat healthy — Feel great

Sleep well — Productive

Exercise — Healthy mind

Gratitude — Be kind to yourself

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sayuri Tsuchitani.

Head Spa is one of Japan’s most popular wellness and beauty treatments. It’s rooted in the belief that healthy hair isn’t achieved from conditioning treatments and creams, instead, it begins with a healthy scalp. Similar to how a healthy plant needs good quality soil and environment to grow. In the US, it is common to get a facial to take care of your skin, but in Japan they know that your scalp needs that same care and attention. Sayuri Tsuchitani has created a unique method at HEAD SPA EN, which combines her many years as an international hairstylist with the methods of Japanese Head Spa, as well as, takes elements from Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic massage to relieve stress and calm the mind. She tailors her expertise to fit each client’s needs.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I’m originally from Japan and have been a hairstylist for over a decade. I’ve worked all over the globe including New York, Shanghai, London, Hawaii, and Los Angeles. It’s been an amazing journey getting to know people from all over, but I began to notice that most of my clients were carrying tension in their neck and head. I’ve always had a passion for helping people and as much as I loved making my clients feel good about their appearance, I wanted to help them on a deeper level. I wanted to incorporate a holistic approach to my craft and help my clients not only release tension but even undo the effect of it. Then I remembered back home In Japan, one of our most sought after wellness regimens is called Head Spa. It is said that Head Spa is one of the best-kept secrets that contribute to youth, health, and longevity in Japan.

When it comes to wellness and beauty, I believe there is no better place to be than California, Los Angeles, especially because people are open to trying new things and it sets the trend for what’s next in health, wellness and self-improvement.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

I was visiting my family in Japan and took a late-night bus from my hometown Tokushima to Tokyo. When I got on the bus there was an American guy sitting by himself. I don’t know why, but I decided to sit next to him. He was also heading to Tokyo to meet his parents, who were visiting Japan for the first time. Naturally, we started to talk and he asked about my career. When I told him I was a hairstylist, I saw his eyes widen. He explained he’d been so busy with work that he didn’t have time to get a haircut before picking up his parents. Also, he did admit that he wasn’t confident in being able to describe in Japanese, the type of haircut he wants. He was in luck, as I had my tools, and offered to cut his hair at the next break stop. After getting off the bus during the next break stop, we found a park with its lights on and I was able to cut his hair before sunrise. While this was taking place, a random guy was practicing an Okinawan shamisen (3 stringed traditional Japanese instrument) nearby, which was completely out of the blue, but it did provide for great background music. Even to this day, I wonder why I sat next to him and offered to cut his hair in the middle of nowhere.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I was an assistant, the colorist told me to mix his client’s color for him because he was busy. He told me the color number verbally and I misheard N and M. The color turns out red instead of brown.

I learned to be in charge of my own clients.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m very grateful for my aunt. I grew up in a single parent home so having my aunt as a support system really helped me. I still Facetime her almost daily just so I can hear her voice. My aunt introduced me to the Japanese tea ceremony when I was 10 years old, and I practiced until I graduated high school. I found empowerment and purpose in these ceremonies. Cliché as it may sound, I stopped practicing when I first arrived in the United States. I was too busy with life to practice the ceremony. I don’t regret traveling the world for work because it allowed me to meet great people, learn new things and it enhanced my career, but I was emotionally drained. My internal equilibrium was off, but I didn’t know why.

Year later when I moved to Hawaii, I had been quite busy but on my first day office, I searched online for community events taking place nearby. That’s when I saw that a live Japanese tea ceremony was taking place at a local garden. I went to the event, and immediately, I was flushed with memories of my aunt teaching me the tea ceremony. At that moment, I came to a realization about the impact my aunt had in my life. From that day on, I started practicing tea ceremony on my own in Hawaii and continued when I moved to Los Angeles. Which is where I found my current teacher, Osumi sensei, who reminds me of my aunt and grounds me back to my roots. She is so caring, thoughtful, and supportive of my decisions in life. It all started with one tea cup offered by my aunt, which has led me on this journey to meet so many wonderful people across the world.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

As a stylist, connecting with people and helping them see a more beautiful side of themselves has been rewarding. Over the last several years that I have incorporated the methods of Japanese Head Spa into my work I have seen the results in my clients. First, no one realizes how badly they need a head massage until after they’ve experienced it. We have so much that we hold onto in our head and neck, that releasing that is such a relief. Also, the improved circulation to the scalp is amazing not only for hair growth but helps in your overall health. Also, doing Head Spa treatments regularly can help with insomnia, anxiety, and several other ailments. Each person affects the people around them and if I am able to help someone get some relief and then that positively affects their loved ones and the people around them.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

Meditation — Bring positive emotions

Eat healthy — Feel great

Sleep well — Productive

Exercise — Healthy mind

Gratitude — Be kind to yourself

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The movement I would start is of Mindfulness and Purpose. We are always thinking about what is next but we often don’t take the time to reconnect with our true selves because we are too busy with life. Much like my story with the tea ceremonies, I felt centered when I practiced the ceremony but I let the hustle and bustle of the world become more important, and take over the time that was for myself. When I went back to my roots, to the things that connected me with my past, my culture, and reminded me of my journey in this life, I shifted toward wanting to help people heal. And that is how I found my calling to add a holistic approach to my career and not only bring secrets of my culture to people who need them but to reconnect with myself. If everyone could take a few mindful moments and appreciate their journey and practice what is important to them, the world would be a better place.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

The owner is separate from the business

– It’s important to separate myself from the business and look at myself as an employee so that you can see what company needs. Maintain a strong work-life balance.

– Instead spend 12 hours a day in a business, ask for help or use app to help business. Find a good mentor

– Having a good mentor and guide through my journey. Have a strong mission

– Knowing the purpose guides important decisions you’ll make along the way. Understand the risk

– Calculating, understanding and planning for risk is an important step.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

I would have to say mental health because it is the core of all self betterment, and when we become better versions of ourselves we are able to be there for the planet, the animals and each other. I really value my time in meditation and it helps me remember what is important.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

IG @headspa_en



Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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