5 Hair Tips To Get You Through Japan’s Rainy Season
No, you don't have to loathe the rainy season anymore
How to keep your hair looking its best in spite of the dreaded humidity and constant rain.
The rainy season is officially upon us, which means that it’s also time for the annual bad hair month for us living in Japan, especially the ladies with curly and frizzy hair. I mean, aren’t you annoyed at how much time you waste every day making your hair perfect — only to see all that effort go down the drain as soon as you step out of the house? We know this too well: the humidity and wetness that comes with the rainy season is the worst recipe for good hair that lasts all day long. But with a little bit of preparation and careful planning, the weather won’t bother you and you’ll be your usual stunning self in no time.
Here are a few tips and tricks recommended by professional hairstylists on how to stay on fleek during Japan’s rainy season.
1. Yes, get that straight perm
If you’re ready to commit to a more permanent solution, doing a straight perm is the first thing you should do with your hair. Not only will it leave your hair silky and smooth, but it will last for the whole year (or at least half year if you have more curly hair). The straight perm (縮毛矯正, shukumo kyosei in Japanese) will spare you the daily hair iron stress, leaving you with more time to enjoy your mornings and get ready for work. The price of getting one ranges from around ¥7,000 to over ¥20,000, depending on the salon, but it’s definitely worth the investment.
One of our favorite salons, Toni & Guy is currently offering a special 30 percent off discount for first-time customers getting a haircut and straight perm in a single visit at their salons in Ebisu, Harajuku, Hiroo and Aoyama, so go ahead and make good use of it if you wish! You can also find other good deals on the Japanese app Hotpepper Beauty! Be warned though, most hair salons will not do the straight perm if you have bleached hair. In this case, you’ll have to wait until it grows out.
2. Adjust your shampoo and conditioner for the season
This is the best time in the year to invest in special shampoo and conditioner care. If you have naturally straight hair or curly hair and it frizzes up, look for shampoos that have the word “kusege” (クセ毛) on their labels. It contains a formula where it takes out the frizziness but won’t straighten your naturally curly hair, or make your naturally straight hair curly. There are many Japanese brands that offer this kind of care, but a recent favorite with the Japanese is Lux. If you’re buying online, the website www.kenko.com offers a set of shampoo and conditioner just for ¥1,370, but check your local drugstores for different options, too — there are a few!
Bonus shower tip: try to avoid washing your hair too frequently as this will remove the natural oil from your scalp, which is essential for preventing your hair from becoming a frizzy mess.
3. Keep it cool — literally!
Exposing your hair to too much heat will dry it out resulting in nothing else but extra frizziness. A quick tip for avoiding this is to rinse your hair once with cold water just before going out of the shower. If you’re using a hairdryer, finish it off quickly with the cooling down effect if your dryer has one (the “cold” button).
Last but definitely not least, it’s also important not to touch your hair during the day. The moistness on your hands will actually contribute to extra frizziness, so keep your hands away from your hair!
4. Embrace The Great Gatsby in your life
It is usually recommended not to over-straighten (unless you follow tip No1 and get a permanent straight perm by a professional) or over-curl your hair during humid seasons, but if you use a strong and long-lasting hairspray, you could defy the odds. The stickier a hairspray is, the more effective it will be in blocking humidity from penetrating the hair.
An all-time-favorite brand for many freelance makeup artists (including myself) and stylists in Japan is Gatsby. Their “Moving lock spray” and “Set and keep spray” (for men) is the perfect deal against rainy season-inflicted frizziness. The retail price is different from store to store, but if you want to give it a one-time trial before purchasing the real thing, most convenience stores sell mini Gatsby spray cans.
5. Play around and try different hairstyles
The cheapest and nicest way to treat your hair during the rainy season is by trying out different hairstyles. A braided mohawk, for example, is a good choice because it looks sexy and cute and will also help you feel cooler on a hot humid day. Rolled up-do’s are great for everyday use and work and will give you that classy and sophisticated look.
Messy buns and casual ponytails are a go-to for many women in Japan during summer, too. If you feel like you really want to play around with your hair and get creative, this Instagram account is full of crazy and beautiful ideas worth checking out — though you may need more than 30 min in the morning to reach that perfection!