Part of feeling comfortable in your adopted country is knowing what you are buying.
When I first arrived, everything in the kusuriya (pharmacy) looked foreign and I gravitated towards international brands. But they smelled and worked differently even in Japan. I doubt Dove here follows their soap-free mantra because I itched terribly after showering.
But to stick to the familiar is such cowardice and is a pity because it seems you are at this new buffet but you only have one dish that you know and like.
It was only after I had a peek at other people’s bathrooms that I deciphered what was good or safe to try.
I won’t tell you whose bathroom I got inspiration from but let’s just say the owner has long glossy locks.
Shiseido’s Supermild shampoo and conditioner is great for “combination” hair like mine — oily scalp with normal ends.
They are 310JPY each from Lawson.
I don’t like Asience because it is too moisturizing but it smells lovely. Sheisedo’s Tsubaki leaves a lot of residue so it may be refreshing to use at first, but halfway through the bottle, I feel like chucking it out. The conditioner is fine, though.
One unique quirk of Japanese shampoos is they don’t have different variations for oily, dry, sensitive (hair that breaks easily), dandruff-prone, fine, or curly. It is just one shampoo per range — I say that because Shiseido has different lines under their name.
I have a makeup artist friend who once told me that the formulation of Pantene is exactly the same no matter what “type” is stated on the bottle. I wonder if other companies do the same?
Could the Japanese be onto something? Or is there an assumption that everyone has the same hair type in Japan?
If anyone has any insight, please feel free to share.