– Reviews –

A couple of years ago I was told that I should visit this salon by a friend after being made fun of for my less than impressive haircuts at other salons. I was a bit reluctant at first as the price was higher but now I realize it’s completely worth it so that I look clean and proper :).

As soon as I walked in I knew I made the right choice. The employees here are so friendly that I often feel like I’m being rude (and I’m usually a nice guy!!). They are all Japanese and are extremely polite. They offer to take your coat and in my experience they are never running late. Theres also free parking across the street (ask them for a park pass).

My friend recommended me to see Takeshi and I have been so satisfied with my cuts that I haven’t changed stylists since I started coming here. The other stylists are also very good too but i have only seen Takeshi so far (and why change a good thing?). The other stylists are trained by him though and I have seen some awesome cuts from them as well. I have recommended my roommate and other friends who visit me from out of town to see Takeshi and everybody has been completely satisfied with his haircuts and his attention to details.

Now these guys take details very seriously as my haircuts normally take an hour whereas at other salons it took 15 minutes max. They begin by giving you a scalp massage Under a heated pillow which feels pretty neat. Then they cut your hair while it’s wet so that they can acquire the proper shape. Afterwards they rinse all the bits of hair out again and then dry it. Now normally you’d think they’d be done but then they spend an extra 20-30 minutes texturizing and cutting more details while your hair is dry. The end result is that it looks great and then it’s very easy to style. He explains how you style the hair so that you can do it yourself when you get home.

I’ve never had a bad experience here and have always left completely satisfied. I highly recommend AOI!    – Justin L.

I’ve been going to AOI since 2004, and I will never ever leave as long as Takeshi is there. Prior to Takeshi, I had my cuts done by Kensei who has since returned to Japan. I have referred several of my friends to AOI and all of them have been pleased with the results, and all but one are still returning clients. I lived in Halifax for 2 years and would leave my hair unkempt until I could get back to Takeshi (which was like, every 4 months, but it took effort to make sure I got in with him at every Vancouver visit). I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. 2 notes:
1) I once attempted to get a perm with them. My hair doesn’t generally take well to curling and the perm was super duper unsuccessful. This was so long ago that I can’t remember what they did to remedy the situation since I had paid a decent amount of money for nonexistent results, with no fault on anyone’s part, but I do remember being impressed with the efforts they went to in offering other services in lieu of that. (They had offered hair colouring, which I considered but ultimately didn’t do)
2) I’m one of those AWFUL clients who don’t know what I want and just ask the hairstylist to do what they think will look good, and then grumble about it when it’s not what I want. Takeshi does the perfect amount of asking and taking initiative for me and has great judgment about that kind of thing.    – Stephanie W.

I need to start off by saying that i am VERY picky when it comes to my hair, because it is something everyone sees right away when they look at you..as it is on ur head and very prominent..
I think I’m probably one of those customers that hairdressers will see in their appointment book and then take deep breaths to calm themselves down about needing to work on me that day =P

With that said, Aoi is my hair salon of choice after trying out a few different places, and I have NEVER had a bad experience here (which is saying a lot because I am the girl who cries if I don’t like my hair cut. Ya i know, I’m really mature.)

Pricing at Aoi is tiered based on the hairdresser’s experience, starting at $40 for least experienced and up to $50 (if i remember correctly) for most experienced master hairdresser (this would be Takeshi).
I must say that regardless of experience, service is SUPERB. Everyone is very polite and professional, and even the less experienced hairdressers have done an awesome job. They always wash ur hair first and you get a really nice scalp massage with it. All the hairdressers take the time to communicate and work out what you would like to have done, showing you pictures so you can get a better idea before they start. If you aren’t pleased with your haircut after you can go back and they’ll fix it up for you free of charge (though I’ve never had to do that because I’ve always loved everything they’ve done for me)

I’ve had three different hairdressers: Mai, Naoki and Takeshi

Mai was the first person I’ve ever had at Aoi, and I would have gone back to her again but she went on vacation (I’m not sure if she’s still there at the moment) but she is very gentle with her cuts.

Naoki is just an awesome person. So chatty and fun to talk to if you like talking while you get your hair done, super friendly and very professional. I was a bit iffy at first because he was a new face at Aoi but I wasn’t disappointed at all, he gave me exactly what I wanted and haircuts from him are a bit cheaper because he’s less experienced.

Takeshi is the manager of the place and the grand master hairdresser (i’m not sure if this is his actual title or if i’m just making this up in my head, but he is the highest level of hairdressers) I got my hair done by Takeshi last time and boy it was worth every penny. He suggested that I try straight across bangs which was something I’ve never done before and I was really hesitant cuz I was worried I’d have to shave my head if it didnt turn out well. I ended up loving it SO much I’ve decided to keep my hair in this style for the next little while.

All in all, Aoi is definitely a great place to get your hair done. The staff are all Japanese and may not be perfectly fluent in english but it is good enough to communicate what you want and I’ve never had a problem with them in that sense. I’ve recommended this place to all my friends and I’d definitely recommend it to all you yelpers out there. =D    –  Erica J

I’ve been going to AOI for a few years now, and have absolutely no complaints. The service is great, and the staff are very nice, polite and respectful. And above all, they are very skilled at cutting hair. Their haircuts are so good, I don’t have to get haircuts as often as I used to at other places. Unlike other cheap salons that use electric hair clippers for half the haircut, AOI’s stylists are masters at cutting with scissors and are also great at styling hair. All their stylists are professionally trained and it definitely shows!     Howard P

I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results. Highly recommended!!       -Yulia N

AOI is a great hair salon, their stylists are trained in Japan and are always up to date with the technique. 
I went there for a hair cut, japanese hair straightening and dyed hair with henna – I was more than satisfied with the results. I’ve always had a great experience for a haircut from Takeshi at AOI. They have a great atmosphere inside, all staff are very polite and friendly and  the service is well worth the price      – C  Brown

★ I’ve always had a great experience at AOI .. Warm professional people that fuel each other as professional beauty experts as well as to make AOI salon my award for the place to go for great hair service. Ask about parking. Just tell them when you make your appointment. (its across the street).          – Chris J

I learned about AOI when I was looking for `the best Japanese hair straightening in Vancouver’, and the job they did lived up to the expectations – their staff is trained in Japan and they import the best chemicals for straightening. That was the first time I visited a Japanese hair salon and after that I only get hair cuts from Japanese hair stylists. AOI is definitely one of the best hair salons I visited in Vancouver. I would definitely recommend it: they use quality products, keep their technique up to date, are very polite and give an overall great service for the price.      – Jenny   S

★  Hair-cutting doesn’t get better other than this experience at AOI. The salon itself is pleasant to be in, located conveniently, the staff is friendly and meticulous.  I highly recommend.       – Margaret M

こんにちは。 私はバンクーバーにあるラウンジで働いているAkiraと申します。 私がAOI Beauty Studioに通い続けている理由は、各スタッフが安心してヘアーカットを任せられる技術を有していることはもちろん、彼らが一丸となってかもし出す温かい雰囲気を店内で感じることが出来るからです。 私はほぼ一ヶ月に一度くらいの割合で利用させて頂いているのですが、訪れる度に皆さんの温かい挨拶と笑顔が私を心地よい気分にさせてくれます。

これからもAOI Beauty Studioがある限りはお伺いしたいと思っておりますので今後ともどうぞ宜しくお願いします。 また新しいイベント等がありましたらお声お掛け下さいね。 楽しみにしています。   -アキラ

My name is Akira. I work at a Lounge in Vancouver. I frequent AOI Beauty Studio not only because of the dependable and skilled staff, but also because there’s a good, warm vibe all throughout the store. I visit roughly once a month. You always greet me with pleasant smiles and make me happy. I’ll be sure to go to AOI Beauty Studio so long as it’s there. Keep me posted on new events. I’m looking forward to it. -AKIRA

I have never dreamt that I would have a normal clean face. My skin has always been a problem since puberty. I have oily skin and I have very large visible pores due to acne in the early years of my life. I am very glad that I have the microdermabrasion and photofacial treatments at AOI. After 3 treatments I have notice a great improvement in my skin. There is an instant grow in my skin. The redness around the cheeks, nose area has subsided. The years of acne scars and large skin pores are less visible. I even notice that I only have to apply foundation sparingly and my skin tone is even and doesn’t have the patchiness and redness. I can actually leave the house without foundation, just a lip gross to complete the look if I am in a hurry. Why AOI as there are many other places offering the same facial treatments? I have tried out other spas on a one off basis but was never a repeated customer as I found they are very superficial.

As they all are very commercial, pricey and the service is intimidating. I love the services provided by AOI. The treatment room at AOI makes me feel like home and with the very reasonable price you get exceptional service. It is the staff gentleness, kindness and warmness that draw me back to AOI, and they treat everyone like royalty!     – Josephine

I’ve had great experiences at this place.  I now get my regular haircuts here.  I would have come more often,  once a month instead of once in two months, but the haircuts they make are so good that do not require much upkeep.  I have a very busy lifestyle, sometimes I don’t even comb my hair because I’m running late in the morning, but my AOI haircut remains immaculate even then.  Sometimes I don’t have time to wash my hair in three-four days – the AOI haircut looks just as great.  I wear a hat and a toque sometimes: when I take them off, my hair falls by itself into the pretty haircut the AOI designed on the day I got the haircut.  My appearance often fails me, because it’s life, and there are rainy day, and windy days, and busy days, and depressed days, but there’s never a bad hair day.   You can hide a hole in your socks, a dirty underwear and cuffs of your shirt, you can hide that you cheat on your school tests, but your haircut you cannot hide.  And if it’s a bad haircut, it embarrasses you every day.  And if it’s great, it makes you feel great about yourself every day.  How much is it worth, two months of being in love with how you look?  An hour of a psychological counseling is $250 and it’s nowhere nearly as efficient as a good hairstylist.

It’s very, very difficult to find a hairstylist who CAN CUT HAIR.  Sometimes when I’m in a crowded place like a skytrain or a bus or a busy restaurant or in the street waiting for the red traffic light to change, I look at other people’s hair wanting to see if anyone has a better haircut than me.  Everyone’s hair belongs to one of the three categories: there has been no haircut in the last umpteenth years; a bad haircut; and an awesome haircut.  It’s only once or twice a week that I’ll see someone with an awesome haircut, and even then it wouldn’t be better than mine.  I’m actually sure that I would recognize by eye if someone had a haircut done by my hairstylist.  He does layering in this special way, which allows for that lasting effect of a perfect haircut week after week without combing hair.  I just run my fingers through my hair once a day and that’s the upkeep my haircut needs to look great.  When you find a hairstylist who can cut hair this way, you wouldn’t care what language they speak.  Plus it’s not like you are going to a conference in organic chemistry to discuss the future of local salmon farming.  There are plenty of places in this city where hairstylists speak English fluently – and cannot cut hair.  If you want to be charged $60 for a nice chat in English, go there, enjoy the conversation.  When I want to have a comfortable chat over the phone, I phone my mother.  When I want a haircut that makes me look gorgeous and collect compliments day after day, I phone AOI.  They are Japanese, yes!  They cut my hair perfectly,  yes!

I did hair coloring once or twice here, too.  I was advised by the stylist that darker shade I originally wanted would not look nice on me because of my overall looks.  I was offered a lighter shade that ended up looking fantastic.  Later on, when I wanted to keep coloring my hair, the hairstylist advised against it because it would damage my hair.  Coloring is three times as expensive as a haircut – but this does not push hairstylists at this salon into extracting the fees from you under the shield of “A customer is always right” crap.  Being a hairstylist is a profession, and just because you have hair and can hold a pair of scissors, does not mean you know all there is to know.  At AOI, they are honest.

I know they specialize in hair straightening, but I did not have it myself, so I have nothing to say about that.

One last thing: the way they wash and massage your hair at the beginning of a visit is heaven.  My mother was for a visit in the city once and she went to AOI.  Later on she said that the thing she remembers most vividly from her visit to Vancouver is the hair wash at AOI.  They put a hot towel under the back of your neck and do a scalp massage, and those skin sensations you get at the time are worth living for.     – Margaret

– Reviews –