Mo Murphy is after your head, and this self-described ninja salon owner means it.

"We are ninjas fighting against bad hair!" declares Murphy, owner of Miyagi, her Aveda hair salon in Northeast Minneapolis.

Indeed, tiny toy ninja figures are everywhere in Miyagi, the "dojo for beauty" that Murphy named after the martial arts master in "The Karate Kid."

Miyagi opened in August 2008 in a former butcher shop; the big metal sliding door in the back once led to the meat locker.

To prepare, Murphy, who graduated from the Aveda Institute in 1994, returned for a series of business classes. She didn't anticipate opening just ahead of a nasty recession.

"I have come to see it as a huge blessing," Murphy says. "If you open up your business in the worst economy since the Depression and you make it through that, you can make it through anything."

Murphy, 38, already had done almost everything else in the salon world, having worked as a stylist and colorist, teacher, manager and creative director. She still teaches several times a month and also styles hair for Voltage: Fashion Amplified and other high-fashion events and photo shoots.

Miyagi offers extras like scalp and hand massages and hot towels. One thing you won't need to do is tip. Miyagi may be the only Twin Cities salon with a firm no-tipping policy, says Murphy, who adjusted prices to build in a gratuity.

Three and out with Miyagi’s Mo Murphy

  • Why no tips?

It seemed like a good way to set us apart. It keeps us all focused. We want to give good service because we want to give good service, not to get a tip.

  • What does the ninja theme mean?

Being the best we can, continually learning and fine-turning our craft. We like to have a lot of fun and do good work too. We are not snobby. We are into people that enjoy a salon experience that's a little more laid back.

  • What do you get out of doing Voltage?

I like to have a lot of creative outlets. You can talk to clients about up-and-coming fashions. People love to know their stylists are doing other things, that this is more than just a job.