Let me preface by saying, of course I have not tried all, most, or even half (not even close) of the haircare products available in Japanese drugstores. That being said, a lot of what I have tried has been great. A few have been just meh. So project letdown, or stuff that hasn’t been exactly a miracle starts today with haircare stuffs, three of them to be exact.
Second preface, so you can consider these products fairly: my hair is thick, naturally coarse and curly but straight permed (so chemically damaged) and medium length. It tends to be dry and doesn’t get greasy too easily.
It’s hard to believe, but I’m rounding the corner to my five year anniversary living overseas here in Japan. I will state with full disclosure that my stay overseas has been somewhat of an “expat lite” experience, as I live in an area with a huge American military population, complete with access to the American grocery stores and exchanges on the bases and, very conveniently, an “American” address. Having an APO address has been especially nice for me being a. tall with giant feet (Japanese stores rarely carry clothing I can fit, and never carry shoes that do) and b. having an ugly Sephora habit.
But, not every company, or every thing, will ship to an APO address. Even Amazon and Sephora, which are in general amazing with their (free) shipping policies and speed, have items that won’t ship to overseas military/diplomatic addresses. Sometimes they make sense (item is too large to ship USPS, flammable, etc) and sometimes you will have an item denied for reasons you cannot fathom. But, c’est la vie. Or, in my adopted home, shikata ga nai.
There are a few items that I have seen a zillion times come up, either in forums and Facebook groups, or just among friends, that people have a hard time sourcing if you need something shipped stateside. Outside of using a forwarder (and paying additional fees), here are a few tricky items that I’ve found ways to get shipped when living overseas. Continue reading “Living Overseas: Shipping (Tricky) Stuff to your APO/FPO/DPO Address”
It’s been a minute since my last fix … my last Stitch Fix, that is. I don’t do too many subscription boxes (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing book has made an indelible hold in my brain, which is not visible in the slightest when you visit my home). I have settled into a twice-yearly Stitch Fix (there are, barely, two seasons in Okinawa), and I recently caved and signed my barely two-year-old lab up for Bark Box not too long ago (duuuuuuude I know it’s so bougie, but seriously, he eats EVERYTHINGGGGGG). Stitch Fix though, I enjoy because I don’t like to commit to things, I don’t like to shop (and can’t really shop locally because I’m too big for Japanese clothing) and with the service, I pay a bit more than my usual MO of shopping clearance off clearance sales, but I don’t have to shop OR commit. So after hemming and hawing over if I should schedule my spring Fix or not, I decided to go for it. If you want to see what my Spring 2018 Stitch Fix box contained, keep reading …
Like with my skincare, I’ve never been brand loyal for my whole routine with my hair. My hair has been, um, difficult most of my life and so while I don’t really do anything or style my hair, I am pretty serious about conditioning it to keep it from being totally busted. I’ve found different products from different lines that really make a difference and tend to stick with them. However, I have found as I have sampled and branched out into Japanese haircare lines, that Japanese shampoo and conditioner are something that are indeed better together.
One thing I love about Japanese shampoo and conditioner, at least with what’s available at the drugstore, is that you can buy duo sample packets of many of the brands. This gives you the opportunity to sample a bunch of options, for around $1 USD a pop, without having to buy a whole bottle or set that you may or may not love.
This is exactly what I did finding my first hot find … I went to a drugstore (if I remember correctly it was a Drugstore Mori) and looked through the offerings, trying to narrow down my choices to the ones I hoped would do what I was looking for–deep hydration and conditioning (I don’t color my hair but do straight perm it, so I don’t shop for color care or smoothing products). I bought maybe four different duos to bring home, and I’m glad I did. They were all ok, but one of them was a slam dunk home run for me. Continue reading “Japanese Shampoo & Conditioner: Better Together”