Photo: Via Tokyo Stylez
"I initially joined Instagram because it seemed fun. Back then, I was doing wigs for cancer patients," explains Tokyo Stylez, the self-proclaimed "hair artist" with over 372,000 followers. "I would post them on my account, and...they started getting a lot of attention. People would comment, like, 'Who is this boy with all that hair?'"
Eventually, that became a resounding question in VIP beauty circles: Rihanna and Naomi Campbell's glam teams came knocking, requesting custom-made wigs for shoots and red-carpet events. "The word started traveling so fast," Tokyo says of his rise to fame. "In fact, each and every one of my celebrity clients has come from social media."
But, let's not get it twisted: Tokyo's account is not all about the fabulous women he designs for. This is 100% his show, and that's why he's our go-to 'gram of the moment. Click through to learn more about his work, his signature hair toss, and why we've become so obsessed.
"I was about nine years old when I first got into hair. My mom was away, and my sister and I were living with my father. That was a time for me to step up and take on a bigger role, so I had to learn how to do her hair. As time went on, I got better and better at it, and took a real interest in it. So, I took it to the next level by doing weaves, braids...anything."
"Basically, I'm completely self-taught. I've been doing hair for about 13 years now, and I do all my own custom colors and cuts. Everything you see on my account is all done by me. Whenever I post, I like to pair my look with a song to give off a certain vibe."
"A basic wig with no color would take me two to three hours to make. It gets complicated when it comes to coloring. If it's an exotic shade, like a crazy cotton candy or a tropical, it could take up to nine hours total. I usually divide it into two days — I color and condition one day, then style it the next."
"When I first got on Instagram, it was supposed to be personal. But, I thought it would be fun to show off my wigs! When I decided to start selling them, I couldn't find a model who could work it the way I wanted it to be done — I do a lot of tossing and swinging — so I decided to just do it myself. It gained a lot of attention."
"I just think the hair should always have a mood — each wig has its own identity, and that depends on its style. So, I ask myself, 'Am I feeling sexy in this?' Or, 'Am I about to go party?' Or, 'Is this more of an everyday thing?'"
"Like, for this one, I'm feelin' sexy. It's not too much, you know? But, I'm still here. I'm getting into it."
"See, and this one is low-key. It's like, I gotta hide underneath my bangs and not be seen, because my eyebrows need to be done."
"This way, girls can see how they move before they buy them online. They tend to range in prices, but they could be anywhere from $600 to $5,000, depending on how much work is involved. I tend to use hair by Bella Dream — I've been going to her for quite some time. The colors blend well, and I know it's fine-quality hair that comes in all different textures and lengths."
"Usually, the more expensive pieces involve a lot of coloring. Like, this one here is definitely a party wig. It's about being seen."
"One of my favorites is what I call my Mermaid Wig. It's purple, but there's also a mixture of different blues and greens — but they all blend so nicely. Surprisingly, this one only took me about four hours to make."
"When I got the call to work with Naomi [Campbell], I was nervous at first. But, after we met, she sat me down, made me comfortable, and asked if I was hungry or needed a drink. She was so hospitable! We really just hit it off, and she asked me so many questions about myself. Then, she told me what she wanted, so I created a wig and showed it to her the next day. Everything worked perfectly — she ordered a few more pieces after that. Sometimes, she even comments on my Instagram. She says she's my fairy godmother."
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