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Meet Kana Ishii of Hair by Kana in Beverly Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kana Ishii.

Kana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am originally from Tokyo, Japan. After working as a hairstylist for a few years in Tokyo, I came to Los Angeles to do a short-term study abroad program, and totally fell in love with Southern California weather and culture! This experience inspired me to get a cosmetology license of California state and ever since then, I have been working at a local hair salon. I currently work at a hair salon in Beverly hills and have over 400 local clients and also work as a freelance hairstylist /make-up artist in Los Angeles area.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Since I have moved to United States, there were times when I struggled with language barrier or tried adapting myself to totally different culture and environment from my hometown, especially with my career, I would say I had to put more effort to do hair and communicate with my clients, but nothing good comes out of being negative, so I only focused on positive things. Plus, I think there are many places you can go in LA that help you switch your mood. Almost every day, the sky is clear and blue in LA. Just looking up to the sky makes me feel like whatever bothering me is so small!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Hair by Kana – what should we know?
I currently work at hair salon in Beverly Hills as a hairstylist and also work as a freelance hairstylist and make-up artist.

I do hair and make- up for weddings, photoshoots and also volunteers to do hair for a non-profit organization.

At the salon, I specialize in Hair Color, such as Balayage, Ombre and lots of Color corrections. Most my new clients contact me through my Instagram page @hairbykana. I am currently working at Lukaro salon in Beverly Hills and love the place and co-workers so much!

In 2013, I won a prize at the biggest hair expo in Los Angeles called International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE) and in the same year, I was awarded another prize at Premier Orland a Hair Expo in Florida.

Since I have an experience as a hair stylist and make-up artist with both Japan and here, I could also have opportunity to work for big name in Japan when they come to the states for photoshoots such as Marc by Marc Jacobs Japan or ELLE magazine Japan!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Whether you make it happen or not. I think all the successful people started accomplishing things anybody could accomplish at first. It’s important to ‘just try’ and I believe that’s what separates people. Like I just moved to Los Angeles by myself from Tokyo, I studied another language, English, I got a Cosmetology License and I just try working hard every day. Also, there are pros and cons for everything. But whichever side you focus on could drastically change the result.

Since I graduated from a beauty school and started working, I genuinely love all the work I have ever put my hands on. I am so lucky to do what I am passionate about and get paid for it!

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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