Curly Hair in Japan (No More Struggling!)


Let me just get straight to the point. Hair in Japan is commonly straight, therefore I don’t find it crazy for most brands to cater towards that hair demographic. It’s great for those of that hair type but sucks for other hair types (like mines!). Of course, there is always the option of ordering online but, personally, I am an impatient person. Not to mention shipping to Japan from another country is more expensive and the delivery time can take a while (two weeks or more). It’s much easier, quicker, less of a hassle, to just drop by a nearby store, that’s at my convenience whenever I want, and get what I need, then and there.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve tested many different brands of shampoos and conditioners, as well as styling products. Some worked, some didn’t. These are the ones I personally recommend you try. They shouldn’t be too difficult to find in a local beauty store, or big department stores (like Tokyu hands, or Aeon malls). They can also be purchased online, as well.

*Of course, none of these products are aimed for just straight hair only or curly hair only. However please keep in mind that because not everyone is the same, each product may work differently from one person to the next. But, I hope this doesn’t stop you from giving any of these products a try.



Tsubaki (Redline) Shampoo and Conditioner


Highly appraised in Japan and has won numerous awards. The Redline is my favorite amongst their other lines available. This product is AMAZING for dry or damaged hair. This product gives a really nice volume to the hair and doesn’t make my hair feel heavy. It also made my hair super soft and shiny, and gave it movement, which I really appreciate!. However, it didn’t define my curls as much as I would like. Also, if you have damaged hair and you want to give this one a try, I advise you to be patient. My hair was really damaged from using a relaxer on my hair twice in the same month (dumb of me, I know)! It took me around two months to noticed the change in the texture. Another thing I noticed is I barely get any frizz, so I suspect that this product would help control frizz as well.

It also has a really lovely fragrance that I’m not sure how to describe. Given that this line is centered around Camellia, I guess that’s what the fragrance is supposed, along with the Camellia oil the product contains.

A little caution, if your hair naturally produces a lot of oil, I would suggest going with the normal “Moist” one. The Tsubaki line does contain other color lines: white, purple, blue, fuchsia pink, and one or two more color lines (I forgot)!. All of which are different, so I’m sure you’ll find something that’ll suit you!.


MARKS&WEB (マークスアンドウェブ)

This brand carries a wide range of products for body care, face care, essential oils for various uses and of course, haircare. Although I have not tried yet gotten to try all of their shampoo and conditioner, here are two of them which I’ve used loved.

One of the big reasons this brand has stayed as one of my favorites to use is simply because I really appreciate that they are dedicated to their ingredients!. It’s really difficult to find products that won’t contain harsh ingredients, ie, paraben-free, sulfate-free, as well as no artificial coloring or fragrance.

Many of the products are available in different sizes and prices (full, medium, travel-size). Therefore, if you’re unsure whether to purchase a whole bottle or just want to test it out; you have that option available!.


Herbal Amino Shampoo and Conditioner Relax


Don’t worry! Just because it got the word “Relax” on the bottle doesn’t mean it will make your flat! It’s just a description of the aroma.

I believe this is one of their classic shampoo and conditioner and a lot of people seem to like it for the result and the ingredients it contains. It’s safe for those with colored or bleached hair.  The first time I used this, my hair felt so clean!. I had a really pretty, nice, bouncy, healthy-looking curls!.



Shampoo Ingredients

Water, potash soap base, BG, lauroyl methyl alanine Na, cocoyl glutamate 2Na, cocamidopropyl betaine, ethanol, gluconate Na, cocoyl glutamate Na, odoranthiqua oil, Roman chamomile flower oil, tocopherol, polyquaternium-10, chloride Na, glycerin


Conditioner Ingredients

Water, behenyl alcohol, glycerin, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine,cetyl lactate, betaine, pentylene glycol, PCA glyceryl oleate, lactic acid, jojoba seed oil, macadamia seed oil, scented oil, Roman chamomile flower oil, alkyl (C12, 14) Oxyhydroxypropylarginine HCI, ethanol, tocopherol, hydroxypropylmethylc ellulose, ethylhexylglycerin, glyceryl stearate



Herbal Balance Shampoo and Conditioner Lavender/Rosemary

If you have a sensitive scalp, this would be a better option to try since it contains a more gentle form of amino acid that is extracted from brown algae (Sarafu). It helps prevent dandruff and keeps the scalp and hair moist and not dry out, and also helps to prevent breakage.

If you’re looking for tighter curls, this is it!. This is my favorite go-to-shampoo and conditioner when I want my curls to be tighter looking. This duo also adds to the hair a really nice volume, bounce, and body; fluffy but not frizzy, hair!. I really don’t have anything negative to say about this product, because I am really satisfied with how my hair turns out whenever I use it. I want to also mention that the smell of lavender and rosemary together is so refreshing!.

Shampoo Ingredients

Water, ethanol, lauryl glucoside, lauroyl methyl alanine Na, cocamidopropyl betaine cocoyl methyl taurine Na, PEG-20 sorbitan cocoate, lavender oil, rosemary leaf oil, brown algae extract, wild thyme extract, oyster tannin, glycerin, BG, glutamic acid 4Na diacetate, citric acid, polyquaternium-10, ethylhexylglycerin, sodium chloride, sodium glycolate


Conditioner Ingredients

Water, potash soap base, BG, lauroylmethylalanine Na, cocoyl glutamate 2Na, cocamidopropyl betaine, ethanol, gluconate Na, cocoyl glutamate Na, odoranthiqua oil, Roman chamomile flower oil, tocopherol, polyquaternium-10, chloride Na, glycerin




A brand that is committed to producing: paraben-free, silicone-free, SLS-free, mineral oil-free, artificial coloring-free, and/or free of animal-derived materials in their products (however, not all products are free of the same thing(s) so, should check the label, individually). SUPERFOOD LAB incorporates various kinds of fruits and plants, which I think is really unique and different from what I normally see from other brands, as well as, they are the only brand that I know of that uses plant stem-cell technology in a hair care line!.

Personally, I think their products are amazing.  However, I should mention that the products listed below, are the only ones that I’ve tried from the brand (thus far). I also want to mention that not all of their products are free of the same thing. I advise you to check the ingredients listing, before making a purchase.

The SUPERFOOD LAB has many products ranging from hair care, body care, supplements (I really want to try theses!), and drinks.



This is the brand’s newest shampoo and conditioner. The first time I stumbled upon this while I was browsing the beauty shop, I really wanted to pick up a set, but I didn’t bring enough money!. When I read the ingredients, I knew it was going to be a must-try for me!. This product is made for aged/aging hair. What I mean by that is, as you get older your hair loses its firmness, goes limp, becomes duller, etc. With stem-cell technology and the many superfood ingredients that are in the products (shampoo and conditioner), you can think of it as a rejuvenation. It starts from making your scalp healthier, and down to making each strain of hair stronger. I just really love this product!.

My hair felt very silky and soft; it gives excellent moisture to the hair but does not feel greasy!. Whenever I used this, my hair feels light and airy/fluffy. However, this product makes my curls much looser, in comparison to the MARKs&WEB, but at the same time, they are still very defined.  This product has a unique scent that I’m not sure what it is (ok, the bottle says “ylang ylang & citrus”); it’s an OK scent, but I’m more of a floral person.

Between SUPERFOOD LAB and MARKS&WEB, it’s really difficult to choose a favorite because I love both of them equally, so I like to switch between the two brands depending on my mood that day, or what kind of curls I want for the next couple of days, until my next wash-day!.


Shampoo Ingredients

Water, TEA cocoylglutamate, cocamidopropyl betaine, Na olefin (C14-16) sulfonate, PPG-2 cocamide, cocamidomethyl MEA, biotin, hypophaeramnoides fruit extract, wasabi tree seed extract, bilberry fruit juice, bilberry leaf extract, Acai palm fruit extract, Aristotelia chillensis fruit extract, pomegranate peel extract, aloe vera sap, Acofilm nodosum/ Hibamata/ Hijiki/ Torocombu/ Lesonia nigressense/ Mitsuishikombu/ Risiliconbu/ Wakame extract, coconut oil, Cultured apple fruit cell extract, fermented soybean milk, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, grapefruit peel oil, lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, ylang ylang flower oil, lavender oil, scented oil, atlas cedar bark oil, flavor, xanthan gum, polyquaternium -10, BG, propanediol, glycerin, lecithin, ethanol, 2Na phosphate, citric acid, Na chloride, EDTA- 2Na, phenoxyethanol, methylisothiazolinone


Conditioner Ingredients

Water, cetearyl alcohol, stealtrimonium chloride, cetanol, ethylhexyl palmitate, dimethicone,biotin, hippophaelamnoides fruit extract, wasabi tree seed extract, lingonberry juice, bilberry leaf extract, acai palm fruit extract, Aristotelia chillensis fruit extract, Pomegranate peel extract, aloe vera juice, Ascofilm Nodsum/ Hibamata/ Hijiki/ Torocombu/ Lesonia nigressense/ Mitsuishibu/ Risilicobu/ Wakame extract, coconut oil, apple fruit culture cell extract, soymilk fermented liquid, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, Grapefuit peel oil, lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, ylang-ylang flower oil, lavender oil, scented oil, atlas cedar bark oil, Fragrance, amodimethicone, dicocodimimonium chloride, ceteth-20, xanthan gum, polyquaternium-10, BG, DPG, propanediol, glycerin, isopropanol, ethanol, lecithin, 2Na phosphate, citric acid, sodium citrate, phenoxyethanol, methyl isothi Azolinone


There you have it!. These are my top shampoo and conditioners that I recommend to you to try!. The best part of it is, you won’t have to go online to order it; it’s convenient and you won’t have to wait two or three weeks for it to ship, nor will you have to pay twice the amount for it to be ship to you in Japan!. Although sometimes it is a struggle when trying to find exactly what you are looking for if you keep searching, you will find it. Please keep in mind that all the products I’ve mentioned can be bought separately. However, I highly recommend using them as a set, and not mix-and-match, for best results!.



I lived in the east coast part of America all my life and now living in Japan. There are many interesting things to do on a daily and I want to share what I can.