Did you know that proper hair care consists of more than the basic shampoo and conditioner? From hair masks to deep treatment formulas, Japanese beauty brands seem to have the perfect recipe for concocting products with the most fundamental and gentle ingredients. For this reason, many experts and beauty lovers swear by the effectiveness of Japanese hair treatments in restoring your hair’s health and shine.
Thanks to research and advances in technology, Japanese salon treatments can now be mimicked in the comfort of your home down to a T! If you’d like to give your hair some TLC, read on as we’ve compiled a list of the best at-home Japanese hair treatments guaranteed to give you those commercial-worthy tresses.
Japanese hair treatments: Shampoos
Let’s head back to the basics, shall we? Shampoos mainly function to remove dirt and oil buildup from your scalp. But depending on your hair type, not just any ordinary shampoo will do, and this next consideration, though very important, is commonly forgotten. When choosing a shampoo, it’s important to consider the condition of your hair and match your concerns with targeted ingredients.
For example, those rocking a fresh dye job should look out for a shampoo which strengthens while preserving its new colour. Avoid ingredients like sulfates, which could potentially irritate your scalp, trigger allergic reactions or eczema, and cause flat and heavy hair. So, research is key! With that being said, here are some brilliant Japanese shampoo brands for all hair types.
1. Tsubaki Moist Shampoo (for all hair types)
Tsubaki’s Moist Shampoo has rightfully earned its spot on the haircare hall of fame. Experts at Shiseido pride themselves in the Innovative Permeation Technology used to create such a hydrating product that delivers salon-quality results.
Richly infused with oleic and linoleic acids from Tsubaki flower extracts as well as Shiseido’s signature oils, this shampoo nourishes your locks, restoring its silky texture while providing added volume as you cleanse. Safe to say, the Tsubaki Moist Shampoo is perfect for healthy to severely damaged hair.
Shiseido’s Tsubaki Moist Shampoo is available online at Watsons for SGD14.90 (450ml).
2. Shiseido Super Mild Shampoo (for sensitive scalps)
Want some of that Shiseido goodness but have a sensitive scalp or dandruff issues? Fret not, because the beauty powerhouse has a gentler range of shampoos that vow to nourish, moisten, and detangle troubled hair. While its Super Mild Shampoo is milder than your usual formula, it still provides that bubbly lathering effect without stripping your hair of its natural oils.
Also present in the mix are vitamin E and Protection AMT, which boost protection and nutrient retention. Those who prefer a fragrance-free shampoo can try out this product as its light formula boasts an almost scentless finish – even in the Green Flowers and Herbal Flowers versions.
3. Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo (for coloured hair)
If you have colour-treated hair and are struggling with the consequent brittle ends, Keratin Complex has come up with a viable solution for you. Its Color Care Shampoo is free of sulfates and sodium chloride, which are known oil-stripping aggressors that cause unwanted frizz and damage.
Jam-packed with Special Keratin, wheat and soy proteins, its mild formula shields against heat and the fading effects of shampoo – both of which threaten to diminish the vibrance of your coloured hair. Cleanse your tresses while keeping your colour treatment for as long as possible with this multi-tasking shampoo.
Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo retails on Lazada for SGD45.98 (400ml).
4. Himawari Dear Beaute Oil In Shampoo (for frizzy hair)
This Japanese bestseller impressively tames stubborn and unruly hair, all thanks to its generous combination of premium sunflower extracts. Its silicone-free and sulfate-free recipe focuses on repairing damaged hair, rebalancing its texture, and improving its manageability.
Topped with a delightful foamy lather, this shampoo cleanses with a silky finish, leaving your hair smooth and manageable for hours on end. It even has a sunny floral scent that lingers.
Available online at Zalora for SGD19.90 (500ml).
5. NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Volume Shampoo (for limp hair)
Reward your hair with some much-needed volume with NatureLab’s Tokyo Perfect Volume Shampoo. It harnesses the vegan prowess of apple stem cells and plant proteins from rice and soy to prevent breakages that lead to flat, lifeless hair.
Paired with its matching conditioner, this sakura-scented shampoo works wonders as both a cleaning and volume-enhancing agent. It is also sakura-scented and free of sulfates, parabens, and other harmful pollutants. In other words, all hair types are welcomed to give this one a go.
NatureLab’s Tokyo Perfect Haircare Volume Shampoo retails on Amazon for SGD19.27.
6. Moist Diane Extra Damage Repair Shampoo (for damaged hair)
You can call upon this shampoo for troubled hair that needs saving ASAP. Moist Diane is renowned for its moisturising hair products and its Extra Damage Repair Shampoo does just that.
Packed with powerful ingredients like amino keratin, you can expect it to instantly breathe life into permed, heat-damaged or coloured hair. It also uses an advanced sensor technology that targets specific areas, transforming your undesirable tresses into a healthier, silkier blowout.
Available online at Watsons for SGD16.90 (450ml).
7. Funori Japanese Seaweed Hair Cleanser and Conditioner (for all hair types)
Funori’s holy trinity of traditional Japanese seaweeds takes centre stage in this elite haircare two-in-one. Dubbed as the healthier alternative to chemically-treated products, this product is lavishly infused with iodine and Fucoidan.
Iodine is vital for healthy thyroid glands, which control dryness, hair growth and thinning due to hair loss. Fucoidan assists in the hair growth process and alleviates itchiness as well. Grant your rough, damaged tresses a new, glossy life with these easy-to-use products. It ups its sheen and manageability as well, so your hair will thank you for it.
Retails online at Wawaza for SGD38.27.
Japanese hair treatments: Hair masks
You’ve probably heard of and might even be using a face mask religiously. But have you experienced the life-changing TLC of a hair mask? Besides added protection from environmental aggressors, hair masks offer a slew of other benefits pertaining to your hair’s health and shine. As such, they’re considered by some to be deep conditioning treatments or intensive conditioners.
Unlike conditioners, however, hair masks are generally more concentrated and should be left in your hair for 10 to 20 minutes after your hair is washed and towel-dried. Then, simply massage your roots and gently comb through with your fingers before wrapping your hair up in a warm towel for maximum absorption. For the best results, use them once a week or every day for frizzy hair.
Here are some options for irresistible nourishment and repair from the roots to the ends.
8. Shiseido Fino Premium Touch Hair Mask (for damaged hair)
Another haircare star from Shiseido is their Fino Premium Touch hair mask specially engineered to repair damaged hair that has undergone perming, colouring, or heat. Its thick texture is made up of key players like royal jelly EX, PCA, and Lipidue EX, which penetrate deep into each strand to lock in moisture and permanently fortify. Expect a visible, natural gloss proven to last you around the clock after each wash of this well-loved hair mask.
Available online at Kokoro Japan Store for SGD19.35.
9. Kose Bioliss Botanical Deep Repair Hair Mask (for sensitive scalp)
Bioliss is a salon-established haircare line that exclusively incorporates botanical ingredients in their products. Their Deep Repair Hair Mask is especially great for sensitive skin, coloured, and highly damaged hair. That’s because it sits at a low acidity due to the absence of harmful chemicals like silicones, dyes, and mineral oil.
Instead, it is enriched with plant-based oils and extracts, ensuring deep penetration into hair layers and a lustrous finish even in hot and humid environments. Bonus: it smells like fresh jasmine and neroli. Given their outstanding rep and salon standard reviews, you might just find yourself stocking up on their whole lineup after trying out their stellar hair mask.
Available online at Shopee for SGD19.68.
10. Kracie Ichikami Premium Hair Treatment Mask (for frizzy hair)
With this premium hair mask, it’s out with the old (dull, brittle hair) and in with the new (smooth, ultra-weightless locks). Thoughtfully selected and brewed, the Japanese herbs and oils used mingle to create a miraculous, damage-rewinding duo that soothes and restores any unruly hair texture. Feel as delicate as spring with this cherry blossom-scented hair mask now!
Available online at YesStyle for SGD25.91.
11. Shiseido Tsubaki Premium Repair Mask (for all hair types)
It should be pretty obvious by now that Tsubaki or the camellia flower is an undefeated champ at hair revival and long-term care. Hence, this hair mask is suitable for anyone looking to rejuvenate and smoothen their tresses, no matter your hair type. This product contains royal jelly and camellia oil, which are quickly absorbed into strands, providing a fuss-free shine boost for those who are always on the go.
Shiseido’s Tsubaki Premium Repair Mask is available online at Watsons for SGD19.90.
Japanese hair treatments: Hair oils, serums & more
For those who want to jazz up their daily or nightly rituals, hair oils and serums are definite beauty must-haves. These supplementary hair treatments present unique solutions to different hair types and concerns, from dandruff-prone hair to pesky split ends. Don’t worry about splurging on the exceptional products we’re about to mention – after all, it’s #selfcare.
12. Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Hair Oil (for all hair types)
Known for its remarkable anti-ageing properties, camellia oil has become a ubiquitous skin and hair essential. In the haircare arena, camellia oil is a famous prevention and cure for dandruff, split ends, dry scalps, and itchiness.
Oshima’s Tsubaki Camellia Hair Oil, specifically, targets dandruff and split end-ridden hair while simultaneously softening and improving its manageability. It is also non-fragrant, so it’s suitable for those with a sensitive scalp or nose. All you’ll need is a few drops for ready-to-style hair.
Retails online at Qoo10 for SGD25.60.
13. Milbon Deesse’s Elujuda Emulsion (for fine and damaged hair)
Milbon Deesse’s Elujuda Emulsion works as a restorative conditioner and styling prep for dry and fine hair. Baobab extracts direct from Africa provide a fruity, au naturel source of antioxidants that quickly revive hair cuticles and smoothen out your hair’s texture.
Also present in this restorative hair cream is keratin-based CMADK proteins patented by Milbon, which blend harmoniously with ceramides and aqua collagen to improve moisture retention for damaged hair.
14. BOTANIST Botanical Hair Milk (for brittle or fine hair)
Botanist’s philosophy centres around plants and weaving them into the fabrics of our daily lives. Simple yet powerful, their haircare formulas comprise of 90% water and plant-based ingredients, and are free from aggravators like skin silicones and sulfates.
For those who wish to test out their shampoos and hair oils, their products are generally divided into “Moist” and “Smooth” categories, where “Moist” is better suited for damaged and dry hair while the latter, for fine and soft hair that needs some serious volumising, stat.
Their hair milk, on the other hand, has become a fan favourite among Japanese beauty enthusiasts. Unlike its name suggests, it’s far from dense and has an air-like, weightless finish. Its counters the detrimental effects of UV rays by using hydrolysed silk while penetrating deep into your hair to nourish and control frizzy outbreaks. Pack this travel-friendly bottle in your beauty kits and lightly apply when your hair needs a little pick me up.
15. Kaminomoto Super Strength Hair Serum Gold (for thinning hair)
Tired of constant hair loss clogging up your shower drains and dampening your confidence? Well, Kaminomoto’s Super Strength Hair Serum is here to save the day. The main fighter of its non-greasy formula is the medicative Hinokitiol derived from the Hinoki Tree. Its antiseptic power combats dandruff, itchiness, and thinning, gifting you with stronger and thicker locks.
Regular use of the product is also said to promote blood circulation and a healthier scalp, stimulating hair growth. Simply sprinkle an amount proportionate to your hair length twice a day and prepare to be wowed by the results.
Kaminomoto’s Super Strength Hair Serum Gold retails online at Watsons for SGD22.90.