Japanese-style grooming has risen in popularity across the world in the last decade. With a focus on the general “cuteness” of the animal, and not on breed-standard grooming, groomers who use the Japanese technique create unique designs that rely on advanced scissoring techniques and pet-safe hair dyes.
We spoke to Kuniko Hara, the owner of Pink Pucci Grooming Salon in Torrance, CA, about how she and her employees use this creative dog grooming technique in their salon.
PetEdge: How long have you been offering Japanese Dog Grooming at your shop?
Pink Pucci: Our business opened in March of 2008 in Torrance California, so we’ve been offering Japanese dog grooming for a little over three years.
PE: What makes Japanese Dog Grooming different from regular grooming?
PP: Groomers in Japan tend to emphasize "cuteness" over breed-specific styling, and seem to be more open to really creative cuts. We like to emphasize the eyes and shape the body and legs to enhance and maximize cuteness. Most of our work is done by hand scissoring.
PE: How many customers per day choose this type of grooming?
PP: Customers generally didn't choose to have Japanese cuts at first. Our type of creative grooming was included in the original full grooming service, so everyone was getting a Japanese-style cut.
As time went on, we became known for our cuts as they stood out from the competition in the area.
Now we get specific requests for Japanese-style cuts and coloring every day. Customers usually refer to one of the dogs on our blog, or look through the Japanese grooming magazines that we keep on the counter. We get a few requests each week for a full creative cut including color.
PE: Is it more time-consuming than other kinds of grooming?
PP: Yes. The hand scissoring and detail work can take a lot of time. We also offer creative coloring, which can add more time as well. We average 1.5 to 2 hours for small breeds for a shampoo and creative cut, and up to 3 hours or more for larger breeds or those that require more services.
PE: Is there a different cost for this style of grooming?
PP: Shampoo and Japanese-style creative cuts are included in our general pricing. Coloring and special requests are extra.
PE: Have you ever entered a dog into a creative grooming competition? If so, which one?
PP: No, not yet. We did put a Maltipoo makeover video on YouTube, which has proved to be popular.
PE: Did you have to go through any special schooling/training for this style of grooming?
PP: I learned the basics at 4Dogs Grooming in Torrance, CA and also continue to study new styles that are being developed in Japan by studying Japanese grooming books and visiting groomers in Japan.
PE: What are some challenges you face when grooming?
PP: Some of the clients do not understand how much time goes into the cuts, so they are surprised at the 2 to 3 hour wait times.
Pink Pucci Dog Grooming Pet Spa (http://pinkpuccidoggrooming.com/) is located in Torrance, California. This full-service grooming salon is a leader in Japanese dog grooming in the United States.
PetEdge offers a wide variety of pet hair dye gels, hair dye accessories, stencils and kits to get you started on Japanese grooming. All of our products are completely non-toxic and pet safe for dogs over 12 weeks old.