It’s time for another beauty post, but I won’t be talking about skincare or makeup. I’m introducing the Japanese products that I use on my natural hair.
Little Kaiju and the demands of working mom life were a big push in helping me make the decision to go natural. Two years later, I’m glad I made this choice. Factor in the fact that my daughter will grow up in a society where she is “different” and that some Japanese schools demand that students color/straighten* their hair, I’ve got to foster her confidence, and that starts with accepting my own hair texture.
*You might find it hard to believe but a lot of Japanese kids are born with brown or dark brown hair and even curly hair, too! Truthfully there are plenty of kids that I’ve met in my teaching career that I thought were mixed, but they’re actually not.
Now, accepting my hair texture is one thing, styling it is a completely different matter! From time to time I experiment with hair oils and shampoos but here are the Japanese products that I use on my natural hair (and little Kaiju, too!)
Oshima Tsubaki Hair Water is what I use to refresh dry curls in the morning. I also use this to add sheen and bring little Kaiju’s curls back to life. It feels much more nourishing than the hair mist by Tsubaki. I had to throw that out after a couple of days because it was doing absolutely nothing for my hair.
ミスジョアンジュ フレグランス ヘアオイル マグノリアブーケの香り
I started using this oil after I got a sample in a Raxy Beauty Box. The aroma is very relaxing and I got so many compliments on it. I can only find it online but shipping just for one item is really wasteful so this is why I switched to…
This is a series of hair oils using different botanical extracts. Le Granature also include “hair milk” (ヘアミルク, which seem to be leave in conditioners) and body lotions. The elegant, princess packaging is so lovely and looks nice on a nightstand or in the bathroom.
The orange, however, is my favorite because it protects the hair from harmful UV rays. Unfortunately it’s only released in the spring. If you see this next year stock up! I certainly will. I could only find it at Plaza (I always try to avoid that place because I always end up walking out with stuff I don’t need, all in the name of earning points…).
TSUBAKI エクストラモイスト シャンプー & コンディショナー
I’ve tried Himawari shampoo and conditioner (love the smell, btw), but I think Tsubaki works better for my hair in retaining moisture. The scent is light and pleasant and doesn’t compete with the scent of other hair products. I use the shampoo as a deep conditioner and then rinse out partly.
ミスジョアンジュ フレグランス ヘアソープ
I use this shampoo on my edges to deep clean and get all the makeup residue out. That might sound weird but since I switched over to Tsubaki shampoo I had this left over and need to make use of it. I also tried the conditioner but it unfortunately dried out my hair. Too bad because I absolutely LOVED the scent combination of the oil, shampoo, and conditioner.
TESCOM 海外対応カールドライヤー BI41K
Every now and then I like to straighten my hair- or straighten it and add curls. Figure that one out. I have a CHI flatiron, but before I even use that, I use this blow dryer brush. Or I just stick with a high volume blow out. It just depends. Anyway, I switched to a hair dryer brush about 7 years ago after noticing that it was what my hairstylist used. I love this dryer brush mainly because the voltage can be adjusted for any country or region (just use a coin, knife edge or flat object to turn the dial on the handle).
However, this fancy pink gold nanocare dryer brush from Panasonic is on my list…but I just can’t bring myself to splurge on it yet… Maybe one day…
That’s all for the Japanese products that I use on my natural hair. You’ll notice that I haven’t included any pomades or styling creams/gels in this post. Unfortunately, that’s because I haven’t found anything comparable. For the moment I rely on products from the US. I’ve got my eye on this Oshima hair cream and will try it soon.
Tips For Finding Japanese Products For Natural Hair
What works for my hair may not work for you, but one thing that naturalistas have in common is that our hair CRAVES moisture!
You’ll notice that almost everything on this list is “tsubaki.” Tsubaki (椿) is the Japanese word for camellia and Camellia oil is one of Japan’s oldest beauty secrets. It’s absorbed quickly by hair (and skin!) so use it on dry hair or damp hair to lock in moisture.
Oshima Tsubaki Oil is made by the same company that makes the hair mist that I use and it’s 100% pure and manufactured in Japan. Oshima, by the way, is one of Tokyo’s islands and is home to Japan’s largest camellia garden. (It’s also a great place to check out hydrangeas as well.)
There’s plenty of camellia oil products here in Japan so definitely try a few to see if it helps with your hair, too!
In addition to camellia oil, when I’m looking for new products to try, I stick to products that have “uruoi” (潤い or うるおい) on the label as they’re formulated to keep hair moisturized.
One more thing I like to look out for is damage repair: “ダメージ 補修” (dame-ji hoshuu).
I’ll definitely be updating this post as I come across more Japanese products suitable for my natural hair.
Discovered any Japanese hair products that work wonders for your natural hair? Please share — I’d love to know!