An established brand since 1991 with multiple locations in California and Guam, Pia Hair Salon opened its new location in Shibuya in April. The people behind Pia Salon have spent decades outside, and wanted to recreate comfortable spaces they found abroad in Japan.

Pia’s concept is “Tools to connect with people,” and the salon aims to provide a place where people from all over the world can gather to meet others, relax, and have a good time. The staff welcome guests to come grab a coffee and chill, even if they aren’t clients.

The idea behind Pia Salon is to be a comfortable hang-out location where people can meet up with friends or make conversation with the friendly stylists. With its easygoing, bilingual staff and selection of English magazines and movies on three TVs, it is ideal for Japanese visitors and foreigners looking for a casual, relaxed place.

The salon is located on a rare quiet street in Shibuya, not far from the bustle of the station. The interior of the salon is wide and spacious, finished in warm wood, with a row of counter seats lining a wall of windows. In this the decor is reminiscent of a café setup, and the resemblance extends further, with Pia Hair Salon offering USB charging ports and free wi-fi. In addition, free spaces around the walls are for clients to put their own mark on the space with chalk drawings and paintings.

The stylists emphasize not rushing their clients, taking the time to give them the exact type of haircut or style they want. Manager and stylist Koichi Nihei jokes that he likes it when customers fall asleep during the session, because it shows they are very comfortable.

When a Metropolis writer went to Pia Hair Salon recently after its opening, she was served cups of hot coffee and given a lengthy consultation on getting highlights with the manager of the salon. During the lengthy styling session, it was evident the stylist was taking the most care in mixing and selecting the best colors and arranging the foils to plan the best possible look, and the writer emerged with completely reimagined, richly streaked new hair.

Pia Hair Salon is especially strong in hair coloring, and notes that one of its most popular styles is the French coloring method “Balayage color,” a freehand coloring technique which mimics an ombre effect with vivid colors. In addition, Pia Hair Salon offers haircuts and full color, perms and Japanese straightening options for both men and women.

The laid-back vibe of Pia Hair Salon makes it stand out among the hundreds of beauty salons in Tokyo.

Yushin Bldg. 1F, 3-27-11 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. Shibuya. 03-3409-1225. Mon–Sat 11am–8pm, Sun 11am–6pm. Closed Tues. piahairsalon.tokyo