Top Shampoos For Western Hair You Can Buy In Japan

Yup, These Will Make A Difference

By Mariela Nikolic
August 9, 2017
Health & Beauty

Having a bad hair day? You're not alone.

Shopping for shampoo is like shopping for shoes — you have to be comfortable using it, confident that it will work well on you, and that you’ll look great thanks to it! Many of the mainstream Japanese shampoo brands contain high levels of silicone and straightening formulas, which often doesn’t work well on thin, fine hair (which many of us from non-Asian regions in the world tend to have). Since Asian hair is in general thicker, it requires products to maintain its natural shine and thickness. Put those products on Western hair and you get that Morticia Addams-like greasy and flat hair look. Western-type hair needs natural based care without straightening or thickness-preserving formulas.

Coming from the same boat as many other foreigners in Japan (and having a very long hair to care of), I dedicated some time in finding the best shampoo products that work well on my hair. Based on reliable hairdressers’ advice and personal testing, here are my picks of the best shampoos you can buy in Japan that work well for Western hair.

Kérastase By L’Oreal Paris

Kérastase reduces hair damage and helps nourish it. It also reduces frizz, which is especially helpful in the hot and humid days of the Japanese summer. While the brand has a number of products, look for the following that are best fit for Western texture hair.

Bain Chromatique Sulfate-Free: Fit for colored hair, it cleanses your locks gently in every wash, while maintaining your hair color. It will give you hair lasting vibrancy and natural shine, while also providing UV filters to protect the hair and scalp from damaging UV rays.

Bain Force Architecte: Known as the best shampoo for brittle and damaged hair, this one helps rebuild and strengthen the hair fiber from roots to ends. The fiber will also reconstruct and revitalize natural shine and smoothness, and it also prevents split ends.  

Bain Fluidealiste: Fit for undyed or not frequently dyed hair. It provides a gentle cleanse and optimal nourishment without adding that extra volume.

Where to buy: At hair salons that use L’Oreal hair products, Don Quijote and Rakuten. From ¥2,100.

Schwarzkopf Professional

This collection is the one I personally swear by! I have been trying out the BC Bonacure collection for a month now, recommended by my hairdresser and it has done wonders to my hair. Just like Kérastase, it has a range of products for different purposes.

BC Moisture Kick: Fit for normal and dry hair, regardless of whether straight, wavy or curly. Best for coarse or brittle hair lacking elasticity and bounce. This shampoo uses the so-called “Cell Perfector Technology,” which smoothens the surface of the hair and brings back the beautiful suppleness, bounce and shine to each strand.

BC Hair Activator: The BC Hair Activator prevents hair loss and helps improve hair density. The BC Hair Activator formulas help rejuvenate the roots’ energy, stimulate cell division and reproduction.

BC Sun Protect: The BC Sun Protect has a triple formula that helps protect your hair from harmful sunrays and other damaging factors. With their UVA/UVB, color fade and free radical damage formulas, this shampoo gives the hair a break from daily-inflicted natural damage. Contains Monoi Oil De Tahiti, known for nourishing and smoothing sun-damaged hair. Thanks to its Amino Cell Rebuild Technology, this shampoo will penetrate deeply into the hair, repairing the inner cell structure from within.

Where to buy: At salons that use Schwarzkopf, Rakuten and Don Quijote. From ¥1,253.


Using Aveda is like going on vacation, but for your hair — you feel rejuvenated and stress-free. Aveda strongly believes in using natural ingredients whenever possible, basing its principles on the motto that “nature is the best beauty artist of all.” The smell is an acquired taste, but the results are worth it.

Damage Remedy Restructuring: The brand’s number one best seller! Using a quinoa protein, this shampoo will repair and strengthen damaged hair while its natural conditioners will leave it smooth and soft. Its natural aroma selection will leave your hair with a scent of a mix of bergamot, mandarin, ylang ylang and other pure flowers and plant essences.

Invati Exfoliating: Western hair tends to be naturally thin, but Aveda’s products can help you boost hair thickness — and it’s all done through the use of natural products. Aveda Invati Exfoliating cleanses, exfoliates and renews the scalp with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid. It removes build-up product residue that can clog hair follicles, thus preventing you from hair loss. With scents of organic lavender, rosemary, geranium and other pure flower and plant essences, it also has a relaxing effect.

Shampure: Works for all types of hair textures. It cleanses the hair with morikue protein from the Peruvian rainforests, resulting in a soothing effect reminiscent of Aveda’s classic head spas. Contains extracts from 25 pure flowers and plants essences, which are all organic.

Where to buy: Via Aveda’s website, Rakuten, as well as salons in Japan that use Aveda’s products. From ¥1,674.