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ot long ago hipster guys in Los Angeles could either throw down big bucks at a high-end salon for a styling do or spend $10 at the local Greatcutz and brave a stylist with the fashion sense of a
Flowbee vac-cut technician. Mercifully for the young and trendy, the “street” styles of a multiethnic megalopolis have been mingling with the taste-making influences of the music, film and television industries like nowhere else in the world, and a new generation of salons has emerged.
From Venice to the Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park Fertile crescent of cool and beyond, L.A. is buzzing with curve-setting hipster salons and barbershops for guys. Like Target, some bring designer chic to the masses at prices anyone can afford. Just as teenagers use the local Hot Topic as a coolness barometer that keeps them equipped with just the right wristbands and dog collars, hipster guys turn to these salons for the cutting edge.
Somewhat perplexingly, the shaggy ‘70s man’ do with eyebrow-brushing bangs, a collar-tickling back and lots of razor-cut, bed-head texture that actor Ashton Kutcher sported for years has become a hipster hair touchstone. Although no hipster in his right mind would acknowledge Kutcher-the man who single-handedly destroyed the beloved hipster trucker-cap trend-as the hair icon nonpareil of his age that is exactly what he has become. It’s a phenomenon that has nothing to do with hipsters loving Kutcher and everything to do with loving the’70s. This summer Kutcher chopped his magical looks in favor of a tight, clean, short look, but his old cut still looms large in hipster land, and the phrase “Kutcher cut” serves as shorthand for his former do.
But just how is a hipster hairstyle born?
Choki Choki

A bookcase at TAKA HAIR SALON on Sawtelle boulevard is crammed with Japanes street fashion magazines such as Choki Choki, a publication that borrows its onomatopoetic name from the sound a pair of scissors makes as it cuts hair. A display case in front is filled with Knotty Boy Dread Wax with hempseed oil for the many Asian men who do dreadlocks and Afros, says Naoko Tamada, Taka’s owner and a stylist whose short hair boasts a single braided extension. On a bulletin board nest to a row of Day-Glo braid extensions, Polaroids of white guys with multicolored mohawks are interspersed with pictures of Japanese guys in dreads.
That pan-hipster phenomenon, the Kutcher shag, is big here too. Taka Tamata, 28, an androgynous rocker with tattoo-covered arms, is getting a modified Kutcher, while his band mate, Ari Baron is proof of that hipster cross-pollination. “These guys put me in dreadlocks when I had long hair,” he says. “And it would get in my soup.”

Taka Hair Salon / 2010 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025 / 310-575-6819 / www.takahair.com