An Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Stylist Celebration

Happy May! In honor of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re celebrating the artistry of our professional community. We hope you enjoy the inspiring story of Yukiko Taylor, owner of OlyCurl hair salon in Olympia Washington.

It’s Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month! Tell us about yourself

I am half Japanese, half American. I was raised by my Japanese mother and American father, who was a service member in the Air Force. In high school, I became interested in cosmetology when I found out a friend was able to go to beauty school during high school. She showed me her book and head sheets and I was so intrigued!

I forgot about this dream until I was married with a small family. At that time, I began to worry about how I might support myself and my daughter if something happened to my husband. Feeling I needed a profession to fall back on, I enrolled in cosmetology school at the age of 21.

I worked part time for many years as I tag-teamed with my husband; when he got home from work at 5pm, I left for the hair salon. I sought out advanced education relating to curls and it was then that I began to specialize in natural curls. My business exploded. There were so many people in the Pacific Northwest that needed my help. I found my calling.


We are all a part of the human race and “hair love” has allowed me to reconnect with that. It is an honor and privilege to hear clients’ stories and share life with them.

Not only does this profession allow me the platform for helping with healing hearts and self esteem (many curly kids are bullied in school, and adults and teens carry those scars into their first appointment with us), I am also able to have discussions over the need for clean beauty products. Many people do not consider all the toxins they are introducing into their bodies, and I am able to help guide them into a cleaner, toxin-free regimen.

Does your Asian American heritage influence your artistry? 

When I was in grade school, my friends and I would sit and braid each others’ hair and I was surprised how everyone’s texture was different. I have mixed-coarse Asian hair (which doesn’t always mean straight), and I really enjoyed feeling the smooth softness of my Caucasian friends’ hair and the fun highly tactile feeling of my Black friends’ hair. The military community is very diverse. I grew up alongside and hung out with many different kinds of people. Landing in Olympia, Washington as a young adult was somewhat jarring for me, as it is a very non-diverse community. There was a hole in my life and I missed that diversity.

As I expanded my expertise with curly hair, I began to see more people of color: Asian, Latino, Native, Black, Indian. I felt like this was God giving me back the diversity that I so missed! Working behind the chair with clients allows me relationships and conversations with “my people” again!


How does that experience parlay into the OlyCurl “experience?”

Growing up on military installations in Japan, my mom always took us to get our hair done off base. My Japanese was never fully fluent so my mom would relay to the stylist what I wanted. I always loved how I looked when I left the salon, but never had the tools or knowledge to replicate the style at home. So once I became a stylist I would always share with the client how to style their hair. Nothing is worse than looking amazing the one day you get your hair done and *poof,* the next day you are back to being Cinderella with your “basic” hair again.

This really paved the way for the customized hair appointments we provide at OlyCurl. Our clients always leave with take-home written instructions for their hair care regimen that includes what we used, how much we used, and how we used it.


What’s your go-to Innersense Organic Beauty hair care routine?

Color Awakening Hairbath for my scalp care, coupled with Hydrating Cream Conditioner for my hair. My hair mixture of coarse and silky just loves the structure that conditioner provides. I Create Volume gives me a lot of shine and definition, while I Create Hold brings it all together for me. I Create Waves Salt Spray gives me that extra beachy body when I want a more fun and playful look! I like to use it on my dry hair, spritz as I lift and shake my hair, then hit it for about 10 seconds with the diffuser. Bada bing, bada boom, instant volume and oomph!


Anything else you’d like to share as we celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month? 

In a way, hair can be a puzzle to be figured out; what to use, how to use it, and how it all goes together to compliment someone’s face. These are all things I enjoy studying and passing on to our clients and stylists at OlyCurl hair salon.

We Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Hairdressers During May And Beyond

“Hair love” comes in so many different forms, each perfectly unique and accompanied by a personal journey. We’re thrilled to share Yukiko’s story and invite you to continue celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with us by following her on Instagram and amplifying her hair artistry.

We’d love to hear your hair love story and how you’re celebrating  Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May and beyond, below.

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