Created for expats living in Japan

The “True Beauty” of Hair

The following article is contributed by Hisada Art Industry.

Japan has long been called “a country of beautiful hair”. The origin can be traced back to the Nara period, the 8th century, when the beauty of hair was often praised in Japanese poetry as the symbol of a women’s beauty. The long black fine hair has been loved as one of women’s charms since the Heian period until modern times. However, recently, the situation has drastically changed.

Dyeing hair was especially in vogue in the 1990s, and many people continue to dye their hair today even though more than a quarter of a century has passed since then. Moreover, our hair has also been severely damaged by the permanent wave and the hair iron. It’s difficult to see the once beautiful hair peculiar to the Asian people at the present time.

Over four generations, we’ve run both barber shops and hair salons in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, with over an 1100-year history. Throughout our 122-year history we’ve been asking ourselves, “What is true beauty?”. It seems today’s Japanese people are concerned with only following fashion. Have our original aesthetic senses widely shifted? Or is the adoration for the long black fine hair still lying beneath in our subconscious mind?

Hair Products' Myth

While Western ladies focus on the hair design or style, Japanese do on the hair quality and care. The Japanese women hop from store to store and online shopping sites one after another to find the ideal shampoo and conditioner. In addition to basic hair care products, moisturizing mist, hair oil and a variety of hair treatment agents are also simultaneously used. These women don’t hesitate to consume a huge amount of time and labor for their hair care.

On the other hand, most of our customers perceive that their hair is damaged. In fact, their hair and scalp are even more damaged than they realize. Why does this contradiction happen?

We very often see a long line in front of the booths of Japanese cosmetic product companies at beauty industry exhibitions overseas because the“faith”that Japanese hair care products certainly lead to smooth and shiny hair exists. Is this“faith” worth believing? While the third generation kept our salon, we’ve participated in beauty contests many times not only in Japan but also in foreign countries and have seen the world’s flow of beauty. We’ve also tried to read the current Japanese ideal of beauty from the center of our traditional culture. From our point of view, in conclusion, we are afraid this“faith”is only a“myth”.


Everyone can have beautiful hair regardless of age

Most people have a complex about their hair and long for other’s hair. However, the first step you should take is to recognize the actual state of your hair. Next, you should pursue the true beauty only you can obtain; no other person can. Please cast away your fixed ideas, such as keeping to follow a fashionable hairstyle or denying anything except for smooth straight hair. Everyone has a chance to acquire beautiful hair regardless of age or gender.

We shouldn’t become a slave to the hair care brands or products we’ve used habitually or to the hair care methods we’ve kept for a long time. We should build up brand-new values of beauty and should be an innovator of our hair, furthermore, of our own unique beauty.

If you are looking for great products

Hisada Art Industry is a 120-year-old hair salon (founded in 1899) and barbershop in Kyoto, Japan. Their products are called "COLLECTION 1899 KYOTO" which were created by combining their clients' requests and their accumulated knowledge. You can order their products online.