A Guide to Japanese Hair Care Products

06 March 2022 by Linh

Japanese women are not only known for their smooth, flawless skin but also for their soft, shiny hair despite constant hair styling. Hair is an important part of our appearance, so Japanese ladies spend as much time taking care of their hair as their skin. If you’re a newbie to J-beauty, you might find yourself getting lost in the Japanese hair care products world as much as in its well-known skincare market.

Well, read on because we’ll take you through a guide to everything you should know about hair care products in Japanese beauty land! 

A woman wearing a blue blouse and cute makeup shakes her head and waves her hair on a pink background.

Image via Shutterstock

Conditioners and Treatments:

Did you know that Japanese shampoo’s main function is cleansing your scalp? So, the use of conditioner or treatment after shampooing is essential in making each hair strand smoother and healthier. 

Tip: Apply treatments or conditioners to your hair, not to your scalp because it can clog the pores, causing other scalp problems.

Hair Creams and Hair Masks

For hair with lots of damage, hair cream will bring a clearer and faster effect in restoring your hair’s condition, as it can penetrate and nourish the hair deeply from within.

Girls who often change their hairstyle with curling, straightening, or dyeing, or are exposed to direct sunlight should also use hair cream for thorough protection and a deep nourishing effect. Unlike hair conditioners or hair treatments, which you can use every time after shampooing for an immediate boost of smoothness and softness, hair cream is best to use once a week for a certain period of time until you can feel the effect.

How to apply:

After shampooing, put a sufficient amount of cream on your hands, rub it, and then apply it evenly to the hair from root to tip. (Some hair masks will for extra attention to your tips.)

A woman applies a hair mask, a popular Japanese hair care product, to her hair in a white bathroom.

Image via Shutterstock

Tips: Depending on the type of hair cream and your hair problems, you can choose which part of the hair to apply it to. For oily hair, you can avoid applying it directly to the hair scalp to prevent over-shininess.

If your hair is thick, you can divide it into smaller sections and use a specialized brush or spatula to make sure the cream absorbs evenly into each strand of hair.

After application, use a warm cotton tower to cover and wrap your hair together. This is to help the nutrients penetrate quickly into the hair and promote the effectiveness. Just leave it for the amount of time in the instructions (usually about 15-20 minutes)

Lastly, rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water until the water is clear and the layers of cream are gone. Don’t use warm water as it can weaken the hair.

A popular hair cream, easily found in any drugstore, is the Fino Premium Touch Hair Mask with royal jelly from Shiseido, one of the must-have Japanese cosmetics brands. You’ll be surprised by how smooth and bouncy the hair is without using a comb the next morning!

No idea which Japanese hair care products are worth a try? Let NoMakeNoLife pick out the best for you! NoMakeNoLife sends the latest Korean and Japanese beauty products to your door, including hair care products, perfect for an at-home salon treatment!

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Hair Tonic or Hair Lotion

Unlike other hair restoration products that focus on improving the problems of the hair, hair tonic is a specialized treatment for the scalp. As the scalp is the foundation of the hair, taking care of the scalp is key to having beautiful and healthy hair.

There are 2 main uses for hair tonic. The first is to stimulate blood circulation under the skin, keeping the scalp healthy to stimulate hair growth, nourish stronger hair, and reduce split ends. Another effect is moisturizing the scalp, reducing scalp dryness, itching, and dandruff.

How to apply:

Evenly apply an appropriate amount onto the scalp daily and use your fingers to massage it until it absorbs fully. Hair tonic is friendly for daily use as well.

A woman applies a hair tonic, a must-have Japanese hair care product, to her scalp among her shiny hair.

Image via Shutterstock 

Hair Mist or Hair Spray

Hair mists are hair care products to nourish and restore the hair’s condition. Most of the Japanese hair sprays or hair mists come in liquid form, contained in a spray bottle so the nutrients can easily adhere to each hair strand.

According to the needs of your hair, there are different hair mist or spray lines to choose from, such as: hairspray to restore and care for damaged hair; hair spray for styling and a glossy finish, scented hair spray as a sort of hair perfume, UV-protection hair spray (Japanese sunscreen for your hair); and more.

How to apply:

Before use, shake well to dissolve the nutrients, then spray an appropriate amount on wet hair. 

Massage and squeeze hair gently so that the essence is absorbed.

You can blow dry or let your hair dry naturally.

Hair Oil or Essences

A woman applies hair oil, a common Japanese hair care product, to her ends as she holds a strand of hair in one hand and pours the oil with the other.

Image via Shutterstock

These hair care products usually have its main ingredients extracted from natural ingredients like camellia (Tsubaki), tangerine oil, apricot oil, argan oil, and other natural oils, making them organic Japanese hair care products that work for the hair and are safe for health.

Compared to other hair care products, essential hair oil especially stands out for its ability to deeply penetrate into the structure of each hair strand to give stable results, having nutrient ingredients, fatty acids to improve hair condition and bring vitality back to your hair.

The main use of hair oil/hair essence is to nourish the hair and improve any hair related problems such as hair loss, thinning hair, damaged hair, … It also helps protect the scalp from environmental factors (direct sunlight, dirt, chemical ingredients in hair styling products, …)  and make the hair healthy from the inside to lessen the effect of dandruff, flaking or oily hair.

Some popular hair oil products in the Japanese market are the Shiseido Tsubaki hair oil (with a shampoo conditioner version for an enhanced effect), Oshima Tsubaki Camellia oil, Utena Yuzu Tangerine hair oil, and more.

How to apply:

After washing your hair, use 1-2 drops on different parts of your hair, rub it with your hands and gently massage so the oil absorbs easily. Let it dry naturally. You can also apply it to dry hair before styling to protect the hair from external heat.

For a scalp massage, put 3-4 drops in the palm of your hand and rub it on the scalp when the hair is dry, massage, and cover it with a warm towel for about 10 minutes.  Then, wash your hair as usual.

Struggling to get shiny, smooth hair, Japanese hair care products are always available to help you out!

Do you have a daily care routine for your hair? Which products do you usually use to keep your hair and scalp healthy? Share with us in the comments below!

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