Japan’s Haircare Tech: A Look at the Revolutionary
Posted on October 18 2018
Japan's haircare tech: a look at the revolutionary
If you thought Japanese beauty was only about your face, you were wrong. Japanese women also have a lot to teach us about haircare. From all-time-favorites to new coming innovations, let me help you get acquainted with your mane’s new best friends from Japan.
The Mystery of Camellia Oil
Camellia oil has been used for centuries by the Japanese because it’s a powerful antioxidant (and the smell is divine).
Japan has a very passionate history with camellia. First, it is a flower, and in the Imperial Japanese imaginary, flowers represented perfection. It is a value that transcended time, well depicted by the current status of the art of "ikebana", flower arrangement, which can be considered as the quintessence of elegance.
The Tsubaki line from Shiseido
You’ve probably heard about it already (maybe it was in our interview of Paris-based makeup artist Anna Averkieva here?) but Shiseido’s Tsubaki line actually makes the difference. ‘’Tsubaki’’ means camellia in Japanese, and this plant’s oil has the most amazing properties. (fun fact: did you know that camellia oil and tea tree oil comes exactly from the same family?)
The aura that camellia possesses built a solid reputation for its oil as a very-much-needed beauty accessory. If I might say, modern J-beauty brands always knew how to translate into products the ancestral routines of their people. This is how Shiseido picked the camellia as its logo in 1915. This is also how it became at the core of a more recent, but beautiful story when the group launched Tsubaki in 2006: haircare that would bring the salon experience to women’s own houses.
Tsubaki is a phenomenon. You might wonder why it’s not being sold at your local beauty store. My humble analysis is that the story behind the brand resonates a lot better in an Asian culture that has been valuing (if not worshipping) camellia oil’s properties. But it’s a staple in Japanese women’s bath routines- I don’t think I’ve ever seen one bathroom that didn’t have Tsubaki, and I’ve seen a lot of bathrooms in Japan. And it could easily become a staple in our bathrooms too!
The Essence Absolue line from shu uemura
Camellia once, camellia twice, camellia always. Professional brand shu uemura art of hair also made camellia its main ingredient. And the Essence Absolue range is the best mise-en-scène they could have thought of for such a flower! It made me believe in magic.
The Essence Absolue range is best friend material - always there for you, cheering you up, and making you feel beautiful. It's comprised of a nourishing hair oil (which is probably the most iconic product at shu art of hair), an overnight taming serum, and an oil-in-cream. What’s interesting with shu uemura is that it doesn’t appear to be a lifestyle brand at first glance, but when you look at the product offering, you see that they are actually giving you everything you need for every moment of the day! And their products, they do the job. They really do. There is a reason why it’s one of the most popular brands in the US - you girls are some of the best hair experts on this planet, and if you like it, there must be something.
When you say Japan you say high-tech
It’s a little bit cliché, but we always expect something more, something advanced from Japan. So much that it was a huge shock for me when I moved to a small town in Kyushu (the Southern island of the four main islands) in 2009 and realized that almost nobody had wi-fi in their homes - some didn’t even have an internet connection! But as mind-blowing as this experience was, I’m still expecting great tech from Japanese industries, and the beauty industry makes no exception. Rest assured, I’ve been served with groundbreaking hair tools, yes sir.
The Hairbeauron straightener and curl iron from Lumielina
Breaking news: you’ve spent your whole life listening to some old dudes from Hollywood telling you that you need to find your significant other to feel fulfilled- that was a lie. Firstly, there’s two of them, and secondly, you don’t need to look anymore because here they are! (you’re welcome)
Lumielina developed a very specific type of ceramic that, according to both the press release documentation and the consumer reviews, keep your hair truly protected from heat. And they mean without pre-treatment. This ceramic is supposedly protecting the proteins of your hair and, in doing so, prevents damage and breakage from too much heat exposure.
Count me in!
It’s called the Bioprogramming technology, and it does a lot of other things such as, improving the hair’s moisture balance, straightening and curling like perm at low temperatures, improving shine, adjusting to all hair types. Redefining multi-tasking, that is for sure. Plus, Lumielina used this technology in two tools, responding to two different needs (and much much more women in need of a safer solution that what we are used to on the market).
The Fukugen Dryer from Louvredo: The Non-Heat Dryer
Talking about revolution. Excitement arises when this product is mentioned. Have you ever heard of a blow dryer that dries your hair without resorting to heat? Have you? Because if you have, you beat me and I want you as my friend. Louvredo just patented this extremely mesmerizing technology that uses infrared waves to activate drying. It sends vibrations to shake off all the moisture on the hair while helping the cuticles lock!
This tech prowess is still very mysterious. Isn’t it fascinating how one innovation can, sometimes, just shake your own world and take things that, a second ago you thought were impossible on our planet, and make them tangible??
Japanese tech prowess in the beauty industry
This is what I love with Asian beauty, and especially Japanese: it always brings something new on the table, it always breaks into my comfort zone and extend it in a way that I would never have thought. All the gestures, all the rituals, and now all the technology that can change the way we see and live beauty: it’s all happening there.
Tradition-inspired or high-technology, there are so many hacks that J-beauty can offer us to make our beauty life more fun, more interesting. There’s nothing more exciting for beauty lovers, than to find a segment that caters to all your needs: skincare, makeup and hair. Japanese beauty is just that: a wonderland that we can’t have enough of.
An enthusiast of skincare, blazer jackets, cute animals and food,
she’s passionate about the questions related to beauty with
its dynamics and perceptions especially in Asia. Former fashion and beauty editor in Seoul, she is now based in Paris.