Hair Care

Hair Care: How To Get Healthy Hair

Did you know that your hair reflects your health just like your skin? All it takes is a single strand to reveal your hair care habits, good and bad! Not just that, it is also enough to get an idea about your internal well-being. 

Wondering if you have healthy hair? If yes, carefully read what follows next. 

Healthy hair is smooth, shiny, and elastic. Additionally, it is easier to detangle and style. Finally, there is constant growth, and it does not catch frizz quickly. Yet if you think your hair lacks some of these telltale signs, there's always hair care. 

Yes, hair care can change the way your hair looks and feels. Mind you, when we talk of hair care, we talk of everything, including your approach. 

Japanese Approach to Hair Health

The Japanese approach to healthy hair is built on three things: 

  • Natural ingredients 
  • Gentle cleansing 
  • Minimal heat styling 

It takes a holistic approach, nurturing the scalp and hair roots. In fact, stories have it that the court ladies from the Heian period used rice water to comb their hair, which reached all the way down to the floors. And rice water is just one of the natural ingredients they use. There are many more [we shall reveal them shortly].

Now, here's something interesting. Statista reports suggest that most people in Japan washed their hair at least once, with 63% washing in the evening. 

Now you may wonder, "Wouldn't washing their hair everyday make it dry?" Well, one of the reasons it does not leave their hair dry is because they use a gentle, hydrating shampoo and conditioner. Besides this, they take special care of their diet and lifestyle. What are they? Well, stay with us! 

Understanding Hair Structure and Types

Like skin, hair comes in different types, each with its own needs. As a result, it's important to understand your hair structure and type to create the best hair care routine for yourself. 

Anatomy of Hair

Hair Structure

Different Hair Types

We are all unique, right? One of the things that make us so uniquely beautiful is our different hair. Here's a quick lowdown of the common hair types:

Straight Hair

Like the name suggests, straight hair falls smoothly down without any bends in them. They also tend to be much more oily near the scalp due to the direct path for natural oils. As such, it is not wise to wash them every day. If you do, you will strip your hair's natural oil away, forcing your hair to produce even more. 

Additionally, avoid using heavy conditioners and styling products that can weigh down straight hair. Because if anything, it's difficult to get 'voluminous' straight hair. So, instead, opt for lightweight formulas to maintain volume and bounce.

Wavy Hair

Wavy hair has a bend that resembles the letter' S.' They are often more prone to frizz and can be somewhat challenging to manage. As a result, they need special hair care treatment. For instance, using hydrating shampoo and conditioners.

You could also try curl-enhancing products, such as mousse or styling creams, to define and control waves without weighing them down. Finally, don't towel-dry them vigorously. Gently blot excess water and either air dry or use a diffuser attachment on a low heat setting. 

Curly Hair

Curly hair has natural volume, featuring between loose to tight spiral curls. Since the natural oils have difficulty getting to the strand ends, they are more susceptible to dryness and frizz. 

Solution? Deep conditioning hair care treatments weekly with sulfate-free shampoos and silicone-free products to prevent build-up and maintain curl health. Plus, you should gather your hair into a loose ponytail on top of the head, like a pineapple, and cover it with a silk or satin scarf to preserve your curls.

Coily Hair 

Did you know that coily hair is also called kinky or afro-textured hair? Well, the strands form tight, springy curls or coils and tend to shrink when dry. 

So, when it comes to keeping them hydrating, you must go to great lengths. We are talking about leave-in conditioners, oils, and moisturizing creams. Plus, it gets challenging to detangle them. So you may have to use a wide-tooth comb or fingers to detangle coily hair when wet and coated with conditioner to minimize breakage. 

Essential Hair Care Practices

Gentle Cleansing Techniques

Naturally healthy hair needs a hair care routine, too. And it begins with choosing the best shampoo for hair. Do you know what the best shampoo feels like? Gentle like our Gentle Shampoo.


Our shampoo feels ultra-luxurious on the scalp with its antioxidant, soothing, and hydrating powers. It protects against pollution and repairs your hair. The gentle Japanese Passion fruit in the formula soothes your irritated scalp, while the Rice Peptides make your hair softer and shinier. 

Besides ingredients, the shampoo itself must have a gentle texture. Our shampoo boasts a soft-foaming, thick gel consistency that melts into your scalp quietly. It's also important to use the right technique. 

Allow your fingers to gently massage the scalp in a circular motion instead of vigorously scrubbing it into the hair. Work it through the strands and rinse with cold or lukewarm water. Coldwater helps to seal the hair cuticle, reducing frizz and promoting shine. Finally, choose your frequency wisely. A good measure is 2-3 times a week. 

Proper Conditioning Methods

A hair conditioner is your lifesaver if your hair is dry, brittle, and tangles easily. Yet even if it does not, you still can't skip conditioning in your hair care treatment. Why? For the following reasons - 

  • Conditioner helps replenish moisture loss during shampooing
  • Keeps the hair hydrated and prevents dryness and brittleness
  • Conditioner coats the hair strands, which makes it easier to detangle
  • Makes the hair softer and reduces hair breakage
  • Strengthens the hair shaft

You can enjoy these benefits in Japanese hair care ritual-inspired Gentle Conditioner. Its nourishing formula contains traditional Japanese ingredients, Diospyros Kaki Fruit Extract with Sunflower Seed Extract and Soy Protein.


You can use it daily without worrying about pesky product buildup and overcome hair concerns like frizz and split ends. The best part? It is also suitable for sensitive scalps! 

All this is about what the right product can do for your scalp and hair. Is that all? Not at all. Your technique matters, too. 

Most people start by applying the conditioner to the scalp, which is a big NO. Always start with the ends of your hair, which tends to be driest and most damaged. Then, work your way up to the mid-length and roots. Now, if you have an oily scalp, skip applying conditioner to your roots. Mind you, don't wash it right away! Keep it for some time before you rinse it with cold water. 

Pro tip? If you wish to detangle while the conditioner is still in, use a tooth comb. 

Scalp Care and Massage 

Japanese head spas aim to improve your scalp health, which improves your hair health. It is rooted deeply in Ayurvedic practices and uses custom-blended topicals and massage techniques. 

There are two types of head spa - wet and dry. 

Wet head spa involves washing your hair and applying specific products that meet your scalp and hair needs. It comes in many variations. For instance, an oil head spa that uses oils like natural oils like olive or jojoba for intense moisturization. There's also a cream bath head spa, which uses creams, and a Carbonated Head Spa, which uses high-concentration carbonated water to clean the scalp. The latter may sound new to you, but it's a popular summer practice.

Dry head spas are more focused on relieving tension and improving blood circulation. It works very well for those with insomnia or eye strain.

The reason scalp massages hold a special place is their many benefits. Here's a quick lowdown for you:

  • Better blood circulation
  • Nourishes the hair follicles
  • Removes dandruff
  • Eliminates excess oil and scalp buildup
  • Improves sleep quality

Another reason is the techniques. Some may use a pressure point technique, using fingertips to gently pressure specific acupressure points on the scalp, such as the temples, crown, and skull base. Another way is to use the fingertips to make circular massage movements across the scalp, starting from the forehead and working towards the back of the head. 

Yet, if you want lighter movements, how about lightly tapping or drumming the fingertips across the scalp to stimulate the nerves? Or using the pads of the fingers to gently knead in circular motions to loosen tension. With so many variations, there is no chance you won't find the one that helps you relax.

Japanese Hair Care Hydration Rituals

Japanese women are popular for their silky, shiny hair. The secret behind them? Like we said, natural ingredients. Here's how they do it! 

Rice Water Soak

Rice water, the starchy water left over after rinsing rice, is a traditional Japanese beauty secret for hydrated hair. It is believed to strengthen the hair, improve elasticity, and add shine. As a result, Japanese women often rinse their hair with rice water or use it as a hair mask to boost hydration and promote healthy hair growth.

Green Tea Rinse

Green tea is known for its antioxidant properties. Some people in Japan use green tea as a hair rinse to promote hydration and shine. The antioxidants in green tea help to protect the hair from environmental damage and improve overall hair health.

Camellia Oil

Camellia Japonica Oil, or Tsubaki Oil, is deeply rooted in Japanese practices. It was passed down through generations by the geishas for its hair-enhancing abilities. It is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that nourish and hydrate the hair, promoting shine and softness. Consequently, Japanese women often apply camellia oil to the hair as a pre-shampoo treatment or leave-in conditioner.

Nutritional Support for Healthy Hair

The popular saying, "We are what we eat," also applies to your hair. Certain food items offer all the vitamins and minerals your hair needs to go from dead and dry to healthy. Besides, the Japanese approach to healthy hair is a holistic one. 

In Japan, a typical meal includes fish or seafood as the main protein source. They pair it up with lots of veggies for their vitamins and minerals. Yet, if you are someone who does not consume seafood or fish, you can always include lentils, chickpeas, and cottage cheese in your meals.

Besides food, you must focus on your water intake. A dehydrated body prioritizes vital functions over non-essential functions like hair growth. Dehydration reduces the blood flow to hair follicles, leading to slower hair growth and loss. 

This may come as a surprise, but hair strands comprise around 25% water. Proper hydration helps to maintain the moisture balance within the hair shaft. This is to prevent dryness, brittleness, and breakage.

Styling Tips without Damaging Your Hair

We all love salon-styled hair; there's no harm in it unless you don't overdo it. The real question is, "How do you style your hair without damaging it?" Here's the answer! 

Lower Heat Setting

This one is a no-brainer. Japanese practice or not, it is advised to use lower heat settings on styling tools to minimize damage to the hair. This prioritizes achieving the desired style gradually rather than using high heat for quick results.

Pre-Styling Treatments

Japanese hair care emphasizes the use of pre-styling treatments. For instance, hair essence.

Hair essences hydrate your hair and protect it from styling dehydration. It also prevents frizz, breakage, and split ends. 

Another product is hair milk. It sits between a leave-in conditioner and a weightless treatment that hydrates your hair. Some are also believed to restore the holes inside your hair caused by heat and dryness.

Japanese-Inspired Protective Hairstyles

Well, do you want some hairstyle suggestions as well? We handpicked two styles for you :


The chignon is a classic Japanese hairstyle that involves twisting or braiding the hair into a bun at the nape of the neck. This style keeps the hair off the shoulders and protects it from environmental damage.

Geisha Hairstyles

Geisha hairstyles, such as the shimada and the mage, are intricate updos that involve twisting and pinning the hair into elaborate shapes. These styles protect the hair and reflect cultural traditions and elegance.

Troubleshooting Dry, Frizzy Hair

It's impossible to have hydrated, frizz-free hair 24/7. What is important is to be prepared to deal with it. Here are some quick tips for you:

  • Apply a small amount of camellia oil to damp or dry hair and focus on the ends.
  • Rinse your hair with rice water to add shine to it.
  • Invest in a good hydrating mask for your hair care routine.
  • Always pat your hair dry; don't towel rub it.
  • Switch to silk pillowcases to avoid friction and split ends.

Hair Care Routine: Take Care of Your Hair The Right Way

A lot has been said, right? Well, here's what you always need to remember. Healthy hair is a result of a mindful hair care routine. As a result, your hair care routine needs to be gentle and holistic. It should include natural ingredients for nourishment that gently cleanse and hydrate your hair. 

Besides investing in the best shampoo and conditioner, look out for hydrating hair masks and essences. Also, keep a check on what you're eating. After all, you need to take a holistic approach, don't you? 

When it comes to hair care and skin care, less is more. The simpler it is, the better. Yet the products you include must meet your needs. The Japanese hair care philosophy is an approach that is gentle, simple, and effective. It offers everything your hair needs, all the nourishment, in the simplest manner. So why wait? Come explore its benefits with us at ILEM JAPAN


How do you maintain healthy hair?

Start by investing in a gentle cleansing shampoo and conditioner. Besides this, oil your hair or use deep hydration masks to replenish hydration. Take care of basics like patting your hair, using a wide combed tooth to detangle hair, and relaxing hair massages.

How do I maintain my hair?

Besides creating a personal hair care routine, start eating healthy to meet your dietary needs. You could also explore some dietary supplements after consideration. For good appearance, trim your hair every 6-8 months to keep it in shape and use leave-in conditioners for natural shine.

How do you strengthen hair follicles naturally?

Regularly massage your scalp with oil to improve your blood circulation for better hair growth. Additionally, avoid tight hairstyles that tug and pull your hair, causing tension. They could cause hair breakage. 

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