JAIME MALAPIT. THE SCISSOR WIZARD.
Text and photo by Nicole Furtado
1. What is your favorite thing about Chinatown?
The small business community we have here, and the way we all support each other.
2. What's the most common haircut?
Long layers are the most common request in any salon. The new look from LA and New York, however, is “done-undone.” It’s very loose, understated, and has a very bohemian and lackadaisical style to it.
3. What's the craziest color you've had to do?
ALL OF THEM ON ONE PERSON. We’re talking gold, pink, and orange, you name it. The application and balance of it was very important.
4. If Chinatown was a haircut, what would it be?
The color would be Oscar the Grouch green, with a shaved-side undercut, and just completely disheveled but fancy at the same time.
5. How has Chinatown changed since you've worked here?
I started working in Chinatown at another salon in 2001 or 2002. You’d see drug deals and prostitution happening out front. Nowadays it’s a lot more polished, yet Chinatown still maintains a sense of creativity, youth, and fun. I see the future of Chinatown being inundated with corporate businesses making it more commercial; us small business owners are going to have to fight for our businesses.
6. Where's your go-to for shopping in Chinatown?
I LOVE Roberta Oaks and she’s a client here at Citizen. I go there for clothing like aloha T’s.
7. What are your customers like?
The idea behind Citizen Salon is that everybody's welcome. We’re located in between downtown and Chinatown, so we get lawyers and other professionals. At the same time, we get to do haircuts like crazy purple hair with a punk rock look. Our mix of clients is vast and diverse.
8. Describe Chinatown in five words or less.
Raw, real, rough, refined, and a little ridiculous.
9. If Chinatown were a drink, what would it be?
It would be spilt on the floor.
10. Where do you like to go out in Chinatown?
I went to Encore Saloon recently and I loved it.