10 Best Japanese Hair Products for Foreign Hair | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

10 Best Japanese Hair Products for Foreign Hair

By Hannah Packard May 10, 2019

Finding It Hard to Find the Best Japanese Hair Products for Your Foreign Hair?

Finding it hard to find the best Japanese hair products for your foreign hair? You’re not the only one. But luckily people in Japan take hair care very seriously and there’s a myriad of options available for those wishing to keep their hair in tip-top shape. Not only that but Japan is constantly revamping standards in hair care products and is known for some of the best hair care products in the world. After Korea, Japan sets the standards quite high for quality and if you find yourself in the land of the rising sun then be sure to stock up on products you find that work well with your hair. In this article, we will cover 10 of the best options you can find, where to find them, and give you prices for each product.

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1. Himawari Oil in Shampoo/Conditioner Rich & Repair

The Himawari Oil in shampoo/ conditioner is enriched with the oil from sunflower seeds. The product helps with damaged hair, to restore it back to its natural shine and soft feel. This product is best used by people who have dry or frizzy hair, who wish to add moisture and bounce. It does not contain any sulfates and is also silicone-free, so it is a much more gentle product, compared to others on the market.

There are mixed reviews when it comes to this shampoo and conditioner. Notably, a lot of people say that the smell of the shampoo is a little bit weak. It does not have any floral or fruity scents that you might associate with other shampoos, but you can also consider the scent as unisex, which makes it a great family product. The shampoo can be great on people who have dry or frizzy hair, but you may want to consider combining conditioner and treatment if your hair is very curly or unruly. As the shampoo does not contain any sulfates or silicone, it may be difficult to lather into foam, and it may seem like it does not clean out your hair well, but it does!

You can buy Himawari Oil shampoo and conditioner on Amazon, your local drugstore as well as Rakuten.

One bottle of shampoo: 860yen~
Refill: 602yen~

2. Loreal Elseve / Loreal Kerastase Resistance

If you are traveling from abroad, or an expat who is homesick for shampoo from home, fear not- Loreal is a household brand that has made its way even to the far islands of Japan. Perhaps, the most common brand of shampoo you will see in Japan is the Loreal Elseve, instead of the Loreal Elvive which seems more common abroad. The shampoo contains keratin and ceramide, which helps to repair your hair without weighing it down or letting it become oily and also strengthening it at the same time, making it more resistant to damage.

Many people say that using Loreal Elseve has helped their hair become stronger, and it leaves your hair feeling silky and soft, even after a few days. I have personally used Loreal Elseve, but my favorite product is Loreal Kerastase Resistance, which is in the form of a hair mask. My hair suffers from dryness, split ends, frizziness and more, so I have started using this treatment twice a week to see if it worked. I left the hair mask on for about twenty minutes, and after rinsing it out and blow drying my hair, I noticed that my hair became significantly straighter, smoother and softer. I recommend this product to anyone who also suffers from dry hair and frizziness.

You can find Loreal products at any drugstore, or buy them off Amazon and Rakuten.

Loreal Elseve Shampoo: 1,880yen~
Loreal Kerastase Resistance: 2,950yen~

3. Aveda

Aveda is another household brand when it comes to hair treatment. It is notably famous for its spa-like scent, and how great it is smoothing down frizzy or damaged hair. This mild and basic shampoo is great because it can be used by all members of the family, from adults to children alike. It can be a great choice when you are unsure of what your hair might need.

Aveda contains multiple essential oils that are designed to help you relax during shower time, as well as help fortify any kind of hair type. It is also a pure and organic shampoo, meaning that it does not contain as many chemicals compared to other products.

Beware though, Aveda is a foreign brand and is quite an expensive product.

You can find Aveda on Amazon or Rakuten.

Shampoo/conditioner: 4780yen~

4. Schwarzkopf Gliss Deep Repair

This shampoo is fortified with keratin to make your hair stronger and more resistant to damage. It is intended for people with very dry and damaged hair for that extra hair lifting boost. If your hair is damaged, but not to the point that it’s dry and brittle, you should probably avoid using this shampoo and conditioner as it could make your hair oily and heavy.

Online reviews state that, although the smell is not as nice as it could be, the product definitely does add volume and shine to those who suffer from damaged hair. Personally, I do not really see this shampoo in stores and I do know that not many Japanese people use this brand, however, you can still buy this product online at Rakuten.

Shampoo/conditioner set: 2800yen~
Conditioner alone: 3349yen~

5. Kao Essential Rich Damage Care Treatment

Kao makes a wide range of products from bars of soap to basic shampoo. One of Kao’s most successful hair products is the Essential Rich Damage Care Treatment. Would you believe it, if I said you could treat your hair in under thirty seconds? Well, Kao boasts that Essential Rich Damage Care Treatment can. The treatment contains a supplement that hair needs to thrive. By coating this onto your hair, it soaks into the core of each hair very quickly, leaving you treated in less than 30 seconds. It smells great and the best thing is, a little goes a long way!

As most hair products go, this treatment is best used on people who have damaged hair and who wish to have their hair silky smooth. It works on even the thickest of hair, due to the hair supplements in the treatment.

You can find this product in any drugstore, Amazon or Rakuten.

Bottle: 553yen~

6. Shiseido Tsubaki Extra Moist Hair Treatments

Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo comes in a very distinctive, eye-catching, red bottle with gold lettering. Since it’s debut, it has been a favourite amongst Japanese women. The shampoo is made from Tsubaki oils or oils from the camellia flower. These flowers are rich in oleic and linoleic acids, which help boost skin and hair.

This shampoo is great for people with dry and flat hair, who wish to add a little volume and silkiness. In order for this product to work at its maximum potential, it is recommended that you use both the shampoo and conditioner as a set for the ultimate silky hair feel. The shampoo smells very nice, with floral tones and essential oils, lathering up nicely. Having used this shampoo myself for many years, I can attest to the fact that it improves hair shine and that the shampoo smell lasts for a long time. Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo did not leave my hair feeling greasy or oily, unlike other shampoos that use extra oils to revitalize dry or damaged hair.

The great part of Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo is that it’s very affordable and you can find it anywhere, from your local drugstore, supermarkets and of course, online at Amazon or Rakuten.

Shampoo: 831yen~
Conditioner: 831yen~
Refill bag: 529yen~

7. Saborino Quick Hair Dry Spray

Saborino comes from the word lazy or saboru in Japanese. The name of the brand gives a good idea as to when the product should be used. Saborino Quick Hair Dry Spray is great for girls who have long hair, who are looking for a way to reduce the time it takes to blow dry their hair. The way to use the product is that you first towel dry your hair after getting out of the shower. After towel drying, apply the spray evenly, this should help your hair dry a little bit more quickly than usual. The best part is, this spray does not leave residue and it doesn’t dry out or damage your hair in the process!

Wondering how the product works? The quick-drying spray is activated when it reacts to heat – making sure to dry your hair in double time by getting rid of the excess water. The spray itself contains sweet almond, apricot, peppermint, and orange peel oils to help maintain your hair’s shininess while at the same time giving you a refreshing feel as you finish up your shower routine.

You can find this product online at Rakuten and some of Don Quixotes around Japan.

Bottle: 1300yen~

8. Shiseido AQUAIR Shampoo and Conditioner Hair Pack Set

Again, it is no surprise to find Shiseido on this list. Shiseido has worked hard within the beauty industry in Japan to become one of the most known beauty products, from expensive professional salon products to very affordable products like the Tsubaki shampoo, introduced on this list.

The Shiseido AQUAIR Shampoo and Conditioner set is great for people whose hair suffers from being dry, brittle, damaged from overtreatment (heat styling and dyeing) as well as sun damage. The shampoo and conditioner contains plenty of essential oils and plant essences that helps to revitalise and nourish your hair and the skin of your scalp. The full effect is achieved by coating each strand of hair in a microscopic layer, that helps to lock in any nutrients that your hair is missing, to help repair the damage. For best results, it is recommended to leave the shampoo in for at least ten minutes.

You can find this product on Amazon or Rakuten.

Shampoo/conditioner set: 2700yen~
Refill bag: 1599yen~

9. Funori (Japanese Seaweed Hair Treatments)

Funori is the ultimate hair product that Japan has produced so far. This all natural hair cleanser and conditioner contains three types of seaweed, Fukuro-Funori (jelly moss), Ma-Kombu, and Mekabu. Each type of seaweed contains a unique blend of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help to restore your hair to its full potential.

This hair product can be used on all hair types to all sorts of benefits. It will restore the natural shininess of your hair, it has the effect of making coarse hair turn softer, it helps with hair that has been damaged by overtreatment through the hair bleaching processes as well as adding volume to hair that is flat.

Funori can be used on its own, or you can mix it into your shampoo to help wash and add special treatment during your shower routine.

You can buy Funori from Amazon or Rakuten.

Price: 3000yen~

Out of the Top 10 Best Japanese Hair Products, Which Will You Try First?

There you have it! With the wide range of products available, you will be able to continue your hair treatment even if you are traveling through Japan or if you are here for the long haul. This list is a blend of foreign and Japanese products, but you will be able to find all of them here in Japan or order them online at your convenience. Please note that the prices can change depending on the store or carrier. Go forth and set yourself free for summer, these products will be here to support you and your hair through your journeys and adventures! What’s your favorite hair product in Japan? Let us know in the comments below!