PEOPLE: London based session stylist Ryuta Saiga on how his Tokyo roots influence his work
Coming from a family of hairdressers, Ryuta Saiga was immersed in the craft from a young age. His father, Kenji Saiga, was an integral force in bringing hairdressing brand Toni & Guy to Asia, heading up the Tokyo branch for many years. Meanwhile, his brother, Hide Saiga, is currently the CEO of Toni & Guy Japan.
“In Shibuya and Harajuku, where I grew up, people are very individual and not scared of being different.”
Following his training, Saiga spent three years assisting the renowned South Korean session stylist Shon. It’s an experience he counts as a pivotal moment in his career, igniting his love for session styling over salon work. ”I was very much into only cutting hair until I met Shon, he completely changed the way I thought about hair,” Saiga explains. “I learnt a lot of skills from him, most importantly, how to create work really quickly. Now I always start shoots with a good foundation and hair texture, and as the shoot progresses I try to go with the vibe, pushing my imagination into the hair.”
Citing street style as a constant source of inspiration, Saiga nods to both his current London base and his Tokyo roots. “In Shibuya and Harajuku, where I grew up, people are very individual and not scared of being different,” he says. “In London there is no limit, the street style is constantly changing. I like how things like fashion, hair and make-up come back around, but with a modern edge.
Images: Esther Bellepoque, Nicholas Riley Bentham, Michael Furlonger, Nathan Jenkins, Petrosstudio, William Scarborough, Lucas Suchorab, Callum Toy, Myro Wulff
Words: Alex Mascolo
Special Thanks: Ryuta Saiga