There's no such thing as a cookie-cutter person, so why are there so many cookie-cutter hairstyles? "Stylists don't always listen to their clients," says celebrity hairdresser Billy Yamaguchi. "They've been telling us for years that they want individual hair." Indeed, Yamaguchi is all ears. For more than a decade the California-based stylist has been practicing the 4,000-year-old Eastern philosophy of feng shui in his salons to customize his clients' hair. His book, Feng Shui Beauty (Sourcebooks, 2004), shows stylists how to individualize the clients' haircuts, color, and makeup application using feng shui placement principles similar to those applied in interior design, architecture, and gardens. "Feng shui beauty completes which haircut should go with which personality, face, or body type," says Yamaguchi. "In feng shui, we can either enhance, harmonize, or balance the client based on the five elements of fire, water, metal, wood, and earth."
Iin touch beauty
Here's how it works: After a consultation, the client fills out a self-assessment form to help determine the element she best embodies and if she needs to enhance (add), harmonize (bring two other elements in), or balance (bring in the opposite) her face shape, eye color, and skintone. "For example, if the person is fire and oval faced, and has brown eyes, skin, and hair, is a vertical body type, then she can handle golden, copper, and auburn hair colors, which with this face shape should always be highlighted at least one-eighth-of-an-inch away from the face," explains Yamaguchi.
With five locations in California—Ventura, La Quinta, San Diego, and Los Angeles—Yamaguchi travels up and down the West Coast, tending to his eponymous salons, where celeb sightings include Jennifer Aniston, Mel Gibson, Phil Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, and Julia Roberts. His in-salon feng shui beauty prices range from $85 to $250.—Michelle Horn