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.
If you’re curious, it’s the Honeyce shampoo and conditioner that was the huge Japanese shampoo & conditioner slam dunk for me. Weirdly, for me, when I went to buy just the conditioner (when I sampled it I used the two together), I didn’t get the WOW results I did when I bought the packet. I go through a lot more conditioner than shampoo due to cowashing, but once I had a guess as to what the difference was, I went back and bought the shampoo too. Bingo! My hair went back to what I experienced with the samples (the Honeyce body wash is also very nice, if you’re in the market). It’s been a minute since I purchased but I think these run around 800 yen per bottle.
Like most drugstore Japanese shampoos and conditioners, you can buy refill packets that cost slightly less than re-purchasing a bottle (and they are very easy to use without wasting much product). If you are in my boat of going through about two conditioners for every shampoo, this is super convenient.
A more recent Japanese shampoo and conditioner find, and a little more expensive, is the Mason Amino line. I spent around 2700 yen for the duo at an Aeon store, which were a limited sakura edition (this supposedly changed the scent and packaging, so I can’t comment on the regular line’s scent). These also make my hair feel suuuuuper soft, and a little goes a good way, even with the conditioner (and even with my mixed race son, whose hair usually requires gobs of product). Bonus: the packaging is pretty cute. I can’t lie, the duo coupled with the sakura packaging made it irresistible. I also bought the deep conditioner from the line, which while ok, is not my favorite. Again, when I couple one of these with a product from a different line, they are ok, but together they are so good.
What Japanese haircare products would you recommend? Is there anything meant for straight permed, or Japanese reconditioning, that you would say are game changers? Please let me (and my crazy hair) know!
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