Owner / Hair Artist at Katsu Hair in Moorpark
“You have beautiful hair, I just help you realize it!”
Katsu is an experienced Hair artist originally from Japan.
He has many Beverly Hills celebrity clients and he is bringing the latest hairstyles from Beverly Hills to Moorpark.
When Katsu saw the 1975 American film “Shampoo” for the first time, his life was forever changed.
Katsu was working full-time as an electrical engineer in his hometown of Fukuoka, Japan, and just happened to come across the movie one night after work in the early 1990s.
“I thought, this guy’s so cool,” he said, referring to George Roundy, the Beverly Hills hairdresser played by Warren Beatty in the romantic comedy. “I want to be just like him.”
Inspired and determined, Katsu decided at that moment he would change his career path.
He immediately began focusing his efforts on becoming a hair stylist, with the ultimate dream of doing hair for celebrities in Beverly Hills, just like his movie mentor. In 1996, Katsu came to America for the first time to study English at Oklahoma City University.
But these days, Katsu is living his version of the American dream. Not only has he been a hairdresser at Juan Juan Salon in Beverly Hills for the last 12 years, he is also the owner of Katsu Hair in Moorpark
“I’m still learning a lot,” the Moorpark resident said. “Having your own business is totally different than just working for somebody. But the challenge is good. I like it. That’s why I still keep doing it.”
Even though Katsu’s goal was to work in Beverly Hills, he decided to start in Oklahoma 16 years ago because he thought it would help him stay focused. “There are not many Japanese people there,” he said. “There is not much entertainment over there either, so I could concentrate on my studies. That’s what I thought, and why I chose Oklahoma City.”
After one year of taking intensive English language courses, Katsu made the jump to California and started attending Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica. Although he completed the 10-month course and earned his license from the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, Katsu returned to Japan in 1998 to work as an apprentice at a salon in Tokyo.
He said he wanted to learn the “Japanese way” of styling hair, in order to expand his skill set and become more competitive in the American market. “I know the advantage,” he said, of having a unique style in the United States.
Making his mark
After four years of honing his skills in Japan, Katsu came to America in 2002 for the second time, determined as ever to make his mark in Beverly Hills. “I just opened up a phone book and called hundreds of hair salons, to ask if they’re hiring,” Katsu said. “Juan Juan Salon— that’s the one—they gave me a chance to work there.”
He was a full-time stylist at the salon for five years when one of his regular clients—a woman from Moorpark—encouraged him to open his own place. Having developed a friendship with the woman, Katsu had talked to her about Oklahoma City and how it reminded him of the farm community he grew up in back in Fukuoka.
“She kept telling me, ‘Moorpark is like Oklahoma City— quiet,’” Katsu said. “So after I visited here, in Moorpark, I thought, yes—this is a nice place.” After opening Katsu Hair, the stylist moved to Moorpark and reduced his work at Juan Juan Salon to one day per week. His goal now, besides continuing the success of his business, is to be a mentor for aspiring stylists.
“I want to make a bridge between Japan and the United States and educate young people,” Katsu said. “I want to put my culture out there. I want to help, not only in this country, but the young ones in Japan who want to do hair—help them come here.”
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A HAIRDRESSER?
About 20 years
WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME A HAIRDRESSER?
When Katsu saw the 1975 American film “Shampoo” for the first time, his life was forever changed. “I thought, this guy’s so cool,” he said, referring to George Roundy, the Beverly Hills hairdresser played by Warren Beatty in the romantic comedy. “I want to be just like him.” Inspired and determined, Katsu decided at that moment he would change his career path.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HAIR DO OF ALL TIME?
Short hair styles