• Top 20 Best Japanese Shampoos for Damaged Hair to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 1
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  • Top 20 Best Japanese Shampoos for Damaged Hair to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 3
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Top 20 Best Japanese Shampoos for Damaged Hair to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best shampoos for damaged hair. We then chose the 20 most popular products and tested them.

We focused on five things: how it felt to use, how gentle it was, how much foam it produced, how smooth it was, and how well it cleansed our hair. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese shampoos for damaged hair available online.
  • Last updated: 01-09-2020
  • 397 views
Table of Contents

Top 20 Japanese Shampoos for Damaged Hair to Buy Online

We picked out 20 of the most popular products and tested them for the following: how it felt to use, how gentle it was, its foam level, its smoothness, and its cleansing power.
Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 20 Japanese shampoos for damaged hair available online.
※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.

1. Botanist Botanical Damage Care Shampoo

$31.95

Japaneseボタニスト ボタニカルダメージケア シャンプー
Hypoallergenic4.9
Amount16.6 oz
Foam level3.0
ScentIris and freesia
Smoothness5.0
Intended effectsSmooth and supple
Cleansing power3.5
How it felt to use3.7
Overall score4.1

2. Beauty Experience Throw Moist Shampoo

$18.62

Japaneseビューティーエクスペリエンス<br>スロウ シャンプー モイスト
Hypoallergenic3.8
Amount10.1 oz
Foam level4.0
ScentFresh botanical herbs
Smoothness5.0
Intended effectsSoft and moisturizing
Cleansing power4.5
How it felt to use3.8
Overall score4.1
Japaneseデミコスメティクスフローディア シャンプー ディープモイスト
Hypoallergenic4.8
Amount13.5 oz
Foam level3.5
Scent
Smoothness5.0
Intended effectsRestores moisture to damaged hair
Cleansing power1.2
How it felt to use3.1
Overall score4.0

4. Kracie Dear Beaute Himawari Rich & Repair Oil in Shampoo

$9.02

Japaneseクラシエディアボーテ オイルインシャンプー(リッチ&リペア)
Hypoallergenic4.1
Amount16.9 oz
Foam level3.5
ScentElegant floral
Smoothness4.0
Intended effectsRepair damaged hair, prevent frizz, moisturizing
Cleansing power4.2
How it felt to use4.1
Overall score4.0
Japaneseルベルナチュラル ヘア ソープ ウィズ シーウィード
Hypoallergenic4.3
Amount24.3 oz
Foam level4.0
Scent
Smoothness4.0
Intended effectsBeautiful and supple hair
Cleansing power1.4
How it felt to use3.6
Overall score4.0
JapaneseナプラケアテクトHB リペアシャンプー
Hypoallergenic4.3
Amount10.1 oz
Foam level3.0
Scent
Smoothness4.0
Intended effectsMoisturizing and smoothing
Cleansing power2.5
How it felt to use4.0
Overall score3.9
Japaneseハホニコハホニココラシルク 18シャンプー
Hypoallergenic4.4
Amount11.8 oz
Foam level4.0
ScentElegant floral
Smoothness3.0
Intended effectsSoft roots and moisturized ends
Cleansing power3.0
How it felt to use3.3
Overall score3.9

8. Clue Sowa Sowa Pure Damage Care Shampoo

$21.00

JapaneseClue SOWASOWA ピュアダメージケア シャンプー
Hypoallergenic4.8
Amount16.9 oz
Foam level3.5
ScentColorful bouquet
Smoothness3.0
Intended effectsBeautifully scented and touchable hair
Cleansing power1.2
How it felt to use3.7
Overall score3.9
Japaneseヤマサキラサーナ 海藻海泥シャンプー
Hypoallergenic4.0
Amount7.8 oz
Foam level4.0
ScentRosehip
Smoothness5.0
Intended effectsCleanses hair and scalp for healthy and beautiful hair
Cleansing power4.2
How it felt to use3.2
Overall score3.9

10. Diane Bonheur Damage Repair Shampoo (Rose & Neroli)

$22.98

Japaneseネイチャーラボダイアンボヌール ORGANIC ダメージリペア シャンプー ローズ&ネロリの香り
Hypoallergenic5.0
Amount13.5 oz
Foam level3.5
ScentRose & neroli
Smoothness5.0
Intended effectsSmooths hair and locks in moisture
Cleansing power2.8
How it felt to use2.9
Overall score3.9

Products That Didn’t Make the Cut

And why they didn’t quite make it.

Just Average on All Fronts

Just Average on All Fronts

We liked Nakano Seiyaku’s Enu Shampoo SL, but we couldn’t find anything about it that particularly stood out. Considering that and the price tag of around $40, we would only recommend it if you’re really curious. Je l’aime Amino Damage Repair Shampoo gave us the same feeling, but at a price of around $10 per bottle, it’s a more affordable option.

Strong and Unique Scents

Strong and Unique Scents

If you’re picky about scent, then these shampoos may not be what you’re searching for. Our testers claimed that giovanni 2chic Damage Shampoo smells like pudding, and the scent lingers. Sprinage Gentle Moist Shampoo has a strong shampoo scent that we couldn’t find ourselves relaxing to, and THREE Scalp & Hair Refining Shampoo has a distinct essential oils fragrance that some people may not enjoy.

All of these shampoos scored mostly well on our tests otherwise, so if smell isn’t an issue for you, you can keep them on your list of possibilities.

Not for All Hair Types

Not for All Hair Types

While some shampoos are made for damaged hair, they don’t repair all types. hoyu’s Promaster Color Care Sweetia is meant to be a one-week concentrated shampoo for freshly-colored hair; it claims it makes the color appear brighter. After finding this wasn’t the case and it hardly cleansed our hair at all, we’ve decided to pass on recommending it.

If you have long hair or a dry scalp, Tsubaki Damage Care Shampoo may not protect you as it contains some irritating and drying ingredients. If you do plan on buying it, we’d recommend not using it everyday.

Not Gentle Enough

Not Gentle Enough

Some damage repair shampoos could leave your hair in the same or even worse condition than when you started. Not only was Pro and Pro Super Solution Hair Soap disappointing in the cleansing and foaming department, but it also contained a ton of irritating ingredients.

We found the same irritating and drying properties with Bioliss Botanical Shampoo (Extra Damage Repair) and Milbon’s Jemile Fran Shampoo; though they scored fairly well on other tests, we wouldn’t recommend them if you have a dry or sensitive scalp.

Compare the Best Japanese Shampoos for Damaged Hair

How We Tested the Shampoos

We put the 20 most popular shampoos for damaged hair through five tests, each designed to gauge a different factor. One was to measure how it felt, and two were to measure how gentle and how smooth each shampoo was. We also measured their foam level and cleansing power.

Test ① How it Felt to Use

Test ① How it Felt to Use
To conduct our tests, we put each shampoo into a clear bottle to prevent all the extra information on shampoo bottle labels from impeding our judgement. Then we averaged our rating of each product’s scent, bubbles, ease of rinsing, and texture on a scale of 5.0 to 0.1. In this test, we found that shampoos that contain both betaine and silicone have the best-feeling texture.

Test ② How Gentle it Was

Test ② How Gentle it Was
For our hypoallergenic test, we gauged how irritating each shampoo was using egg whites in a protein denaturation test. We gently mixed the egg white with shampoo so no bubbles would be formed, then let it sit for a while.
We then looked at the consistency change of the mixture, viewing each cup placed on a sheet of black paper. Egg whites that became cloudy (in the photo above, the cup on the left) had a measure of irritating ingredients in them; the muddier they got, the less gentle they are on your hair. We concluded that shampoos with a lot of botanical ingredients are gentle on your strands.

Test ③ Foam Level

Test ③ Foam Level
To cleanse your scalp properly, you need lots of bubbles. That’s what led us to take an electric mixer to a plastic cup of shampoo and measure how much foam they produced and how long the bubbles stayed there.

Test ④ Smoothness

Test ④ Smoothness
Using long false hair strands, a comb, and shampoo, we measured each product’s level of smoothness. We “damaged” each strand by washing and drying it 10 times, then used a comb to produce even more damage. We then dried each strand to the same level of dryness and then ran them through with a comb one more time. If the strands got tangled mid-comb, the shampoo received a lower score.

Test ⑤ Cleansing Power

Test ⑤ Cleansing Power
For our cleansing test, we applied shampoo to a colored glass sheet of stearic acid mixed with oleic acid to mimic the oil produced by your skin. If the color came off, that meant it had decent cleansing power; the more color stayed on, the less cleansing it was. This test showed us that while betaine is an ingredient that’s gentle on hair and skin, it’s not very cleansing.

How to Choose a Shampoo for Damaged Hair – Buying Guide

Here are three big things to look out for.

① Choose Repairing Ingredients Suited for Your Hair’s Condition

There are a done of different repairing shampoos out there; some are for post-color treatment while others are for repairing dry and brittle hair. Knowing which ingredients can help with each type of damage will make your search much simpler.

Tame Frizz with Cationic Surfectants

Tame Frizz with Cationic Surfectants
Shampoos with cationic surfactants are also found in conditioning treatments and wrap around each strand. This wards off static electricity and smooths out your strands.
・グアーヒドロキシプロピルトリモニウムクロリド (Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride)

Hydrolyzed Keratin (Lecithin) Repairs Color- and Perm-Damaged Hair

Hydrolyzed Keratin (Lecithin) Repairs Color- and Perm-Damaged Hair
If color or perm treatments have dried out your hair, hydrolyzed keratin will help you on your journey to recovery. Keratin is a component that makes up cell membranes, and hydrolyzing it makes it easy for your hair to absorb.
・ 加水分解ケラチン(レシチン) (Hydrolyzed keratin/lecithin)

Dry Hair? Ceramide Should Be There

Dry Hair? Ceramide Should Be There
Hair that looks and feels dry can be moisturized back to suppleness with the help of ceramides. These ingredients provide your hair with moisture without making it feel heavy or sticky. Unlike other moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides can be absorbed by your hair and skin easily without being washed away. They’re also gentle on your skin!
・セラミド2 (Ceramide 2)
・セラミドNP (Ceramide NP)
・セチルPGヒドロキシエチルパルミタミド (Cetyl-PG hydroxyethyl palmitamide)
・ジラウリン酸セラミドNS (Dilauric acid ceramide NS)

② Pick a Shampoo with a Gentle Cleanser

Even if you find a shampoo with an abundance of repairing ingredients, an irritating cleanser can ruin all of that. Look for these ingredients to get clean and supple hair.

Amino Acids Require Work, but are Gentle on Your Hair

Amino Acids Require Work, but are Gentle on Your Hair
Amino acids are particularly gentle on both your hair and scalp. However, shampoos loaded with amino acids tend to not get very foamy, which means you have to spend a bit more time scrubbing than you would with other shampoos.
The important thing to remember about amino acids is that they can cause damage if left behind on your scalp, so work up your shampoo to a nice froth before use and rinse thoroughly after use. In the listed ingredients, look for items that contain the words “cocyl” (ココイル) or “lauryl” (ラウロイル), as these tend to be amino acids.

Betaine Makes Great Foam but Hard to Wash Away

Betaine Makes Great Foam but Hard to Wash Away
As we mentioned earlier, shampoos with betaine tend to be gentle on the scalp but are a bit hard to wash away completely. This is what makes a creamy, rich foam that feels great to run your strands through. However, if you need a nice and gentle cleansing, betaine-filled shampoos are the way to go. Betaine ingredients include ingredients ending with “betaine” (ベタイン) and “sodium cocoamphoacetate” (ココアン酢酸Na).

Watch out for Alcohol

Watch out for Alcohol
Hair- and skin-drying alcohols can be hard to spot on an ingredient list unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Alcohols can make great bubbles, so that’s why they show up in so many products. But it would be a waste to get an ultra-repairing shampoo only to have it dry out your scalp even more, right?
You can often find alcohol-containing ingredients after the first-to-third lines of ingredients. If your hair is already pretty damaged, you should steer away from ingredients like “sodium lauryl sulfate” (ラウリス硫酸Na).

③ Tar-based Dyes Will Ruin Your Hair

③ Tar-based Dyes Will Ruin Your Hair
Shampoos colored with natural ingredients should be fine, but if you see color names with numbers next to them (like “red 277” or “yellow 4”), these are often tar-based dyes that can damage your hair. We recommend looking for a shampoo that doesn’t include these ingredients.

Looking for More Hair Products? We’ve Got You Covered

If you’re crazy about hair products, we’ve got even more recommendations for you.

Summary

We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 20 most popular Japanese shampoos for damaged hair, and tested them all.
We learned that the best of the best shampoos contain gentle ingredients like amino acids and repairing ingredients like keratin. We also found that shampoos with silicone and betaine were smoothing and made great foam. We learned the importance of reading labels and natural ingredients. Hopefully this will help you in your search for a great shampoo!

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